A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Olney Chat

These are some excerpts from the Buster Olney chat on ESPN.com yesterday.

John (D.C.)
This off season is killing me. It is starting slow. I have got to know one thing, please. Are the Mets all bark but no bite when it comes to getting all these free agents? Also who do you see them signing? Sexson, Pedro, anybody?

John: I think Omar wants to be a big-time player, but let's face it, the Mets' credibility right now is not high. Ortiz's comment about Pedro the other day reflected the general perception about the Mets: He ain't going to no Mets. Yankees went through the same thing in the early '90s, when the Mets still owned New York. I thought that Omar would come in and blow away the competition for Pedro, offering 4-55, that type of thing, to make damn sure he won. At some point, the Mets are going to have to take a gamble like that -- and then win. I'm not sure what they can do this winter to overcome that; they've got to win next summer, or at the very latest, in '06. Then free agents would look at them differently

Buster hit the nail on the head here. Who in their right minds when they are in good health and have successful teams chasing them would come here? In my opinion, the one goal the Mets had in 2004 was to create an atmosphere and a sense that his team was getting better. Moving in a positive direction. The goal was to approach .500 and they pretty much failed miserably. The Mets can only get big time free agents by taking chances on guys like Magglio for lack of better option basically. The Mets need to change the perception that most players and baseball people have of the team and they may have to take a few risks to do it.

Jeff (Nashville, TN): In your opinion, is Sammy Sosa going to be a Cub next year? If not where do you see him most likely to go. It seems that the Mets have really cooled their interest in Slammin’ Sammy.

Olney: Hey, Jeff -- yes, I bet he's with the Cubs next season; I've thought that all along. I thought the Mets have been insane to consider Sosa and all of his baggage, and besides them, I can't imagine anyone willing to take a chance. First day of spring training should be interesting, as Baker and Sosa try to make nice...

Music to my ears...until I hear Alou is a target of the Mets.

Mike (NJ): Any chance of Beltran to the Mets?

Olney: Mike: Sorry to be a naysayer, but no chance. Boras will always keep the Yankees in the loop on the nature of the Mets' offers, and let's face it, George will never let the Mets outbid him. Never.

Never...Well maybe not never, but Beltran to the Mets seems pretty damn slim. I know people advocate trumping everyone's offer and overpay, but the Mets are not going to do that. No way, no how. Whether they should or not is arguable, but that does not seem like an option.

Jerry (Dayton): Buster, what do the Red Sox do with their two first baseman, Millar and Minkei... Do you see a deal that is promising out there for either player?

Olney: No. I think they are both decent players, but nobody's dying to get either guy. Millar is essentially a mistake-hitter at this stage in his career, and there are questions about Mientkiewicz and his ability to stay healthy. If the Red Sox traded either guy, their biggest return would be to save the salary they wouldn't have to pay.

This should be music to some people's ears. Mientkiewicz for basically peanuts.

Franco (Hoboken): what about Magglio Ordonez?? He seems like a great fit for the Mets. thoughts?

Olney: Franco: Agree completely. You could make a one or two-year commitment, with lots of incentives, and if he comes back, great. If he doesn't, you aren't wrecked financially. It's the type of gamble the Mets should be taking.

Buster, I agree. I completely agree. Why not take a chance on a guy who is proficient hitter. What can the Mets lose? Finish in last place? Been there, done that. He's not blocking anyone in the minors and won't be blocking any bigger better free agents in after 2005 or 2006. Do it.

JeMar (Pittsburgh): It's been 11 years since we finished above .500. Do Pirates fans have any reason to think this is the year we'll finally break out of it?

Olney: JeMar: Yeah, in fact, I think the Pirates' window of opportunity is approaching. We'll see if their pitching -- Perez, Wells -- all comes together at once. That's what has to happen.

This is just to make us Met fans feel a little better. Yes, it can get worse. It can. The Pirates have been rebuilding since Barry left the team.

* * *

  • "It's not just the Red Sox. The Mets are very much in it."

    According to Pedro's agent, the Mets are not out of it yet. It's most likely agent speak and leverage against the Red Sox as I still think he'll land back in Beartown. The Yankees are close to inking Carl Pavano, which forces Boston's hand in the Pedro negotiations.

  • The same article above lists this tidbit:

    Seattle appears the likely destination for Richie Sexson, and Baltimore the likely destination for Carlos Delgado, which may force the Mets to get a first baseman via the trade route. Boston is shopping Doug Mientkiewicz and Kevin Millar.

    If the Mets get Mientkiewicz and his .260 average at Shea with 10 homers, they absolutely need to walk away with a major bat in the outfield.

  • The rumors were flying and here was a strange one:

    There also was one three-way trade rumor yesterday that had the Cubs getting Mike Piazza, the Rangers getting Sammy Sosa and the Mets getting Alfonso Soriano. But indications were that the deal was not happening.

  • The Cubs are aggresively entering the Beltran sweepstakes. I don't buy the notion that they need to move Sosa to bring him in since they'll be footing the entire bill for Sosa anyway.

    The Cubs, Yankees and Astros are Beltran's three main pursuers, though Boras said Friday night an unexpected bidder has joined the mix.

    Any chance Minaya is in on this as the secret team?

  • Hey Hendry, the Mets will take Derek Lee of your hands if you want to shed payroll.

  • The Dodgers are interested in acquiring Tim Hudson and Matt Clement. They appear ready to offer Matt a contract. On the Hudson front, would the Dodgers finally give up Edwin Jackson in this move?

    Omar better get his head out of his before all the pitchers are off the table while he's still woo-ing Pedro.

  • Friday, December 10, 2004

    Hell Hath No Fury Like a Scorned Woman

    Al Leiter was on the Steve Sommers show last night and I think you can say he's not exactly a happy camper. When anyone says i'm fine about 100 times in twenty minutes, you are not fine.

    Al dispelled the rumors that his deal includes a job in the broadcasting booth with the Marlins. He also discredited the false report that he said "it's hard to get motivated" and it was taken completely out of context by editing out the entire statement and using one sentence. He also smacked down the notion that he was a clubhouse lawyer and had anything to do with the personnel moves such as getting Kazmir traded. He said he has no idea where the rumor came from and has no idea who leaked it and why. He sounded like a guy who was happy to be leaving the Mets and the NY Media market. He repeatedly said he felt wanted by the Marlins and loves to talk baseball and pitching and he loves the idea of being a mentor to the young arms in Florida. He also stated that the Marlin deal was actually the worst out of any offer and when Jeffery Loria decided to throw in an extra million to sweeten the deal, Al turned it down and asked him to give it to his charity. He also touched upon steroids a bit. He was reluctant to answer at first and then opened up a bit on the topic.

