By Mike Steffanos
Billy Wagner and the missus are rolling into town today. Needless to say, that's grabbing the bulk of the headlines.
New York Times: Great Expectations
Ben Shpigel does a nice piece on Wagner that looks back at some of the trials and tribulations of his early life, which Shpigel compares to a Dickens novel. Shpigel shows how the things that Wagner endured made him the person he is today, quoting Wagner's agent Bean Stringfellow:
After everything Billy's been through, nothing can intimidate him. He's already felt as bad as you can feel.
Sometimes we tend to think of a guy like Wagner only from a standpoint of what he might bring to the Mets, this reminds us that life is a little more than baseball.
New York Post: Glavine Lends a Hand
Michael Morrissey reports that the Tom Glavine will be playing a key role in the Mets' efforts to convince Wagner to come to New York. There are some interesting looks back at the way the Mets recruited Glavine 3 years ago. Morrissey quotes Glavine: "Playing in New York is not as bad as it's made out to be a lot of times." If this is the pitch to be used on Wagner, you only hope that they punch it up a little bit.
Daily News: Motivated seller seeks buyer with deep pockets
Adam Rubin and Bill Madden discuss how the impending fire sale in south Florida could benefit the Mets. In a wonderful soap opera, owner Jeffrey Loria has lost control of the team to his ex-wife's son. Things are really crashing down on that team as they look to unload virtually everything besides Willis and Cabrera.
According to Rubin and Madden, this sale is more likely to land the Mets 2B Luis Castillo than 1B Carlos Delgado. They quote a source saying that, "I don't think anyone will end up happy," if Delgado got traded to the Mets. Screw Carlos Delgado and his agent. Baltimore is mentioned as a likely destination for him, and that sounds about right. They should be able to put together a pitching staff good enough to make a run at the playoffs about a couple years after Delgado retires. Why should the Mets give up top prospects to the Marlins for a guy that's going to sulk about being here while his lunatic agent issues manifestos to the press on a daily basis? If he doesn't want to be here, f--k him.
Castillo, who the Mets tried hard to sign before settling on Matsui a couple of years ago, would be a huge upgrade both defensively and offensively. His contract is fairly reasonable, the one concern would be that he's been somewhat banged up the last 2 years.
Rubin and Madden also mention Paul LoDuca as someone the Mets might be able to get if their chase for a top free agent catcher proves fruitless. Just what we need; a terrible defensive catcher who is getting up there in age. If we're taking a vote on this, please mark me down for a "no".