Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bell To Norfolk? Insane!

Newday reports in "tomorrow's" (well, today for you, tomorrow for me - it's not Thursday yet!) edition of their paper that relief pitcher Heath Bell could very well start the season in AAA Norfolk.

Bell is one of a handful of relief pitchers who are still fighting to make the Mets' Opening Day roster, turning these last few games into a baseball reality series, like The Apprentice With Willie (Randolph) instead of The Donald.

It's a numbers game, but not just statistics, with other factors like minor-league options and contract language coming into play. Bell, for instance, can be demoted to Triple-A Norfolk, where he is only a phone call away from Shea Stadium, and the Mets like that type of roster flexibility.
Granted, Bell's got options, but that doesn't mean you start the season with the lesser pitcher. Go North with the best, Willie, and nothing less. If Bell outpitched the other guys, cut 'em, no questions asked! I realize that short term, this isn't the smartest way to deal with your money, but long term, if the Mets are winning, butts will be in the seats. If you don't bring the best pitcher with you, how can you feel as certain that they will play the best quality of baseball.

Yeah, yeah, I know, the Mets can call him up at any time (and this is mentioned in the Newsday article). But it doesn't matter - you don't risk any blown games by bringing the guy who didn't pitch as well - be it Manny Aybar, Roberto Hernandez, Bartolome Fortunado or Matt Ginter - no matter how much you're paying him or how many options he has left.

The article says that the three relievers already locked in are Mike DeJean, Braden Looper (no suprise on either there) and Felix Heredia. FELIX HEREDIA!? Did I read that correctly? I'm sorry, but I gotta say this... "HELLO!? YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!" And you can't do that with Felix "I have an 8.41 ERA and have given up 6 runs over 4.1 innings" Heredia! C'mon, Mets, you gotta do better than that. Ugh. Yes, I know, the Mets are paying him a pretty penny this season, but that in and of itself was stupid. < /rant>

(Thank you Herm Edwards for the inspiring quote!)


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