Baseball’s a strange world sometimes. Recent goings on with the Mets:
First, we make a low-risk trade for a veteran pitcher (Jose Lima). He has past success (1998-1999 in Houston, pitched over 230 innings each year, 37 wins combined, ERA under 4) and a poor recent record (2005 in Kansas City, only 5 wins with an ERA of 7). He comes to New York, makes a few questionable starts (three starts, 14.1 innings, 18 hits, 8 walks, 10 strikeouts, 3 losses and an ERA of 8.79 – marred by some horrible umpiring) and is more or less hounded out of town by a lynch mob.
Fast forward a couple of weeks.
We make a low-risk trade for a veteran pitcher (El Duque). He has past success (several good seasons with the Yankees, though only going over 200 innings in one season, plus his famous post season run) and a poor recent record (9 wins and 9 losses in 2005 with the White Sox, only going 128 innings, ERA 5.12; 2 wins and 4 losses in 2006 with Arizona at an ERA of 6.11). He comes to New York, makes a questionable start (5 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts, over a hundred pitches, ERA 5.40) and is promptly wreathed in laurels.
The only difference? The offence and bullpen picked El Duque up and the Mets won his start; they (and that terrible umpiring) let Lima down and we lost all his starts.
Like I said. Strange world.