It hasn't been so great being a fan of the Mets and Jets lately, but it could be worse - I could be a Cleveland fan. First, the Indians, who not too long ago boasted CC Sabathia in their rotation, sign none other than Carl Pavano. The signing itself is not unreasonable - one year, $1.5 million guaranteed, with the possibility of earning $5.3M more in performance bonuses. But here's what Indians GM Mark Shapiro had to say about Pavano:
"I feel like we're getting him at the right time," Shapiro said. "He's very strong, in good shape now and extremely motivated. We thought he would benefit from a fresh start. It was a tough situation in New York and he was trying to justify the contract that he had."
So Shapiro has to explain to Indian fans that Pavano is in good shape now and, unlike when he was in pinstripes, Pavano promises to be "extremely motivated." As for being in a "tough situation in New York," well, who created that tough situation? Pavano!
Shapiro even guaranteed Pavano a sport in the rotation, though he did say it would be as long as Pavano was healthy following spring training. Good luck with that!
At one point during the 1994 season, the Philadelphia Eagles were 7-2. But the Eagles collapsed down the stretch, losing their last seven games. and coach Rich Kotite was fired. While other organizations were not exactly lining up at Kotite's door, one owner, the Jets' Leon Hess, saw a chance to hire a coach with experience who had made the playoffs two years earlier. Jet fans know all too well how that turned out.
At one point during the 2008 season, the Jets were 8-3. But they collapsed down the stretch, losing four of their last five (and should have lost the Buffalo game as well) and coach Eric Mangini was fired. While other organizations were not exactly lining up at Mangini's door, one owner, Cleveland's Randy Lerner, saw a chance to hire a coach with experience who had made the playoffs two years earlier.
Time will tell if the Browns made the right move. After all, Pete Carroll, the young coach the Jets replaced with Kotite, has gone on to have a highly successful coaching career. And it was only a few months ago that the Jets couldn't wait to get rid of Chad Pennington.
But as of now, I think the best ex-New Yorker Cleveland has acquired so far this offseason is the one player in the J.J. Putz trade I didn't want to see go - Joe Smith.