Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Mike Gill Show: Santanism...

Once again, it’s time to prep for my weekly segment on ESPN 1450’s Mike Gill Show. Today, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, the Johan Santana-to-the-Mets deal looms large. Therefore, today we will discuss :
  • Santana-to-Mets: are the Metropolitans the favourite in the NL East, or for that matter the NL … period?
  • Does this give the Mets the best starting staff in the National League?
  • How did the Twins do in the deal?
  • What are your thoughts on Pedro Feliz coming to the City of Brotherly Love?
  • Tell us something you are looking forward to for this spring.
Santana-to-Mets: are the Metropolitans the favourite in the NL East, or for that matter the NL … period?

I would say it makes them favourites--on paper. As we know, the game isn’t played on paper but on the field. One thing we know about baseball is that we never know what will happen in baseball. A lot can happen over the course of 162 games. Don’t forget, the Phillies added a defacto solid No. 2 starter in the Brad Lidge deal moving Brett Myers back into the rotation. Pedro Feliz will solidify the infield defense and offer pop at the bottom the order and Geoff Jenkins--who should hit well at CitiBank--moves Shane Victorino to CF. I’d still give the Mets the edge in the East but I’m not willing to concede the division title just yet.

As to the rest of the NL--remember, the Diamondbacks added Danny Haren the Padres could catch lightning in a bottle with the low cost additions of Mark Prior, Randy Wolf and Jim Edmonds (he could be a bargain in he recaptures his health and some of his earlier form). The Dodgers added Andruw Jones and RHP Hiroki Kuroda. The NL West will be tough again in 2008.

Further, the Cubs added the much hyped Kosuke Fukudome and Jon Lieber has enjoyed terrific success at Wrigley Field (3.62 ERA, 1.54 BB/9 and 384 K in 474.2IP). The Brewers picked up Mike Cameron and retooled their bullpen with the additions of Eric Gagne and David Riske.

The Mets will have to work for the pennant.

Does this give the Mets the best starting staff in the National League?

No. With the addition of Haren, I think that designation goes to the Snakes. The Cubs should be solid 1-5 … not spectacular but should have five above league average starters with the addition of Lieber. The Padres rotation could surprise if Prior and Wolf contribute. Right now, the Mets have Santana, a question mark in Pedro Martinez and three young arms to round out the rotation in John Maine, Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey. It could be very good--it could be a nightmare.

How did the Twins do in the deal?

Lousy. I’m guessing that Santana decided to go to the Mets and told the Twins that he’d veto a deal to the Yankees or Red Sox. Both clubs offered better packages (including Philip Hughes) and the Twinkies didn’t even land the Mets best prospect (Fernando Martinez). I guess it’s karmic payback for the Nolan Ryan/Tom Seaver/Scott Kazmir trades. Once again, it demonstrates the idiocy of no-trade clauses. It really erodes a club’s leverage especially if they have a mega talent they wish to deal. Chances are, only a few teams can afford the required contract extension and those teams feel little obligation to really ante up since they know the club holding the player has to deal him.

What are your thoughts on Pedro Feliz coming to the City of Brotherly Love?

As I mentioned earlier, he’ll add a slick glove and might hit 30 HR in Citizens Bank Park (edit: thanks Mike!). He’s got a glove seeking laser in his right arm which will ‘help’ Ryan Howard’s defense since all he’ll have to do is stick his glove out and keep his foot on the bag when the ball is hit to Feliz.

Tell us something you are looking forward to for this spring.

I’m looking forward to see who claim two rotation slots: Who will step up and be the Phillies No. 3 starter and the Blue Jays No. 5 starter. As to the Phillies, I’m not talking about how the rotation will be set up come opening day--I’m talking about who will be the third best starting pitcher on the Phillies staff after Cole Hamels and Brett Myers. I’m discussing the pitcher who Charlie Manuel would put be behind them should they shorten their rotation come the post season (why not be optimistic?).

As to the Blue Jays, they’ve got Casey Janssen, Jesse Litsch, Gustavo Chacin or even a Josh Banks or Brian Wolfe that may surprise and fill the role. I’m rooting for Casey Janssen--he was superb as a starter in the minors and is better suited to the role. His status will be decided less by how he pitches as it will on how relievers Brandon League, Davis Romero and Jason Frasor look in the spring. If all struggle, then John Gibbons will insist of having his security blanket in Janssen handle most eighth inning duties.

“I do not think that word means what you think it means…”

I really hope my compatriots at Drunk Jays Fans appreciate this. I’m forced to use myself to handle the signoff since I didn’t have time to get anyone after my system got dinged by ransom ware.

