I read the morning's baseball deal headlines and I have to admit, I'm beginning to get a little pissed off.
Is Omar Minaya awake out there? Trades to be made he's nowhere to be found and when he DOES make a trade, he embarasses himself.
Let's take the Tigers getting Cabrera and D-Train for what amounts to a few coupons from the National Food Allotment Program.
Seriously, in return for an All-Star third baseman and a proven ace, the Marlins received only a young lefty who was 5-5 with a 5.63 ERA last season (the Mets don't have an equivilent?), a third string catcher (We CERTAINLY have a third string catcher by now), a talented but unproven CF (we have two of them in waiting) and ok, a host of other very low level names with alleged upside...what did the Marlins get in return that Omar couldn't have easily given???
Ok, I hear you saying oh, we don't need the best hitting fattest third baseman in the National League we've already got David Wright.
Agreed, Cabrera can't and doesn't need to play third base. He might be able to play first base even if Carlos Delgado is still there taking up space or he might even be converted to right field. Or NONE Of the above and he's recycled as trade bait to the Angels or the Rangers or some other AL team he can DH with for a few good, young prospects maybe even ANOTHER starting pitcher or bullpen help... Point is, you're then dealing from a position of strength.
And D-Train? We don't need a front end starter like D-Train in our rotation? One bad season and we've soured on him already? We haven't presumed over the last three years that D-Train was inevitably going to nd up pitching at Shea in the auld orange and blue someday? This stings even worse than missing out on another Marlins fire sale.
So if you're a Tiger fan you must have shit the bed when you heard this. That's because Dave Dombrowski is the Tigers GM, a guy who shows year after year he can make the deals, a guy who doesn't humiliate himself by trading top young prospects for a pair of middle of the road muppets who will have no positive impact on the season.
And if you're a Mets fan your fucked because Omar is your GM and your top bargaining chip is already in a Nats uniform and the best you can come up with are sickly conjectures on signing the likes of dead-arm, Bartolo Colon who and pray for a Comeback Player of the Year award. Or signing Hiroki Kuroda, some Japanese mystery pitcher as what, the next Masato Yoshii or some similar arse-end-of-the-rotation afterthought?? Or how about reviving speculation on Livian Hernandez and Jose Contreras as a means of jump-starting our offseason anticipation?
Fat fucking chance.
Instead I'm starting to get this nauseous feeling that the Red Sox will get Johan Santana, the Yankees will scoop up half the A's rotation in reply, and Erik Bedard will end up on the Dodgers or some other National League rival whilst Omar will be sizing up the likes of Anthony Reyes as another hopeless reclamation project for the Guru Formerly Known As Rick Peterson (let's not forget he's only a few inches from the broom as well these days...)
I don't know. It's just demoralising picking up the paper (or firing up the baseball rumour google mill) and finding out SOMEBODY ELSE has made the blockbuster trade, SOMEONE ELSE'S GM HAD THE INITIATIVE and two more star players are off the market.
The clock is ticking Omar and a failure to make a good, decisive move to give us some hope for the season will be a ticking bomb waiting to explode.
Ok, calm down. Calm down.
Lastings Milledge has finally been traded.
YEARS we've been fucking hearing about Lastings Milledge getting traded in a package deal somewhere, usually for a front-line starting pitcher like Barry Zero, hell, half the A's starting rotation at one time or another, occasionally for a Hall of Famer like Manny Club Cancer Ramirez, for D Train, you name it. If there was a starting pitcher to be had, rest assured the Mets needed him and Lastings Milledge was rumoured to be the fucking lynchpin with Aaron But I Wanna Be A Starter Heilman getting dumped with him, like the Imperial fleet's pre-light speed garbage dump Han Solo once escaped out of.
I was always torn about these rumours. Sure, it always been very hip to bash Lastings. He's immature at times, struggles with his own personality in a big media spotlight, the Management rubbished him because of potty mouth rap lyrics, he's too bling, blablabla. The point is he's a 23 year old with major upside; multi-tooled and just another year or two of Major League seasoning and this guy is ready to break out but it was never guaranteed enough that he could mature fast enough to last so trading him for a front line starting pitcher had a certain appeal to it. He might NOT pan out and if the Mets could get an ace in return, well, all the better.
