The monkeys have tried to move on. We've heard that time heals all wounds. We know that "That without remedy shall be without regard." Still, the sting of the Scott Kazmir trades still is as painful as ever. In fact, it is getting worse.
Scott Kazmir pitched 7 shutout innings yesterday for the resurgent Tampa Bay Rays. He has started the season 5-1 with a 1.22 ERA. He is 24 years old and is getting better and better. His prime years are still ahead of him. And although the monkeys defend Johan Santana against those fans who complain he is a disappointment, it's hard to deny that he may have already had his very best years.
Now when the Rays were in last place and barely a blip on any one's radar, it was easy to ignore Kazmir. Until last season, he had only won at most 10 games a season and hey, Victor Zambrano had even done that. He was averaging 6 innings or less per start in most of his outings. In 2006, he had to be shut down due to injury. In 2007, he started 5-6 with a 4.41 ERA. Maybe he just wasn't durable enough to be an ace. Maybe Rick Peterson was right after all. Then he finished 2007 going 8-3 with a 2.39 ERA. He had some elbow issues this spring, but has returned better than ever.
The problem now is the Rays are good. They have locked up several players with some very smart contracts. They even extended Kazmir delaying any fantasy the monkeys or any Mets fan had that the Mets would right this terrible wrong the moment Kazmir hit free agency.
Until the Mets collapse last year, nothing defined the problems with this organization like the Kazmir trade. The monkeys read the rumor the day before it happened thinking no one could be this incredibly stupid as to deal the top lefty pitching prospect that threw 97 MPH with a plus slider. And almost as soon as it happened, nearly everyone associated with it distanced themselves from the decision.
Look up "Ain't No Sucker Like Jim Duquette" on Yahoo and you'll find an article that appeared on several online betting sites right after the trade that shows how Jim Duquette broke every rule of gambling when he made that trade (Of course the Michael Vick and Alay Soler references now seem a bit ironic and dated).
The monkeys will be focused on tonight's game on ESPN with Johan Santana, our ace, on the mound. But every five days, a little wind is taken out of our sails.