Newly acquired Mets P Ambiorix Burgos is expected, along with Pedro Felicano, to relieve Tom Glavine during today’s exhibition tilt against St. Louis. Always Amazin’s Ryan McConnell notes there’s been a litany of positive press for Burgos from the New York contingent this spring, but Ambiorix’s old pal, Joe Posnaski of the Kansas City Star says he’s heard it all before.
We saw that stuff in Kansas City too. Burgos can throw just about as hard anyone in the world. His split-fingered fastball can dive like Liston in Lewiston … You watch Burgos pitch and, yeah, those dollar signs will float over your head too.
And then the lights turn on. The people show up. And Burgos stops singing.
It was astonishing to watch people light up Burgos just about every time the game mattered …. He blew 12 saves last year, but that doesn’t even begin to describe the agony of watching him pitch. Tom Burgmeier, the old Royals bullpen coach, used to talk about one of his pitchers who had outrageous stuff — every single time Burgie watched the guy flounder around on the mound he had the same thought: “You stupid son of a bitch, I would have KILLED to have your stuff.”
That’s the feeling Burgos inspires. You would have killed to have his arm. Instead you have to watch him shake off fastballs because he’s in love with his splitter, you have to watch him throw fastballs high and outside and get into 3-1 counts, then you have to watch him groove thigh-high fastballs over the heart of the plate that hitters tattoo into the bleachers (the guy gave up 16 bombs in 73 innings last year – and every single one of them, it seemed, cost the Royals a game). He wasn’t a bad pitcher. He was an insult to pitching.
Ryan’s far too classy to respond with some comment about Rick Peterson’s magic mullet, instead musing “if Burgos is half as bad in New York as he was in Kansas City, he’s going to make fans forget Doug Sisk and Mel Rojas. Perhaps a few months in Double or Triple-A would do him some good.”
March had yet to begin, but Steve Keane of The Eddie Kranepool Society was in midseason form yesterday. In addition to laying into Ben Johnson (“he looks heavy to me and he™s no gazelle in the outfield either,”) and Mike Carp (“keeping in the tradition of slow first basemen in the Mets organization. He makes Ramon Castro look like Jose Reyes.”), Keane’s already got a problem with SNY’s latest pretender to The Chris Cotter Throne.
Kevin Burkhart was conducting interviews like he was involved in an illegal activity. He™d ask a question to Mike Pelfrey or Carlos Delgado and look away from them like he was worried the cops would find him. Kevin please stop it now it™s very distracting!
The Biz Of Baseball’s Maury Brown reports that MLB will begin testing all non-uniformed personnel for banned substances, including PED’s. Given the late timing of this announcement, we’ll never find out if Maura Johnston was really the Manny Alexander of MLB Advanced Media.