Mamma Mia! The reason we're a little late this morning - at least, the reason I want you to think we're a little late this morning - is because the judges had to sift through four weeks of comments. Not an easy task.
So, without further ado...
--The bronze goes to JE, for his assessment of what the Mets should do regarding their needs in the starting rotation, after Jason Marquis signed with Washington (yes, it has been a while since we did this):
IIRC, Marquis' average WAR over his career is only 1.8. Unless the Mets upgrade defensively at second base, an argument can be made that only top-shelf and bargain-bin groundball pitchers should be courted.
--The silver goes to James K., for his defense of Alan Trammell's Hall of Fame candidacy:
I think one reason Trammell doesn't get much love is that he didn't rip off 6-7 great seasons in a row. Some of his great seasons were surrounded by not-so-great ones, which doesn't really matter as far as overall value is concerned, but something voters and fans might look down upon.
Imagine if Mattingly's 4-5 season run of dominance was really just strung out over 10 years, alternating great and OK seasons - he wouldn't have nearly the support he does. Same with Jim Rice last year. Anyway, Trammell's top 7 seasons, per WAR: 8.4, 6.8, 6.6, 6.0, 5.9, 5.7, 5.0. Excellent, and I can even remember seeing him play (albeit in his career twilight). Alas, he almost certainly won't be elected.
--And the gold goes to Bob Tufts, for his take on the ever-present steroids issue:
I wish we'd stop talking about Canseco, McGwire and the injections in the Oakland Coliseum locker room bathroom. I can't get the image of two huge players trying to even fit in one stall, dropping their pants and struggling to move about like the Marx Brothers' boat cabin scene in "A Night at the Opera."
Thanks to everyone, as always, for checking in with your thoughts.
--Speaking of illegal PEDs, two former players have thoughtful takes on the issue: Robin Yount, quoted here, and Doug Glanville, who wrote this column. Thanks to NaOH for the Glanville link, and to Buster Olney's blog for the column on Yount, as well as this excellent column by Michael Rosenberg about Miguel Cabrera.
--Have a great weekend.
UPDATE, 10:53 a.m.: As first reported by Jon Heyman, the Mets are acquiring Gary Matthews, Jr. Not sure yet who is going the other way, except it's not Luis Castillo - hence the dollars going from Anaheim to New York. Once we have all of the details, I'll post a new entry.