February 16, 2008

No Matter How Long The Winter...

Ah, spring training! Pitchers and catchers are in camp and my RSS reader is blowing up. News and notes:

-Mike Mussina had minor leaguer Billy Traber's locker switched so that Phil Hughes could be in the corner, next to Mussina and Ian Kennedy. The Moose comes off as such a grouchy old man sometimes that I thought Traber must have been playing his music too loud or something, but that's not it:
Ian Kennedy was given the locker on one side of Mussina and non-roster lefty Billy Traber the other. Phil Hughes, meanwhile, was five lockers away, between Carl Pavano and Andy Pettitte.

So Mussina talked to Rob Cucuzza, who is the actual clubhouse manager, and asked Hughes and Traber to be swapped. Mussina wanted Hughes we well as Kennedy to be part of any impromptu pitching discussions.

My question is, whose idea was it to place Hughes next to Carl Pavano? That guy shouldn't be allowed within 15 feet of a pitching prospect. Just the thought brings out all my protective instincts.

Anyway, this is a classy move by Mussina. I wonder what kind of wisdom he'll be imparting?...

“So kids, remember all that stuff Rocket told you last season about ‘B12 shots'? DISREGARD.”

-MetsBlog has a quote from Ryan Church, who's all excited to join the Mets -- to be expected, as this kid comes from a place where Dmitri Young qualifies as a superstar. Just wait until the lifetime Expo/National finds himself on a team with a winning percentage over .500, his head might explode.

-Paul Lo Duca apologizes, vaguely, for "mistakes in judgment" and his memorable supporting role in the Mitchell report. That took two months?

-While I find all this "team to beat" stuff pretty silly, it's nice to see Carlos Beltran showing a little life. Beltran, when he's healthy, is a joy to watch, but you always wish he would have a bit more fun out there.

-Excellent news: the Mets signed Olmedo Saenz, owner of one of the better nicknames in the game, to a minor league deal. "The Killer Tomato" is not only an accomplished pinch-hitter, but also offers the kind of zaftig presence that's sorely lacking in New York this season.

-In the "La Plus Ca Change" division: pitchers throwing for Joe Torre in the Dodgers' camp the other day included Tanyon Sturtze, Esteban Loaiza, and Mike Myers.

You can run, but you can't hide.


Ray said...

Carl Pavano has a locker?

What does he keep in it- his doctors' notes?

Emma said...

Nu metal CDs, Bacardi, and piles of cash, I assume.

JL25and3 said...

Chris Britton and Brian Bruney don't provide enough zaftig presence for you?

Britton is one of the few guys who can rival El Guapo. Lots of pitchers have fat bellies or fat asses, but Guapo seemed to be fat everywhere, like an overinflated Macy's float. I'd bet he had fat hair and fat toenails.

Britton has that same look.

Emma said...

You're right, JL, Chris Britton would serve admirably, only I'm afraid he's not a lock to make the team out of spring training. And Bruney's dropped 20 pounds this winter! Jose Molina and Joba have a little heft to them, I guess, but are hardly what you'd call out of shape.

The Yankees have some material to work with, in other words, but the Mets really needed this guy. They were shaping up to be depressingly lean...

JL25and3 said...

Bruney's lost weight? I didn't know that. That's kind of disturbing, especially with Britton on the bubble (or maybe Britton is the bubble...)

Of course, Bruney's pretty marginal anyway, so I guess your point is well taken. The Yankees haven't really had a good fat pitcher since Wells left. Joba's still just babyfat, that doesn't count; Mariano is cadaverous; and yond Mussina hath a lean and hungry look.

And you're right that they don't do much better on position players. Does Matt LeCroy have a job?

I still have high hopes for Humberto Sanchez.