For the past couple of weeks, since the end of the Winter Meetings to be more exact, every so-called expert has taken their turn at analyzing this off-season. This contract is bad, this contract is great, baseball is spending too much money, and they paid how much for Gil Meche? Blah, blah, blah…. While some of the points are very valid, deep down inside these guys just want to hear themselves talk.
This off-season has seen record contract after record contract agreed upon and then dissected, like those frogs in biology class in the old high school. But who actually knows which player was a good investment, at this point, or not. What most of the experts are missing from this entire process is not the amount of money being spent but will the player actually fit with their new team or not. Will they be a good guy in the clubhouse and become a leader on and off the field? And more importantly, is the team and organization better than they were before their new multi-million dollar man was signed? We’ve all read the fliers, “100% Guaranteed or Your Money Back!” Remember the scene from Fast Times At Ridgemont High? When the guy at All-American Burger asked for his refund on his breakfast and Brad Hamilton (Judge Reinhold) eventually told him that, “he was going to kick a 100% of his (blank).” Wouldn’t it be nice if this year’s free agent class had to give that kind of guarantee? Or something in their contract that said if they do not meet the expectations of their team than a portion of their yearly salary had to be returned to the club; instead of an “opt out clause” it would be a “refund clause.”
This free agent class has been compared over and over again to the one in 2000-2001 and every time that off-season is brought up, it is quickly pointed out how many of those contracts failed. In all likelihood the same will happen to this free agent class but the bottom line is, as of the end of December, not one of those players have picked up a glove or ball, laced up the cleats and stepped foot on a field….with the exception of Daisuke Matsuzaka. And until the first of April, when the games actually count, no one knows for sure what the results will be on the field,
Baseball is a gamblem just like life, sometimes the right decisions are made, sometimes the wrong decisions are made….there just are not any guarantees.
News and Notes from Around the League….
Ken Griffey Jr. broke his throwing hand on Friday and will be in a cast for the next 3 weeks.
Dontrelle Willis was arrested for DUI on Friday morning.
Sammy Sosa is wanting to play and this time he is saying he will take a contract like the one the Washington Nationals offered him last season.