I'm starting this after a couple bourbons, so things might get a little punchy in here.
Meet the Mets
Fred Wilpon finally got off his private helicopter and spoke to the media yesterday. Adam Rubin has helpfully transcribed for all of us, but to make a long story short, everything is fine, nothing to see here, you can all move along. Nice to see the NYC media asking the hard, probing questions like "What would be your message to Mets fans?" Too bad Howard Megdal wasn't among the assembled press.
Someone also should have asked why Jeff Wilpon spent the money that could have been spent on Jose Reyes to buy Underdog t-shirts for the team. Okay, to be fair it couldn't have cost that much money, as it appears that Jeffy just ordered the shirts through Zazzle. David Wright was not a fan, by the way. Of course, Wright had his own sartorial issues yesterday, as he lost a wager with Fred Wilpon and had to wear a
Darnell Denard Robinson Michgan jersey during practice. Wright stupidly bet Wilpon that the latter couldn't convince the press that not resigning him would be a "baseball decision" rather than a "fuck it, we're broke" decision. Silly David.
And we're not quite done with the Ruben Tejada story, you guys. Patrick Flood has a very insightful response to an e-mail question about the kerfluffle. Almost makes up for his irrational love of Dillon Gee.
Not in any way shape or form irrational, however, is Ted Berg's love for Valentino Pasccuci. Ted is also taking suggestions for his Spring Training coverage this year. I encourage you all to fill out the form with simply "Josh Satin" like I did. Use as many fake e-mail addresses as you deem fit. The more the better. Shoot for 20, that's a nice round number.
Toby Hyde is now perilously close to announcing his top prospect. #2 is Jeurys Familia. Toby really likes Familia, as do I, but I just can't put him over Wheeler. You should still know the name, and it's hey-YOR-ees for the record. Betting that Gonzalez Germen locks down that #1 slot. Well, either him or Jeckyol De Leon.
Wrapping up the PSL news, Mike Pelfrey and R.A. Dickey enjoyed a convival dinner at Outback last night. No word on whether R.A. is teaching Pelf the knuckleball over a couple of Foster's (couldn't hurt). Dickey also failed to convince Pelfrey to join twitter. Which is... probably for the best.
Let's kick off our jaunt around the rest of baseball by wrapping up a couple stories that continue to annoy the heck out of me.
First, Terry Francona thinks that banning beer in the clubhouse is just a PR move by the Red Sox. So how long until Francona and Valentine start sniping at each other in the press? Oop, never mind, it's already started.
And then over at...sigh...Grantland, Charlie Pierce has a quite cogent piece on the whole Ryan Bruan fiasco. I have nothing to add here but ditto. If you prefer your Braun screeds a little more, well, screed-like, David Roth of The Classical has your back.
Moving on to the real reason you all really read Applesauce in February. MATT DIAZ IS IN THE BEST SHAPE OF HIS LIFE!
Now some Oscars wrap-up: Eric Chavez was okay with Moneyball not winning Best Picture. Well, glad we cleared that up. And in the audience for the show was Ned Colletti, apparently. No word if he traded the rights to The Artist for Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret (/obscure film joke)
I guess the Miguel Cabrera move to third base is going well. And by going well, he was able to find where the base was on the field, and hasn't yet severely injured himself taking ground balls there.
Fangraphs has begun rolling out it's TV Broadcaster rankings. #31 will be no surprise to anyone with ears. For the record, GKR better be in the Top 5 or else I will write angry letters to Carson Cistulli. Also, as long as we are going dateless, FG's Top 15 prospect series continues with the Miami Marlins, and over at NotGraphs, a survey of the 1986 Topps series. I'm a 1988 Topps guy myself.
How about a hypothetical? Let's say you have the worst team in baseball, a barren farm system, and an impending move to one of the toughest divisions in baseball. How do you distract your fans from the suckage? Why, new uniforms of course!
If you are on twitter, you may remember a bit of a donnybrook a few days ago when CBSsports.com's Scott Miller tweeted blast ever blast about the A's signing Manny Ramirez. Well, at least it didn't affect his ability to report objectively. Jeez, he sounds more like a jilted girlfriend than a reporter. Manny, of course, doesn't exactly give a candid account of, well, anything.
Finally, a farewell to the Red Sox's Jason Varitek, who is reportedly hanging up the cleats. He wouldn't make a list of my top 100 favorite non-Mets, but I have a soft spot for one-team players and catchers that catch forever. He was a team captain for two World Series champs and put up 25 fWAR over his 14 seasons; that's a hell of a career. Boston mourned the announcement by setting Fenway Park on fire, as is tradition.