From the home office in Fenway Park, here is today’s top 10 list …
Top 10 Reasons Theo Epstein Came Back to the Sox
10. He thought he could replace Johnny Damon in center field, with himself.
9. He finished watching all the past seasons of "The Sopranos" on DVD, and realized he had nothing else to do.
8. No one remaining in the front office would talk to Larry Lucchino.
7. He flunked his tryout for "American Idol".
6. He remembered he had left all his "Playboys" in the bottom drawer of his desk.
5. Somebody had to try and get Manny Ramirez to stop his on-again/off-again trade demands.
4. He had become so depressed, he was considering taking up "Scientology".
3. The Red Sox promised him his own "Bobblehead Day".
2. He discovered Brian Cashman was stalking him.
and the number one reason Theo Epstein came back to the Sox …
1. His fantasy football team finished dead last, and he figured he should stick to what he knew.
"Jose Lima agreed to a minor league contract with the Mets on Tuesday, giving the team another pitching option for its starting rotation.
Lima would get a $600,000, one-year contract if he is added to the 40-man roster. He also would have the chance to earn about $450,000 in performance bonuses — the same deal the Mets gave Darren Oliver in December.
The 33-year-old right-hander was 5-16 with a 6.99 ERA last season in 32 starts for the Kansas City Royals. He gave up 219 hits in 168 2-3 innings, walking 61 and striking out 80.
In 2004, Lima went 13-5 with a 4.07 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers, walking just 34 in 170 1-3 innings. He has an 89-98 career record
An NL All-Star in 1999,
Lima has a 5.21 ERA in 344 major league games with Detroit, Houston, the Dodgers and Kansas City.
New York heads to spring training with a projected rotation of Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Victor Zambrano and Aaron Heilman."
Hmmm …. let’s see …. THIS is the rotation that will lead the Mets to the NL East title?
Martinez: 34, cranky toe, risky labrum. Last year was first season since 1995 in which he K’d less than 1 per inning. How much of a drop-off will we see in ’06?
Glavine: 40 years old, allowed a .279 OBA last year
Trachsel: 35, returning from back surgery.
Zambrano: already 30, and still hasn’t harnessed his excellent fastball. His 1.46 K/BB rate last year was his BEST as a starter in his career, and it came at the expense of his lowest K/9 rate as a starter, and the league hitting a career-high .264 against him. Are we SURE we wanted him over Kazmir?
Heilman: check out these starter/reliever splits for the last 3 years, and tell me why the Mets are moving a guy with a 2-pitch repertoire and nasty stuff back into the rotation:
Overall ERA W L SV G IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
Total 4.65 8 13 5 72 201.1 193 110 104 23 91 179 .254
Starter 5.93 5 13 0 25 134.2 144 92 88 22 66 106 .279
Reliever 2.13 3 0 5 47 68.2 49 18 16 1 25 73 .202
If the Mets weren’t so intent on spending megabucks on a big-name closer, Heilman would have been a great (and cheap) alternative, allowing them to go after another REAL starter, and/or help at 2B and the OF.
Jose Lima IS not my idea of insurance for this group ….
"Pitcher Jeff Weaver became the last major free agent to find a team, agreeing Wednesday to a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels worth $8,325,000."
Rumor has it that as part of the contract language, the geographically-challenged Angels are insisting that Weaver refer to himself as Jeff "currently of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, formerly of the OTHER Los Angeles, as well as New York and Detroit" Weaver.