Archive: March 12th, 2008

Fifth Starter Insurance

Horacio Ramirez has been released by the Seattle Mariners.

Some of you may remember him as the “next big thing” coming out of Atlanta … they hyped him up enough to get fireballing reliever Rafael Soriano for him straight up.

However, he went the way of Bruce Chen, Kevin McGlinchy, Damion Moss, Tim Spooneybarger, Odalis Perez, Danny Meyer, and others in the long line of Braves pitchers who show so much promise as youngsters but never quite live up to their billing after leaving Atlanta.

Ramirez was a bust in Seattle, culminating in a 7.16 ERA last season. But, he’s a lefty, he’s under 30, he throws a heavy sinker, and might benefit from a return to the NL as well as a change in scenery. If he can be had for a minor league deal, why not bring him in as AAA depth / insurance behind El Duque and Mike Pelfrey? He can’t be any worse than Tony Armas, Jr. — who has yet to show up in camp.

Thoughts?

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Where Are They Now: Art Shamsky

Art Shamsky with the New York MetsThanks to MetsToday reader Walnutz, we now know that OF/1B/pingponger/Ironman Jeff Conine is down for the count and is in no shape to un-retire.

We also have news today about another ex-Met — Art Shamsky.

Shamsky, who inspired many of us to grow muttonchop sideburns but is better known as one of the fan favorites of the ’69 Miracle Mets, has joined the staff of Gotham Baseball Magazine as a senior editor.

Also joining the Gotham team is Marty Appel, the longtime Yankee publicist and baseball author.

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Where Is Jeff Conine?

Jeff Conine playing table tennis - ping pong
Photo by Larry Hodges

With Moises Alou out, Carlos Delgado ailing, Ryan Church struggling against lefties, and Olmedo Saenz resembling Horatio Sanz, the Mets are in obvious need of a veteran righthanded hitter with some pop who can a) play first base and the outfield; b) be effective as a pinch-hitter; c) perform decently as a platoon guy in LF / RF; and d) be OK with things if he’s not playing every day.

Sounds like a perfect role for Jeff Conine, who quietly retired at the end of the 2007 season.

Too bad, huh? He may not have been a world-beater, but he’d certainly be a welcome stopgap right now.

BTW, I have no idea if he’s officially moved on to the professional ping-pong circuit, but if anyone has the scoop, please comment below.

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From the Horse’s Mouth

Some of you may think I’m a horse’s arse for the cockamamie ideas I occasionally throw out there … well, all I can say is, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth … or something …

Speaking of horses, check out my answers to a quick Q & A session with Cory Humes at Seamless Baseball — a great new fantasy baseball site, btw — where I blab about Endy Chavez, a possible trade for an outfielder, and why the Mets will never sign Barry Bonds.

Feel free to comment there or here.

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