Yakkin' About Baseball: Winning, The Wilpon Way

Everyone is getting paid! Some people are getting traded! The Mets owners are performing Dadaist pranks! Business as usual, then.
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David Raposa: Is there a way to describe the R.A. Dickey nonsense so that it makes sense to me?

David Roth: Sometimes, when an erudite knuckleballer and a psychologically traumatized fan base love each other very much, something special happens. The man…

David Raposa: I don't like this story.

David Roth: Once upon a time there were a bunch of people who couldn't cheer for the Yankees, whether because they were masochists or afraid of centaurs or because the Yankees are, essentially, the baseball equivalent of a Vodka Red Bull that has figured out how to vote Republican. But these unlucky people were being held captive by some grandiose doofs from Long Island. One day, an erudite knuckleballer came to town, armed only with a goofy pitching-face and a copy of that book Tolkien wrote that was like the Hobbit dictionary. And the grandiose doofs said…

David Raposa: Marginally better. I read that Dickey wants that Jeremy Guthrie cash, and the Mets brain trust are unwilling to capitulate to that modest demand, right?

David Roth: Well, it's like this: you've got some white collar criminals running a team, right? And they're not good white-collar criminals. Like, they only committed crimes because they were too ridiculous to notice that they were.

David Raposa: Hold on, I'm conferencing Brett Ratner into this call.

David Roth: Anyway, I have no fucking idea what they're doing. They have the most interesting and generally admirable pitcher in the team's history on the roster; he is offering them a discount; he loves New York and everyone loves him. So, yeah, you try to pay him like Joe Blanton, and then you clumsily slime him in the press because sometimes you just have to take a stand, and because you can't just go around paying the reigning Cy Young as if he was worth as much as Ryan Dempster. Even if you are standing on a principle that is contradictory and shameful and so dumb it's literally impossible to explain. So you accuse that guy of hating Christmas. And then you just let the wins happen.

David Raposa: I didn't know Bill O'Reilly was a Mets minority owner! How wonderful for nobody!

David Roth: It's just basic Being Good At Business 101 and evidently you and everyone else alive not named Wilpon doesn't understand that. The real issue, though, is just that we don't know how much they can pay anyone, or if they can pay anyone.

David Raposa: So is David Wright's contract getting paid with hamburger IOUs or Bobby Bonilla memorabilia or something? "I will gladly pay you in 2050 for a .300-30-20 season five out of the next eight."

David Roth: That would actually be pretty reasonable for them. If the Mets fired Alderson and replaced him with Whoopi Goldberg's whiteface rich guy character from The Associate, I wouldn't really be surprised. I would be a little disappointed, but it would arguably still be better than hiring Terry Ryan.

David Raposa: Also, aren't they paying Jason Bay the full freight to NOT have him on their team? If they have the money to pay a bad player to NOT play for them, you'd think they'd have the money to pay a good player less than what he could get on the open market to play FOR them. Especially when he wants to stay there. And if you're not going to pay the man (because you're stupid), then just shut up (because you're stupid) and work on trading him (because you are SO STUPID).

David Roth: I'm not really sure what explains it. Maybe some instance of that demonic-possession thing from Fallen, only instead of Elias Koteas Evil Demon Being being passed around the front office by touch, it's the soul of Marge Schott or something. You brush up against someone and all of a sudden you're barking out seriously racist stuff about Eric Davis and your breath smells like Seagram's gin.

David Raposa: OK, Ratner's definitely in; I just need to acquire the rights to some Puddle of Mudd songs.

David Roth: Not to get too bummer-y about it, but this offseason has been a really good object lesson in the distance between your thinking fan types and the people making decisions for baseball teams. And how much the two increasingly hate each other.

David Raposa: Look, if you want to ask me my opinion on the Red Sox's batshit offseason, just come out and say it. Or we could overanalyze Kevin Youkilis crossing over to the dark side and putting sugar in Boston's gas tank and what have you. What I mean is he's going to look like weathered dog ass without the goatee.

David Roth: He's tailor-made for that Cody Ransom role.

David Raposa: It's going to be great if he goes 0-for-April and gets the entirety of Yankee Universe all up in his business.

David Roth: So were the Red Sox rumored to be looking at a 14-year, $300 million + The City of Framingham As Your Own Private Thing, Go Nuts deal for Josh Hamilton? That is before the Angels jumped in and got all Angels-y on it.

David Raposa: Why not? They replaced Carl Crawford with a poor man's Crawford and secretly replaced Adrian Gonzalez with a generic slugger-like substitute. They might as well throw another checkbook at Hamilton and essentially put themselves in a slightly less blinged-out version of last year's sinking ship. If they're going to finish in fourth place, I want them to really commit to it.

David Raposa: Seriously, though, if they'd actually signed Josh Hamilton to the contract I feared they'd sign him to, my head would've split open. And Sam Horn would've jumped out, wondering why he couldn't have been born 20 years later.

David Roth: "Hey, this is weird. It was really humid in there. Dave, you got any burgers?"

David Raposa: There, there, Sam. Have a Baconator and some American Nachos. And let me call you Hee-Seop Choi.

David Roth: The Sox should sign Swisher to troll their fan base, then move to Montreal.

David Raposa: "Wash off that dirty water with some Axe edible hair pomade/bagel spread, broheim! Now in Janky Jalapeno!"