    Al was also discussing the conversation that him and Omar said and it basically went like this:

    I throw too many pitches, I walk too many people, I don't pitch late into games, Omar, I get it, I get it.

    He was not happy with the way the situation was handled and was looking for a thanks but no thanks from the Mets.

    Listen to the entire thing on the WFAN.com to see what I'd call a rant more than an interview.

    Al is definitely a class act and he is a straight shooter. He did thank the Mets fans and said he will miss them. It is just too bad it was bad break up, although I 'm not sure how any breakup like this could be a smooth one.

    * * *

  • Ortizzle speaks:

    "He ain't going to no Mets," Ortiz said of Martinez

    A double negative means he's going to the Mets. So you read it here first, David Oritz said Pedro is going to the Mets.

    Seriously, but Pedro to the Mets seem more unlikely as the days go along. Sometimes the Mets cannot get out of their own way, but this time it does not look like they will have the opportunity to offer a 4 year deal to Pedro.

  • According to Fox Sports:

    Before signing with the Marlins, free-agent left-hander Al Leiter reportedly turned down similar deals from both the Mets and Yankees — a $4 million base salary, plus $3 million in easily reached incentives.

    The Marlins guaranteed Leiter $7 million and donated another $1 million to his "Leiter's Landing" charity, but $5 million of his salary will be deferred without interest, giving the team increased flexibility for other pursuits.

    Leiter, 39, will receive $2 million in 2005.

  • "I really can't talk about Jason, we've been told to be careful about discussing it. I enjoy Jason Giambi as a person, unfortunately what's come to light is something to be taken care of. I don't want to specifically talk about his future."
    -Joe Torre

    Even Yogi's got in on it.

    "I don't think so," Berra said when asked whether he would permit Giambi to play for the Yankees next year.

    What's come to light is something to be taken care of? Giambi should not be a Yankee next year? This all pertains to Jason, but not Gary right? What a contradicting trashy organization. That's all I can say. If you preach about taking the high road, do it across the board. You want to believe Sheffield did not know what he took and hang Giambi for telling the truth while others took the easy way out and lied? Simply amazing. I hope Jason does not give in and gets the entire $82 million as a buyout.

  • Newsday has outlined who they think the five most powerful people in Baseball are. Not surprisingly, they put Steinbrenner at the top.

  • You want to know who may be on the block? Wonder no more thanks to Jason Stark.

  • So as frustrated as the Cubs have been by the Mets' mixed signals on Sosa, expect those conversations to resume this weekend -- because no matter what you may have heard, says one baseball man, "that deal isn't dead."

  • Jeff Kent commented on the Barry Bonds/steroid issue.

    "I won't get into specifics, but in general, I'm not surprised," Kent said

  • Magglio Ordonez does his best Al Leiter impression:

    "They always say they want to win, they want to win," Ordonez said. "They don't care about winning. They only care about making money.

    "I don't know why they want to pull this campaign against me in the newspapers. The only thing I ever did in Chicago was play hard, do my job and be quiet."

  • I was starting to waiver on why I liked Sexson over Delgado and comletely forgot why. I was listening to Eddie Coleman last night and he said he prefers Sexson of the two as well. Then it all started coming back. Sexson just turns 30 this month and would be 33 or 34 when his contract ends as opposed to 36 or 37 for Delgado. While 30 and 32 don't sound like a big difference now, 33/34 to 36/37 does. Delgado is a better hitter, but only topped .300 twice. All other years have been .270, .262, .292, .272, .279, .277, and .269. He gets on base at a higher rate, but Richie has been improving. Is Delgado the pure hitter everyone makes him out to be? He's no Vlad, that's for sure, and it's not a given he puts up better offensive numbers than Sexson in my book. Give me the youth. Sexson is 29 as of today and the Mets have a much better chance to have production out of Sexson at the end of his contract than Delgado at the end of his. Sexson is still in his prime, he is not exiting it. Since when did anyone start tabbing a 29 year old as a guy who is entering his decline?

    Oh, Eddie also said, if you can get Pedro, you have to get him. I found that one interesting too.

  • Thursday, December 09, 2004

    With a Grain of Salt

    Peter Gammons was on WFAN a little bit ago and he had a few things to say. Whether they are true or not is any other question. You know the source, but here are his rumors:

  • The Diambacks are going to be pretty busy. Gammons is predicting Russ Ortiz and Royce Clayton will land in Arizona as will John Garland and Paul Konerko. Garland and Konerko will part of the three way deal with the D-Backs sending Randy Johnson to the Evil Empire™ and Javy Vasquez to the White Sox. The Yankees will be picking up some of Javy's tab and the White Sox will be looking to save some cash and apparently decimate their offense. No Magglio? No Konerko?

  • Petey also says that the Yankees and the Angels are front runners to land Beltran with the Astros following behind.

  • According to Gammons, Boras is trying to package his players and Derek Lowe and Adrian Beltre to the Detroit Tigers is not out of the question.

  • Pedro will land back in Boston and they might not be a lock for Pavano. The Red Sox may look for a cheaper option since they are not looking to increase payroll, even for Pavano.

  • On the Mets rumor front, Gammons says the Mets will get Sexson and Alou shortly after Pedro resigns. (I just lost my lunch too...not at Sexson, but Alou)

  • Gammons also states the obvious that there will be some surprise trades and that most of the major free agents will sign this week.

    I know the Yankees are not in our division or league and we are not supposed to care what they do, but if they get RJ and Beltran, I'll be pissed. For no other reason then I have to listen to Yankee fans babble out how great the Yankees are and will stop at nothing to win and how great life is to be a Yankee fan. I've listened to months of I want Beltran, I want Johnson, etc. Now their winy little pleas might come true. Damn it.

  • Just Checking

    I had to re-do my post twice this morning since computers suck. But the 2nd time I forget this piece of info from Jason Stark's new article:

    No one seems more fired up to make a splash than new Mets GM Omar Minaya. At times this winter, Minaya has looked longingly at Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Moises Alou, Carlos Delgado and Richie Sexson. And he has talked about trading Mike Piazza, Cliff Floyd and Mike Cameron. So he's the early favorite for GM Most Likely To Go To The Podium More Than Once.

