Along with providing an autopsy for the Mets’ failed (for now) pursuit of Manny Ramirez, Newsday’s Jon Heyman serves up the following with less than 3 hours to go before the trading deadline :
The Yankees are scanning the weak pitching market and considering Ron Villone, Eddie Guardado (who has a shoulder tear), Scott Sauerbeck, Kevin Millwood, Bobby Howry, Jason Johnson, Scott Eyre, Rick White and Mark Redman. One person said even Jeff Weaver’s name came
The Yankees called Cincinnati about Ken Griffey Jr., but the Reds called back to say, “No thanks.” Which stunned everyone, given that the Reds finally had their chance to get out of most of the $47 million remaining on Griffey’s contract.
Regarding the Reds’ intractability, one NL exec said: “They’ve made Kent Mercker damn near untouchable. Kent Mercker!”
The Phillies sought only a No. 1 starting pitcher, a reliever and two top prospects for Billy Wagner. No mention of a first-born son, though.
Though a return to the East/West format would’ve excited, well, no one, what does it say about Major League Soccer’s place in the overall scheme of things that a friendly between the league’s stars and a club that finished 13th in last season’s Premiership standings was thought to be a marquee match?
Presumably, Major League Baseball are taking notes and will prepare to send the Kansas City Royals on a barnstorming tour of Japan shortly before the 2006 season.
Lovers of overpriced satellite TV pay channels can look foward to the following friendlies this morning and afternoon :
12: 30pm EST Arsenal v. Porto, Amsterdam Arena (Gol TV)
2:30pm EST AC Milan v. Chelsea, Giants Stadium (Gol TV)
4:00 pm EST Ajax v. Boca Juniors, Amsterdam Arena (tape delay, Gol TV)
Setanta’s US satellite channel will carry the 2nd leg of Liverpool’s 2nd qualifying round Champions League match against Kaunas this Tuesday at 2:30pm EST.
Almost immediately after acquiring OF Larry Bigbie from the Orioles last night, Colorado thought they had an agreement to flip Bigbie to Boston in exchange for C Kelly Shoppach (above, 21 HR’s, 67 RBI’s in 2005 for Pawtucket).
Problem is, the Red Sox supposedly reneged on the agreement, and now the Rockies are making noises about putting Theo Epstein on their Do-Not-Call List. And can ya blame them? Manny Who? How can the chance to posses Larry Bigbie not be priority No.1 at Fenway this weekend?
In a somewhat related note, Boston have picked up OF Jose Cruz Jr., a player whose 2003 Gold Glove means about as much as a Golden Globe Award (ie. nothing) from Arizona.
Astros 2, Mets 0
I think it is fair to say that the Mets could use some help in the middle of the order. Not that I’m thinking about anyone in particular this evening.
Houston’s Andy Pettitte (above, 8 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 6 K’s, 0 ER) was brilliant Saturday night, keeping Mets hitters off-balance all game, no one looking worse than the overmatched Cliff Floyd, pinch hitting with Chris Woodward on 2nd in the 8th.
Tom Glavine, a frequent whipping boy around these parts, was nearly as good (7 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, no walks), his sole costly mistake coming while allowing a 400 foot solo HR to the Astros’ Jason Lane.
The flipside to having 3 of the NL’s highest paid players (Piazza, Beltran, Pedro) on the NY roster would be Jose Offerman’s appearance as starting first baseman. While John Olerud was hitting a grand slam for Boston tonight, there’s a sinking feeling that Wil Cordero could be donning a Mets uniform any day now.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark claims the Devil Rays are no longer part of the conversation, but still says the chances of Boston sending Manny Ramirez to Flushing are remote.
Meanwhile, Terry Francona has given Manny the rest of the weekend off, “for the good of the team”, which is fairly curious way to phrase things considering that Ramirez’ earlier insistance on time off was the catalyst for these trade talks. On one hand, the Red Sox are demanding greater value for one of the game’s most dangerous players, then they demonstrate how indispensible he is by keeping him out of the lineup.
The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin and Bill Madden look to the Mets’ next move, as well as providing a bit of background on Boston’s soap opera :
The Mets remain interested in Danys Baez, the Rays’ closer, but will have to hustle to put together another deal by today’s deadline. They also will be hard-pressed to duplicating the power injection Ramirez would have provided to their lineup. Other available acquisitions could include Pittsburgh closer Jose Mesa and first baseman Daryle Ward. The Rangers appeared near a deal that would ship Soriano to the Twins for a package including Kyle Lohse. Mets insiders had called his acquisition a “super longshot” in recent days anyway.
The initial driving force behind the spirited discussions had been Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, who had been incensed by Ramirez’s recent behavior, from refusing to play last week after Trot Nixon suffered an oblique strain because he needed a day off despite the shortage of outfielders, to his latest annual trade request. Lucchino’s willingness to part with Ramirez, the AL’s home run and RBI leader entering the weekend, who was booed at Fenway Park on Friday night during each plate appearance, had created a division within the Sox hierarchy. GM Theo Epstein and other front-office personnel were against trading Ramirez, realizing that would be the start of a need to retool the entire team.
The Yankees have one less outfielder to pursue. Seattle is sending OF Randy Winn to San Francisco in exchange for C Yorvit Torrealba and pitcher Jesse Foppert. Foppert’s been rehabbing a neck injury at Fresno ; he’s not pitched for the parent club since June 24.