As if Mets fans needed another reason to hate the Braves, they now have the opportunity to see whether Mike Hampton, the pitcher who spurned them for the big money, and educational perks of Colorado, can resurrect his floundering career in the NL East with Atlanta. Some guys have all the luck.
Sure, Hampton has had to pay for his avarice, as his numbers over the past two seasons demonstrate. His slugging aside, Hampton has payed the piper, in true Faustian style; I know more than a few Mets fans who took great pleasure in watching his misfortunes.
Now, it's Hampton who may have the last laugh. He is sitting pretty, having succesfully wriggled his way out of a career-threatening situation in Colorado, and he hasn't lost a cent of his outlandishly large contract. Three teams will pay Hampton the remaining $84 million on his contract, with the Braves on the hook for $48 million over 6 years. Not a bad deal if he bounces back. Tim Kurkjian reports on the details of the trade, which is one of the more complicated deals in recent history.
Of course, it's a calculated risk on the part of the John Schuerholz; Hampton could be a complete bust. But with pitching guru Leo Mazzone returning, it's hard to believe that Hampton won't recover at least some of his pre-Colorado form.
What makes the Hampton deal so interesting is that is seems to have fallen into the Braves lap. If this is the start of a trend, there could be a few more good suprises this winter.
Of course, the Mets pursuit of Tom Glavine becomes even more urgent now. Even if it's from a public relations point of view. But how could anyone be suprised if Glavine plays both the Mets and the Phillies, and returns to Atlanta himself? Bob Klapisch writes today that the Mets still have a good shot at the vetern lefty, but I have my doubts.
Nothing like stoaking the fires of a rivalry. Especially with a red-ass, douche bag like Hampton cast as the latest villain. Is Glavine next?
It all makes me wonder what suprises the Sox have in store for us Yankee fans this winter.