    I had to do a double take. Omar trying to pawn off Mike Cameron? That is a strange tidbit from Jason Stark even though it is probably BS like 99.999999% of the things we read.

    Met Trades: Bad

    I posted my list of the best Met trades about a month ago and I wanted to get this out sooner, but Omar was just too busy. So, here are some of the worst trades in my opinion of the New York Mets franchise...and there are some doozies.

    December 10, 1971

    New York Mets traded Nolan Ryan, Leroy Stanton, Francisco Estrada and Don Rose to the California Angels for Jim Fregosi

    The Mets did pretty good not making any stupid trades until 1971. However, they decided to make up for it big time with this one and the definitely succeeded.

    May 11, 1972

    New York Mets traded Charlie Williams to the San Francisco Giants for Willie Mays.

    Alright, this was not that bad since Charlie Williams turned out to be nothing special, but he did pitch until 1978 while Mays hit .238 for the Mets with 14 homers and 44 RBIs in two years. This may be bad in my mind because this started the Mets 40 year philosphy of bringing in stars past their prime.

    December 3, 1974

    New York Mets traded Tug McGraw, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck to the Philadelphia Phillies for John Stearns, Del Unser and Mac Scarce.

    Although the Mets received John "Bad Dude" Stearns in the deal, anytime you trade Tug it's a bad move.

    October 13, 1974

    New York Mets traded Ray Sadecki and Tommy Moore to the St. Louis Cardinals for Joe Torre.

    For no other reason that Joe Torre is the face of the Evil Empire™

    June 15, 1977

    New York Mets traded Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for Doug Flynn, Pat Zachry, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman.

    No words necessary on this one.

    June 15, 1977

    New York Mets traded Dave Kingman to the San Diego Padres for Bobby Valentine and Paul Siebert.

    As much as I like Bobby V., his .222 average with the Mets is forgettable. While Kingman ended back up on the Mets, he hit 111 home runs in the 3 full seasons and one partial season in between his stints. Bad move.

    December 10, 1982

    New York Mets traded Mike Scott to the Houston Astros for Danny Heep.

    Mike Scott won a razor blade aided 86 games from 1985 to 1989 while Danny Heep hit .263 from 1983 to 1986 in a Met uniform.

    December 16, 1982

    New York Mets traded Charlie Puleo, Lloyd McClendon and Jason Felice to the Cincinnati Reds for Tom Seaver.

    Just because you trade a future Hall of Famer does not mean it makes sense to bring him back when he's pushing 40.

    December 11, 1986

    New York Mets traded Kevin Mitchell, Stan Jefferson and Shawn Abner to the San Diego Padres for Kevin McReynolds, Gene Walter and Adam Ging.

    Kevin had seven straight solid seasons after being traded. Kevin McReynolds did good, but not as good as Kevin Mitchell.

    June 18, 1989

    New York Mets traded Lenny Dykstra, Roger McDowell and Tom Edens to the Philadelphia Phillies for Juan Samuel.

    Trading Nails was not one of the prouder Met moments.

    August 1, 1989

    New York Mets traded Mookie Wilson to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jeff Musselman and Mike Brady.

    Trading Mookie is never, I repeat, never OK.

    December 6, 1991

    New York Mets traded Kevin McReynolds, Gregg Jefferies and Keith Miller to the Kansas City Royals for Bret Saberhagen and Bill Pecota.

    While Saberhagen had one good year for the Mets, Jefferies ended up having a number of solid years for the Cardinals after he was subsequently traded again.

    August 27, 1992

    New York Mets traded David Cone to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson.

    This would have been a good move for both sides if the Mets actually held onto Jeff Kent. He had a few good years with the Mets but the Mets traded him to the Indians in 1996 (see below). Jeff Kent is currently one of the best second baseman of all time. David Cone was considered one of baseball's elite pitchers through the 90's and threw a perfect game as a Yankee as well as winning a Cy Young award in 1994 with the Royals.

    Who cares right? The Mets have plenty of perfect games..er...no hitters....ummm..forget it.

    November 30, 1994

    New York Mets traded Fernando Vina and Javier Gonzales to the Milwaukee Brewers for Doug Henry.

    Fernando Vina turned out to be a very solid baseball player while Doug Henry was a below average middle reliever.

    July 29, 1996

    New York Mets traded Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino to the Cleveland Indians for Carlos Baerga and Alvaro Espinoza.

    This one is just ugly. Very ugly. The best thing I can say is that Carlos led Mets in getting hit by pitches with 6 in 1998.

    July 25, 1999

    New York Mets traded Terrence Long and Leoner Vasquez to the Oakland Athletics for Kenny Rogers.

    This not so much a case of me thinking Terrance Long was too good to lose, this is a case of Me hating Kenny Rogers. The Braves defeated the Mets, 10-9 in 11 innings, to take the NLCS, 4-games-to-2. Kenny walked in the winning run with one out in the last half of the 11th. SCREW YOU KENNY!!!

    December 29, 1999:

    New York Mets traded Jason Isringhausen and Greg McMichael to the Oakland Athletics for Billy Taylor.

    Taylor pitched in 18 games for the Mets and posted a 8.10 ERA while Izzy saved 77 games in the next two years for the A's.

    July 24, 1998

    New York Mets traded Mike Kinkade, Melvin Mora, Pat Gorman and Lesli Brea to the Baltimore Orioles for Mike Bordick.

    I guess the trade looked OK back then, but it looks really shitty right now.

    December 27, 2001

    New York Mets traded Kevin Appier to the Anaheim Angels for Mo Vaughn.


    July 31, 2002

    New York Mets traded Bobby Jones, Jason Bay and Josh Reynolds to the San Diego Padres for Jason Middlebrook and Steve Reed.

    Good thing Phillips gave up Jason Bay for Steve Reed during the big the playoff run.

    January 26, 2004

    New York Mets traded Jaime Cerda to the Kansas City Royals for Shawn Sedlacek.

    As a causality of the 40 man roster, Cerda was jettisoned to make room for Todd Zeile. Left handed relievers that are young and cheap who can pump the ball around 93 mph come along all the time.

    July 30, 2004

    New York Mets traded Scott Kazmir and Joselo Diaz to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato.

