Sunday, December 12, 2004

Hot Stove Thoughts

Baseball's winter meetings are taking place as we speak in Anaheim, California (part of the O.C. if you didn't know), and as expected, Theo and the Sox are making the majority of the moves. I freaking love this guy. He comes into the league as a rookie GM at age 28 and within two years he is the most powerful GM in baseball. No other GM thinks or acts as aggressively as Theo when it comes to making trades and signing free agents. And even though he is conditioning Red Sox Nation, the most emotionally attached group of fans, to be less emotionally attached to their players with his cold negotiating stance, the fact of the matter is that he gets it done and fears nobody. Proof in the pudding: as a 25 year old who, while graced with "the friendly eyes" at the Padres Xmas party a few years back, he told veteran manager Bruce Bochy that he couldn't manage his way out of a paper bag. Balls!

Which brings me to his most recent move, that of signing 41 year old David Wells to a two year deal. First reaction was overwhlemingly positive. He's guaranteed only $8 million on the books for two years, $3 mil of which is signing bonus. The rest is tied to incentives. In between eating all the free snacks and wolfing down the free cokes in the Padres front office last season, I actually made to some games and watched him pitch, which he still can. While his 12-8 record doesn't look good on paper, realize the minimal run support of 4.4 per game he had behind him, and the striking fact that he had four ND's because of blown saves. Three of which came from Trevor Hoffman himself. So he very easily could have been 16-8, and potentially even better had the anemic Padre offense produced. Tack on his 3.73 ERA, and his positive influence on the young Padres pitching staff, and that's a pretty good bargain if you ask me. Speaking of the Padres pitching staff, Jake Peavy will be a top 5 Cy Young candidate by the time the season is over. And he will be starting the all star game. Mark it, dude.

There is the possibility that all statistics above are wrong, but they prove my point well, so just go with them.

My one concern is the thought that he will blend in with the "idiots" in Boston. Writers are commenting that this is a positive thing. People forget that Wells was a liability before he went to San Diego because of his back that forced him out of the World Series in 2003. Not only that, but his off the field antics were cause for concern. He was on a very short leash in San Diego and the clubhouse was as straight laced as they come (see Mark Loretta). Now picture him in a clubhouse with Kevin Millar (who initiated the "shots before we take the field" stance during the playoffs). That's like putting me in the Laguna Beach jacuzzi with LC and Lo. It's not productive, not healthy, and should be illegal. Although I gotta give credit to Talan for immediately propositioning the threesome, before they had even fully immersed themselves into the hottub.

I forgot to put the space between hot and tub there and immediately burst into hysterics thinking of the "hottub" at the prestigious Welshley Arms hotel from SNL lore.

I apologize for that digression, I don't know where I was going with that. Overall, I am pleased with the move, but don't be surprised if you see him pulling beerwolfs at Daisy's on game nights. But if this guy pitched his perfect game with a raging hangover (which by the way gives him the highest level of street cred in my book), I will be following him around Beantown with a tray of shots.


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