So, Half-Wit Hampton has moved his children to yet another school system, this time, in Atlanta, Georgia, that bastion of southern perspicacity, in search of the ultimate learning location. Hampton, if you recall, practically dropped off the face of the earth after 2000, when he dumped the city of New York and specifically, Mets fans, for about 18 katrillion dollars and the chance to wallow incognito in the bowels of Coors Field, although at the time he whined that it was because of the great school system in Colorado or some similar twaddle. Hampton, much like Ken Griffey Junior, achieved a growing level of effeteness after turning down the Mets. While Griffey's HR numbers went from 40 to 22 to a whopping 8 last season after he negated a possible trade to the Mets in 1999 and he is currently a mere shadow of his Hall of Fame promise now left on the trading block by the once enamored Cincinnati Reds, Hampton went 14-13 in 2000 and then bottomed out to 7-15 with a 6.15 ERA in Colorado after blowing off the Mets. Let that be a lesson to future ball players who turn their nose up at the Mets!
Of course now that he is in Atlanta, the hillbillies at the perpetually half-filled Tomahawk Chop Stadium are peeing themselves with excitement. They don't need that reprobate Glavine! He's too old! He's done too much for the franchise! Let's have a proven loser like Mike Hampton to seal our demise once and for all! Hampton, they try to convince themselves, only did poorly because he had to pitch in mean old Coors Field for a living. WELL, before Hampton is annointed the next Cy Young winner, it should be pointed that his ERA on the road was an abysmal 6.44 so Coors Field is a strawman for Hampton's REAL problem which is, of course, that he can't pitch his way out of a paper bag and about the only good thing Braves fans can say for him is that he might work out playing 1B and hitting behind Sheffield in the batting order.
Now, all this love Mike Hampton has of course sent Tom Glavine on a whirlwind tour of all two of his admirers, the Mets and the Phillies. The Mets, desperate for pitching help, have offered more than the Phillies so far and then there is of course, the quick courtship and romance that Mets owner Fred "My Head's on Ass Backwards" Wilbon to consider. So, the chances are good that the Mets might add the 36 year old lefty to their rotation, which, combined with the 37 year old lefty Al Leiter, gives them a good shot at winning the Superannuated League choke-offs. The Mets are also rumored to be in the market for drum-roll please Denny Neaglewho is also left-handed and nearing retirement. I sense a very ominous pattern here.
But, you can't really say that pitching is the Mets' achilles heel. To be equitable, the hitting sucked too. So, if they're going to load up on aging lefties to pitch, the least they could do is beef up the offense a little. Start by getting rid of Rey "I can swing but I can't hit" Ordoñez as swiftly as possible and pretend he was never even here. Re-sign Edgardo Alfonzo, and move him back to shortstop, where he started his career, and then get busy signing a new third basemen by the name of Nohiro Nakamura whose stats against the admittedly inferior pitching of the Japanese League last season were 46 homers with 132 RBIs and a .320 batting average. But Nakamura was no slouch against ML pitching in the recent All-Star series. He won't cost as much as Ordoñez, he certainly won't hit any worse than Ordoñez and you can bet his weekly paycheck he won't be calling the Mets fans stupid.
Whatever happens we can take comfort in what didn't happen. Reportedly, the Mets were one of 4 or 5 teams Hampton advised the Marlins he'd be willing to be traded to before the Braves finally bit the bullet.