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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today's Birthdays

Kevin Appier ANA b. 1967, played 2002-2003, All-Star: 1995. I read, laughing all the way, the guys pining to "make any move to improve the team" (no matter how much such moves actually worsen the club) and this is the first name that came to mind — not for the Angels, but for the Mets. Appier did improve the Angels, but big-name, I've-got-the-hardware Vaughn turned into a total bust for the Mets.

Tommy Brown BRO b. 1927, played 1944-1945, 1947-1951

Tony Lazzeri BRO b. 1903, played 1939, All-Star: 1933, Hall of Fame: 1991 (Veterans), d. 1946-08-06. One of the "Murderer's Row" Yankees of the late '20s, he spent part of his last season in the bigs as a Dodger.

I wonder what the Mets total paychecks to Mo Vaughn totalled. It seems that his name was frequently cited in years past regarding the limitations on baseball contract insurance policies. I wonder if his fat, lazy, broken down @$$ cost the Mets more than Ape cost the Angels??? It seems that some insurance company was on the hook for more of that contract than the Mets, maybe that wasn't such a terrible trade after all.
I think there is some deal about having to retire to get the full money back from insurance (this might stem from the Albert Belle signing some years ago, although I KNOW that other insurance issues have). I am pretty sure that since Moo Vaughn wouldn't retire (I think his career was basically done the second year after the trade...meaning he still had 1-2 years left on his contract), the Mets couldn't collect all of the insurance. When the trade was made, both Appier and Vaughn had roughly the same time and money left on their contracts (3 years, $45-50 million).

It was basically a salary dump by both teams, the Mets dealing away a strength (I think they had 6 starters at the time) and the Angels dealing away a cancer (since Moo had already expressed his desire to leave and made it abundantly clear by not having surgery until just before the 2001 season when he knew he needed it right after the 2000 season ended).

Of course, no matter what else happened, the Angels won that deal hands down (even though the East Coast Media was already talking about how great Moo was going to be on the Mets), what with winning a World Series that year. As a matter of fact, Stoneman made some just fantastic moves in 2002 (Moo for Appier, signing Sele...great idea at the time, trading for Fullmer) AND in 2004 (picking up Vlad, Guillen...great idea at the time, Escobar and Colon).

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