Translation: Ozzie couldn't bear to look this sorry excuse for a pitcher in the eye.
The manner in which the news was delivered didn't lessen the excitement for the right-hander.
"All right," said Masset with a smile. "Yes, I'm pumped. I had no idea."
Translation: I know I had no reasonable right to make this club. I'm a horseshit pitcher. But I sure am glad I'm out of options. Per diem, baby!
Ozzie Guillen had announced the team's final move after the Mets' 3-2 victory, with Masset getting the nod over Ehren Wassermann for the honor of 25th man. Masset had a 7.06 ERA over 21 2/3 innings this spring, compared to Wassermann's 3.09 ERA in 11 2/3 innings.
Masset also had an ERA of 7.09 in 39 innings with a WHIP of nearly 2.0 with the White Sox last year, while Wasserman, who was called upon when the Sox finally decided they didn't want to set a record for bullpen futility and sent Masset to the minors, posted a 2.74 ERA in 33 appearances. So you can see how this was a tough decision made solely on the merits of their respective pitching abilities.
Wasserman was the second-most effective reliever for the White Sox in 2007 behind closer Bobby Jenks, while Masset did not even earn a September callup. But Masset can serve as the team's long reliever, or as a sixth starter if necessary, and he also is out of options.
You have a choice between two airlines: Airline #1 is a small, no-frills carrier, but has an impeccable on-time and safety record. They fly to most major cities, but rarely fly non-stop. Airline #2 supposedly has the ability to fly cross-country non-stop, but has been plagued by pesky crashes (air to ground anomalies, they say), frequent delays and they always lose your luggage. But you have a soon-to-expire coupon for Airline #2. Decision made.
If the White Sox selected Wasserman, there was a good chance they would lose Masset.
I honestly think Merkin is trying to use this statement as a negative. I don't know how he thinks a sentence that ends "they would lose Masset" could possibly be a bad thing.
Let me try a couple of these... If The Cheat had won the lottery, he wouldn't have to work as a black market kidney donor anymore. If it wasn't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college. Sounds about right.
"We couldn't take the chance and gamble that way," Guillen said. "We have to look at the long shot, 162 games, even though Wassermann outperformed him. We know what [Masset] has, just in case something happens.
We know Masset has the ability to help us overachieve our Pythagorean Record by making sure we end up on the losing end of an inordinate amount of blowouts. All Wassermann can do is keep close games close, and we have no use for that here.
"I'm not afraid to bring Wassermann back. I know what we can get. He performed well, and that's a tough one for me. He did so great, but he was caught up in the same situation like [Josh] Fields.
Translation: If I had my way, Wassermann would be with the club right now. But it's not my choice. I'll have him back as soon as possible, sometime in August, when we're 6-10 games under .500.
Ozzie's talking out his ass with regards to the Crede-Fields situation, which we already glossed over when Fields was demoted. Crede is a plus-defensive, former (undeserving) Silver Slugger winner, who is a two-time minor league MVP, a major league player, an arguably below-average major league player, but a major leaguer nonetheless. Masset has far more in common with Sean Tracey, who the Sox correctly let go when his option status forced a similar "decision" this time last year, than he does with Joe Crede.
"It is what it is," Guillen added. "He did everything in his power to be here, and it was another tough decision."
Translation: It is what is; a terrible decision, sure to cost the Sox games this season, made for all the wrong reasons.