Monday, December 05, 2005

Omar Gone Nuts
By Ben Valentine

And he was doing so well.

When I saw the first reports of the Mets trading for Paul LoDoca on Rotoworld, I was not exactly pleased. The Mets, as far as I’m concerned, had no need to trade for a 34 year old declining catcher who was never very good in the first place. Make no mistake, the Dodger beat writers can wax as poetically as they want about how great Paulie boy is/was, but the reality is that he never has been anything more than a poor man’s Jason Kendall. No power, decent average, poor on base and mediocre arm. That’s Paul LoDuca in a nutshell. And at 34, he’s not getting better. Plus since he’s a catcher he should get progressively worse much quicker than your normal position player.

And then I saw the Mets traded Gaby Hernandez in the deal.

I won’t post Hernandez minor league numbers; he hasn’t pitched above the Florida State League, so is not worth really projecting at this point. He was very good in the South Atlantic League and struggled in the FSL, but he’s just 19 and has a live arm. Why the Mets would give up a kid with upside for someone who is clearly on the downside is beyond me. I have yet to see a Met fan who likes this trade. It just makes no sense, especially since LoDuca is due 12.5 million over the next two years. I’d much rather have the Mets just pay Ramon Hernandez or Bengie Molina the extra 2-4 million and have kept Hernandez.

The caveat to all of this is the rumors floating around Javier Vasquez. Reportedly, the D’Backs were very much interested in the former “heart and soul of the Dodgers.” If the Mets turn around a deal LoDuca and Benson for Vasquez, this deal becomes a lot more bearable. Mind you, I’m not exactly pleased they’d be giving up Hernandez at all considering the farm system is rapidly approaching Yankee proportions; but at I think Vasquez could be a solid #2 for the Mets. I consider him an upgrade to the Mets rotation. That’s far more than I can say about LoDuca. I’d rather have had Ramon Castro behind the plate.

So we’ll have to wait and see. It should be an interesting winter meetings, but Omar, you’re off to a bad start.

Blowouts, Bowls and Why I Hate the Irish

-I’m not sure what there is to say about the Big 12 Championship game. The first score I saw of the game was after Texas went up 42-3 just before the half. What was pretty sad was that I was not surprised. Colorado is just that bad. Seriously, the whole Big 12 is just awful. Texas might be damn good, but it doesn’t excuse the rest of that conference which is C-USA putrid. Yes, they’re worse than the Big East. Syracuse could have put up a better fight! Gary Barnett should have been fired last year and if he isn’t gone after this disaster, Colorado’s A.D. should be sacked too.

-USC/UCLA was nearly as bad. The difference here is every time I watch Reggie Bush dominate a team I keep thinking about how he could be a Jet next year. This game was surprising to me. Look I didn’t think USC would lose, but UCLA… man oh man… 66-19? Syracuse could have put up a better fight! The Bruins have had a rough month and didn’t do much for Oregon’s case with their terrible loss here and to Arizona. But that’s another story entirely.

-Virginia Tech should be ashamed of themselves. The ACC should be embarrassed. To have a four loss Florida State team come out of that conference is an absolute joke. I hope Penn State beats the Seminoles by 50. By the way, Marcus Vick and Michael Vick looked very similar Saturday and Sunday. Oh and Tech’s receivers have no hands. If they could catch, I’m convinced they’d have come back on the Seminoles, who were begging to give away that game. Oh well, at least I don’t have to hear anything about West Virginia being the worst team in the BCS.

-Oregon got screwed. Again. This is the second time in five years the Ducks have been done in by the system. Back in 2002, they were the #2 team in both the AP and Coaches polls and got bumped from the game by a two loss Nebraska team which had just gotten destroyed by Colorado. Not only were they not second in the BCS, they were fourth, falling behind Colorado, who also had two losses! The Ducks went on to kill the Buffalos in the Fiesta Bowl, and had to watch as Miami absolutely embarrassed the Cornhuskers in Pasadena. (I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so during a college football game) The problem then was that the Pac 10 was not respected.

Now we’re back in the same situation with the Ducks, though this time they don’t even get a BCS bowl. Two loss Ohio State is considered a better team because they play in the Big 10, which of course is somehow clearly better than the Pac-10! Then of course, college football also has this ridiculous rule that Notre Dame automatically gets into a BCS game if they finish in the top six. What?! Why does Notre Dame get preference?

Oh that’s right! They’re Notre Dame. They’re college football. They deserve it.

I’m sick of the Fighting Irish. I hate privilege, so this just burns me up. Join a freaking conference or deal with the same mess every other independent goes through. Seriously, that school is rapidly ascending into Florida State territory in terms of teams I can’t stand. I’m even in the uncomfortable position of having to root for Ohio State to win the Fiesta Bowl. I really do feel dirty.

-For the record, my top five “hated” schools- Florida State, Florida, (I root for Miami. Those first two shouldn’t surprise anyone). Notre Dame, Ohio State (We was robbed in 2003), Oklahoma (Big 12, Bob Stoops, need I say more?)

-The Jets really are my favorite team. I don’t think there’s any other way to justify watching them every week at this point. But I do anyway. I like rooting for Brooks Bollinger. He’s like the little engine that could. Except he can’t behind that offensive line. Meanwhile, Justin McCariens doesn’t do anything but get on my nerves anymore. He’s to me what Jamal Lewis is to Zach, except McCariens actually plays on my real favorite team rather than my fantasy team. The Jets just stink.

But if they keep losing they could be in position to get you know who.

-I mentioned the Dodger beat writers earlier. I hope they’re getting on the organization for handing Rafael Furcal three years and forty million dollars. They do realize he hasn’t posted an on base percentage higher than .352 since his rookie year, right? I mean he’s basically a no power, great speed, mediocre on base, good glove shortstop. Wait, don’t they already HAVE a guy at that position by the name of Caesar Izturis? Brilliant thinking gentlemen. Now that Paul DePodesta is gone, it’s good to see that organization get back to good old fashioned “Dodger Baseball”!

-And finally to end on a positive note, despite getting trashed by the Washington Capitals on Saturday night the New York Rangers sit completely alone atop the Atlantic Division at 17-8-3. The Rangers in first place… in December… wow I can’t remember the last time I said that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate Notre Dame too. But it should be a good game.

Weiss's offense taking on AJ Hawk and the vaunted scarlet and grey defense.

All that said, the best part about the game is going to be all the fans with the Rudy Sucked shirts on during the game.

Wish I had tickets to head out there and see it.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Bryan Koch said...

I was considering writing a piece on the Furcal signing, but I then realized the entire jist could be summarized in one sentence.

Rafael Furcal is making more money annually than Miguel Tejada.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Ben Valentine said...

Yep, that does about sum it up Bryan. And, just to bring it back to something I posted last week...

Furcal 13 million, Vlad 14 million-who would you rather have?

1:35 AM  

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