Mid-Season Shake Up
Right out of the box the Mets fired off two big moves. They first fired Rick Downs while hiring Rickey Henderson and they also designated Julio Franco for assignment. First off, I was never a big Rick Downs fan. I would have preferred they did not take one of Willie's guys from the start as he was obviously taking him out of convenience and comfort and that is not the best way to build a staff. If he was special, the Yankees would have kept him. Omar went out and added solid pieces after hiring Randolph and already had his pitching coach in place. Given the choice, I'm sure Omar would have preferred not to take Downs from the start.
In regards to Rick, HoJo was credited with Wright's maturation at a hitter as Rickey was credited with Reyes' so it is unclear if he had much an affect on this team anyway. I am not actually sure what affect hitting coaches have on big league teams, but I do think there is value there. Maybe not in the teaching aspect, but protecting people from going out of slumps and identifying idiosyncrasies in a player’s swings. We do know we have seen more than a few good players go through prolonged slumps on this team and I do think this is a good move. Adding Rickey to the staff certainly has more value add than Rick Downs and one has to believe this team is now stronger in regards to the coaching side of things.
As for Franco, Omar finally removed Julio as a choice for Willie. God knows that Willie would have been calling his number every single big pinch hit opportunity while better choices sat on the bench. Maybe now Damion Easley will get a chance to actually pinch hit. What a novel thought. In tandem, Milledge has been brought up in his place in a move we all knew was going to happen anyway and Omar also inked Marlon Anderson. Anderson will report to AAA New Orleans while the Mets figure some more things out. Ultimately, Marlon is 1,000,000 times better choice as a bat off of the bench than Old Man Egg Whites.
The Mets may not have shaken the world with their moves, but it shows that Omar is not exactly enthralled by the past two months of baseball and felt he needed to make some moves. They are making a statement that they are serious about winning and really, with Franco as the first guy of the bench to pinch hit, I could not in all seriousness believe that the Mets wanted to put their best foot forward. As of today, this team has been Willie-proofed a bit more. As Bookied mused on Toasty's site, is it too much to hope for that we'll see Gotay at second (wrote this before his start) and Milledge batting higher than 8th (we now know he will)? Probably, but it is clear positive moves have been made.
"Very impressive. I was pleasantly surprised," said Dave Rajsich, Bush's AZL pitching coach. "He throws a lot better than I anticipated . . . His command is much better and his velocity is a little more than I expected. (He's) much more polished than I was expecting."
Bush, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 98, also did not expect to make such a rapid adjustment to the mound.
The language in Rodriguez's record-breaking contract says that for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, A-Rod will receive $27 million plus the higher of $5 million or $1 million greater than the annual average value of the non-pitcher with the largest annual average value package.
Since no one will be even close to that salary, he gets $32 million. At this point, Hicks should still be drawn and quartered for that incredibly idiotic contract. Seriously horrifying is what that thing is. Also within the article it states that the Yankees want to bring him back anyway and not even give him a chance to opt out of that contract.
But that certainly brings up another issue doesn't it? The popular opinion is that Hicks would still be on the hook for $9 million a year for three more years if he does not invoke the opt-out clause. However, a lawyer (he said he was one anyway) said on the radio that as soon as you modify the existing contract, the previous obligor (in this case the Rangers) would be off the hook.
Any legal feedback on this one?
Even if you can only two B grade prospect for each, it needs to be done. They need to get whatever they can get and start turning their situation around. They are not going to get what they want and the trades will not be popular, but they have some fun guys to watch that will draw some fans. They backed themselves into this corning and have to make some difficult decisions to get back out.