What transpired is this: my blog got hijacked by TVT (AKA "The Vizzini Trojan" … inconceivable!) and it took some doing to get it back. When I tried to extract it I got a pop-up box stating: “If you wish it deleted, by all means, keep trying.”

I typed: “Let me explain …”

Another pop-up box from TVT read: “There's nothing to explain. You're trying to take back what I have rightfully hijacked.

I replied: "Perhaps an arrangement can be reached?"

TVT: “There will be no arrangement, and you're deleting your blog.

Well if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.

TVT: “I'm afraid so. I can't compete with you with verbosity, and you're no match for my brains.

You're that smart?

TVT: “Let me put it this way: have you ever heard of James, Neyer, Sheehan?


TVT: “Morons.

Really ... in that case, I challenge you to a battle of wits.

TVT: “For the blog?” (Yes) “To the death?” (Yes) “I accept.”

Good. Then write the post. Read this, but do not type.

TVT: “I see nothing.

What you do not see is called Best Regards. It is vapid, tasteless, dissolves instantly in bandwidth, and is among the more boring signatures known to man.

TVT: “Hmm.

(I type my regards into the each post and move them around by CTRL+X and CTRL+V)

All right. Where are the Best Regards? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both post, and find out who keeps the blog...and who dies of boredom.

TVT: “But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of blogger who would put the Best Regards into his own post or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the Best Regards into his own post, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the post in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the post in front of me.

You've made your decision then?

TVT: “Not remotely. Because Best Regards comes from TPoSGD, as everyone knows, and TPoSGD is entirely peopled with dullards and lackwits, and TPoSGDers are used to having people not find them interesting, as you are not interesting to me, so I can clearly not choose the post in front of you.

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.



TVT: “Yes, TPoSGD. And you must have suspected I would have known the sign off’s origin, so I can clearly not choose the post in front of me.

You're just stalling now.

TVT: “You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my word limit, which means you're exceptionally verbose, so you could've put the Best Regards in your own post, trusting on your gabbiness to save you, so I can clearly not choose the post in front of you. But, you've also busted my server, which means you must have blogged, and in blogging you must have learned that bloggers are nerdy, so you would have put the Best Regards as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the post in front of me.

You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.


Then make your choice.

TVT: “I will, and I choose-- What in the world? Did I disconnect?

What? Where? You’re still logged in.

TVT: “Well, I- I could have sworn I disconnected. No matter.

What's so funny?

TVT: “I'll tell you in a minute. First, let's post. Me from my keyboard, and you from yours.

(We type.)

You guessed wrong.

TVT: “You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched keyboards when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a geek war on blogspot, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Trojan when a blog is on the line!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Ha ha ha... (thud)”

...and I finally got my blog back.

Epilogue: Both posts had Best Regards. I spent the last few years on the web reading my old articles building up an immunity to boredom.

(Yes, you just lost two minutes of your life reading that. My sincerest apologies.)

Best Regards



Anonymous said...

Wow, loved the sign-off!

mike said...


The Phillies play in Citizens Bank Park. Calling it CitiBank is confusing since the Mets are going to be moving to Citi Field, sponsored by Citibank (aka "Citi").

You need to move to a country with more than three banks, bud!

John Brattain said...


There's a third bank?


Thanks for the catch. I'll tidy it up.

Best Regards


Bill B. said...

You wouldn't believe how many people I've talked with about the Santana deal strongly believe the Phillies must trade for Erik Bedard while he's still technically available.

I ask them, what, perchance, would the Phillies offer? Even if the Phillies gave the Orioles the rights to their entire Minor League system, it still wouldn't overtake whatever the Mariners can offer.

It sucks for us Phillies fans that Santana went to the Mets, but I look at it this way: Santana's going to want somewhere between $20-30 million over six years ($120-$180 million total). He'd likely take up approximately 15% of the Mets' payroll. Given that Reyes and Wright become considerably more expensive as they get older, it will be fun watching them attempt to supplement their team with little wiggle room.

Then again, they do have the TV network, the new ballpark, and all of the additional ticket, merchandise, and concession revenue generated simply by acquiring Santana.

Ugh, my head hurts, John. At least I'm not a Blue Jays fan. ;-)

Jonathan said...

Ok, this is turning into a (somewhat dadaist) art form.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my signoff. Prepare to die.

Or wait...

Blogs are pain. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.

Dear lord, the word verification is an obscene suggestion.

John Brattain said...


It's best never to give a demented mind inspiration. One never knows where it may lead.

Best Regards