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Good Morning

Comment Winter Olympics: The NL Central, Joe Torre, Scott Proctor and the Mets

It proved a relatively quiet week here at the blog, which meant that the judges had it easy. Here were their verdicts:

--The bronze goes to whynot, who offered his take on Zack Greinke's injury:

A real punch to the gut of the Brewers. Is the start of the season 2 weeks or 2 months? What does Jonny Gomes have to say? Injuries favoring the defending champs so far this spring.

--The silver goes to Bob Tufts, who checked in on Joe Torre's recent appointments at the Major League Baseball office:

Scott Proctor has been asked to join MLB's Office of the Commissioner as a special assistant to Joe Torre. He will work almost every day, do overtime without added pay and be asked to avoid using sick days until he finally collapses from physical exhaustion.

--And the gold goes to Howard, who made a triumphant return to the blog with this query about the Mets:

Any chance that Jerry Seinfeld and Kenny Bania (limited partner) will purchase the Mets?

That's gold, Howard! Gold!

--Anthony Rieber, in Port St. Lucie, writes about Fernando Martinez, who is still only 22. As Martinez's star has fallen, I often think of how the Mets offered F-Mart to Oakland for Barry Zito all the way back in 2006, before Zito's free agency. The A's passed.

What if the A's had liked F-Mart more? Could Zito have helped the Mets beat the Cardinals in that NLCS? Probably. He was still pretty good back then, and he had an excellent relationshp with the Mets' pitching coach Rick Peterson.

Let's say Zito had enormous success in a short, rental stint in Flushing. Let's say the Mets even proceeded to win that World Series. Would that have motivated the Mets to compete with the Giants for Zito's services that winter? Would the Mets actually have contemplated a seven-year, $126-million contract?

Or, would they have let Zito go to the Giants and received two draft picks as compensation for losing him, and how would those two picks look now compared to F-Mart? FWIW, the A's two compensation picks turned into Sean Doolittle (he missed all of last year while rehabilitating from two knee surgeries) and Grant Desme (he retired last year to become a priest).

You could play this hypothetical game with pretty much any player, as most players have an "almost traded" story. Meanwhile, F-Mart is headed to minor-league camp.

--Oliver Perez's slow march toward ex-Metdom continues.

--It seems that Yogi Berra is all right, after falling in the Yankees' clubhouse in Clearwater yesterday. As Harvey Araton noted in his recent column on Berra and Ron Guidry, Yogi has slowed down some since the serious fall he had last year. You can see in Erik Boland's story how much the Yankees enjoy having Yogi around.

--CC Sabathia pitched well yesterday.

--Surprising news out of Rangers camp, as Chuck Greenberg is out as the Rangers' CEO. That was quick. Greenberg proved quite entertaining in his short run atop the franchise, but if you're gonna run your mouth like he did, it raises the bar for how good a behind-the-scenes operator you have to be, in order for everyone else to tolerate the talking.

In any case, the Rangers are in good hands with Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels, and the oil folks who took over the team last year (and installed Greenberg as CEO).

--Have a great day. Thoughts and prayers to those impacted by the Japan earthquake.

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