    Jury is still out on this one in reality, but it still looks pretty bad. Kazmir ends up pitching in the majors while Zambrano ends the year with an injury. The irony of it all.

    August 27, 2004

    New York Mets traded Dan Wheeler to the Houston Astros for Adam Seuss.

    Not that Wheeler was so good he couldn't be traded, but the question is why? He was at least useful. Adam Seuss, while I'm sure he's a nice guy, will never make it into the majors. Perplexing to say the least.

    * * *

  • "As a general manager, you have to make some tough decisions," Minaya said. "And this was one of those tough decisions I had to make.

    "I can tell you I had to speak with Jeff about it ... it was tough on Jeff. But I had to make decisions that are best for this year and future years."

    This is one of the reasons I like Omar. He has the cajones that Duquette did not have and the clout to back up his decisions when he got re-hired.

    Leiter told Alan Hendricks to tell Minaya that he was going to remain a Met. Even though the offer was slightly lower than some of the others he had received, his place was at Shea. Leiter said Hendricks left this message on Minaya's voice mail at 10 a.m. Nov. 20, 16 hours after the imposed deadline: "We've got great news. Al is coming back. Call us. Let's do a press conference."

    Oooopps..Guess that press conference did not happen. It's tough getting rid of guy who meant so much to a team for seven years, but at some point winning has to be valued over being loyal. Did the Mets handle it the right way? Judging by history, probably not, but Al Leiter needed to go somewhere else. I'm guessing this means a spot in the booth in 2005 is out of the question for the Mets network.

  • You'll pardon me if the re-signing of Cory Liddle and the signing or Jon Leiber do not scare me. Unless the Braves pull of a deal for Hudson by trading Giles, it looks like no one is going to upgrade as much as the Mets.

  • Baseball America updated what the 2005 first round would look like with all the currently moves and the current status of last year's remaining unsigned first round picks in AskBA:

    First Round
    17. Yankees (from Phillies for Type B Jon Lieber)
    22. Marlins (from Giants for Type A Armando Benitez)
    29. Braves (from Yankees for Type A Jaret Wright)

    Supplemental First Round
    31. Rockies (for Type A Vinny Castilla)
    32. Indians (for Type A Omar Vizquel)
    33. Marlins (for Benitez)
    34. Athletics (for Type A Damian Miller)
    35. Angels (for Type A Troy Percival)
    36. Braves (for Wright)
    37. Mets (for failure to sign Philip Humber*)

    I almost lost my breakfast thinking about that one.

    Why must I continue to read the word failure in sentences that include the Mets?

  • One has to wonder what the 4 year $45 million deal that the D-Backs gave to Glaus will do for the Sexson signing. It cannot do any good from the Mets standpoint if they really did offer him a contract for $10 million per year.

  • With their options starting to dwindle, the Red Sox have made it a priority to bring Pedro back. Sorry Omar, but this may be best for the team.

  • In one of the bigger surprises this off season, the Yankees plan to pursue Beltran.

  • Jermaine Dye is Magglio's replacement for right field. He signed a two year deal for $9 million. A good pickup as this guy was very, very good ballplayer before his injury. He could put up some very good numbers for his price tag and be one of the better bargains of this off season.
  • Wednesday, December 08, 2004


    Thanks to Scott for pointing this one out.

    A power bat, be it at first base or in the outfield, is on Minaya's shopping list as is a starting pitcher should Martinez not end up in Queens. Minaya said he wants to upgrade the defense as well, particularly at first. The club has an eye on Richie Sexson, whom despite published reports, has not received an offer from the Mets. Carlos Delgado and Troy Glaus are also on the free agent radar screen while Texas remains a possible shopping partner in the trade market with Mark Teixeira a target if the right match can be made.

    With Mark Texiera only making $2.5 million in 2005, one has to wonder why? I can see if the Mets were dangling Scott Kazmir or some other premium pitcher, which Texas needs badly. Mark got a $9.5 million big league deal with the Rangers when he was drafted and I believe that his contract will expire after the 2005 season. I cannot see them being so high on Adrian Gonzalez's AAA season that they feel compelled to move Mark just yet so one has to assume they've already decided that are not going to pay up and ink him long term so they want to see what they can get in return. Whether this has any validity or not, at least we have a sentence with the word target and a player that is not an ex-star in deep decline.

    Omar, Get Barry Axelrod on Speeddial

    From Buster Olney's chat on ESPN:

    Jonathan (D.C.)Any chance that the Mets do something unexpected? Is it really wise for them to be chasing players in their mid and late 30s (Pedro and Alou)?

    Jonathan: Seems like Omar is intent on making a splash and contending immediately, despite the many flaws in the Mets' roster. Alou makes less than zero sense to me: Older player, prone to injury, horrible fit for Shea Stadium, seems to be on the decline, never been a New York guy (declined a trade to Yankees a few years ago). Pedro makes more sense, although Dan Patrick is reporting the signing with Boston is imminent. I thought the Mets would get him...

    Reports on ESPN radio say the Pedro signing with Boston is imminent. Time to start with plan B and Odalis Perez is not a good plan B. He's an OK plan B, but not good. Time to start coming up with another plan if you want your rotation to be five man deep with Heilman and Seo waiting in case someone goes down.

    The Tale of Two Alous

    Why is Omar interested in Moises Alou? Yes he had a gaudy 39 home runs in 2004, but a whopping 29 came at home while only 10 came on the road. Would he even crack 20 at Shea? I think that is a fair question. Moises is a career .300 hitter who owns a career .361 on base %.

    To be fair to Moises, he's been impressive since he's turned 33. Since 2000 he's averaged 138 games, 523 at bats, 80 runs, 31 doubles, 27 homers, 96 RBIs, 57 BBs, 62 K's, a .307 AVG, .372 OBP, and a .522 SLG. Basically, if he had those numbers as Met for that long, he'd have been the most consistantly producing outfielder in 20 years. However, it has to be taken into account where he has been playing. Over the past three years, he has doubled his homerun output at home as opposed to the road with a 50 to 26 split. He has batted .040 points higher at home over the past three years than on the road. Not to mention, anyone that has watched him in the field will tell you he is an adventure. He never quite looks like he'll get to the ball and actually get under it. He'll turn 39 next season and even if he's a one year solution, I'd rather let Victor Diaz develop. Alou is not going to carry the team to the playoffs and those ABs are more valuable for Diaz to work out his kinks. Call me crazy, but I think Diaz could put up similar numbers to Alou if he was in Shea. In three years, Alou has average less than 9 homers per year on the road. That is one scary number for a guy who put up forty last year.

