By Ernie Palladino
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It mattered little that the Mets bounced Scott Kazmir around for seven runs in three innings Tuesday night. All anyone wanted to talk about that day was the move then-general manager Jim Duquette made almost 10 years ago which sent his first-round draft pick to Tampa for eventual bust Victor Zambrano.
For all the hoopla over the current A’s left-hander’s history, one might be convinced its aftermath for both the Mets and Kazmir were unique to this franchise. One might want to tar and feather Duquette, in fact, as they gaze at the still-impressive 9-3 mark — and 2.66 ERA — Kazmir took out of his first return to Flushing, a three-homer cannonading. The stats still draw the eye, and even Duquette can’t get around the fact that his backfire changed at least part of the future of his franchise.
But to ever think that this one move was the single piece of seaweed in a clear blue ocean of pitching trades would not only be wrongheaded, but incorrect. Throughout their history, the Mets have sent off young and veteran arms alike to wonderful futures with other clubs.
One might say they have turned the whole fiasco thing into an art form. And by the way, Duquette was not in the GM seat for any of those other moves.