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Mets Hot Stove: Life after Anna

Mike SteffanosFriday, December 16, 2005
By Mike Steffanos


We had a lot of new visitors to this site via search engines yesterday. Since we're still getting some today, let me save you some time and let you know that the best pictures of Anna Benson in her Mrs. Claus outfit are on Newsday. They actually have a slideshow if you click on the second photo down. Thanks for stopping by.

For the rest of you, this morning's Mets news:

Toronto Star: Can you spell tampering?
Geoff Baker reports on some fun stuff for Omar, as Toronto pitcher Miguel Batitsta, who is not a free agent, told a newspaper in the Dominican that Mets GM Omar Minaya "was in contact with my agent and for me, it is flattering that he was interested in me." Of course, if true, this is completely against the rules.

Batitsta's agent, Martin Arburua, had this to say when questioned about the alleged contact:

I don't know where he got that idea from, but it never happened. I've spoken to numerous scouts about Miguel, but I never spoke to Omar Minaya about him. That wouldn't be good.

Of course, it might have indeed happened, but everyone concerned usually has the brains to keep their mouth shut afterwards.

New York Post: Well, at least we won't have to learn to spell this one
George King is reporting that the Mets will not be signing free agent 2B Mark Grudzielanek.

Also in the Post: The new radio guy
Phil Mushnick has a nice feature on new Mets radio play-by-play man Tom McCarthy. According to Mushnick:

McCarthy is a good, old-fashioned likeable sort, on and off the air. How can you not like a guy who volunteers, shortly after signing a multi-year deal to call Met games, that he was cut from the Trenton State baseball team?

Mushnick quotes McCarthy on his broadcasting career:

I got the bug. I'd say that the first time I convinced myself that I could do this and not starve was around 1994, while doing the [minor league Trenton] Thunder. I guess that's when I said to myself, 'This is what I do for a living,' because it's what I was doing for a living.

Seems like a good guy from everything I've read.

Bergen Record: Mets won't block Pedro from pitching in Clasic
Bob Klapisch, in a column primarily about Nomar Garciaparra, offers the following news item:

Mets cautiously allowing Pedro Martinez to participate in World Baseball Classic.

Noting that the Yankees had successfully blocked Jorge Posada, Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina from taking part in the international tournament in March, MetsGM Omar Minaya admits he's concerned about letting Pedro Martinez risk further injury by participating. The right-hander's season ended in mid-September due to a toe injury, and he's still not 100 percent recovered.

The Mets, however, are assuming Pedro will be healthy when camp opens in mid-February. If not, they'll prevent Martinez from pitching for the Dominican Republic team.

Omar Minaya, who identifies himself as "very pro-tournament", goes on to say that they will be "very conservative" about a final decision if there is a chance of re-injury.

LA Times: Dodgers might be interested in Benson
Tim Brown reports that the Dodgers are in the market for a starting pitcher, and Kris Benson is one of several possible targets.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Happy to be back
Derrick Goold reports on the new Cardinals setup man Braden Looper, who has signed a 3 year contract to return to the team that drafted him. Goold quotes Looper on his feelings about returning "home":

Ever since I was drafted by the Cardinals, I've wanted to play back here. I went into this offseason understanding if the right situation arose, I'd definitely do it. There's not a place I'd rather be than this, that's for sure.

Looper should do better as a setup man for Jason Isringhausen, and he will certainly hear fewer boos from the crowd.

KCRoyals.com: Mientkiewicz a Royal pain, now
Doug Mientkiewicz has signed a contract to play for the Kansas City Royals in 2006. And he thinks the Mets organization is screwed up...

According to this report, the Royals also signed 2B Mark Grudzielanek to a contract.

Just in: On FoxSports.com, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that both Mientkiewicz and Grudzielanek signed 1 year deals.

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