August 25, 2009

Red Sox Get Billy Wagner

Lefty Billy Wagner is the newest member of the Red Sox bullpen.

Boston traded two AA-level players to the Mets.

Coming off Tommy John surgery, Wagner has made two appearances for the Mets, throwing 15 balls and 18 strikes in two innings. Control is the last thing for a pitcher coming off TJ surgery to regain.

Both Wagner and his agent ("Bean Stringfellow" (!)) say that he can pitch only once every three days.

A few days ago, Jonathan Papelbon and Manny Delcarmen questioned how effective Wagner would be and if his presence would upset the chemistry in the bullpen.

What has he done? Has he pitched this year? Is he ready to pitch or is he not? ... I think our bullpen is good where we're at right now. Don't get me wrong. But I guess you could always make it better.
I think our bullpen is fine right now. It is what it is. If [Wagner] comes and helps us win, that's what we want. But sometimes, shaking things up this late might work out different.
When told of Papelbon's comments, Wagner said:
I don't have anything to say about somebody like that. ... When he walks in my shoes then I'll say something. Let him be 38 and have Tommy John surgery.
Wagner has worn out his welcome with the Astros, Phillies and Mets. In May 2008, he blasted Oliver Perez:
Perez honestly has got to step up and know that we've just used every guy in the bullpen the night before. He can't come in and come out there and decide that he doesn't have it today, and so be it.
About a week later, he implied teammates like Carlos Delgado were avoiding the media:
Someone tell me why the (expletive) you're talking to the closer. I didn't even play. They're over there, not being interviewed. ... I got it. They're gone. (Expletive) shocker.
In 2005, while playing in Philadelphia, he said the Phillies "ain't got a chance" of making the playoffs and criticized his teammates for quitting when they got fell behind.

While he does not sound like a good mix for this team, he is a hard-throwing lefty that they are renting for next to nothing. Since he is facing free agency, maybe Wagner will simply shut his piehole two months and pitch well, and we'll say buh-bye to him at the end of October.


johngoldfine said...

He sounds like quite the charmer.

9casey said...

You say he may not be a good mix for this team...I think he will fit fine.....the Mets are filled with overpayed underacheivers , whome he called out.....He wil be fine ....

Zenslinger said...

Not a fan of the Papelbon mouth. As someone said on SoSH, Wagner's being added because he's a better option than a Gonzalez or Traber. Okaji's our only lefty. It can't hurt, except maybe that Wagner's a dick, but when has that stopped anyone from playing baseball?

Ish said...

Septic system pumping sneak attack... FAIL. Nothing like NOT KNOWING that the guy is coming. Then moving the car to the neighbors and getting blocked in because HE'S NOW THERE pumping their house! *HEADDESK* I was going to go to the gym because it smells like shit in here (literally!) and, yeah. Can't leave.

redsock said...

Consensus is that this is more for the playoffs than the season.

redsock said...

From SoSH (Lurker Paul):
Wagner's second and final season in Philadelphia was arguably his best. He finished 2005 with a 1.51 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP as the Phillies' closer, saving 38 out of 41 games. But during Wagner's short stint as a Phillie, he was often truculent with the media and antagonistic toward the fans, the front office, and his own teammates. He was allegedly confronted by every member of the Phillies during the 2005 pennant race for comments he'd made to the Philadelphia Inquirer criticizing the team's play. He told the Inquirer's beat reporter that the team had no chance of making the playoffs with their current nucleus of Bobby Abreu, Jim Thome, and Pat Burrell, and hinted at the possibility of pulling himself out games if the NL Wild Card seemed out of reach. Over his two years in Philly, he openly grumbled to the media about the fans, famously saying that Philly fans "want to much and expect to much." "I can't take this place..." was his famous parting words. During home games, he often got into shouting matches with fans who crept too close to "his" bullpen. He groused about pitching in non-save situations, even during winning streaks, and was known to be harshly critical of young pitchers after bad outings. ...


Globe says that he might be able to pitch 2 out of every 3 days.

Amy said...

As long as he doesn't turn into Gagne 2.0 or Smoltz 2.0....

Pap should keep his mouth shut. He's hardly been my favorite player this year, on or off the field.

Patrick said...

This guy doesn't sound nice, but Bot needs to take a ride on the STFU boat to silent island.

Hope this isn't Gagme again.

Woti-woti said...

What with all the vets in the lineup wanting PA's and now another "mouth" to feed in the bullpen, Tito is really going to earn his keep over the next few months. Just turn into "playoff assassin Tito" and win!

johngoldfine said...

If his arm is as hot and aggressive and attitudinous as his mouth, great!

Benjamin said...

Someone on SoSH called him "Guillaume Wagne". Hilarious but hopefully not true.

Mrs.GotRibe said...

From the Globe

"I think Pap feels he was misunderstood," Epstein said. "He's not a Rhodes Scholar to begin with.

Patrick, haha, STFU boat to silent island.