Friday, January 12, 2007

John Thomson's Got Beef

John Thomson, who is a journeyman starting pitcher, has apparently called out a couple New York ballplayers. The 33 year-old has just signed with the Toronto BlueJays and will probably compete for the 5th spot in their rotation. Since they have an ace in Halliday, a bonafide number two in (a healthy) A.J. Burnett, and a solid third-starter in Gustavo Chacin, Toronto is not asking much from Thomson.

His consistently mediocre numbers (think career ERA of 4.82) scream replacement-level talent. Nonetheless, he did have a lot to say. Particularly for a guy who just signed a $500,000 contract for one year as a #5 starter. Evidently, the Mets were the other team competing for Thomson's services. However, Thomson decided it wasn't the money, the city or the fans that disuaded him from joining a contender like the Mets.

Thomson straight-up doesn't like Paul Lo Duca and thinks that Cliff Floyd's defense would hurt his numbers. The fact that he chose Toronto over New York because of Floyd's defensive shortcomings and a dislike for Lo Duca is mindboggling. Especially when we go back and remember that this is John Thomson were talking about. Here's what he said:

"As far as just looking at (Mets catcher) Paul Lo Duca across the field, I'm not really into how he acts behind the plate," Thomson said. "I know a bit about Gregg Zaun and I know he wants to win and he's not going to let anything get in his way to do that, and I like that.

"And then with Vernon Wells in center field, I'm not really concerned about the outfield with him out there. ... Just watching the Mets' outfield, if Cliff Floyd is still there it's not a real good fit for him out there. He can hit the ball, but as far as defense, he's a little shaky."

I will admit that I don't like LoDuca, mostly because I was at the Met's game when A-Rod crushed that opposite-field GrandSlammer - prompting a menstruating LoDouchebag to pop off about a phantom homerun pose. However, disliking LoDouchebag does not blind me to the fact that he is an excellent #2 hitter who grinds out atbats, ultimately leaving it all on the field. His .318 batting average last year would speak to such abilities.

Thomson referencing Vernon Wells may also point to a diss of Beltran. I'm not exactly sure what Thomson's motives are, but you gotta love the below-average starting pitcher riding an irrelevant powertrip.

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