Carlos D. bagged the Roberto Clemente Award. Carlos B. won his first Gold Glove. For recently acquired RF Shawn Green, however, Fungoes believes he deserves to be one of the recipients of the 2007 Stone Glove Awards.
Green™s a difficult but deserving pick for a Stone Glove: Difficult because he seems so earnest in his fielding ” a bizarro Manny ” but deserving because the results are similarly feckless. This sincere incompetence was on display for all the world to see in the NLCS, in which he prevented a home run by leaping at the wall and shutting his glove to unwittingly deflect the ball back into the field of play. In the next game, he made a running dive toward the right-field line and narrowly avoided being hit in the face with the bouncing ball. It was plays like these that demonstrate the true spirit of the Stone Gloves: So close, yet so far away.
(former Mets manager / Deen collaborator Bobby V. is doing just fine without showcasing at CMJ, thank you)
In addition to noting that Lastings Milledge is skipping winter ball this offseason, the New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin chats with Bobby Valentine, the latter expressing little interest in returning to the United States.
“I think people will understand that when the Dodgers talked to me last year and I didn™t wind up there, that was it,” Valentine said. “I like my salary. I like my team. I like the job that I have to do, that all-encompassing kind of situation that I™m still young and energetic enough to do. I like the idea that I might be able to do some things for baseball that are going to be lasting.
“I have more vision and hope for international play than other people. I hope if I talk about it enough that it can actually come to fruition, because I think it™s needed both economically and for our fan base. I think it should be true international play. Not exhibition play. It should be championship team against championship team. That™s what I™d like to see.”
As for Daisuke Matsuzaka, the high-profile pitcher coming to the U.S. through the posting system, Valentine said: “If he stays healthy, he™ll do just fine. He™s a world-class pitcher. He™s been the biggest star of his team and his league since he™s been 15 years old. So the thing he might not be able to handle is not being the biggest star. But I don™t think expectations are going to be a problem. He™s the Matsui of the pitching world.”
Hideki, that is.