    Omar, please pass on this one.

    * * *

  • What's this? The Yankees making some noise in Bronx and I actually like their moves. I thought Cairo was a decent player for them exceeding peoples expectations, but they apparently like Tony Womack better. Their numbers were quite similar but Womack is a role player for them and it is shocking the Yankees did not try and make a big splash here like they do at every position.

    They also signed Jaret Wright (according to ESPN radio) to a three year $21 million dollar contract. Did they overpay? I think so, but he's under 30 and had a good arm. The Yankees have reportedly offered Carl Pavano a contract that could be worth $40 million over 4 years and reportedly have a contract offer out to Eric Milton as well. If they dump Brown and ink the rest, that leaves them with four starters under 30 when you add in Javy. I'm not the biggest Milton fan and I think Wright and Pavano had career years, but who can argue with getting young in the rotation with some of the more sought after arms on the market. I think Pavano will end up with Boston, but if they can ink Carl, the Yankees would have pulled off a major overhaul in their starting five and really managed to get younger.

  • Bringing DeJean back for a reasonable price of $1.15 million is just fine by me. It's also fine by me that Hidalgo took a walk.

  • Leiter gives the Mets the finger on the way out the door as he waited until the Mets could receive no compensation when he signed with the Marlins. Will this come back to haunt the Mets? Yes, but only for five innings every game he starts against the Mets and then the bad Marlin bullpen will take over and he won't get the win.

  • Mistake #2 after placing Alou on your wish list is giving Martinez a guaranteed fourth year which Omar is poised to do. I'm not against bringing in Pedro, but giving him a deal that no one else would dare to give is scary. My dream of Clement to the Mets is fading fast (actually it never got off the ground since they never really had that much interest in the first place)

  • According to the most honorable man in baseball who's word is worth it's weight in gold, Magglio is ready to go. Sign him up if he's good to go Omar. A legitimate #3 hitter is what this team needs and that’s what he is. Especially if the Mets are going after Pedro so hard, I don't see how Beltran can fit into the budget while finding a replacement at first base too.

  • Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    A Look at First Base, Pros and Cons

    Let me start this off by saying, I don't see anyone who is available that is an absolute perfect fit for the this team at first base who is just what they need in terms of age, production, etc. Each player has their positives with their negatives. The rumor mill and common sense basically leaves seven candidates that could conceivably win the starting first base job in 2005. It basically boils down to Richie Sexson, Carlos Delgado, Doug Mientkiewicz, John Olerud, Tino Martinez, Kevin Millar, and Craig Brazell (you can stick a Phillips/Valent or Phillips/Brazell platoon here too). I only place Craig Brazell in this list because we all need some comic relief and he is an in house option if a complete disaster were to take place this off season for Omar. I really feel that Minaya will walk away with one person from the first six on the list and I think everyone else feels that way too.

    I was not going to post this until next week, but since MetsBlog.com did their piece on first base yesterday coupled with the fact some candidates could fall off the list pretty soon, it seemed like as good as time as any to really take a look at each candidate. Before today the only guy really examined here was Richie Sexson. So skip him if you want.

    Richie Sexson
    Estimated 2005 Salary: $10 million
    Pros: Since 1999, Richie has averaged 558 at bats, 88 runs, 27 doubles, 36 homers, 112 RBIs, a .270 average, .350 OBP, and a .523 SLG. The guy will drive in his runs and hit his homeruns. Also, like Richard Hidalgo, when he hits homeruns, he punishes the ball. He makes the ball with it was never stitched so I don't anticipate his power numbers suffering at Shea. He is a guy who can still hit 40 out in Flushing and would provide the Mets with a perfect cleanup hitter. Prior to getting injured, he only missed seven games in three years from 2001 to 2003 so his health history is pretty good. He has a better glove than most give credit for and he is a nice big target for the infield to hit at 6'8". He basically gets to balls others could not just by being a giant. Richie has raised his OBP in each of the last three years and went from 59 to 60 to 70 to 98 walks in consecutive years and seems to be learning how to take a walk. Surprisingly enough, he is also the youngest option out of anyone not named Craig Brazell on this list.

    Since 1998, he has also averaged 148 K's per season and does not hit as many doubles as one would like and averaged only 27 over his last five full seasons. Richie is also a lifetime .271 hitter and one would expect his average to fall into the .260 range. Sexson will also be offered arbitration and will cost a draft pick. Perhaps the biggest problem with Richie is the fact he is coming of a major shoulder injury that limited him to 23 games in 2004. He hurt his shoulder checking a swing and his shoulder is certainly of concern despite the fact he has had no major injury history.

    Carlos Delgado
    Estimated 2005 Salary: $10 million
    Carlos is arguably the most potent offensive weapon on the free agent market out of anyone. He's a left handed bat and he's a masher who can hit for average, power, and get on base well over a .400 clip. Since 2000, he has averaged 535 at bats, 102 runs, 37 doubles, 37 homeruns, 118 RBIs, 109 walks, a .296 average, a .424 OBP, and a .578 SLG. He is the only free agent that comes close to a 1.000 OPS since 2000 with a .997 OPS. The guy is a monster and a big time hitter who the Mets could plug into the #3 spot in the order and receive some big time production. Despite playing in the American League with the DH, he has not played under 140 games at first since 1998 with the exception of last year with his injury. From 2000 through 2003 he averaged only 9.5 games either spent on the bench or at DH. Finally, though he's rumored to have an iron glove, he has not posted below a .990 fielding % since 1997. He is better than he gets credit for and would not be a liability there.

    He is 32 years old and would be looking for a medium length contract most likely 3 or 4 years. By the time he finishes out his contract at Shea, he'll be 36 or 37. Although he said he'd stand during God Bless America if asked, he has made his protest of the war known by not saluting Old Glory. It's his right to protest, but I would suggest protesting at a time that may not tick off your teammates and do anything to jeopardize the cohesiveness on the team. Unlike many other players, Carlos declined getting traded to a contender when approached by JP Richardi around the trade deadline prompting questions about his desire to win. Lastly, like Sexson, he is coming off an year where he missed significant amount to time. The good news on his injury is that it was a strained rib cage and not something chronic which Sexson's could be. He absolutely pounded the ball in September and looks to be fully recovered for 2005.

