While I’d prefer to linger on Tampa debutante David Price striking out the side against the Yankees today, The SF Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins once again turns our attention to The Sultan Of Surly’s unemployement. “Only a brand of desperation – specifically, a major injury on a contending team – could get him back into the game” opines Jenkins. Hello, Omar!
It seemed like a thoroughly American League matter until the Mets started cracking like a piece of peanut brittle. In the wake of champagne toasts and tossed confetti over the Johan Santana signing, the Mets are deeply concerned about Moises Alou (out 6-8 weeks due to hernia surgery), Carlos Delgado (bad hip), Carlos Beltran (coming off knee surgery; still can’t slide) and other injuries that have left just two regulars, David Wright and Jose Reyes, able to play at full strength.
General manager Omar Minaya is taking some heat for assembling such a vulnerable, aging roster – and the acquisition of Bonds would only escalate that shortcoming into full-fledged farce. But somebody has to hit. Somebody has to be a threat in the middle of the order. Playing a Westinghouse refrigerator in left field wouldn’t look that bad, because Alou is constantly on the sidelines and will undoubtedly develop a leg injury within two or three weeks of his return. A very good defensive player, Endy Chavez, could replace Bonds in the late innings, and if Bonds were out of the lineup, he’d be a game-changing presence off the bench.
Nothing could be more tedious than spelling out all the negatives, but there’s an additional one in the Mets’ case. Down in the wretched bowels of Shea Stadium, the Mets’ clubhouse is an economy-sized relic from another era. No problem next year – the unveiling of Citi Field brings the modern age to Queens – but in a room full of high-voltage personalities and pervasive media, Bonds’ presence might make the whole place explode.
Still, there is no substitute for relevance, especially for a franchise in constant competition with the crosstown Yankees. Bonds brings headlines, glamour and the three-run homer, to say nothing of gloom, rudeness and sordid associations – all your favorite New York things. If will be fascinating to see if desperation trumps common sense.
Considering that Minaya has already ruled out Bonds or Sammy Sosa, I’m not sure what purpose Jenkins’ column serves, though presumably some portion of his readership actually wants to see Barry take aim at no. 800.
I’ve been in transit a good deal over the past few days, and as a result, I’ve not been able to devote proper attention to the manner in which Joe Torre sabotaged Kyle Farnsworth’s career.
With Josh Beckett shelved due to something other than blisters, the Red Sox can once again ponder the wisdom of not sealing the deal for Johan Santana. The first caller to WFAN to suggest an improbable Manny-for-Santana swap wins an autographed copy of “Joe Benigno-Gazingo’s Record Guide : The ’80’s”.