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Queens Chronicle

Mets: Barter Bartolo

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Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2014 10:30 am

Like a lot of observers I was puzzled this past winter why the Mets, a team that has scrupulously watched its payroll the last five years, decided to lavish a $20 million, two-year contract on rotund veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon.

I felt the Mets would have been better re-signing free agent pitcher Chris Capuano, who had pitched reasonably well for them in 2011 and would have commanded less money than Colon, who was coming off an 18-win season for the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees recently acquired Capuano, who has pitched well in two starts. Unfortunately, the Yankees’ bats were quiet when he was on the mound.

Colon, 41, did perform better than I expected as he won 10 games before August — though he’s been slumping since the All-Star break and was lit up by the San Francisco Giants this past Sunday as the Mets were pummeled 9-0.

The trade deadline came and went last Thursday with the Mets standing pat as expected. There was not much of a market for Colon’s services as other teams were understandably reluctant about assuming his contractual obligation for 2015. Nonetheless, trades are frequently made in August, through a complex mechanism known as the waiver wire.

If Colon were to pitch better than he has recently, and the Mets were willing to cover some of the financial burden, they might be able to get some young talent in return. Assuming Matt Harvey returns to the starting rotation in 2015 to join the likes of Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler and surprising rookie Jacob deGrom, there probably wouldn’t be a place for Colon in Flushing anyway. And I’m not even including Noah Syndergaard.

Mets manager Terry Collins may never get a plaque in Cooperstown but he was inducted last month into the Albuquerque Baseball Hall of Fame because he played for the Albuquerque Dukes in the late 1970s and early 1980s when they were the LA Dodgers’ top minor league team. “It’s a big honor for me,” he said. When I mentioned that Mike Piazza, who also played for the Dukes, had not yet received that honor, Collins chuckled. “And he had a far better career than I did!”

The Mets make their final appearance in Philadelphia for the year this weekend. Tickets should be easy to get as the aging Phillies are awful. Citizens Bank Park is as beautiful as ever and there is plenty to do in Philly.

Bayside resident and veteran radio sports reporter Ashley Scharge will be in Toronto next week, providing insight and news for Sirius XM NHL Network Radio on its “Hockey Today” show which airs from 8 to 10 a.m. weekdays.

Life and style

It’s amazing how popular coconut water has become. Copra Water bottles some of the sweetest coconut water that I have ever tasted because it uses coconuts from western Thailand, which must have more natural sugars than those from the Western Hemisphere. Copra doesn’t heat its coconut water nor does it add preservatives.

It’s getting a lot harder to find radio stations even on the internet that play music from the 1950s and pre-Beatles 1960s. Sirius XM has channels dedicated to this fun era of music but that requires a paid subscription. Popgoldradio.com, which is operated by longtime New Jersey radio air personality Don Tandler, is a good option as is fox1150.com out of El Paso, Texas.

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