Friday, March 19, 2004

Different People Celebrate in Different Ways
My favorite headline of the week, courtesy of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Steroids Barry
So it begins.

I agree with Barry Bonds who consider the steroids question a full-blown Witch Hunt. Yet even if "Have you at any time taken steroids" becomes the theater of the absurd question of the summer, Bonds only has himself to blame.

Sure Greg Anderson and Bonds go back to high school and they have strong ties that bind. But even if Bonds is clean, he's still exposing brethren baseball players to a guy who is as unsavory as they come. Anderson's lawyer, the erstwhile Tony Serra, in defense of Bonds says that he was offered illegal substances and turned them down, so it's not like he didn't know what Anderson is up to. One must wonder if Bonds ever considered what business Anderson was doing in the Giants dugout, or on the Japan All-Star trip in 2000 and 2002.

At best Barry is the Typhoid Mary of Major League Baseball, exposing the 'clean' around the league. At worst, he's a 'roided out pusher's assistant.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


I hate the Yankees.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Off Topic Alert
Is there a job more unappetizing that a head coach job in the NFL? Ask Nick Saban, the coach of the "national champion" LSU Tigers. His good friend, Jerry Angelo, offered him the head coaching job with the Chicago Bears, complete control of his assistant coaches, a say in the personnel decisions of the team, and $3.5 million a year to lead the Monsters of the Midway.

Saban says "Mmm, no thanks. Can't afford the pay cut." Not really. But it's close. Saban will get $2.3 million for winning the "national championship" at LSU. And as long as Saban keeps the LSU Tigers competitive (which looks like a synch with his recruiting touch), he can stay in Death Valley as long as he wishes. Plus, there is no general manager overrulling who he wants on the field or who gets playing time, or who stays or who goes after the season on the field or off.

Being a big time football coach (outside of Lincoln, Nebraska) is the closest equivalent to benevolent dictator there is in sports today. You have control over your entire empire and are treated like a god when you win. If you lose, you might be villified, but nobody will fire your defensive coordinator, or pick a defensive back that you hate with the first pick in the draft.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Gettin' Paid Like It's 2001
In December of 2000, Rich Aurilia signed a three year deal that paid him bank for the time. In 2001 Aurilia made $3.5 million and went out and posted a .941 OPS. It was a career high by far and away for Aurilia and put him just on the outskirts of the elite shortstops in the game (his OPS trailed ARod in that season, but finished ahead of both Jeter and Nomar).

However in the past two years, injuries of all sorts took their toll, limiting Aurilia's playing time and power. Now 32, Aurilia hits the market at the absolutely wrong time. The Great Budget Shrinkage of 2004 is well underway. The only offer Aurilia received that was near market value was from the Detroit Tigers--not quite the winning atmosphere the ultra-competitive Aurilia was seeking.

So Aurilia signed a one-year deal with the Mariners today for $3.5 million. It's nowhere near as galling as the Robbie Alomar surrender to the D'Backs, and you can't really call $3.5m large a disaster. But it certainly does not bode well for a gimpy, mid-30s player with questionable offensive and defensive abilities.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Immortal Conspiracy Theories
What it means I don't know, but Boston Dirt Dogs astutely pointed out that the Red Sox took both Manny Ramirez and Nomie off the banner of their official web site. A-Rod no longer appears on the Rangers offical web site banner, either. And then Manny and Nomar were stuck back on the Sox banner about 10 hours later. At this point I'm sick of the story, but it just won't die, will it.

Cheap Diamondback
Sure, Robbie Alomar stats have fallen off considerably. But is he really only worth $650,000? That's how much cash the D'backs will shill out to the future Hall of Famer for 2004. Of course they are paying Alomar another $350k. In 2009. Interest fee. How cheap is this? Well, if Robbie's buddy Carlos Baerga gets 200 at bats, he'll earn $1.2 million in 2004 -- 45 percent more than Robbie. Todd Walker, who unlike Alomar has some value at the plate, will earn $1.75 millon in 2004. And he turned down another half million from the Indians. I don't know what this says about Robbie, but it must mean something.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

"In the end, the deal collapsed under the weight of too much money, by far the most involved in a proposed player transaction. Rodriguez could not buy his way to freedom, no matter how willing he was to sacrifice millions to play for the Red Sox."
--from Gordon Edes's Boston Globe report on the failed Alex Rodriguez deal

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