Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hot Foot Scours The Globe

Even though I moved away from Long Island two years ago, I still read Newsday everyday NEWSDAY EVERYDAY, as well as the sports section of the Daily News to find out the goings ons. The great Hot Foot apparently also reads the San Franciso Gate, because it's there he found out that the San Francisco Giants are considering Bobby Valentine for their vacant managers job. The great Bobby V has said publically that he's very happy managing in Japan but that he'd come back to the U.S. if a "special" opportunity arose. He's admitted that the Dodgers job would qualify, based on his relationship with Tommy Lasorda, but I wonder if the Giants job would qualify. On the Giants side, I would think they would probably pick Manny Acta over Bobby V for the sole reason that Bobby V would cost them A LOT more money...

Don't forget to check out Hot Foot's post for links about Lastings Milledge and Tom Glavine too.

Surprise, Surprise! Delgado's a Good Guy!

Remember all the nonsense about whether Carlos Delgado was an Anti-American or something? Well Delgado was just named the winner of the 2006 Roberto Clemente Award, given to the major league player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. Turns out he's actually a nice guy who cares about the community.

So there. Now don't forget to contribute to his charity -

While Delgado helped out the community in New York this season, there's still no guarantee he'll be back next season. He has the right to demand a trade or opt-out of his contract because he was traded from the Marlins in the middle of his contract. He is owed $30.5 million over the next two seasons, so it seems unlikely he would just walk away from that, but he has been noncommittal in his public statements:

"We've got to figure out where we're going, how do we fit, what are we trying to do, before we make a decision. Simple as that,"

It doesn't take an award winner to figure out that Delgado is trying to pressure the Mets into picking up his 2009 option, worth $16 million.

Speaking of options, Tom Glavine has until November 10th to tell the Mets he'll come back and pitch for the price of $7.5 mil. If not, the Mets have until November 20th to tell Tommy G he'll be pitching in a Mets uniform next season for $14 million. Otherwise, Tom Glavine gets a $3 million buyout and can sign at any price with the Mets, Braves, Komiyura Giants or any other team for that matter. We should know something by Thanksgiving anyway.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mets In The E.R.

I don't think I realized how banged-up these Mets were.  Carlos Delgado had surgery on his right wrist because of carpal tunnel syndrome today, and will go under the knife Monday for tennis elbow.  Aaron Heilman also had surgery for tennis elbow on his right arm. Meanwhile, Paul LoDuca had an operation to repair a ligament tear in his left thumb that seems like its been banged up forever, while Chris Woodward had a torn labrum in his left shoulder operated on.  If all that weren't enough, on Wednesday Cliffy Floyd will have surgery on his Achilles tendon while Bert Hernandez will have his right knee patched up.  Do the Mets qualify for a group discount here or what?

Think Commercial Breaks Are Too Long During Baseball Games?
Just Wait Til Next Year!

According to an article on, FOX plans on compensating for the declining baseball ratings next year by expanding commercial time between half-innings on Fox telecasts as part of its new contract. Oh, please! These games already go too late into the night! I pray that maybe at least they'll move up the start times of these games. Would it really kill them to have first pitch at 7:30?

The article brings up another issue I've been complaining about, in a quote by Los Angeles Daily News sports media columnist Tom Hoffarth:

...whatever your opinions of Fox's announcing crews are, Hoffarth says the network could do better. "It seems pretty obvious that a postseason game without a Vin Scully doing it is just missing the boat," he said. "Here's the greatest baseball broadcaster of all time, sitting home in October. One thing that might be an option is to have the home-team broadcaster do an inning or two, like NBC used to do way back when. This World Series would be nice to hear Ernie Harwell, at least."

Exactly! No broadcaster knows the teams better than the guys who call the games night in and night out. How much better would the analysis of the NLDS have been if Gary Cohen had been in the booth. They usually do bring in a random player for commentary - this year it was Luis Gonzalez for no reason, who was useess - Keith Hernandez would have been a much better choice.

A New Acta For Manny, Part II

According to the Daily News, Manny Acta will interview with the San Francisco Giants for their vacant managers job today. Acta interviewed with the Rangers yesterday, and may also be a candidate to replace Frank Robinson in Washington, D.C.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New Labor Agreement Might Mean New Wrinkle In Deadline Deals

According to Peter Gammons, the new labor deal about to be announced is a five year deal and will likely end draft choice compensation for losing free agents. This means that clubs will have to think a little longer before trading for a hired gun at the trading deadline.

Here's what I mean: lets say the Mets had an opportunity to land Barry Zito at the trading deadline for a topline prospect like Mike Pelfrey. The Mets likely would have done the deal, because even if they weren't able to re-sign Zito this October, they would have been given compensation draft picks, allowing them to at least replace the Mike Pelfrey-type they lost in the trade.

The reason this is a good thing for baseball makes clubs try harder to keep their existing free agents, so theoretically players will stay with one team longer during their careers. Doing away with the compensation pick system eliminates rewarding clubs for letting their players walk. I'm thinking the asumption is that it's the large revenue clubs that have the big free agents walk away, so compensation picks reward the high-revenue clubs the most? But what about the A's? Hmmm. On the other hand, now there's no penalty on the large market teams for gobbling up other teams's All Stars as soon as they become free agents. So what is the rationale for doing away with the compensation picks? Maybe someone else has a better idea? It almost certainly has to do with money...

In any case, a new labor agreement is good for the sport. Any time there is a labor dispute, the sport loses fans because we're reminded how greedy these rich bastards can be. Fortunately, we can try and forget about how greedy those rich bastards are for at least another half-decade.

A Nominee For The Metstradamus Hate List - Wallace Matthews

Today's Newsday column by Wallace Matthews wasn't the first to tick off Mets fans, but he may have topped himself.  That's why I'm nominating him for the daily hate list posted by Metstradamus.  I think this columnist is at least worthy enough to supplant Adam Wainwright for a day or two.  Wallace chides Mets fans for doing what they do - believe.   He thinks there's no reason for us to have any kind of hope this year - that this was our best chance of going to the World Series and that Minaya and Wilpon are fooling themselves if they think this was the start of many years of success.  The reason he cites is that there is now parity in baseball:

"Whichever team wins the World Series between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals will represent the seventh different team to win it all in the last seven years, and four of the previous five did not even make the playoffs the following year."

Um, okay.  All that means to me is that if the Cardinals win the World Series this year, recent history means they won't make the playoffs in 2007.  Which is fine with me.  Actually, bringing up the Cardinals was the dumbest example Matthews could have used.  Matthews must have forgotten 2004, when everyone thought the Cardinals would win it all.  They had the best team, and rolled all the way to the World Series, where they were met by the Boston Red Sox and got swept in four games.  I guess Matthews would have said they were done then too.  But here they are, and last night those bastards just won game one against this year's "Team Of Destiny." 

Yes, there haven't been consecutive World Championships by any franchise since the Junkees did it back in the nineties.  But those Yankees have sniffed October every year for the past 11.  The Braves were in the playoffs for 14 straight years until this one.  Padres? Two years straight.  Cardinals?  Third consecutive year.  A's?  Six of the last seven.  Yeah, the Mets should just give up.

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David Lennon says Willie Randolph will get a contract extension very soon.  Can't argue with that.  Yes, some of Willie's strategic moves are questionable, but his players respect him, and play hard for him, and he doesn't get caught up in the circus, so he's got my love and respect too. WillieBall!

/ / /

Ken Davidoff says Manny Ramirez wants to be traded, but Davidoff doubts the Sox will find a match.  Keep moving, Omar.  Nothing to see here.