200 Miles From the Citi

January 31, 2010 7:30 AM

Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume V)

Sheets_Signs.JPGI feel like the Mets missed out on a golden opportunity when Ben Sheets signed with the Oakland A's.

I know there's potential risk involved in that signing...but I also think there's a big reward possibility.

Speaking of reward, I was more than a little surprised that Sheets' price tag was $10 million.

Knowing as little as I do about the situation, and the Mets' pursuit of Sheets, I have to think that was the deciding factor in the Mets not being a factor.

But the A's are the ones outbidding the Mets?  That doesn't quite add up.

Whether or not Sheets is worth the $10 million contract over one year that he agreed to with Oakland is really not for me to decide at this point - but I feel comfortable questioning the A's spending that kind of money.

It makes me think Sheets will be available again by July, if the A's are not contending, if a team presents the right package (and, of course, Sheets stays healthy enough to be worth another team's interest).

For the Mets, this doesn't make a difference, because by July, they still won't have anyone worth anything to get someone like Sheets.  Which is a problem...because it frustrates me that they could have had him earlier this week by just opening their wallets.

Without Sheets, the Mets' rotation looks a whole lot more hittable after the number one spot in the rotation:

1) Johan Santana

2, 3, 4, 5)  Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Fernando Nieve/Jon Niese/Josh Fogg

Other than the cool fact that Nieve and Niese have just a one-letter difference in their names, there's not much that appeals to me about that rotation.  Fogg had a pretty good year out of the bullpen with the Rockies last year, and Citi Field is not Coors Field, so maybe that'll turn out to be a good move...

But I'd feel better if those 2-3-4-5 guys were fighting for fourth and fifth spots in the rotation, rather than second and third.  They're all going to need career years for the Mets to contend.

*The Mets have made some moves, adding the aforementioned Fogg, Frank Catalanotto, and re-signing Fernando Tatis.  I wouldn't be tremendously surprised if Catalanotto outplays someone to make the team out of spring training.

*ESPN announced the Sunday night games for the early part of the schedule, and here's something weird - the Mets are featured three weeks in a row (at St. Louis and Philadelphia, with a home game against Atlanta in the middle), then again hosting the Yankees just three weeks later.  I would imagine that means there's not much of the Mets in the second half of the year...but maybe ESPN knows something appealing about the Mets that I'm not yet seeing.  Or they're hoping Johan Santana's starts all fall on consecutive Sundays.

*Another entertaining and excellent piece of writing by Gary Smith in this week's Sports Illustrated, this one about the North Dakota Lamoureaux family, which has six children playing college or professional hockey, including twin girls in the Olympics.

*I'm excited about the Winter Olympics in that it falls on my February vacation, so it will give me something to watch if/when I'm home during the day.  I like the hockey, and I've become a fan of the more obscure sports that you might see on CNBC during the afternoon, like curling.  I also like speed skating, so there's something to look forward to in the next few weeks.

*This whole "Who Dat" controversy between the Saints and the NFL is further evidence of why the NFL is considered the "No Fun League".  Furthermore, the origins of "Who Dat" seem more than a little bit racist.  And while I'm on that topic (or at least, 'ethnicist'), I'm not crazy about Jets fans wearing sombreros and Mark Sanchez jerseys to Jets games.  Nor am I a fan of CBS showing those fans on TV.

*Sorry for the unannounced time off after Wednesday.  Turns out it was good to just not write about the Jets in order to help put the 2009 season to bed.

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