Mets Unload Wrong Catcher

Well, they're getting closer in that at least they're unloading catchers now. Unfortunately for the Mets, they unloaded backup catcher Vance Wilson, a sort of Del Gilbert of the early 21st century, and chose to keep the selfish, overpaid and underachieving catcher, Mike Piazza in his stead.

Wilson was the Mets' representative to the players union and was an active presence in the clubhouse, taking on a leadership role despite his limited playing time.

"Vance Wilson is a professional backup catcher," Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said. "He is one of the best in the business at his role in addition to being a quality individual in the clubhouse."

Ironically, the catcher they chose to keep, Mike Piazza, also had limited playing time and has NO presence to speak of in the clubhouse, other than as facial hair stylist extraordinaire, and leader of the Worst Defensive Catchers in the World Association. Whereas Piazza regularly throws out about a mere 20% of the people attempting to steal bases, Wilson regularly threw out 35-40%. You can say that potentially anyway, Piazza MIGHT have better offensive numbers, but Piazza .266-20-54 really isn't that big a climb over Wilson's .274-4-21 in half as much time. When you factor in that Wilson could actually play his position without embarassing himself, well, you might think the Mets unloaded the wrong catcher.

What this means, bitterly perhaps, is that despite my daily prayers, Mike Piazza will stay with the Mets this season, rotting another clubhouse with his vaporous presence and horrific catching. Hopefully in return, considering this is the final season of his contract, he will at least return to the offensive Piazza of auld, hit alot of empty-base homeruns and hit above .300 so long as it doesn't mean anything, in compliment to Carlos Beltran or Carlos Delgado. On the other hand, perhaps he will suffer another season-long injury and spare the Mets the humiliation of having the league's worst defensive catcher representing them behind the plate. If you've any doubt, ask yourself this: Do you think Pedro wants to pitch to Mike Piazza?. Not a chance. You think Glavine likes knowing every time he allows a single or gives up a walk, that baserunner gets an automatic pass to second base? Not a chance.

But all is not lost in this transaction. In return, the Mets receive a young, switch-hitting shortstop in Anderson Henderson. Then again, the Mets already have a young, superstah-talented shortstop so it's rather confusing about where SeƱor Henderson will find himself playing. Nevetheless, Henderson was named by Baseball America as Detroit's Best Defensive Infielder and Best Infield Arm in their system. Oddly however, he isn't ranked in their top 10 of best prospects.

Well, Mr Met Organisation, we get the message, another painful season of Piazza's triple hop throws to second base. Thankfully, it will be his last.

Whilst they were ridding themselves of Vance Wilson, they were adding yet another catcher in the form of Ramon Castro. Unfortunately, Castro is probably best known for being accused of rape and later copping to a misdemeanor indecent assault charge and will be on probation for a year.

In August of 2003, a 28-year-old woman accused Castro of assaulting her in the player's hotel room following Wednesday night's game in Pittsburgh. According to court records, the woman told police Castro threw her on a hotel bed, pulled off her clothes and held her down. The woman tried to push Castro away and told him to stop, but he continued to sexually assault her, the documents said. The woman went to a hospital early Thursday morning, and staff members there called police. The woman was treated and released for what police described as minor physical injuries.

Not sure what the message is here. Dump clubhouse leader in favour of clubhouse whiner, pick up a defensive shortstop and an accused rapist with a .212 lifetime batting average in the bargain. Hmmmm.


Knowing that nary a word can be spoken about the Mets these days without the obligatory Carlos Beltran update, you can rest assured that the Mets, at the moment anyway, are the frontrunners in the Beltran Sweepstakes. In fact, tomorrow is a D-Day of sorts in that it is the final day Beltran has to accept the Astros offer or move on elsewhere.

The Astros say they've made their final offer. The rumour is that the Astros' current offer on the table is at seven years and $105 million, and the Mets were at seven years and $112 million.

"There's no more offers coming from the Houston Astros," Fat Cat Owner McLane said. "The offer we have out there, that's the only one we're going to give. There are no more. We've made it clear that we'll make no more offers. We've had the offer out there. We're not going to change the offer. If that fits them, terrific. If not, then we have to move on."

Yes, and move on Carlos Beltran, move on to Shea.

As for the nasty rumour that the Tigers will jump in at the last minute a la Texas and A-Rod, and offer an absurd sum, Tigers GM says of Beltran, "He's a player we like a great deal, as we've said all along, but where we are and what his situation is financially just doesn't mesh."

The only other place is might mesh will be in the Bronx and although they continue to deny interest, the Yankees are loath to let the Mets get away with a public relations coup like signing Beltran. So don't count your Beltrans before they're hatched.


At least one free agent has spoken up to confirm Omar's contention that he is building an attractive base for latino players. The "other" Carlos, Delgado, says Mets GM Omar Minaya's interest in Latin American players makes New York an attractive option.

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