In this off-season, starting pitchers who have shown anything above a pulse in the last three years have received multi-million dollar contracts. Joel Piniero had an ERA north of six last year, and the Red Sox signed him to a $4 million contract, for Christ’s sakes. Chad Bradford has never shown a consistent ability to get left handed hitters out, and has never pitched in anything other than middle relief, and got three years and $12 million.
Despite all of this, John Thomson was apparently so bad, that he could only muster a contract of one year and $500,000 with the Blue Jays. That kinda says he sucks. Mets fans may remember that the team once traded Jay Payton for Thomson, in what has to go down as one of the more underrated bad trades the Mets have made in their history; Thomson was history the next season, and Payton has been a solid, if unspectacular, outfielder the past few years, years where the Mets have put out some real stiffs in the outfield before acquiring Carlos Beltran.
Anyway, despite being lucky to still have a job in baseball, let alone having two teams vying for his services, Thomson took an opportunity once he signed his new deal to bash one of the teams who actually showed interest in his services. Said Thomson today:
“As far as just looking at Paul Lo Duca across the field, I’m not really into how he acts behind the plate,” Thomson said on a conference call. “I know a bit about [Toronto catcher] Gregg Zaun and I know he wants to win and he’s not going to let anything get in his way to do that, and I like that.
“And then with Vernon Wells in center field, I’m not really concerned about the outfield with him out there. … Just watching the Mets’ outfield, if Cliff Floyd is still there it’s not a real good fit for him out there. He can hit the ball, but as far as defense, he’s a little shaky.
“I just liked what’s happening in Toronto.”
Wow. Where to start? First of all, how does Thomson know how he calls a game? He has never been on the same team as Lo Duca. Maybe it was from one of Thomson’s appearances in the all star ga…wait, he never played in one. So he didn’t sign with the Mets because they employ Paul Lo Duca as their catcher? If he took less money to play with the Blue Jays (and let’s face it, I don’t think the Mets could have possibly offered Thomson less than $500,000) over a catcher, when there’s a very strong likelyhood that John Thomson probably doesn’t have many years left getting contracts in six figures…well, I’m afraid that would kind of make John Thomson a dummy.
Also, love the comment about Cliff Floyd, who is currently a free agent and who will not return to the Mets next year. Good job comparing Vernon Wells, the Blue Jays’ center fielder, to Cliff Floyd, the Mets’ former left fielder. Apples and oranges, my friend, except in this case, there are no oranges in this particular fruit basket. You may want to take note that the Mets’ center fielder is Carlos Beltran, who just won a gold glove and is, by all accounts, one of the finest defensive center fielders in all of baseball.
The Blue Jays have a good team. They won 87 games in a tough division, which was good for second place, ten games out of first in the AL East last year. That’s pretty good in a tough division. The Mets won 97 games, which was enough to win their division by 12 games. You know, if I am a free agent pitcher, and I had to gauge which team I “liked what’s happening” more, I think I might pick the Mets.
I just don’t see why a guy who has absolutely no relevency has to go and rip apart a team that did nothing but show interest in him. This is a guy who hasn’t had a healthy season in two years, and who in healthy times is a completely middle of the road pitcher. He’s pretty much a guy lucky to be getting a paycheck at this point. I don’t get the point. Though that shows how far the Mets’ pitching has fallen at this point…even John Thomson isn’t returning their calls. Man, this was a playoff team last year. Can’t somebody throw us a frickin’ bone?