Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Trade Suggestion

After reading the most recent “Mets Mailbag” and reviewing this blog, I became aware of a grave deficiency. The cockamamie trade suggestion is the bread and butter of the armature sports pundit, and I’ve been doing this since March without proposing one trade. Of course, I took immediate action and after rejecting several trade scenarios for being too reasonable or likely to happen, I think I’ve come up with something that is as weird and unhinged as anything that was ever sent to any sports franchises’ hapless PR guy.

Ready for this?

Ok. Julio Franco for… Steve Trachsel; Met-thusala for the Human Rain Delay.

From Baltimore’s point of view this even makes a little bit of sense. They just got rid of their manager and are looking for a new one. Franco has publicly stated that he wants to manage, and Baltimore would offer him a great opportunity to break in, if not necessarily as the full time manager, at least as a player-coach.

And who wouldn’t want Steve Trachsel? After his so-bad-it-made-Cy-Young’s-ghost-cry post season and subsequent ignominious release by the Mets last year, Trachs got picked up by Baltimore where he is having a completely decent season. In fact, Trachsel is doing so well that it took some guy on the internet three or four pages of ridiculously elaborate statistics to prove that he is actually pitching far worse than his record and ERA indicate—mainly getting by on luck and run support.

In War and Peace, Tolstoy scoffs at the idea that either Napoleon or the Tsar were especially important to the political events described in the novel. It would be more reasonable, he says, to look to all the army’s sergeants: had all the sergeants decided to quit the army, there could have been no war. Tolstoy sees history, not as the result of the actions of great men, but rather as the glacial, inevitable and causeless movements of the masses of people—of which Napoleon or the Tsar are only an articulation.

Thus, don’t look to Pedro Martinez, don’t look to Roger Clemens, or even the all-star offensive talents, A-rod, David Ortiz, or Reyes. A winning baseball team happens when you get better than expected performances from the little people, the utility players, the bottom third of the line-up, the back end of the rotation. That is, if you want to go by what some guy said who was Russian and crazy and not talking about baseball.

Steve Trachsel is the salt of the baseball earth, a back end of the rotation guy who is almost always good for a more or less quality start, six or so innings and not too much more than three runs. A pitcher like Trachsel, not Clemens, was what the Yankees were hurting for at the start of the season—and might still be hurting for, since it seems that they are hurting for something.

For the Mets, Trachsel would allow them to move Sosa into the bullpen where he could be used for long relief—generally, I would imagine, long relief of Steve Trachsel.

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