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On Thomson, Schoeneweis, and Barroid

John Thomson is a giant prick. I'm not sure there's any way around it. Many of you have read his inflammatory (and somewhat indecipherable) comments towards the Mets as a franchise and specifically towards the Duck. Here they are, if you're interested.

"As far as just looking at Paul Lo Duca across the field, I'm not really into how he acts behind the plate," Thomson said on a conference call. "I know a bit about [Toronto catcher] Gregg Zaun and I know he wants to win and he's not going to let anything get in his way to do that, and I like that.

"And then with Vernon Wells in center field, I'm not really concerned about the outfield with him out there. ... Just watching the Mets' outfield, if Cliff Floyd is still there it's not a real good fit for him out there. He can hit the ball, but as far as defense, he's a little shaky.

I think I have an idea what Thomson was referring to, and it is a little disconcerting.

Lo Duca, as we are all aware, is something of an adulterer, who might have a thing for younger women. This may conflict with John Thomson's values of being a poor pitcher and screwing the Mets (unlike Lo Duca, who prefers college students) down the stretch run.

He then went on to diss Cliff Floyd, who by the way is no more a part of this 2007 team than John Thomson is. I would think he assumes Roger Cedeno is still in center field for the Mets, because Carlos Beltran compares quite favorably to Vernon Wells.

Nevertheless, if my perception of Thomson's comments is accurate, shouldn't we be worried? Say these words had come from the mouth of a pitcher with a much more credible career ledger, someone like Andy Pettite. Pettite is a notoriously devout Christian who undoubtedly might have some problems throwing to a philandering gambler behind the plate.

On the whole, though, I'm in no position to complain. We don't want John Thomson and we don't want to have to experience more of his mediocrity.


Speaking of mediocrity, Minaya has apparently issued a ringing endorsement of it with the rumoured 3-year, $10.8MM deal with Scott Schoeneweis.

I find this awfully hard to endorse. While the Mets undoubtedly have vast financial resources, it is a poor decision to offer this kind of money to a pitcher who has been essentially the definition of mediocre (career ERA+: 94) over his career.

Furthermore, while he did impress during the stretch run with Cincinnati, he still only managed a 4.88 ERA for the season. His role in this bullpen is also unclear to me. Does he serve the purpose of lefty specialist, like he has recently, or does he fill the role that Darren Oliver filled last year?

Moreover, isn't Schoeneweis similar to the pitchers we have (or had) in this bullpen? As far as I can tell, Schoeneweis is an older and more expensive version of Royce Ring. It's not even unrealistic to expect one of the Mets' other young lefties (Vargas, Perez, Bostick) to fulfill this role with more aptitude than Schoeneweis can.

Given that Chad Bradford (granted, a higher injury risk) signed with Baltimore for slightly less money, wouldn't it have been rational to expect a bullpen arm with more potential than a thirty-three year old Duke graduate?


Finally, today, T.J. Quinn of the Daily News outed Barry Bonds as a cheat and a liar.

It's an odd world that we live in. Given the recent discussion about McGwire and failed steroid tests, it's strange to think that this slugger, who has apparently failed a drug test is still allowed to play and potentially pass Hank Aaron's all-time home run record.

Bonds will engage in a summer of joyless pursit, making a tainted run at one of the most hallowed records in history. No longer is anyone naive or ignorant enough to have faith in the chase.

The media will be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of San Francisco who believes in Bonds or is willing to follow this man around the country with that unbridled joy that we saw with McGwire's 70 or Bonds' 73.

What strikes me as most humorous, though, are the circumstances in which we have wound up and the path baseball took to get there. Without that steroid piece in SI a few years back, we probably wouldn't be conscious of the issue.

If Ken Caminiti and Jose Canseco hadn't scooped the piece's author, Tom Verducci, who would be focusing on steroids?

Furthermore, it makes you wonder about Jose Canseco, a hitter who would have probably hit 500 home runs if he had played until his thirty-ninth birthday. Imagine that world-- a world where Canseco is suddenly complicit in the coverup, more focused on a Hall of Fame legacy than on selling books.

If Caminiti's career had featured more forty-homer seasons, wouldn't he too lack an incentive to go public with the issues of steroids in baseball?

What differs Caminiti and Canseco from McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds?

In the end, the latter three were just using better steroids, realizing that they could someday be enshrined with greats like Ruth and Mays.

The first two are merely sore losers; those who boarded the train too late in their careers to rack up greatness.

I'm just sick of it all- I pray ESPN dismantles their "Chasing Aaron" graphics that showed Bonds' stat line for every game. While they're at it, can they stop glorifying the accomplishments of Shawne Merriman?

I can recall a quote on Sunday NFL Countdown, something to the effect of "Merriman had a great season, you know, registering 17 sacks in only twelve games!" Well, duh, he had a great season. Do you know why? HE WAS TAKING STEROIDS! Christ, why is this so hard to comprehend?

I don't think the media understands what kind of a message they send by glorifying the cheaters in our society. MLB and ESPN and co. will let Bonds persevere with his joyless pursuit. I guess we're just not supposed to mind.

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