Friday, January 9, 2009


Someone – anyone – please tell me he didn’t do it.
Please tell me those words I read as a headline: “Mets Sign Tim Redding” on was a hallucination.
I beg anyone to tell me Mets General Manager Omar Minaya didn’t take temporary leave of his senses and waste $2.2 million for one year of the services of the former Nationals’ righty, Redding, a Major League pitcher who personifies subpar.
Perhaps the last sentence should’ve read “Redding, who has been accused of being a Major League pitcher."
Did Minaya not watch his own team pound Redding only two weeks before season’s end? Did Minaya not take not of the fact that Redding lasted three innings for the Mets, giving up seven hits and four runs?
Oh, it gets worse.
Redding just can’t pitch well against the Mets. Indeed, he doesn’t discriminate. Redding’s career high for wins? Ten, twice -- including last year, when he lost 11 and posted an ERA a sliver under 5.00. He also allowed 27 jacks and 195 hits in 182 innings. And Redding in his last 10 starts was 3-5 with – get this – a 6.49 ERA.
Oh, but wait.
Redding was among the top 10 National League pitchers in two categories: earned runs allowed and wild pitches.
And in 2003, Redding distinguished himself by leading the National League in losses with 14.
With his innings pitched total last year, one could use fashionable parlance -- read "excuse" --and call him an "innings eater." But what good is an innings eater who regurgitates lousy outings every time he takes the mound?
I don't want to hear the old argument former Mets' GM Steve Phillips used to justify his signing of Steve Trachsel after the 2001 season, saying Trachsel was up until then a very good pitcher who needed more run support. I'm not sure the 1927 Yankees would've had the firepower to support Redding's giving up nearly seven earned runs per nine innings, as he did in the second half of last year. I'm not even sure America's armed forces could.
What I wrote a month ago about Tim Redding still holds true: The Mets would be better off running the late – yes, late – legendary R&B singer Otis Redding to the mound every fifth day. Give it a couple of months and we won’t be sitting on the dock of the bay, as Otis once famously sang, but wanting to jump off the dock and straight into Flushing Bay after Redding gets lit up yet again.
Look at more of Redding's history.
In 2005, Redding lost all five starts as a San Diego Padre with a 9.10 ERA. That was after the Yankees had seen enough of him after one inning – you read right, one inning – in his only start in which he allowed six runs, four hits and four walks. Redding's record that year was 0-6.
After a year on the shelf with an injury, Redding followed that with a 3-6 campaign in 2007.
What’s even more astounding than Minaya signing Redding is that other actual baseball teams were clamoring to sign a guy with a 34-51 lifetime record.
Yes, Redding is a cheap option – with damn good reason. So was an Edsel. Redding is more of a last resort. And with Minaya wielding a big market budget for player payroll anf far better options out there, it makes his latest move that much more ludicrous.
The timing of this signing couldn’t be worse, not when the heated Braves are wooing quality starter Derek Lowe and reports have them preparing to top the Mets’ three-year, $36 million offer with one for four years and as much as $48 million.
Where is it written that the Mets must have at least one member of the starting rotation with a pitching resume that's a mountain of garbage and reeks of a local landfill?
And don’t talk to me about getting cheap help for the back end of the rotation.
Could the younger, far cheaper and untested Bobby Parnell or Jon Niese be any worse than Redding? In fact, last season Niese acomplished something in his second career start it took Redding 109 starts until last July to do: pitch eight complete innings in a game.
What does that tell you?
Has Redding been signed because the Mets have a secret desire to reenact the Jorge Sosa life story, with Redding in the starring role? Maybe Minaya is pining away for Trachsel.
This may go down as the Mets' worst-ever free agent signing, right up there with Minaya's other genius recruitments of Scott Schoeneweis and David Newhan and his retentions of Guillermo Mota and currently immovable Met, Luis Castillo.
And I’m gonna say this, too: Rip the Yankees for all their worth for elbowing aside all the smaller-market clubs for big talent by signing the likes of C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira if you want to. But ask yourself: Would they be content with signing someone like Redding?
Oh yeah, that’s right. They’d seen enough of Redding after one inning.
So why does Minaya think the refuse of Major League pitching is good enough for the Mets?
And more importantly, why does he think it's good enough for the fans?
Especially when this year, with the team moving into a new ballpark, it basically will cost a refinancing of a mortgage to access the product Minaya is assembling.

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