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A Call to Polyester-Covered Arms

Omar Minaya has made his intentions for the 2007 season clear, and his recent signing of washed-up Cardinal/Brave fireballer Jorge Sosa is even more evidence of that.

Minaya did not add, much to the chagrin of fans like myself, an arm the caliber of Zito, Haren, or Schmidt. Minaya has yet even to add a pitcher in the mold of Gil Meche or Ted Lilly, pitchers who have been hampered by injuries moreso than ineffectiveness during their careers.

Instead, Minaya stockpiled projects. He nabbed hard-throwing righty relievers Jon Adkins and Ambiorix Burgos in separate deals, and he followed that up by trading for Jason Vargas, a pitcher whose ability far outweighs his performance to this point.

And now he's got Sosa. Although he was 13-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 2005, the righty posted a 5.42 ERA in 2006 following Leo Mazzone's departure.

One might wonder if the Mets were trying to play the market cheaply, avoiding expensive injury risks and the large contracts that have permeated the game so far this winter. However, these contracts show something else, as far as I can tell.

The Mets are putting all their faith in "Slick" Rick "The Jacket" Peterson. They are counting on him to take a rotation without a Pedro and a bullpen without a juiced Mota to the top of the NL East.

Beforehand, such a goal might have been unrealistic. We've watched as various projects scuffled at points in the year, and not one among us forgets his "I can fix him in ten minutes" comment. By the way, the Devil Rays are reportedly pursuing Victor Zambrano as an option for a non-roster deal.

This is all a giant opportunity for the Jacket. He will be given talented young starters with explosive arms (Pelfrey, Humber, Perez) and a few live-armed relievers down on their luck (Sosa, Burgos, Mota, Sanchez) and he will be expected to take this team to the top.

The Jacket will be required to take this team from its present conceptual state, instead hoping to turn it over into a pitching juggernaut where all fireballers are supposed to reach their potential. Obviously, that's not happening.

It's tough, though, to take a look at this team and realize the worst case scenario. The Mets will still have that incredible offense, and Glavine will still be here. Furthermore, the rotations in the division are still not all that formidable (though you have to fear the Marlins' young guns).

Godspeed, Jacket. This season is on your (surgically-repaired) shoulders now.


According to Murray Chass in the New York Times, the Mets are close to a minor-league deal with Ruben Sierra. (What, Travis Fryman wasn't available?) Chass quotes Sierra's agent Chuck Berry, who will soon join a battle with Billy Wagner's agent Bean Stringfellow for worst name.

Sierra put up a garbage .179/.273/.214 line in 28 ABs with Minnesota last year, before being released in July.

I just don't understand this. Sierra is 41 years old, has garbage knees, hasn't played a game in the National League since '97 and played no time in the outfield last year.

In fact, the Mets already have Sierra's equivalent in Julio Franco. This move makes zero sense to me, even though it's probably a non-guaranteed deal.


Rangers, Devils, tonight, 7:30. It strikes me that these teams just play every time that neither one has a nationally-televised game. It's pretty awful, given that the rivalry is devoid of intensity.

Oh, well... the boys looked alright during the Boston game.

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