Dec 24

It’s so, the Mets are after Lowe ….

I don’t believe the Mets would make a player decision simply in response to something the Yankees did. They know they need pitching, which, despite speculation he was headed to Boston, the Mets pressed hard for Derek Lowe.

Word is they are deep in negotiations, with the numbers three years for around $13 million a season. Could be a little steep, but considering his durability and reliability, it might not be such a bad deal afterall.

Definitely, less risky than say giving that money to Oliver Perez. A rotation of Johan Santana, Lowe, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine is solid to the point of being one of the best in the National League. And, if you match them up, it is as good as what the Yankees put together this winter.

Dec 22

Bobby back in the market?

VALENTINE: Can you picture him in pinstripes?

VALENTINE: Can you picture him in pinstripes?

Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine told The Associated Press the Chaba Lotte Marines will not offer a contract extension after the 2009 season, the final year of his four-year contract.

“They just wanted to go in a different direction,” said Valentine. “They wanted to change things and I certainly understand that.”

After winning the Japan Series championship in 2005, but the team finished in fourth place this past season and did not make the playoffs.

OK … we all know Valentine won’t sit still. So, where do you think he’ll end up? I can see him with the Yankees if Joe Girardi doesn’t get them back into the playoffs following their winter of free spending.

Dec 15

Would you take back Nady?

NADY: I'd want him back.

NADY: I'd take him back.

It’s been reported should the Yankees sign Manny Ramirez they’d might want to trade Xavier Nady. Well, if he were available, would you want him back?

Nady showed power and a reliable glove in the short time the Mets had him in 2006, prior to sending him to Pittsburgh in the deal for Oliver Perez.

Nady made $3.3 million last year and will be a free agent after the season. He can play the outfield corners and first base.

Nov 23

Open those wallets.

Do you remember a few weeks ago Commissioner Bud Selig asked the sports’ owners and general managers to be fiscally responsible as to be sensitive to the public during these tough economic times?

As unemployment spirals and prices rise, will the public be receptive to the sport’s shopping season?

Selig wasn’t telling teams not to indulge in the free agent market, but be cognizant and feeling to a public struggling to survive. He couldn’t tell teams not to spend because, after all, that’s collusion and the Players Association already won that battle.

Then the Yankees offered $140 million to CC Sabathia and talk about signing anybody not nailed down. But, this isn’t a Yankees’ rant, as they are only the poster child for the economics of the sport.

Mediocre players – read Oliver Perez – are about to make untold millions, and over the next few weeks teams will announce ticket prices for the 2009 season. Care to guess how many of the 30 teams will lower prices?

It’s not hard.

It’s easy to be cynical of Selig’s plea because he’s always talking about keeping salaries down, but he’s not about to throw his “best interest in baseball weight” around, because baseball’s best interest, at least to the short term thinkers in the sport, is today’s bottom line.

How nice it would be for the sport to place a moratorium on ticket and concession prices for next season, perhaps cut them five percent. That would be a gift to the public who always gives to the game, in both heart and wallet.

That won’t happen, because he can’t order a team to set prices. It won’t happen because he knows the players won’t take less.

It doesn’t work that way. Players are under pressure from the Players Association to take the best deal because it helps other players.

Sabathia, for instance was offered $100 million to stay in Milwaukee, but even if he were giddy happy there, he won’t re-sign and leave $40 million on the table. It’s easy to say, “how much is enough?” But, you’re not the one leaving money on the table, and the truth is, if in the same position you’d do the same.

It’s never enough.

Baseball doesn’t know the meaning of enough as it expands overseas with the reach of a poker player leaning across the table to pull in his chips. The players will get their millions because teams can afford it, and they can afford it because you always foot the bill. Whether it be tickets, or T-shirts, or watching on TV, the public always pays.

And, does so willingly.

Nov 22

Loose Threads

A lot of things floating on in my mind these days.

-Congratulations to Mike Mussina for retiring on his terms. Part of me wishes he’d stay for 300 wins. But another part – a greater part – admires him for doing it his way. It doesn’t happen often. Will he get my Hall of Fame vote? Yes.

-I see where Hank Steinbrenner gave an ultimatum for the Yankees to sign CC Sabathia. I’d like to see Fred Wilpon do the same with a closer.

-The Mets seem torn between Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes. That should tell you of the concerns for K-Rod. And, concerns at this time are valid. I’d stay away, go with Fuentes and use the rest of the money that would have gone to K-Rod go for depth in the pen.

-Luis Castillo is staying to play second base. That seems apparent now. Their thinking is to hope for a comeback. It beats paying somebody to take him away.

-There doesn’t seem like a groundswell of support to keep either Oliver Perez or Pedro Martinez.