I am a scientist. An evil scientist. My little Moneyball experiment has gone swimmingly, with years of pointless but hilarious debates about "stats vs. scouts" wasting everyone's time in newspapers and on the Internet. I won a World Series ring, made millions of dollars and -- most importantly -- annoyed the sh*t out of the baseball establishment. Consider yourself trolled, Joe Morgan.
It's time for a new nefarious experiment. And Mets fans will be my target. My goal: to fielding a winning baseball team comprised of players despised by the Flushing faithful. I will test the patience of those Carlos Beltran-hating fools in the Citi Field seats by bringing in a squad of hated mercenaries. I am Sandy Trollderson, and this is my AAOP.
The first step is bidding Jose Reyes a not-so-fond farewell. Reyes is an Alderson type of player but not a Trollderson type of player. In his stead, I sign Jimmy Rollins for three years, $36 million (the Omar Minaya special, for an extra trolling touch). Oh boy, I can already hear the howls in Ridgewood; the whining in Bayside; the fury in Astoria; the screams in Manhasset. I can feel your anger! I will offer Rollins a $500,000 bonus, out of my own pocket, to announce at his first press conference that he only signed for the money.
Next, I trade for Yadier Molina. Jeurys Familia, Wilmer Flores, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis is the price. Molina is the best defensive catcher in the big leagues and the mere mention of his name is enough to make Mets fans toss their cookies. They won't know whether to cheer or boo every time he throws out a runner stealing or picks off some poor sap at first base. There will be a "2006 NLCS Night" as well, with Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Tony LaRussa, Scott Spiezio, and Jeff Suppan invited to attend.
I'm keeping Angel Pagan, both for his baseball ability and the maddening effect his defense and baserunning have on Mets fans. But I'm pairing him with Cody Ross in center field. Yes, former douchebag Marlin and professional bitcher-and-moaner Cody Ross. Pagan can't hit a beach ball batting from the right side and Ross can play all outfield positions.
I'm signing Javier Vazquez for one year and $8 million with a mutual option for 2013. He has owned the Mets in his career -- 191.2 innings, 3.06 ERA, 3.67 K/BB ratio. He's not an outspoken jerk like Rollins but his quiet dominance of the Mets over the years will elicit subconscious annoyance in the fanbase. Plus he's still a good pitcher.
Pat Burrell is thinking about retirement but I'm thinking about him in a Mets uniform on Opening Day. He's coming back on a one day contract to start in left field and be triumphantly booed before retiring immediately after the game. He will go 4-for-4 with a grand slam off Armando Benitez for old time's sake. He will be paid handsomely for his one day of service.
I'm bringing back Chin-lung Hu to back-up Rollins because LOL.
To fortify the usually horrendous bullpen I'm bring back former closers Luis Ayala and Francisco Rodriguez as well as 2008 World Series Champion Brad Lidge. Ayala will cost almost nothing to remind fans of September 2008 and might post a decent ERA like last season. I will exploit some as-yet-determined contract loophole to make Rodriguez a free agent and sign him for one year and $8 million. He will once again bring the ruckus to the player's family room in the clubhouse. Lidge is a low cost, high reward, high annoyance signing.
My plan is full of troll and reasonable in payroll. We will contend; fans will cry. Here's the Opening Day roster. Enjoy, suckers!
C - Yadier Molina
1B - Ike Davis
2B - Daniel Murphy
3B - David Wright
SS - Jimmy Rollins
LF - Pat Burrell (after Burrell's retirement on Opening Day, put Bay here and call up an outfielder)
CF - Angel Pagan
RF - Lucas Duda