Certainly that bullshit against the Marlins last September, Game 151 didn't help at all with his elaborate handshake routine with Jose Reyes near the on-deck circle that allegedly infuriated the Marlins but let's not forget he did hit two homers in that game and his arc is still climbing after last season's performance.
But fuck it, the Mets need starting pitching badly and if there was an ace out there to be had, surely getting rid of Milledge and Heilman and maybe even another young arm would be worth it.
So of course, once you read past the "Milledge traded" bit and read the fine print like WHO the fuck he was traded for, that's when the hair-pulling and vomitting begins in earnest.
Traded to the Nats? Oh well, within the division, that could come back to hurt us but hell, the Nats have a good young catcher they stole from us last season in Jesus Flores, did we get him back? No? Well, ok, they've got Tim Reading and Shawn Hill, not really anything earth-shattering but maybe bargaining chips for future deals, both with sub 4.00 ERAs as starters last season...No?
Well who the fuck DID we get in return then?
Ryan Church and Brian Schneider?
Ok, Mr Bowden, pull Omar's pants back up, right now!
Firstly, what the fuck is wrong with Omar and catchers?
Let's face it, Paul Lo Duca is the only catcher on the market worth having and since telling him to piss off out of New York we've had a chorus line of inadequate catchers auditioning for the full time job.
The Yorvit Torrealba fiasco was a joke and then an embarassment as Omar stuttered his way from making a desperate free agent splash to changing his mind altogether, dicking Torrealba over and ruining the fun we could have had all season at the expense of his butchered English all season, in the process.
Then he re-signs Castro as the backup, fair enough and gets Johnny Estrada from the Brewers whilst simultaneously ridding of us Guillermo Mota. Ok, you think, we still haven't got a relevant catcher but at least we don't have to watch Mota surrender double digit runs over a third of an inning for us any more.
So why the fuck do we need Schneider as part of a package deal for Lastings Milledge? Because he's a good defensive catcher? Fuckin hell, Omar. You can only play ONE of these losers at a time back there and now we've got three wrongs still not making a right and we've lost a potential young star in the process.
I don't care if Brian Schneider has had Johnny Bench's fucking right arm surgically attached to his shoulder, he can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag and in case you didn't notice, there is a bit of a vacuum in the order when Carlos Delgado is in a tailspin. With no pitching we need MORE offense, not less and last I heard, defensive catcher or not, Schneider does not turn water into wine and will not turn Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber and Oliver Perez into Johan Santana, Joe Blanton and D-Train any time soon.
And Ryan Church? Jesus-freak, Jew-hating Ryan Church? Platoon in right field with the Jewish Shawn Green? Now there's some good team chemistry waiting to happen.
Schneider is 31, Church didn't even MAKE it to the Big Leagues until he was 25 and now he's already on the ugly side of 29 and we gave the Nats Lastings Milledge, a 23 year old star waiting to blossom?
Even the chambermaids are flummoxed over this one...
So now we've got three catchers and still no starting top-of-the-rotation aces, our primary and most urgent need.
Meanwhile, in the Bronx the Yankees are chasing precisely the sort of pitcher the Mets need at the top of their rotation and whilst one might empathise the Mets don't have enough of what the Twins want to execute a trade, trading a flawed but talented bargaining chip for anything other than a top starter means either Milledge's stock has crashed and burned or Omar is just getting dumber by the day.
This is approaches the familiar territory of Kazmir For Zambrano Stoopid.
This is another Omar gaffe in a growing collection of Omar gaffes which is frankly, becoming worrisome especially in light of the fact that for all his off season smoke and mirrors to date, we still don't have any front line pitching and whilst yes, Mota is gone, the bullpen is still a weak link.
He's got until just after the New Year to get it done and I'm willing to hold on and expect to be blown away by this oft-touted genius but by god if we go into another Spring Training with a AAA starting rotation, a sub prime second baseman with no knees, a defensive catcher, a question mark at first in Delgado, left looking lost in leftfield with always-injured Moises, a platoon of average rightfielders and scarily limited bullpen, and if we have to listen to another off season of Omar mouthing sweet nothings about how happy he is with what we have to go into the season with, I think there will be a long queue of Mets supporters with their buckets of vomit to hand over to the ticket office when it comes time to switch stadiums in a year.