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The Baseball Cockroach

This has been a very slow Friday. Even by August standards, nothing has happened. In baseball, anyway. I have no idea if anything's happening in the world. The big Friday stories in baseball are that Heath Bell and Ramon Hernandez are not getting traded, and I'm not sure it counts as news if something unlikely is not going to happen. (Ed. note: word just broke that the Blue Jays claimed DeWayne Wise. This changes everything!)

As I was searching around for something, anything to write about, though, I did stumble across the following transaction. Rotoworld:

Mets purchased the contract of RHP Miguel Batista from Triple-A Buffalo.

Three approaches to this:


New York: All right, the money's been transferred.
Buffalo: Great, thanks! We'll put him on a bus shortly.
New York: Wait, what? Who?
Buffalo: Miguel Batista.
New York: Why would you put Miguel Batista on a bus?
Buffalo: Because you purchased his contract.
New York: Yes?
Buffalo: So he will join your team.
New York: No, we purchased his contract.
Buffalo: I don't understand.
New York: This is very simple. We purchased the contract.
Buffalo: So...
New York: Not the man. The contract.
Buffalo: The contract?
New York: Yes.
Buffalo: Why would you want Miguel Batista's written contract?
New York: To frame. It is a very nice contract.
New York: For a very bad player.


This isn't really a move worthy of criticism. It's the end of August, and the Mets are well out of the race. At 61-68, they're exactly as far out of a playoff spot as the Mariners, and they have a handful of pitchers on the disabled list, including Johan Santana, Chris Young, Jon Niese, and Taylor Buchholz. Miguel Batista's just a warm body who's up because he's capable of throwing some innings at a time in the year when so many pitchers are feeling all of their innings.

But while I'm not interested in laughing at the Mets for a temporary and pointless move, it is interesting that Miguel Batista's Major League career just refuses to die. Miguel Batista is 40 years old. For the sake of perspective, the Mets' current shortstop is 21. Here's how Miguel Batista has done in recent seasons:

2008: Not good
2009: Not good
2010: Not good
2011: Not good (Majors)
2011: Not good (minors)

Over the last four years, Batista has 196 strikeouts and 193 walks and hit batters. With triple-A Buffalo, he posted a K/BB of 1.4. Buffalo, as a team, has a K/BB of 2.1. Miguel Batista hasn't pitched well in a long time. But back he comes anyway, because he's Miguel Batista, and he still throws that low-90s fastball with all the movement. And he still has all that veteran experience and wisdom he can theoretically impart upon others. I don't know what Miguel Batista could teach a younger pitcher that I'd want the younger pitcher to learn, but I'm sure there are things.

I do wonder if this will be Batista's last shot. I wonder if this will be the final chapter of a Major League career impressive at least in terms of duration. Batista debuted in April 1992, and pitched against John Kruk, Mariano Duncan and Ruben Amaro. He pitched, briefly, for the last Pirates team to finish over .500.

But I wondered the same thing in 2008, 2009, 2010, and earlier in 2011. For a pitcher who appears so very disinterested in pitching whenever he's on the mound, Miguel Batista just refuses to hang up his spikes, and he keeps finding opportunities.

So we'll see if Miguel Batista goes on to have a 2012. I don't know what I'm hoping for, but there's no denying that he holds a certain scientific interest.


New York: All right, the money's been transferred.
Buffalo: Great, thanks!
New York: So this should all work out, then.
Buffalo: Without a hitch.


Buffalo: Hey, who are you?
Beg pardon?
Buffalo: Who are you?
Batista: Miguel Batista.
Buffalo: What are you doing here?
Batista: I am a pitcher.
Buffalo: What are you doing in our uniform? How did you get our uniform?
Batista: I am a pitcher on your team.
Buffalo: No you aren't!
Batista: Yes I am?
Buffalo: If you're a pitcher on this team, how come I've never seen you before?
Batista: You see me every day!
Buffalo: That's nonsense!
Batista: It's true! I pitch! A lot!
Buffalo: Not a chance!
Batista: You signed me to a contract just a few months ago!
Buffalo: Prove it!
Batista: The contract's in your office, with all the others!
Buffalo: No it isn't!
Batista: Yes it is!
Buffalo: No it isn't!
Batista: Yes it is!
Buffalo: No it isn't!
Batista: Yes it is! I'll show you!
Batista: /walks to office
Buffalo: /walks to office
Batista: /opens file cabinet
Batista: See! It's right...
Batista:'s right...
Batista: isn't in here.
Buffalo: You don't say.
Batista: It used to be in here.
Batista: You did something with my contract.
I have no idea what you're talking about.
Why not just cut me the normal way