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Mets Sign Armas

Mike SteffanosMonday, February 11, 2008
By Mike Steffanos


One outcome of the trade with Minnesota for Johan Santana was the depletion of pitching depth in the farm system that is close to major league ready. From the Associated Press comes the news that Omar has inked Tony Armas, Jr. to a minor league deal:

Right-hander Tony Armas agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Mets on Monday.

Armas was 4-5 with a 6.03 ERA in 15 starts and 16 relief appearances last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing 111 hits in 97 innings, striking out 73 and walking 38. The son of All-Star outfielder Tony Armas, he is 52-65 with a 4.62 ERA in nine major league seasons.

There was a time early this decade when Armas, who turns 30 in April, looked like a future star. Injuries ended that, but he's a solid guy and should provide some reasonable depth. Nice job by Minaya.

Also, last week the author of this piece sent me an email heads-up on it:

Just dropping this piece I wrote on AOL Fanhouse. Racism is an incendiary term, but it's not inherently EVIL. We can think along racial lines without discriminating. Omar shows that. And I think while he can't acknowledge it for fear of being lynched, it's clear he's used race and a pro-latino approach to create an environment that would compel a player like Santana to force the issue ... which is sort of different

http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2008/02/06/shirts-and-skins-how-racism-landed-santana/

It's an interesting, thought-provoking look at the undeniable Latinization of Los Mets:

Conventional wisdom says we would never consider race/ethnicity when filling out our roster; to do so would make you RACIST and EVIL, and subject to incarceration by the PC Police. When confronted on the subject, even Omar himself denies giving a thought to race when acquiring players. But actions speak louder than words, and you don't go from five Latinos on the team to almost half your 40 man roster in a couple years without being conscious of race.

Yet while SeƱor Minaya clearly has a disposition towards Latino players, he has never sacrificed talent for the sake of ethnic synergy (though some might argue Julio Franco as a stretch). With this approach Omar incorporates race into the formula, but not to the point of discrimination. And the end result is a New York Metropolatinos team with a strong sense of family and camaraderie.

Nice to read something intelligent on the subject for a change. I'd like to think of this as the article Wallace Matthews would have written if only his IQ was about 50 points higher...

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (3)

Let's not forget about Lastings Milledge, who if he were latin would still be here.

And who was traded for the notable Hispanic names "Church" and "Schneider." Both well known south of the Border.

Mike, Tony Armas Jr. might be talented but he is far from "solid." I used to pull for him in the old Expos days; I know. His complimentary pieces aren't attached too well together. It's sad, but it's actually the norm, nor the exception.

I agree it is refreshing to imagine that issues of race might finally be open to honest discussion. Thank you, Brother King, but didn't it take a long time?

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