No Bats In The Belfry

The dust has settled down following the big Pedro Parade, Pedro continues to unload on his former team, and pepper the air with Pedroisms and perhaps now, as we adjust, it's time to address the other issues, time to finish filling in the holes, to make this a team to be reckoned with.

The usual suspects are involved of course. All along, the possibility loomed but now that they've got Pedro acting as their spokesmodel, the Mets appear to be joining the race for Beltran, albeit in a softly, softly mode.

The plan is apparently to fly low under the radar and involves waiting to see how much ridiculous King George Steinbrenner is willing to bid - if the price stays within range of the $81 million the Astros are rumoured to have offered, the Mets might well make a run at Carlos. Of course, not satisfied with his 6 starting pitchers, such a move would likely trigger an outrageous offer from King George, who will not be happy enough finally getting Randy Johnson.

The more likely scenario appears to be that the Mets will go after "The Other" Carlos, Carlos Delgado, a big left handed bat to fill the whole at first. At the moment, only the Orioles appear to join the Mets in bidding for him in a market where Delgado is likely to net a deal similar to the four-year, $50-million contract first baseman Richie Sexson signed with the Mariners. Being a lefty is a big advantage at Shea since an internal study recently showed that more home runs hit at Shea leave the ballpark in right-center than in any other area. He also makes a nice bookend with Mike Piazza in the middle of the lineup, if indeed the Mets are STILL forced to witness another season of Piazza's wretched and weak arm behind the plate. But the Delgado Dilemma is his dodgy defensive ability and there are still two other lighter hitting, but better fielding first basemen available in current Red Sock, Doug Mientkiewicz (according to No Joy In Metsville, now Kevin Millar seems the more like Sock first baseman to be unloaded) or free agent John Olerud is available, who will obviously cost alot less and free up cash to fix the outfield even if they bring almost nil excitement with them.

You have to wonder, with Pedro talking up a storm, after listening to both his and Omar's accounts of free agents now champing at the bit to join the Mets, that nearly anything is still possible for the Mets this offseason.

One possibility I almost dare not mention is that of the Mets overpaying someone like Moises Alou to play the outfield. Alou has been helped alot by playing at Wrigley Field. Last season, he had 300 at bats at home and 301 on the road. Home, 29 homers, 67 RBIs and a nice fat .339 batting average. Away, a mere 10 homers, 39 RBIs and an enemic .247 batting average. Not only that, but let's face it, Moises is almost as old as Moses: he'll be 39 after the All Star break. On the other hand, he missed only 18 games total over the last two seasons (compared to current left fielder Cliff Floyd, who missed 103 games over the last two seasons. At Shea, Alou hit .250 with ZERO homers and 7 RBIs in 32 at bats. Hardly heart-stopping. The novelty of getting a guy who pisses on his own hands to improve his hitting would be worth a few chuckles when the season gets slow but hopefully Alou will either accept a one year deal or better still, join his father in San Francisco. Neither is a likely scenario.

I have to hand it to Pedro as well, he knows how to dig the knife in. In a Q&A with the Boston Herald the other day when he said he hopes his former Boston backup, free agent Jason Varitek, "is on my team."

Of course, the Mets already have their catcher in Mike Piazza and when Pedro was told that Piazza may not be thrilled by that news, Martinez shrugged and added unconvincingly, "I do want Piazza, too. Piazza is a good hitter.

"We can move him to first or somewhere. I would like every good player that is out there to be on my team. I want 'Tek. 'Tek is a good player, a good catcher."

So there you have it. Piazza can to move first or "somewhere". Hopefully another city. Pedro is already scoring big points with me and he hasn't even thrown his first pitch.

If we dare hope, perhaps some of the offensive flash can come from Hamstring Jose Reyes, who is tearing up something else besides his hamstrings these days.

The 21-year-old Reyes, long rumoured for baseball stardom but more often mired on the disabled list, is currently batting .323 (31-for-96) with one home run and nine RBIs for Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League. Of course, that's the Dominican Winter League and not even Pedro is pitching in it.

One solution to add to the outfield swagger will definately not be the man they claimed yesterday off waivers, Ron Calloway. You have to wonder what the motivation was here. Calloway is 28, with a lifetime .224 batting average. Where will he best fit in? Bat boy? Does he possess an exceptional voice that will have him as the designated singer of the national anthem at every home game? A .224 batting lifetime batter. He must know something about Omar. Something dark and dirty.

By the way, the Mets are so progressive with minority hires, even their Santa is black. What gets puzzling though isn't the black santa, it's when Pedro calls Mets pitching coach named Guy Conti his white daddy. On the other hand, a black woman who was the Mets' director of human resources claims she was treated more like a maid by two of her bosses, including the owner's son.

"These white bosses, the power structure, don't acknowledge women in the highest levels of the organization, especially black women," Jack Tuckner, lawyer for Shez Jackson, the probable plaintiff said. "It was like, give it to a colored woman to clean up."

Given their current dearth of bats, maybe they ought to just have a colored woman, like Toni Stone, batting cleanup instead of merely cleaning up.

Lastly, for more sports outside the realm of the Mets, have a look at the sister site, Sports Amnesia.

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