* This year, John Franco played Santa and R.A. Dickey was the helpful Elf at what might have been the saddest Christmas party the Mets have ever thrown. (By the way, Matthew Cerrone nailed it: “What exactly did the Mets think was going to happen?”) Sigh. I miss the old days when the team really knew how to throw a holiday party for the kids.
NOTE: Our apologies. The above photo was gratuitous and very probably offensive to readers and elves alike. However, from a purely editorial perspective, we stand by our story.
* At Grantland, Jonah Keri ponders 15 implications of “Zack Greinke’s $147 Million Deal.”
R.A. Dickey’s on the trade market after winning the Cy Young award, and you can probably have his next three years for about $30 million, vs. $147 million for six years of Greinke. Meanwhile, the free-agent crop still includes everyone from Sanchez to Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, and others. Actually, the Dodgers would do well just to avoid eating all or most of that $13 million owed to Harang and Capuano. Again, not that they’d care.
Oh, and there’s this: The Dodgers control Clayton Kershaw’s rights for two more seasons. Kershaw’s the best pitcher in the National League, and doesn’t turn 25 until March. Expect the bidding to start around infinity dollars.
* At least we dodged the Andres Torres bullet. Do you think the Giants were saying to themselves, after they won the World Series, “Just imagine if we still had Andres Torres?! We could have swept in three!”
* Always an entertaining writer, Joe Posnanski did not like the Kansas City trade:
It goes without saying that in pure baseball terms, I despise the Royals’ trade of late Sunday night. Despise. Deplore. Deride. Disapprove. If there were a Royals Tradebook Page, I would click the “dislike” button at least 10,000 times.
* Joe D at Metsmerized wonders, “What was the plan that convinced Wright to stay with the Mets?”
During his press conference in Nashville at the Winter Meetings, Wright was asked about that and he responded by saying he saw “the plan” and that he’s “excited about the direction of the team.”
What could he have possibly seen?
Good question, Joe. I’m thinking it began with a pocket watch swinging back and forth, back and forth, and Sandy Alderson speaking in a gentle monotone, “You are getting sleepy, David, very sleepy . . .”
Or maybe it was the money, and all the jibber-jabber about “the plan” was just a bunch of malarkey?
* Maybe it’s the notion of something magical, unimaginable, happening behind closed doors. But the Wright-Alderson meeting reminds me of the courtship between Art Howe and Fred Wilpon, when Howe walked into a New York hotel and, according to Fred Wilpon, “lit up the room.” And at that instant, swayed by Art Howe’s electrifying personality, Fred Wilpon found the Mets next leader.
”I’m telling you he blew me away,” Wilpon, the Mets’ owner, said yesterday at a news conference at Shea Stadium both to announce Howe as the 17th manager in team history and to defend the fact that the team wasn’t introducing Piniella or Dusty Baker instead. ”He blew me away in a quiet, dignified, strong way. He just reminded me so much of some great leaders.”
* Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times notes the 40th anniversary of an officially sanctioned statistic that changed the game, though it did not “save” it:
I don’t mean to dismiss the impact the save has had on the game. It’s actually had a substantial impact, as over time it’s shaped how relief aces get used. Now they are reserved almost exclusively for save opportunities whereas previously they entered a game when the team felt it was the most important, regardless of if it was a save or not.
* Last but most assuredly not least, meet the Baseball Card Vandals. These knuckleheads have a simple idea: take old baseball cards, scribble sophomoric jokes on ‘em, and post twice fresh daily. I think it’s creative and fun, but your mileage may vary. You can follow Baseball Card Vandals on the web, or Twitter @bsblcardvandals!
Isn’t the internet something? I think it’s here to stay!