Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Brian Bannister Era Is Over

Late last night, while transplanted ex-Met Mike Piazza was finishing up a deal to be the A's new DH, Omar made his first move of the Winter Meetings, shipping Brian Bannister off to Middle America for the Kansas City Royals' Ambiorix Burgos. Who the heck is Ambiorix Burgos, you might ask? Well, first of all he becomes only one of two kids named Ambiorix in the Mets organization. 23 year old outfielder Ambiorix Concepcion has been toiling in the lower levels of the Mets farm system for the past few years, but 2007 doesn't look to be the year when two dudes named Ambiorix share space on the same big league roster.

ANYWAY... the Ambiorix the Mets acquired yesterday is Ambiorix Burgos, a hard-throwing 21 year old right-handed pitcher who hails from the Dominican Republic. If he were a fictional character, he would be Charlie Sheen in Major League. This guy throws hard, real hard, but can't find the plate. He spent some time as the Royals closer last season and blew twelve saves out of 30 opportunities. Yes, he blew twelve saves out of thirty. Here's a clue why: He threw eleven wild pitches in 73 innings. Meanwhile, in 2005 he could claim the highest average fastball velocity of American League relievers, at 96.5 mph. Holy mackerel. Imagine being a batter facing this guy? 97 miles an hour and neither one of you have any idea where the pitch will wind up. This could be very interesting. Just don't ask me how to pronounce his name. I'm a blogger, not a linguist.

Speaking of interesting, Gary Carter and Howard Johnson were sitting around, anxiously waiting to find out which one of them would be named the Mets third base coach for 2007. Well yesterday Willie Randolph and Omar dropped a bombshell, indicating that Sandy Alomar will be shifting over to third base next season, and Rickey Henderson is a candidate to become the 2007 first base coach. Whuh??? There may still be an opening for HoJo or The Kid as Willie's bench coach, but we'll find out soon.

Rick Peterson is coming back in 2007. I had wondered if Texas wouldn't have thrown a boatload of cash at Peterson in their efforts to attract Barry Zito, but I guess Tom Hicks will have to stick with cash. Let's all not forget by the way, that Texas has no state income tax, so money from Texas is worth more than money from New York.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mets Fan Lugo Signs With Sox

31 yr. old Julio Lugo, who earlier this offseason told the press that he grew up a Mets fan, has signed a four year deal with the Boston Red Sox.

Man, I love all these long-term big money deals that are cropping up around the league. Want to know why? I love seeing other teams get bogged down in bad contracts. I give the Cubbies two years before they are trying to unload Alfonso Soriano. Good luck.

There's money to be made this offseason if you're a free agent, and the Mets are wise to sit this one out, with the exception of the Z-man. Let the other clubs lock up their budgets into the next decade. A year from now the Mets will be one of the few clubs with financial flexibility.


Omar Minaya must be walking around like a zombie right now. I'm not even at the Winter Meetings, yet I am exhausted from all the rumors floating around. I only check MetsBlog and HotFoot about 50 times a day, each, plus ESPN, FOX and SI's websites too.

But since Tom Glavine decided to take the Mets offer over the one he never got from the Braves, there's been no real action for Mets fans to discuss. The Mets want Barry Zito but haven't offered him anything. Is Omar worried that Zito might pull a Glavine and take the offer he has from Texas over the one he hasn't gotten yet from the Mets? No. Do you know why? Because Scott Boras is involved, and there's no room for any of that nonsense, I mean, classiness, that went on while we were waiting for Glavine to make up his mind. Boras will wait until this time next forever for the Mets to make their offer, if for no other reason than to increase his leverage somewhere.

This reminds me of A-Rod a bit, where everyone knew A-Rod wanted to come to the Mets, but the Mets didn't want to overpay, but Texas was willing to break the bank. But, whereas in the aftermath of A-Rod signing with Texas, every Mets fan from here to Long Island was screaming bloody hell about Steve Phillips allowing A-Rod to take Tom Hicks's $250 million, this time if Zito messes with Texas most Mets fans won't give a hoot. Zito would look awfully nice in the Mets rotation, sure, but this guy doesn't strike me as the kind of guy you blow off work to see pitch a day game for, like Pedro Martinez does. They still play day games at Shea, right?

So, we wait. And hit 'refresh'.