Former Toronto Blue Jays G.M. and hand-powered Slavic blood drinker J.P. Ricciardi is now doing ESPN's "Baseball Tonight". Also, our old friend didn't get the Miami gig, but Gammons has him pegged for the soon-to-be-vacant Amazin job.
I'd gotten my hopes up for a meaningless late-September Marlins-Cardinals series, if for no other reason than Valentine can make even the micro-meddling Tony LaRussa look disinterested. The cat-and-mouse these two would play despite being mathematically eliminated would be a joy to behold.
*cough* Howard Johnson *cough*
Wait, isn't that Buck Showalter in the picture? He got the Baltimore job. I swear, it's like Peyton Place trying to keep track of all these managers-in-waiting. Speaking of which, Wally Backman still gets my vote. When the Mets won it all in '69, the last out was made by Baltimore second baseman Davey Johnson. Davey, of course, led the '86 squad to an incredible finish over the Red Sox. Boston Second baseman Marty Barrett made the last out in that series, but since he's not in contention, the honor would rightfully defer to the opposing keystoner, right?
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the current Mets' second baseman. He, Ollie and Beltran, all partners in the Flushing Axis of Evil, skipped a team outing to visit wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. I think that alone says it all, but the irony is not lost on me:
Fred Wilpon has spent a fortune replicating the Brooklyn dreams of his youth, but gets angry when his players act like dodgers.
General Petraeus is pleading with that Florida church to not to burn Korans, lest it upset Muslims. I find this to be remarkable timing, since the Manhattan mosque continues to ruffle so many feathers. If sensitivities were of such importance in one direction, then why are they being overlooked in the other? What of burned flags, chants of "Death to America!", beheadings, kidnappings and countless other transgressions which offend American sensibilities?
How about this: Have everyone switch sides for a day. Trading places and what have you. Like a player not meant to man centerfield, my feet are firmly planted on both sides of the fence.