David Raposa: The Angels are so active. They managed to trade for Tommy Hanson without anyone batting an eye?

David Roth: That deal! I was pretty sure I dreamt it. I remember being really frustrated at having such implausible and uninteresting dreams.

David Raposa: "Gosh, we need a tarnished reliever. How about we give up our underperforming and moderately young/cheap number-two starter for one?"

David Roth: Good to know that was real life. If my dreams ever become just me shaking my head while reading MLB Trade Rumors, I'll be very sad. At least the Braves got BJ Upton.

David Raposa: BOSSMAN JUNIOR if you're nasty.

David Roth: You know he's going to get on base three times in ten and give you some premium tween-who-just-got-smartphone-confiscated body language. No shame in paying for that.

David Raposa: If only BJ at 100% effort didn't look exactly like BJ thinking about the post-game spread. Results notwithstanding, of course.

David Raposa: Oh hey NEWSFLASH: The Royals inked George Sherrill and Willy Tavares to a minor league deals! 75 wins or bust! I'd say that's a bona-fide game changer, but I don't want to be sued by HBO. Which is to say that I'm over the moon about the Myers trade. From Tampa Bay's perspective, obviously.

David Roth: That deal made me feel kind of sad. Like I just imagine Dayton Moore announcing it really proudly to a room of employees and then getting ready for some high fives, and everyone just quietly pulls bottles of scotch out of their desks, sigh, and start looking around for ice.

David Raposa: Why? Because the Rays gave up two players they weren't going to keep for potentially the kind of big bat they've been in need of since 2007? While also getting two pitchers back? You crazy!

David Roth: He's absolutely a good pitcher, but James Shields is such the sort of guy that bad GMs would be into.

David Raposa: Yeah, James Shields is a fine pitcher, that isn't worth a guy with Myers' ceiling. Is Jeff Francouer that charismatic and intangible that he unconsciously convinced Moore this trade needed to happen?

David Roth: I can't think of any better encapsulation of backwards baseball team thinking than the words, "Look, we're set, we already have Jeff Francoeur out there." I guess "OOOOHHH, JASON BAY!" is worse.

David Raposa: Well, Houston just went "OH MY GOD IT'S PHILIP HUMBER," so I guess it's actually a thing.

David Roth: Oh, I do that all the time.

David Raposa: That Mets prospect glow never dies. It effervesces through the years, like the promise of a new spring, or burger grease.

David Roth: The Astros DH search is going to be some sobering shit. Greg Vaughn will somehow get 210 at-bats, while wearing khakis and a cellphone holster on his belt.

David Raposa: Give Steve Finley a chance to seed his lawn, and he'll dig his truss and stirrups out of storage, no problem.

David Roth: How do the Dodgers make you feel? They seem hilariously crass to me, but I can also see them somehow finishing second or third in that division, still.

David Raposa: I saw an article lede ask if the Dodgers could win 110 games. I'm surprised that same lede didn't suggest that I could win this year's Best Actor Oscar. (I was awesome in John Carter, no lie.)

David Roth: As someone who only saw a few minutes of that movie, I can't prove that you're making that up. That said, what I saw was amazing. It was like a version of The Phantom Menace in which every character who wasn't Jar Jar Binks was Jar Jar Binks, and only Jar Jar was played by a human.

David Roth: But I'm not totally convinced, there. They seem like the 2012 Red Sox plus Hanley Ramirez and Brandon League pitching the ninth?

David Raposa: Yeah, they have the potential to bloat and tumble into the ass end of the NL West without much effort. Happy for Greinke, though. Even if he'll have to be within fart-smelling distance of TJ Simers. A savvier tweeter noted that Simers probably already has some "Grienke mental problems" boilerplate ready to roll after his fist disasterpiece.

David Roth: I'm always pulling for Greinke. I hope he gets really into LA. Gets a MOCA membership and starts wearing a lot of really décolletage-y v-neck t-shirts. Get a standing reservation at Animal. Have a weird relationship with Lara Flynn Boyle.

David Raposa: As long as Jenner/Kardashian exposure is limited, I'm all for it.

David Roth: A friend pointed out that the players the Indians traded to the Diamondbacks in The Great Drew Stubbs Heist, Lars Anderson and Didi Gregorius, both have amazing prog rock names.

David Raposa: Anderson shreds on the clavinet. He really makes the leopard-skin cape his own.

David Roth: Gregorius/Bloomquist/Anderson, "Desert Sessions." Best New Music for sure.

David Raposa: More like "Dessert Sessions" HEYO AWKWARD FAT JETER REFERENCE! "Saguaro Suite (The New Body Temple Christ)" is up for a Grammy.

David Roth: Haunting Cliff Pennington lyrics. "Greet the sun/hit and run/coyote spirit/soft groundouts to second base."

David Raposa: Alan Trammell, wearing his best Ian Anderson unitard and striking the Flute Flamingo pose. "Ike Davis has Valley Fever/And the wolves are eating shrimp cocktails."

David Roth: TRUST THE PROCESS. (The Process is the name of the Jazz Fusion band that George Sherill plays in with Everett Teaford and Chris Getz.)

David Raposa: Their 37 minute cover of Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" is where it's at.

David Roth: Yoko Ono on guest vocals.

David Raposa: The way Yoko sounds is the way I feel about this offseason.

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