Elster's World

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thoughts In Green And Orange

While I formulate a few non-sports posts (perhaps even a foray into fiction again?), a couple of notes to hold you over:

- So Carlos Beltran has decided to step into the void and become a Team Leader. After giving the impression the last two seasons that he was possibly mute, Beltran provided the Phillies with some early season fodder by saying the Mets are the team to beat in the East this season after getting Santana from the Twins. Take that Jimmy Rollins!

Even more bizarre (and I'm using the version of the story I heard on Boomer and Carton, not the one reported in the papers), Beltran complained to manager Willie Randolph that the batting practice pitchers (usually fringe guys trying to make an impression) were bringing too much heat/pitching too inside/not letting him go out there and hack 1o homers. So Willie, being the guy he is, says sure, no problem. He then has Johan Santana pitch to Beltran. Santana then immediately drill Beltran in the arm so hard, the stitching of the ball was still imprinted on his skin several hours later.

I can't help but love this story (assuming it's true). I'm all for Beltran stepping up as a team leader but seriously son, where were you during the September collapse? Where were you while David Wright stood in front of the cameras last season and took it like a man? You want to be a team leader, earn it.

As for Santana - shows he has a nasty streak in him as well - definitely something you want to see from your ace.

As for this dividing the clubhouse - I am not concerned. I think this type of behavior, if properly cultivated, galvanizes everyone.

- Rumors are now out that the Jets are actively shopping both Jon Vilma and DeWayne Robertson. Robertson's huge contract (I believe he has a 6.8 million dollar salary with a 3 million dollar roster bonus coming soon) makes him definitely worth trading but, I imagine, very hard to trade. Word on the street is that the Broncos are interested in the 26 year old underweight nose tackle if they can restructure his contract. I'd take a third rounder to get rid of him - assuming the cap hit won't be too monstrous.

As for Vilma - I simply cannot understand it. As I've said many times before, if Vilma truly is not a good fit to play inside backer in Mangini's 3-4 scheme,fine. Make him an outside linebacker. Are you telling me he's not a vast improvement over guys like Victor Hobson and Bryan Thomas? You are telling me he can't cover a running back out of the backfield or rush a quarterback. He's fast and strong. In fact, he's probably BETTER suited to play outside. I'm much more comfortable knowing I have a Vilma and a David Harris on my roster rather than just having one. Imagine if the Jets draft a Ghoulston type at 6. Then you have Ellis and Ghoulston at the edges, nose tackle X, Harris, Vilma, Linebackers X and Y - and a pretty decent secondary behind them. all of a sudden your defense just upgraded from Crappy to Not So Bad.


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