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Mets Hot Stove: Sunday Brunch is Better Without Manny

Mike SteffanosSunday, December 11, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

On an otherwise quiet Sunday morning, we hear a voice of reason rising above the cacophony of voices regurgitating any Ramirez rumor they can find:

Newsday: Some sanity
Ken Davidoff, in an excellent column, tries to talk Omar Minaya out of wasting any more time chasing Manny Ramirez, and focus on the bullpen instead:

Because of what Minaya already has accomplished this offseason, Ramirez should be his last priority. Offense is no longer a problem for the Mets... The rotation is good enough now to make the playoffs, but with a front end of Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine, neither of whom reaches the eighth inning anymore, they're going to need a deep bullpen to build a bridge to Wagner. How about signing Ricardo Rincon and Rudy Seanez?

Davidoff points out that Omar should view the recent Yankee teams as a cautionary tale; adding one all-star after another and becoming less and less of a "team" in the process.

Davidoff also opines that, for all the offense Manny might bring with him, there's a lot of negative baggage coming along for the ride:

"If the Mets get Manny Ramirez," one American League scout observed, "he'll be the first outfielder sponsored by OnStar." He'll need help finding his way around.

When you commit yourself to Ramirez, an AL general manager observed recently, "You sell your soul a little bit."

No matter how much he hits, it still takes something out of a team when Ramirez vanishes mentally for a week.

The Mets don't need his offense badly enough to tolerate those disappearing acts, or the additional strain on their payroll and farm system.

I couldn't agree more, and I'm annoyed with myself for not coming up with that OnStar line. If Davidoff was in the room I might have to kiss him for this column, which I'm sure makes him grateful that he's not.

Mets Daily: Interviews with Adam Rubin and Tom Singer
At MetsDaily.com, John Strubel has "In the Studio" audio interviews with the Daily News' Mets beat reporter Adam Rubin and MLB.com's Tom Singer. I especially enjoyed the long Rubin interview, covering his experiences as a beat reporter and his forthcoming book on the Mets. Strubel also has an interview with WFAN's Ed Coleman scheduled for today.

Newark Star-Ledger: Getting it Wright
Don Burke has a really nice feature on David Wright and his new charity foundation. Although he plans to focus on helping children in the long term, Wright will be hosting a benefit for MS this week. The wife of Wright's agent suffers from the disease. Burke quotes former Mets GM Jim Duquette on David Wright:

He's my favorite player of all time that has come through the Mets minor-league system. You have that thought that nobody can be that perfect, but he's as close as they come. He tries to do the right thing every day whether it's on the field or off the field.

We've been lucky with the Mets in recent years, in that we had a star like Mike Piazza that you could feel good about cheering for; there wasn't any of that Garry Sheffield / Roger Clemens type garbage to worry about. Looks like we lucked out again.

For more information on the David Wright Foundation, please visit www.DavidWrightFoundation.com.

Newsday: Paging Mr. Diaz...
David Lennon had a couple of items of interest in his latest Mets article. He tells us that Xavier Nady is "penciled in" as the starting right fielder, unless he is moved in a deal and replaced by someone like Manny Ramirez. I wish the Mets beat reporters could get over their own fixation with Ramirez -- I'm honestly damned tired of seeing his name in every freaking story on the Mets. Back on point, Victor Diaz is starting to sound like the forgotten outfielder. I have to question what Nady has accomplished, offensively or defensively, that would make him such a clear favorite over Diaz.

As for those that still hope to see Kaz Matsui in a different uniform in 2006:

Last September, the club's decision-makers figured that Matsui probably was done in New York and estimated they would need to pay at least half his $8-million salary to relocate him. But other teams know how badly Minaya wants to be rid of Matsui, and interested clubs are angling to get the Mets to swallow most, if not all, of his money.

If that's the case, bitch all you want, but I can't blame the Mets for holding onto him for the last year. If you're going to be paying all of his salary, you might as well see what he could give you. As Ken Davidoff pointed out, you don't need an all-star at every position to win.

Also in Newsday: What a Guy
In his column, John Heyman reports that a NL GM estimates Kaz Matsui as a $750,000 player. He also drags up the Anna Benson "controversy", taking credit for breaking the story of her potential Playboy spread. Congratulations, John, your Pulitzer is all but assured...

Daily News: The future for Kiner and Seaver
Bob Raissman reports that 83 year old Ralph Kiner will have some role in the new SNY, while Tom Seaver mulls over retirement. Tom, I loved you as a player, but as a broadcaster you retired a long time ago. Make it official.

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