    Doug Mientkiewicz
    2005 Salary $3.75M with a $ 0.45M buyout or a $3.75M option for 2006
    Doug's best asset is obviously his glove. He is a perennial gold glove candidate and has not committed more than five errors in any year he has played. I'm not going to call Doug a bargain since he is a defensive specialist for the most part, but is priced fairly. Doug has a .279 average and a .371 OBP since he has become a full time starter in 2001 while not striking out much. Doug is also a lefty which people seem to think is important.

    While I think there is some merit to finding a left handed bat at first base, it is by no means taking precedent over numbers. For instance, Richie Sexson has a higher batting average (however slightly) against left handers and right handers than Dougie. If a lefty does not kill righties and is marginal overall, give me the righty with better numbers and an over stacked right handed lineup. Doug posted a career low OPS with .676 in 2004 and his OPS since he's been a starter is .789 while he has only knocked over 70 RBIs and scored 70 runs once in his career. He has averaged 63 runs, 33 doubles, 11 homeruns, 60 RBIs, and 66 BBs since becoming full time player. I just think the Mets need a bigger spark at first than him. He is also rather streaky. In 2001 and 2003 he went .306/.387/.464 and /.300/.393/.450 while going .261/.365/.392 and .238/.326/.350 in 2002 and 2004. The 2001/2003 Doug would be a better fit than the 2002/2004 Doug. Does anyone want to bet their house that he'll bounce back to form Shea? While he wields a great glove, an Eric Valent/Jason Phillips may be able to put up better numbers than Doug if he moved to Shea. To be honest, I'm not sure why so many people are so enamored with Doug and it will take players via a trade to get him. He's got the glove, but plenty of other people on this list can bring an average to an above average glove and help more on the offensive end which is a glaring need at this point.

    John Olerud
    Estimated 2005 Salary: $3.5 million
    Like Doug, he has a tremendous glove. He has only topped 10 errors once in his career and only topped six errors five times since 1989. He has averaged 74 runs, 32 doubles, 15 homeruns, 86 RBIs, 88 BBs, 64K's, a .284 AVG, .387 OBP, .433 SLG, and .820 OPS since 2000. He's basically an older version of what Doug M. It must be noted that Olerud was putting those numbers up in one of toughest hitters parks in the league. Olerud is also a well respected professional and an ex-Met who had some of his best years in a baseball uniform in Flushing. Olerud also bats lefty and will cost nothing to get him since he is a free agent.

    He's 36 and his best days are behind him. His average has fallen from .300 to .269 to .259 in the past three years while his homers and RBIs have been drastically down. The Mets would certainly not be expecting much from him in terms of offense and would most likely be a last resort for them although I think him and Doug may actually put up similar numbers in Shea in 2005 for about the same price, but John won't cost anything in terms of trade bait.

    Tino Martinez
    Estimated 2005 Salary: $5 million
    Another left handed batting first baseman with a solid glove. Tino has only reached 10 errors once in his career and topped five errors only four times since 1990. Tino was only .010 points off his career AVG in 2004 and does not seem to be in a steep decline at 36 years old. It is not unreasonable to get two more good years with about 20 homers and 70 to 80 RBIs in the right situation. Since 2000, he has averaged 70 runs, 26 doubles, 22 homers, 85 RBIs, 54 walks, 75 K's, a .267 average, .341 OBP, and a .451 SLG. He would not be an offensive liability as he will get his fair share of homeruns while giving good at bats and not striking out much. In fact Tino has not struck out over 100 times in his entire career. Tino also knows the pressures of playing in New York. Also, he will not cost a draft pick being a guy who will not be offered arbitration and may be the most offensively productive one year solution the Mets could get their hands on along with Kevin Millar.

    Like Olerud, his best days are behind him. Unlike Olerud he is not in steep decline as his 2004 numbers are strikingly similar as his 2002 numbers. Tino really does not have many negatives other than his age since the Mets would only look at him as a stop gap solution for 2005. But the biggest negative may be his allegiance to the Yankees and if they come calling, he'll come running for sure.

    Kevin Millar
    2005 Salary: $3.5 million
    Millar is underrated offensively as well as defensively. He may be the most bang for the buck out of anyone on this list. His .866 OPS ranks behind only Richie Sexson and Carlos Delgado since 2000 out off all the guys on this list. Since 2000 he as averaged 63 runs, 32 doubles, 18 homeruns 71 RBIs, 46 BBs, 78 K's, a .293 average, a .367 OBP, and a .499 SLG. I also do not want to hear people pointing to Fenway Park as the reason behind his recently solid numbers, he posted a higher BAA and SLG in the two years before coming to the Red Sox play in Pro Player Stadium than his last two years on the Red Sox. Over the past three years he's hit lefties at a .300 clip and righties at a .289 clip. He provides a solid glove at first with the ability to play 3b and each corner outfield spot which is certainly a value add. It is not unreasonable to expect Millar to approach .280 with close to 20 homers while getting on base at about a .360 OBP while slugging close to .500. Are those numbers great? No, but they will certainly be better than Doug M's or John Oleruds numbers at Shea. Finally, the guy is positive influence around the clubhouse. His ritual of doing Jack Daniels shots before the playoff games this past post season does not bother me. Was it smart to mention to the media? No. Did they blow it out of proportion? Yes. I seriously doubt they were inebriated when they took the field and a shot or two does calm the nerves. As any singer will tell you, if have a drink or two before you sing, it loosens your vocal chords. Whether or not you like Cowboy Up and whatever it was this year, the guy gets pumped and gets his teammates pumped. The Mets could certainly someone like him.

    He will cost a player or two since he needs to be acquired from the Red Sox via trade. In 2004 he hit over .100 points higher at home with twice as many homeruns at home than on the road. Though he hit more homers on the road in 2003 and the average was only .025 higher at home, those splits cannot be ignored. The fact that he just turned 33 also tells me there is not much a chance he will be getting any better than he already is.

    Craig Brazell
    2005 Salary: $0.3 million
    He does not make a lot of money and bats from the left side of the plate. (if you are waiting for more pros, you can stop)

    He owns a .274 batting average since 2000 in the minor leagues. He has averaged 93 K's per year to a tiny 18 BBs. He owns a .305 OBP since 2000 and that number would look to get a lot lower were he to spend a full season at Shea any time soon. The best thing for Brazell to do is go back to Norfolk and work on playing left field as well and try and come back and be a power hitting lefty off the bench who can play a COF spot and 1B. If he's at first base for the Mets in 2005, it means it will be a long summer.

