07.19.06

Mets Banish Keppinger To K.C., Obtain Gotay

Posted in Baseball at 9:58 pm by

Perhaps anticipating Jose Valentin’s indictment on identity theft charges, the New York Mets have acquired 2B Rubin Gotay from the Royals in exchange for 2B Jeff Keppinger.

One of Ryan McConnell’s readers claims the Salvation Revival Miracle ads are still running, only with Julio Franco as the spokesmodel instead of David Wright. Perhaps it is time to consider the possibility the entire Mets organization has a far better sense of humor than they’ve been given credit for. Which nutty satirist is behind this one? Captain Red Ass? Jeff Wilpon’s Lovely Wife? My money is on the Flushing equivalent of Sacha Baron Cohen, Chris Cotter, whose intensely ironic work for SNY is already going straight over the heads of most of the audience (myself included).

Still, it does seem a shame that Dr. Jaerock Lee cannot use his mystical powers to stop the rainfall at the Great American Ballpark this evening, as a 4-0 Mets lead over the Reds is in danger of being washed away, like so much fecal matter from the stage of Madison Square Garden.

Thanks in no small part to a Carlos Beltan grand slam, Mike Pelfrey’s 2nd big league start — earning a win in the Mets’ 8-3 defeat of Cincinnati — was wildly successful. Steve from the Eddie Kranepool Society was so suitably impressed, he’d like to see talk of a Rodrigo Lopez deal hushed up. The Metropolitans rejoices, “give him 5 more starts and he might be the team’s 3rd best pitcher,” while Mike’s Mets, typically and eloquently, waxes with something approaching controlled ecstacy ;

I felt goosebumps a couple of times last night watching him, particularly when he struck out Adam Dunn with the tying runs on base with high heat after failing behind him 3-1. It reminded me a little of watching a young Dwight Gooden, although Pelfrey lacks the absolutely electrifying stuff that young Doc brought to the mound. I felt like I was watching something special on a team that just hasn’t had a really special young pitcher in quite a while.

Is he polished enough to win games through October? Frankly, I don’t pretend to have the answer to that one. You have to see him a couple of more times to even begin to have a clue. Does the nervousness settle down more? Can he consistently get ahead of batters? Can he throw his slider and changeup for strikes more consistently? How will he react when he has a bad game and everything he throws gets hit hard? Will he mimic Alay Soler and develop a phobia of putting pitches in the strike zone? You can debate these things all you want, but you won’t really have an answer until it plays out.

Baltimore’s Kris Benson — on the trading block, depending on who you ask — surrendered solo HR’s today to Milton Bradley, Eric Chavez and Frank Thomas, the latter pair going back to back in the 6th inning of Oakland’s 5-1 win at Camden Yards. Barry Zito allowed just 5 hits and one earned run while picking up his 10th win.

I don’t know how long the Twins will stay hot with an outfield of Michael Cuddyer, Jason Tyner and Rondell White, but White’s 2 HR’s tonight off former Met Jae Seo provide some hope Minnesota aren’t gonna totally fall apart without Shannon Stewart and Torii Hunter. Brad Radke won his 4th straight decision, allowing little more than solo HR’s to Jonny Gomes and Greg Norton in the Twins’ 7-2 victory.

Sammy Sosa tells ESPN Deportes that he’s willing to return to baseball “for the right offer”. Laugh all you want, but given his glittering career, Sammy is entitled to be very picky.

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