So amidst the announcement that Hillenbrand signed with the Angels, ESPN’s page on the player notes the pronunciation of his FIRST name.
Ummm … and just where have the Mets played for over 40 years??? It is true that the Mets are moving to a corporation-named ballpark in 2 years, but they DO still play at a stadium with the same name as Mr. Hillenbrand’s first name. One would think that someone perusing a middling ballplayer like Hillenbrand would have heard of the name "Shea" …. and know how its pronounced ….
It ain’t exactly as tough as this fellow …
(thanks to Bob Timmermann for the keen observation)
$136 million could have gotten the Cubs 5 years of Barry Zito AND Jason Schmidt. Instead, its spent of a 30-year-old player with just had his career year but has never posted an OBP above .350, and will be 38 by the end of the deal.
Do the Cubs have problems putting runs on the board … yes? But the answer was NOT to be found in Soriano, but to rid themselves of the likes of Neifi Perez, Tony Womack, etc.
They WILL score more runs, but their starting pitching is a huge question mark, leaving them with the prospect of losing many 7-6 games for the next few years.
"Jose Lima agreed to a minor league contract with the Mets on Tuesday, giving the team another pitching option for its starting rotation.
Lima would get a $600,000, one-year contract if he is added to the 40-man roster. He also would have the chance to earn about $450,000 in performance bonuses — the same deal the Mets gave Darren Oliver in December.
The 33-year-old right-hander was 5-16 with a 6.99 ERA last season in 32 starts for the Kansas City Royals. He gave up 219 hits in 168 2-3 innings, walking 61 and striking out 80.
In 2004, Lima went 13-5 with a 4.07 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers, walking just 34 in 170 1-3 innings. He has an 89-98 career record
An NL All-Star in 1999,
Lima has a 5.21 ERA in 344 major league games with Detroit, Houston, the Dodgers and Kansas City.
New York heads to spring training with a projected rotation of Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Victor Zambrano and Aaron Heilman."
Hmmm …. let’s see …. THIS is the rotation that will lead the Mets to the NL East title?
Martinez: 34, cranky toe, risky labrum. Last year was first season since 1995 in which he K’d less than 1 per inning. How much of a drop-off will we see in ’06?
Glavine: 40 years old, allowed a .279 OBA last year
Trachsel: 35, returning from back surgery.
Zambrano: already 30, and still hasn’t harnessed his excellent fastball. His 1.46 K/BB rate last year was his BEST as a starter in his career, and it came at the expense of his lowest K/9 rate as a starter, and the league hitting a career-high .264 against him. Are we SURE we wanted him over Kazmir?
Heilman: check out these starter/reliever splits for the last 3 years, and tell me why the Mets are moving a guy with a 2-pitch repertoire and nasty stuff back into the rotation:
Overall ERA W L SV G IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
Total 4.65 8 13 5 72 201.1 193 110 104 23 91 179 .254
Starter 5.93 5 13 0 25 134.2 144 92 88 22 66 106 .279
Reliever 2.13 3 0 5 47 68.2 49 18 16 1 25 73 .202
If the Mets weren’t so intent on spending megabucks on a big-name closer, Heilman would have been a great (and cheap) alternative, allowing them to go after another REAL starter, and/or help at 2B and the OF.
Jose Lima IS not my idea of insurance for this group ….
"Pitcher Jeff Weaver became the last major free agent to find a team, agreeing Wednesday to a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels worth $8,325,000."
Rumor has it that as part of the contract language, the geographically-challenged Angels are insisting that Weaver refer to himself as Jeff "currently of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, formerly of the OTHER Los Angeles, as well as New York and Detroit" Weaver.
"Fans at Yankee Stadium will be chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" again next year. The Yankees announced Thursday that they had agreed to a $1.5 million, one-year contract with the popular outfielder, who has been in pinstripes since 1991 and compiled statistics that put his name alongside the team’s greatest players. …
Williams’ playing time will be reduced following this week’s agreement with Johnny Damon, who takes over as the starting center fielder."
Rumor has it the Yankees will be petitioning MLB to allow them to use Williams as a "short-center" player on defense, similar to softball rules. They will argue that given their poor arms, both Damon and Williams will be needed to get the ball back into the infield on hits to the gap.
"The Boston Red Sox plucked a player from the New York Yankees, although it’s not quite retaliation for losing center fielder Johnny Damon. The Red Sox on Friday signed John Flaherty, who served as a backup catcher with the Yankees for the last three years and as Randy Johnson’s personal catcher in 2005.
The move comes on the same day the Yankees scheduled a news conference to announce the signing of Damon to a four-year deal worth $52 million. Damon spent the last four years with the Red Sox and helped them win the World Series for the first time in 86 years in 2004."
Not quite revenge for Danny Cater for Sparky Lyle, now is it?
Headline reads: "Mariners take a shot on Lawton"
"SEATTLE — Matt Lawton knew he had a limited market following his suspension for using steroids. The Seattle Mariners were willing to give him a chance, agreeing Thursday to a $400,000, one-year contract."
The Mariners seem to have cornered the market on steroid-abusing players.
At the beginning of 2005, 38 minor league players were suspended for steroid use. 8 of them were Mariners prospects.
A subsequent suspension of 11 more minor leaguers didn’t turn up any Mariners. However, on the major league level, 2005 saw 12 players suspended. 3 of them were Mariners, and now Seattle has brought Lawton into the fold.
Perhaps SAFECO FIELD ought to renamed BALCO FIELD. "Syringe Night" anyone???