Thursday, June 17, 2004

This Just In

All of the pertinent news sources (except WFAN, who says the Mets claim this deal isn't finalized) are telling us that the Mets have shipped David Weathers to Houston for outfielder Richard Hidalgo. I have been harping on Weathers' slow (not slow enough) decline for some time, but what with the bullpen in full-on Colander Mode, this might not be the time to pull a resource. Still, there's no denying the need (a) to make some changes or (b) to add a potentially potent bat. Here's what was said about Hidalgo today:

"Hidalgo, 28, hit 44 homers and drove in 122 runs as recently as 2000, but has fallen off since and is now a part-time player with a .256 average, four homers and 30 RBI in 199 at-bats."

A fallen-off, part-time player with a better batting average than half our starting lineup and with five more RBI's than anyone except Mike Piazza. Wow, the Mets really are putrid at the plate. I have always felt that Hidalgo was a flash in the pan type of player who benefited from Houston's tinker-toy ballpark and who strikes out way too much (3-to-1 K-to-BB this year). His speed on the basepaths is nil, though his arm in RF is solid. He's definitely a question mark, but he does fill a void, somewhat.

Right field, though lacking a marquee player, had not been an area of real need during the first month of the season -- the ex-Yank tandem of Shane Spencer & Karim Garcia had been getting the job done quite nicely. Then Garcia forgot how to make maple meet horsehide and Spencer got dinged up. Gerald Williams has managed a few hits thus far, but at 37 he's not any sort of future. (Hidalgo's 12 million dollars owed if the Mets pick up his option in '05 probably make him no future, either, but never mind that.)

Oh, well, what the hell. We'll try anything at this point. The season's not lost yet, so add a few more elements to the potion. If it blows up, at least you tried. In addition to Hidalgo, the Astros are reportedly sending $4 million to help even out the salary discrepancy. This won't even be that much of a financial investment. I hope this deal is indeed done. I was tired of watching Dave Weathers retire 11% of his first batters, anyway.

In other news, Vance Wilson's strained hamstring is serious enough for a trip to the DL. He's scheduling an appointment with Jose Reyes's doctor so he can hurt his back, too, and return next spring. To replace Wilson, the Mets called up . . . Wilson. Tom, that is, the former Blue Jay catcher who has a little bit of pop, if I recall. The Wilson boys thing is kind of neat, huh? Kind of like a Wilsons thing in the Beach Boys, or the B-52's, or Heart, or even Wilson Phillips? Holy hell, what is it about being named Wilson that when you form a band you have to include your siblings? I guess when Mookie and the Metmen take the stage, he'll need a sib in his back-up band.

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