Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ex-Red Sox: George's New Fetish

Back in the '90's and even till today, it seemed like George has had a serious ex-Met fetish. There were the high-profile signings of the likes of Darryl, Doc, and David Cone. Then there were bit players like Jose Vizcaino and Alberto Castillo. Ex-Met closers Benitez and Orosco put on the pinstripes for a short while in '03. George has also brought in the '99-'00 Met heroes in Zeile, Olerud, and Ventura. This year they brought in Leiter, another hero from that era. And new Yankee Matt Lawton? The guy the Mets got for Rick Reed a few years ago. Remember when the Junkees gave Sid Fernandez a spring training invitation? What a disaster.

But with the signing of Embree and now Bellhorn, it seems like George is now fixated on the Red Sox. And as my compadre the Despiser pointed out, George likes guys who punished his team in the playoffs, like Wright, Pavano, etc. And Bellhorn certainly fits the bill there, too.

Thing is, Bellhorn was at best mediocre in his tenure with the Red Sox. And looking at his career numbers, Bellhorn has had a good year or two, and that's it. This year, the guy simply stunk. Todd Walker in '03 was a much better offensive player, though his defense was awful. And people forget he had plenty of whiffs during the playoffs last year. Theo Epstein has made another classic under-the-radar move in getting Graffanino, filling what had been a pretty big hole in the lineup. And with Alex Cora to back up, the Red Sox won't miss Bellhorn.

The Junkees were stupid to get Embree, who has made the Yankee fans pine for the days of Felix Heredia. Okay, he hasn't been that bad, but he's still been quite awful.

And Bellhorn too, seems like a PR move, and not much else. I don't see how the .215 bat of Bellhorn will do much to spell the slumping Robby Cano. Maybe he's better than Escalona, but even that's debatable.

Thing that scares me about George's new fetish: the possibility of Johnny Damon in pinstripes next year. If that happens, hopefully George overpays and Johnny underperforms.

--- I am officially rooting for the Mets in the NL wild-card race. The only thing better than a Yankee-free October would be to have the Mets be the one and only NY team playing in October. Oh, what I would do to see New York turn back into Mets town....


mouse said...

Picking up Bellhorn just HAD to be a spite move on the Yankees' part. There is no other rational explanation for it. Embree I sort of got because he's a left setup guy and that's hard to find, even if he stinks. Boston tried Remlinger, after all, even though he was clearly cooked, so I can see logic to the Embree move.

Bellhorn, on the other hand, I just don't get. Last year, he was an excellent 2B guy for Boston and one of the major reasons they won it all. Last year, pretty much every AB, he either K'd, walked, or hit for extra bases. But that was LAST YEAR. This year he was still walking, but K'ing more (109 K's in 85 games compared to 177 in 138 games last year) and suffering a power outage (.360 SLG over .444 last year). He was batting a lame .176 at AAA Pawtucket when the Sox DFA'd him. Is it any wonder he lost his job to Graffanino, who's been batting about .300 with Boston and close to .400 just at Fenway?

Point is, there's little sense in the Yankees getting the '05 version of Bellhorn. He's a serviceable fielder for sure, but he's not the same clutch slugger that he was last year. And I've no doubt his endless whiffs will give Yankee fans fits.

phil said...

Bellhorn got lots of Ks, but at least he didn't hit into double plays. He's had a crappy season, but he's capable of more and may come back next season. In the meantime, he's a switch hitter with a decent record.

He definitely doesn't have a starting slot on today's Sox roster, so I'm not too sad he's gone. Still, if the Sox had DFAd Remlinger a couple days earlier, they could have found Bellhorn a temporary slot while waiting for the rosters to expand, and then stashed him in Pawtucket. Perhaps he didn't want to stay there, and he hasn't done well there either this season, but it would've given him a chance for next season.

PizzaBagel said...

Thanks for your support re the Mets, Manny. I can live with a Mets-free October. A Yankee-free post-season is more important to me than to have my guys there - although it'd be great to have the Mets in and the Stinkees out, just knowing that it would stick in the Boss' craw!

Great to see Chacon finally get whacked around last night. Tonight, hopefully it's Dandy Randy's turn to stink up - courtesy of his former team. And Moose will be missing at least his next start. What's the word on Brown and Pavano? Is Brown's career pretty much over, and is Pavano done for the year?

Manny Ortiz said...

re: pavano

pizzabagel: to make room for Bellhorn on the 40-man roster, the Junkees moved Pavano from the 15 to the 60-day DL. Anyway, between Chacon, Small, and Leiter, I don't think they miss the guy too much.

And the Junkees, at this point, are probably sick and tired of Kevin Brown. Though I would love to see him come back just to screw things up for the team.

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