Sherman : Mets Closing In On Baez

Posted in Baseball at 6:43 am by

From the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

In a move that could give the Mets perhaps the finest 1-2 closing punch in the National League, GM Omar Minaya is working to finalize a trade that would bring Danys Baez from Tampa Bay to serve as the primary set-up man for Billy Wagner, The Post has learned.

The Mets have spoken regularly to the Devil Rays for weeks about both Baez and shortstop Julio Lugo, who the Mets would play at second base. But over the last few days, the Mets have narrowed their focus to Baez, who had more saves for Tampa last season (41) than Wagner did for Philadelphia (38).

The Devil Rays would receive a package in return that would be headed by either Jae Seo or Aaron Heilman.

Though such a transaction would give the Mets the sort of bullpen depth we’ve not seen in Flushing since the mid ’80’s, it does seem as though little consideration is given to Heilman’s huge potential, as a set-up guy, closer when/if Wagner does down or a starter. If not traded this time, it seems like he’ll be bait as long as he wears a Mets uniform.

Conversely, it is easy to project any number of games next season in which neither Martinez nor Glavine are going to pitch beyond the 7th inning. Baez’s value, if obtained, could go far beyond that of a mere middle reliever.


Miggy Unimpressed With Burnitz Signing

Posted in Baseball at 9:18 pm by

From the Associated Press :

On Thursday, the disgruntled All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada said he was upset by the Orioles’ failure to make trades that would strengthen the team.

“Now, I am more upset than when I requested the trade because it’s been a month and they haven’t done anything,” Tejada told The Associated Press on Thursday.

“I don’t want to say anything bad that can hurt my teammates, but look at Toronto, they have strengthened themselves and we haven’t done anything,” said Tejada, who hit .305 last season with 26 homers and 98 RBIs.

Tejada noted that division rivals New York and Toronto made moves to improve. The Yankees acquired outfielder Johnny Damon and the Blue Jays signed closer B.J. Ryan, starting pitcher A.J. Burnett and third baseman Troy Glaus.

“If the Orioles don’t do anything, I want them to trade me because I am tired of losing,” Tejada said before a winter league game.

If he isn’t traded by the Orioles, Tejada said he would “respect the game as I have always done.”

“I am not asking for a team of superstars, I only want a good group that helps me to win,” he said.

Apparently, Baltimore’s acquisitions of Jeromy Burnitz and Jeff Conine weren’t enough to satisfy Tejada. Though he did say he’s not asking for a team of superstars.

Artest To Lakers Trade Disputed

Posted in Basketball at 8:58 pm by

Earlier today, Pro Basketball News’ Sam Amico reported the following :

Indiana is nearing a three-team trade that would send swingman Ron Artest to the Los Angeles Lakers, a league source has told ProBasketballNews.com.

Meanwhile, Lakers forward Devean George would end up in Indiana.

The third team involved in the proposed trade is the Toronto Raptors, according to the source. The Raptors would send Jalen Rose to Los Angeles — and in return receive Pacers forward Austin Croshere and at least one player from the Lakers.

The source added that George and an undetermined player from the Raptors — or perhaps a draft pick — would be to dealt to the Pacers.

“Basically, it’s Artest for Devean George, with the Raptors getting involved to make it work financially,” the source said. “When and if it happens, this will be a trade that consists of plenty of throw-ins.”

Rotoworld quotes the Indianpolis Star’s Mark Montieth as dismissing said deal, suggesting a swap with the Nuggets for Nene is the more likely scenario.

Sonics F Danny Fortson, no doubt ready to blame the whole thing on Peter Vescey, has been suspended by the league for two games for the wonderfully worded “failure to leave the court in a timely manner” after his ejection in last night’s visit to Minneapolis.

Quote Of The Day…

Posted in Baseball, The World Of Entertainment at 6:53 pm by

…if not the calendar year comes from actor John C. McGinley (Dr. Perry Cox on NBC’s “Scrubs”), as interviewed by Dodger Thoughts’ Jon Weissman (link swiped from Baseball Musings’ David Pinto)

Obviously, McGinley is not alone among actors in his sports infatuation. John Cusack is deep into it, according to McGinley, though no one may be more hardcore than D.B Sweeney of Eight Men Out and The Cutting Edge.

“Sweeney is right up there,” McGinley said. “And (Tom) Sizemore, before he got into all this trouble, he had close to a photographic memory. He was kind of like Bob Costas; he was unbelievable.

Unless someone (any bloggers from Albany feel up to it?) wants to testify that Tom Sizemore is a really nice guy, I think we’ll have to let McGinley’s comment stand. The Bob Costas comparison is a curious one — maybe he really meant Jean Louis Costes?

Race and Reason With Sir Charles

Posted in Sports Radio at 6:27 pm by

ESPN Radio’s Dana Jacobson spoke with Charles Barkley today on the subject of Tiger Woods’ 30th birthday. Barkley, being a pal of Woods, was asked “what do you get the man who has everything?”

“I’m gonna get him him some CD’s. I need to blacken him up.”

“Any CD in particular?”, inquired Jacobs0n.

“That new Eminem CD, ‘Curtain Call’.

FSU’s Nicholson Suspended

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 1:30 pm by

Oh for the days when the words “Butkus Award semi-finalist” and “rape allegation” didn’t appear alongside each other in the newspaper.

I don’t actually remember those days, but maybe a handful of you are older than me.

Finnegan : Mariners Chasing Lester, Papelbon

Posted in Baseball at 1:18 pm by

(most assuredly the wrong Lester)

From the Seattle Times’ Bob Finnegan :

An East Coast source said the Mariners are offering pitcher Gil Meche as well as center fielder Jeremy Reed, in an effort to obtain one of Boston’s prized pitching prospects, Jon Lester (a Puyallup native) or Jonathan Papelbon, in a trade.

Boston began the talks when it became apparent it would lose center fielder Johnny Damon. In its initial inquiry about Reed, Boston was believed to have talked about giving hard-throwing Matt Clement, who will make $19 million over the next two seasons.

Since signing left-hander Jarrod Washburn to a $38 million contract, Seattle has focused on sinker-baller Bronson Arroyo in recent discussions since he made only $1.85 million in 2005 and is arbitration eligible and under club control for three more years.

“It might be tough to get Lester or Papelbon,” a National League scout said. “Every team who has talked to the Sox about a deal has asked for one of them.”

While the Mariners are said to be more proactive in pushing a trade with Boston, they apparently are down on the Red Sox’s dance card.

The Sox, in need of a shortstop as well as a center fielder, are reportedly focused on a multi-player deal with Tampa Bay, trying to land shortstop Julio Lugo and outfielder Joey Gathright.

The Kansas City Star’s Jeff Passan reports the Royals will host one of the World Baseball Classic’s Group A qualifiers —- Korea, China or Japan — in a March 8 exhibition in Surprise, AZ. There’s a whole ‘nuther continent dying to get a first glimpse of Doug Mientkiewicz in a K.C. uniform, apparently.

The Nationals have agreed upon a one-year deal with righthander Ramon Ortiz (source, the Associated Press).

Whoever is handling Frank McCourt’s public relations needs a raise. Either that, or an online petition convincing he or she not to kill themselves.