    Optimisitcally, I think we can put a few names on this list that we all would like to have here like Aubrey Huff, Adrian Gonzalez, or Nick Johnson, but a trade bringing us one of those types of guys certainly seems far fetched. At this point it really looks like a player from the above list will be manning first base in 2005.

    How do I rank the above guys on my wishlist?

    1) Richie Sexson
    2) Carlos Delgado
    3) Kevin Millar
    4) Tino Martinez
    5) Doug Mientkiewicz
    6) John Olerud
    7) Craig Brazell

    I just feel getting a run producer and a guy who has the ability to poke 20+ homers is a really important thing. While some guys are much better than others with the mitt, no one on that list is bad fielder and would be a liability to the team. With the Mets guaranteeing an upgrade with the mitt with any guy on that list, they need to go for offense first. They can affored anyone there and the best option for the team should be picked regardless of salary.

    I know people will disagree with my pecking order, but I am just not as high on Mientkiewicz as everyone else and think his stick would be very quit at Shea. They Mets need more than light hitting infielder.

    * * *

  • Minaya is interested in bringing Hidalgo back for most likely a one year contract and the rumors are still flying about him being interested in Perez and Clement should Pedro fall through.

  • On Sunday I had spoke about how Steroids were not banned until 2003. I had no actual proof to back it up, but here is some actual proof in writing to back it up.

    Baseball didn't ban steroids until Sept. 30, 2002, and testing for steroids with penalties started only this year. Each player is tested once during the season, and a first positive test results in counseling. A player who tests positive a second time could be suspended for 15 days, and discipline rises to a one-year suspension for a fifth positive test.

    Baseball wonders why they have this dilemma. Is it really a mystery why players were taking steroids? They were basically allowed. The only way it was wrong in baseball's eyes was morally.

  • The ChicgoSports.com says that Anaheim and Cleveland are the front runner for Matt Clement.

  • Monday, December 06, 2004

    Odalis Perez

    Why would I be less then enthusiastic about Odalis Perez, who has the 2nd best ERA of any free agent starter over the past three seasons, if would become a member of the New York Mets? The guy is the youngest free agent starting pitcher out there and he is a lefty to boot, yet interest on him is lukewarm at best overall. Maybe people are laying low in the weeds, but when a bargain shows itself, teams usually show interest. Especially small market teams that live off of bargains. His previous employer does not appear to have any intentions of bringing him back nor do they appear poised to offer the left hander arbitration for some bizarre reason. The Dodgers are not exactly set in their rotation either and seem perfectly happy to move on from Perez. There are also whispers of Perez having elbow problems and the fact that he benefited from pitching in Dodger Stadium does not exactly enthrall people either. He has been picked as one of the top values of the off season by Tom Verducci, but he is relegated to being team’s third or fourth fall back options. Something here does not add up here.

    The Bad:
    Perez does have some things that people are scared about. Despite pitching in Dodger Stadium, he has the propensity to allow quite a few homeruns. He gave up 12 in 324 at bats in Dodger Stadium while surrendering 14 on the road in 397 at bats. He has averaged surrendering 25 homeruns per year despite pitching half the time in a non-homer friendly environment. In 2004, lefties actually hit .277 against him while he performed better against righties holding them to a .241 average. Away from Dodger Stadium, he is sporting a 4.10 ERA over the past three years (most of the damage was done in 2003) and people are most likely afraid that may be the real Odalis Perez that they may be getting if he pitches away from Dodger Stadium and not the guy who posted the 3.26 overall ERA in 2004 and the 3.00 overall ERA in 2003. His K/BB ratio has dipped from 4.08 to 3.07 to 2.91 (which is still good, but in decline none the less) over the past three years. Odalis has also never averaged 100 pitches per game in his career and posted a career low 91 pitches per game average in 2004, which does not do any good to quiet the whispers about his elbow. To fuel some more doubt on Odalis, people also question his work ethic and commitment. One would assume that a guy with his credentials, age, and potential salary demands would have him drawing the same type of buzz that Matt Clement and Carl Pavano have been drawing.

    The Good:
    Odalis does have plenty of things going for him though. He has exceptional control as evidenced by his paltry 128 walks over the past three years and despite not averaging over 91 pitchers per game, he averaged pitching 6+ innings per start. He can get the ball into the 90's and has the tools to become a tremendous pitcher. He posted a 3.00 and a 3.21 overall ERA in two of the three past seasons. Over the past three seasons, he's held opponents to a .685 OPS and a .247 BAA.

    What the Mets need to come away with this off season if they pick up a pitcher is a guy that can slot into the #1 or #2 spot. The Mets need a power pitcher who will pick up some K's. The thing that speaks volumes about Odalis more than his numbers whether they are good or bad is the extreme lack of interest in him. A young lefty pitcher who figures to fetch about $6 million per year has little interest. Despite not racking up wins, he still had some solid numbers for a young kid. Instead of being at the top of everyone's list like Carl Pavano, he is mere afterthought in everyone's mind. Maybe it is because of his terrible playoff appearances against the Cardinals and that is fresh in everyone's mind, but for whatever reason, people are not excited about him. Jerry Crasnick listed him as the 11th most desirable free agent pitcher despite putting up better numbers than just about everyone. He was behind Matt Morris, Russ Oritz, Derek Lowe, Eric Milton, and John Leiber. Wouldn't he figure to be a guy that a small market team would be all over if he was such a bargain? If the Mets were to sign him it certainly would not a disaster, but I do not think he will have much of an impact. I'll lump him into the Hidalgo category and would rather see the Mets take care of that fifth spot in house and see if Petit, Soler, or Keppel can take over if anyone falters by the All-Star break. He does not scream front end of the rotation to me and the Mets have enough #3's. All in all, I'd rather save the money spent on him and go all out after someone that would fit the team better. I like the way Omar leaves no stone unturned and the way he checks out every available option, but Perez would certainly not rank in my top five of off season acquisitions for the Mets rotation.

    * * *

  • This tidbit is from an interview with Joe Hieptas and NYFansOnly.com:

    NYF: Which of your fellow Mets' farmhands would you say has the highest upside, among the guys you've played with?

