Archives for posts with tag: Nick Johnson

For those who’ve taken a look at my Twitter feed, you know Halloween was a rough time for Old Man Vargas.  Ten straight hours of work starting at 7p, and settling for (an admittedly excellent) cheeseburger for breakfast the following morning.  I’m still feeling sluggish on the ride in, and the eight thousand calories I consumed over the course of the past 60 hours may have something to do with that.

All my talk of productivity yesterday went down the crapper, as well.  That’s why the site looks much the same as it did Friday.

Difficult still is all the pain-in-the-neck stuff which always accompanies big A/V events.  Two days later and I still have to pick up gear.  This will interrupt my Game Five watching (I have comment on Game Four, but I’ll wait), just as attempting to do a pick up destroyed my day yesterday.

Really, when it comes down to it, my estimates of time it’ll take to do something are far too conservative.  Deejay a party?  Five days.  Strike the set?  Seven.  Cook a sumptuous meal for dinner guests, including Mr. Wallingford?  Don’t even ask.  Just mix me a drink and stop complaining for ONCE in your life, Maude.  Stop complaining, or pack a bag and go to your mother’s.  Hell, I’ll DRIVE you.

But we’re at least still on track to talk free agents.

If you recall, the exercise was to visit Cot’s Baseball Contracts website, take a look at each position need, and determine who’s worth spending time and energy on.  The assumption with this exercise is that everyone who’s on the Mets’ case for having deep pockets and a shallow farm pool are correct, and that it would be better to spend money than trade prospects.

Today, we review the free agents who’ve played first base, at least on occasion, that the Mets shouldn’t touch with a ten-foot clown pole.

Hank Blalock (TEX): Slipping into DH land.  Methinks an unorthodox option, but after Duaner Sanchez and John Maine, anyone who’s had shoulder surgery (like Blalock in ’06) to end their season is no one I want to think about.

Jason Giambi (COL)
: Surely, you jest.   Hey, you know who’s almost eighteen months younger and I still trust to field a ball every now and again?  Carlos Delgado.

Ross Gload (FLA): Brooklyn-born Ross Gload has never hit more than seven home runs in the majors, and was part of a Grade-A cluster… bomb.  Clusterbomb… of a trade in 2002.  Check it out (from Baseball Reference):

January 21, 2002: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Colorado Rockies with Craig House to the New York Mets. The New York Mets sent Lenny Harris and Glendon Rusch to the Milwaukee Brewers. The New York Mets sent Benny Agbayani, Todd Zeile and cash to the Colorado Rockies. The Colorado Rockies sent Alex Ochoa to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Milwaukee Brewers sent Jeromy Burnitz, Lou Collier, Jeff D’Amico, Mark Sweeney and cash to the New York Mets.

January 26, 2002: Purchased by the Colorado Rockies from the New York Mets.

Catch all that?  Because I’m still stuck on how he’s never hit home runs in the double digits.  Christ, I trust Daniel Murphy to hit more than ten next year, and hopefully from the bench.

Aubrey Huff (DET) (B): The dark-horse darling of the “Why-Don’t-We-Just”ers of the class of 2009.  Never proved to be an offensive powerhouse in same said year.

Nick Johnson (WAS) (B): For no real reason, Nick Johnson reminds me of a story told to me by a couple of friends who are Knicks fans:

Mike and Nick are riding up an escalator into Madison Square Garden, a couple of years back when the Knicks were running their “Experience The…” campaign.  They pass a banner with a close-up image of Eddy Curry; the text reads: “Experience The Emotion.”

Mike turns to Nick and asks: “Is hunger an emotion?”

Kevin Millar (TOR): Riding out the twilight in Toronto.  Fewer than three hundred plate appearances last year.

Robb Quinlan (LAA): Yeah… just ’cause he’s listed as a first baseman doesn’t mean he actually played first base full time.  That goes for most of you, in fact.

Matt Stairs (PHI): See above.  Anyway, as I said last week: over my dead and violated body.  Matt Stairs is a University of Phoenix course and car wash ownership stint short of selling his 2008 ring, anyway.  See you in twenty-three years, Matt.  Don’t take any calls from Jim Cramer.

Mike Sweeney (SEA): He, too, has slid into DH-dom, and not regularly, either.  I think I’d take a flyer on Hank Blalock before Mike Sweeney.  But when you get to players over 35, the Carlos Delgado clouds begin to gather again.  Pay attention, as he’ll necessarily capture a lot of later discussion about the position.

Jim Thome (LAD): No, hunger is not an emotion.

That’s not a fair joke to end on; I’m sure Eddy Curry could devour Jim Thome, if given the chance.  But that guy’s been through enough, anyway.

Curry, not Thome.

Tomorrow, Russell Branyan and Carlos Delgado, in a “Good God, Just Eliminate The Position” Steel Cage Match.

Later tonight, some World Series thoughts, provided I don’t get trapped in a web of XLR cables and packing tape.

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A roommate of mine (while The Wife’s in extended grad school mode, I keep the house stocked with rent-paying professionals) lived a good portion of his life in a part of West Virginia which is on the extreme fringes of commuting distance from D.C.  He is aware of the Nationals’ existence.

I work for an organization which has an office in the District of Columbia.  I also enjoy giant foam representations of our monument-worthy presidents.  I hear they’ve taken on Beatle-like significance: Washington is John; Lincoln Paul; Jefferson George.  Roosevelt is Ringo.

As the eighth inning began, we mused on the possibility of going down to see a game.

Me: My God. It’s deserted out there.
Roommate: Truth.
Me: I wonder how much tickets are.
Roommate: It’s a new ball park.  But I wonder if they’d care if you bought seats in the nosebleeds and moved down.
Me: I’d think they’d want to do that for safety’s sake.  Cut the security squad down, but keep everyone together.  It’s not safe to wander the upper deck of Nationals Park alone at night.

There, but for the grace of God, go the New York Mets.

No sooner did our conversation devolve into serious derision of the Nationals and their plight did Nick Johnson drop a single into left, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Adam Dunn.  Shut me up but quick.

However, Daniel Murphy hit to both sides of the field today.  He scored runs.  Hell, he even made an error, just to keep things interesting and Mets-like.  And with Dunn at the plate and Feliciano on the mound, he was the key to turning a 3-6-1 double play. 

Daniel Murphy: beast.  Daydream of cheap field level seats in a different ball park: untainted.  Sean Green threw seven pitches to rid the Mets of Cristian Guzman and, most importantly, Ronnie Belliard on third.  I’m almost willing to let Sean Green out of the doghouse (see walking-in of run in May, while I watch, on vacation, via jacuzzi).

Frankie Rodriguez closed it out, but not before Chowdah hit his first Mets home run to rob the man of his save opportunity.  I think Frankie’s just glad to be getting regular work.

Tickets are not severely discounted, but they’re not bad.  We’ll see.

Tomorrow sees the arrival of the first Amazin’ Tuesday, hosted by Two Boots of Grand Street and Faith And Fear In Flushing/Mets By The Numbers.  Details here.  I will be there, with full knowledge that I am now 0-3 at organized Mets events not held in a ball park.

Reverse the curse!

Lord, I’m tired.  If any readers are interested in attending, I will be the exhausted-looking chap with the David Wright T-shirt and the lager in his hands.  But Paul Lukas of Uni Watch will be there.  That goatee he’s got means he’s a fun guy.

Let’s go Mets!