by West Coast Craig

KINEWATA ISLAND – With the on-going winter meetings taking place in Indianapolis, your intrepid West Coast Reporter wants nothing to do with the frigid heartland and instead went west… All the way to the Polynesian Islands to speak with the renown trader and savvy businessman Johnny Lingo, to see what he would do to build a baseball winner. With gentle, warm island breezes ruffling the palm trees above, and cool sand beneath my feet, I found the modest tree house of the man who once had the foresight to trade an unprecedented eight whole cows for his wife Mahana, who turned out to be one smoking hottie.


He seemed reluctant to answer when I knocked on the door. “Go away!” he yelled, but I’d come too far to turn around now. “I’m not interested!” he persisted, then cracked the door slightly. “You’re not from the Mormons, are you?” I insisted I was not, and he finally let me in. “Those guys won’t leave me alone.” I told him I was representing the Mets… well, actually people associated with the Mets… well actually, a fan site that happens to have many frustrated Met followers. Johnny Lingo shook his head sadly. “That is a tough situation,” he said, “but I will try to help.” We started going over the free agent class and other possible answers, and I got the Johnny Lingo assessment – a system, I’m sure, better than any scouting reports.

“Right now I think the Mets are worth… 15 cows all together and 10 of those are for Johan Santana. They need corner outfield help, a new first baseman, could use a new catcher, another front line starter or two, and a good set-up man.” I threw out some names.

Outfield: “Matt Holiday is worth maybe four cows. That dropped ball against the Dodgers takes him down a cow, and he really stunk in Oakland, but this is the National League, so that adds a cow back, and frankly he’d be an upgrade over what the Mets have out there now. Jason Bay may also work, but who can get excited about Jason Bay enough to part with cows?”

Pitching: “Is now the time to go for Roy Halladay? I say yes, and pay eight cows for him. It’s a risk since he’s not quite an eight cow pitcher anymore, but the Mets have to win now and this is a risk worth taking. There’s talk of Brad Penny, but I would rather pay a cow or two for a Rich Harden and hope for the best. If I were the Mets, I would only pay three cows for John Lackey. He would be a good second starter, but to me he seems like a guy New York may turn into another Kenny Rogers.”

Kenny Rogers: “What, he’s retired? I would offer two chickens to entice him back.”

Catcher: “All free agent catchers are cows themselves, so I wouldn’t offer anything for them… except maybe a cow for Benjie Molina, to pit brother against brother in the Subway Series.”

First Base: “Delgado is worth a three legged cow and a goat, so I would not re-sign him. I would pay 4 goats for Nick Johnson because he has a handsome mustache and he brings a nice OBP to complement Beltran, Wright, and Reyes – but he gets hurt a lot. The Mets have a lot of cows in the bank, but not many down on the farm, otherwise I would say pay seven or eight cows to the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez. Great glove and big power, and nobody knows who he is. He could be like Texiera for them.”

can this guy play second?

Second Base: “Luis Castillo is worth five chickens, because he sometimes catches the ball with chicken arms. Castillo had a good season but this could be the year the Mets get Orlando Hudson, I would pay three cows for him. Also interesting, if they can’t trade for Gonzalez, I might take some of those cows and offer them to Florida for Uggla. He had a down year last year, but put him in the middle of a Mets line-up that reverts to form and that could be formidable.”

Shortstop and Third Base: “This is what I mean about hoping to revert to form, you’re stuck with your cows here… hopefully this year they become cash cows.”

Set Up Relief Pitchers: “Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano? Might be worth a cow for the pair of them, just to scoff at Atlanta’s getting Billy Wagner. Mike Lindstrom of the Marlins is getting some heat lately…I would offer a couple of steaks for him.”

Is that a rugby ball? Can she play right field?

At that point Mahana came in from patching one of the roofs, and began cooking a succulent pig in the ground out back, before she went out to chop down a suitable Christmas tree, then sat down at the computer and started posting responses to all her favorite sports sites. “I would like to see the Mets pay 20 cows this winter,” Johnny Lingo said as he stood up and walked me to the door. “It is about the cows,” he continued, “if they pay 20 cows, then their fans will feel like 20 cow fans.” We laughed heartily. “I don’t understand,” I said, but he only smiled thoughtfully as he waved farewell. “It was the cows,” he repeated, and shut the door. I pondered these words as I walked back to my dugout canoe, and stepped in a cow patty.

Johnny Lingo “The 8 Cows Remix” from Hadrian Belove on Vimeo.

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About West Coast Craig 226 Articles
West Coast Craig reports from Hollywood with an endearingly laid back style. A happily married father of two little boys, WCC has an avocado tree in his yard, plays the hot corner in a "Valley" hardball league and always manages to take cool sports-related mini road-trips, often with his immediate clan. He hails from Oneonta, NY but has been "So very L.A." for twenty years, so his sports teams are the Yankees AND the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the L.A. Lakers and the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. WCC loves bacon-wrapped hotdogs and can touch his heel and his ear... with his hand.