Thursday Applesauce

We've talked about Manny Ramirez a bit in this space lately, and I think the vast majority of us would be in favor of the Mets bringing him in on a three-year deal at aging superstar money (~$15-17 million per season). Well, you can count Wallace Matthews among those dissenting voices in the crowd. His argument? They should've traded for him in July when the price was "low":

They, along with every other team in baseball, had their shot at Manny in July, when the increasingly tense relationship between him and the Red Sox finally reached its breaking point. Things had gotten so bad that the Red Sox were happy to pay the remaining $7 million on his contract just to be rid of him. They probably would have thrown in a ride to the airport.

After the trade, I remarked about how much the Red Sox gave up for Jason Bay, but within that comment we see what the Dodgers gave up for Ramirez. The key to that deal for the Sox was Dodgers third base prospect Andy LaRoche (now with the Pirates), who was ranked before the 2008 season as the 14th best prospect in baseball by Kevin Goldstein. The Mets' highest ranked prospect at the time was Fernando Martinez, who was 51st. Even if you call the two players a wash, would anyone have actually considered a Martinez-for-two-months-of-Ramirez swap a steal for the Mets? Or even a good deal? Signing Ramirez this offseason will cost them money and probably a draft pick, but the 25th pick in the draft

* * *

Tony Bernazard, the Mets' VP of player development, is interviewing for the Mariners' GM position. I have no idea if his departure would be good or bad for the Mets; I guess it depends on the likely replacement.

Ambiorix Burgos could face up to two years in jail if convicted of abandoning victims and fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run in the Dominican Republic. The two victims of the accident -- a 29-year-old woman and a 38-year-old woman -- both died at the scene. If that wasn't bad enough, there's this:

The news comes after the mother of one of the two victims accused Burgos of intentionally running her daughter over because she refused to go out with him.

Gah! Obviously, there's a huge difference between a car accident and a car "accident". The Mets need relief pitching, but not this badly.

* * *

A number of Mets minor leaguers are kickin' it in winter ball, with some prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League with the Peoria Saguaros (saguaros = large cactus) and some others playing Hawaiian Winter Baseball with the Honolulu Sharks.

Saguaros 10, Scottsdale Scorpions, 7

  • Josh Thole, catcher , 0-3, 2 BB, 1 R (St. Lucie). Thole hit .300/.382/.427 in 347 at-bats as a 21-year-old with St. Lucie in 2008. He didn't distinguish himself in three prior minor league seasons with the Mets, but an .809 OPS as a catcher is certainly encouraging.

Honolulu 3, Waikiki BeachBoys 1

  • Josh Stinson, RHP, 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 SO (St. Lucie). Stinson is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA in HWB action so far.
  • Greg Veloz, 2B, 0-2, 1 BB, 1R (St. Lucie).
  • Roy Merritt, LHP, .1 IP, 1H, 1R, 1HR (St. Lucie)

* * *

Lastly, though it was with sadness that the NY Sun closed up shop at the end of September, it's nice to see that Tim Marchman picked up new gigs with the Wall Street Journal and Slate. Baseball journalism wouldn't be the same without him.

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