    Hietpas: The most dominating guys I've played with are Blake McGinley and Yusmeiro Petit. They just knock your socks off! It's awesome to watch them both pitch. They simply dominate while not even throwing in the 90's. They both change speeds and locate their pitches really well. It is a lot of fun to catch them, I can tell you that.

  • You need me to induce vomiting? Let me just remind you that Barry Bonilla is due a payment of $1.19 million a year starting in 2011 and ending in 2035. That was money well spent, right?

  • The Marlins should listen to Mike Beradino and give up their draft pick to sign Al Leiter. If they wait, they chance the Yankees getting heavily involved in the negotiations and there would be a strong possibility that they may not win. Do it, sign him today.

  • Sunday, December 05, 2004


    A lot of people are looking to put an asterisk or something next to whatever records Bonds ends up with. There is no avoiding that Barry and any other major leaguer who took steroids did something very very wrong, but the fact remains that Major League Baseball had no rules against steroids prior to 2003. Basically, anyone taking steroids prior to that new collective bargaining agreement were not doing anything illegal in baseball terms. Andro, which I believe is now banned by baseball, was not banned when McGwire assaulted Roger Maris' single season home run record*. There was no asterisk placed next to McGwire's record that I know of. Using steroids is definitely cheating in my book. Unfortunately, baseball has had cheaters since the day every single one of us was born. Whether it be people corking their bats (Sammy Sosa, Albert Belle, Graig Nettles, Chris Sabo, HoJo, etc.), Mike Scott using sandpaper to scuff the baseball to get more bite on his splitter and one a CY Young award as a possible effect cheating, Gaylord Perry putting Vaseline on the ball, Joe Niekero getting caught with a file in his pocket, Whitey Ford scuffing the ball with his wedding ring, having his catcher cut the ball with his belt, or even used a 'gunk ball' in the 1963 World Series, Rick Honeycutt using tac to scuff the ball, etc.

    Players have been trying to gain an unfair edge since the inception of sports. Prominent players that were inducted to the HOF in fact. Should Whitey Ford be taken out of Hall of Fame because it is well documented that he cheated? I think people take the old time cheating of scuffing the balls, etc. and kind of laugh at it. The Vaseline ball is something of joke and almost funny. Cheating is cheating there is not differentiation of it. Steroids are a drug, but were not banned until recently which is just a crazy notion in itself. Baseball has always been very lax on drugs and the fact remains guys like Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry, and Doc Gooden were allowed to repeatedly violate the drug policy. People have also argued that Babe Ruth's homerun total should have an asterisk because he did not play against African American players and therefore did not play against the best of the best. That was not Babe Ruth's fault, but you can also make the argument about watered down pitching that is all over the league these days. No time or era is going to fair and equal and there are always going to situations that call certain records into doubt.

    Whatever records Bonds gets should be allowed to stand without asterisks. He was one of the greatest players every to play this game before he started taking steroids. In 2004 the guy still walked 232 times to 41 strikeouts which steroids did not assist in. In 19 seasons he only topped 100 K's once and that was in his rookie season which is amazing for this high strikeout era we are in. He had 445 homeruns before 2000 and was well on his way to being an elite player among baseballs most elite in the history of the game prior to juicing. I place the blame on baseball as well as the players. The sad part is, they were operating within the framework of the rules of the game when they were ingesting steroids. Baseball turned a blind eye until recently and provided a safe haven for these activities to go on with the players having no fears of any repurcussions. The Baseball Players Associations has always vehemently been against random testing since it infringed upon player's privacy and violated their rights to basic freedoms. There are bigger issues than the players doing it and they are for the most part a product of the system that allows it, which certainly does not excuse their actions. Baseball needs to adopt a hard line on drug use like the Olympic Committee does if they want to be serious about curtailing drug use. If you are prepared to hang the guys doing steroids, you should be prepared to hang the reported 80% of all baseball players doing some sort of amphetamine prior to games. Cheating is and has been a generally tolerated practice over the years and until baseball really puts it's foot down, it will continue. I would love the game to get cleaned up, but I know that wherever there is a competitive sport, there will be people trying to get an edge. The talks of all these asterisks need to end until you can prove to me that no one before Barry has cheated.

    * * *

  • JT Snow reacting to the Sammy Sosa corky-gate mishap last season.

    "There are other problems in the game," Snow said. "What's in the bats? But what players put in their bodies, that's a bigger issue."

  • The Mets are still in contact with Pedro Martinez's agent Fern Cuza. However, Cuza also mentioned that they have spoken about one of his other players Odalis Perez

    "His name has come up a few times" in talks with Mets officials. "I don't think it's a primary focus," Cuza said. "I think it's a backup issue."

    More on why Perez would not be a move that would greatly improve team tomorrow. Adding him to the rotation is more of a lateral move at this point and I'd rather take my chances with Heilman.

  • The Mets are going to pursue Carlos Delgado during the Winter Meetings in Anaheim this upcoming week. I personally still like Richie Sexson more, but one of the things that makes Delgado more attractive is that I do not think the Blue Jays offered/will offer him arbitration and I believe the D-Backs offered/will offer arbitration to Richie Sexson.

  • The Yankees are determined to play hardball with Jason Giambi.

    The Yankees are basing their plan of attack on Paragraph 7 (1) of the uniform player's contract, which says that a club may terminate a contract if the player should "fail, refuse or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship," and on Paragraph 3 (a), titled "Loyalty," which says: "The player agrees to perform his services hereunder diligently and faithfully, to keep himself in first-class physical condition and to obey the club's training rules, and pledges himself to the American public and to the club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship."

    If A-Rod has that line about fair play and good sportsmanship in his contract, can they void his contract because he fem-slapped Bronson Arroyo in an attempt to cheat? If a player shows up to spring training having not worked out and is overweight and injures himself because of that, can his contract be voided due to the fact he is not in first-class physical condition? It doesn't look like they will win since it is a loose interpretation, but the entire idea remains silly. Fact is, the Yankees knew. How could their trainer not know? How could the team not know? How can the differentiate Sheffield and Giambi? Cheating is cheating. They want to get rid of him because he is not producing, not because he took steroids. They now want out of the contract. Rest assured if was putting up 2002 numbers, he'd be on the team with them publicly backing him up. The Yankees truly disgust me. They can preach class and professionalism all they want, but they are slimy pieces of shit and this further proves that.