It’s Friday afternoon, the clock is moving at half the speed at which it usually ticks, and to say you’re ready for the weekend is an understatement worthy of suggesting that Hosni Murbarak hasn’t really grasped the whole Web 2.0 thingy.
Have no fear, Ten Stray Thoughts On A Friday are here.
1. During a radio interview this morning, Matt Holliday said that he’d be willing to defer some of his salary if it meant that Albert Pujols would stay with the St. Louis Cardinals. There hasn’t been a more empty promise since Andy MacPhail spoke about the Orioles potential. His agent, his union and his relationship with teammate Albert Pujols would all stand in the way of that ever happening. Seriously, how could Pujols ever look Holliday in the eye after literally taking money out of his pocket to earn even more money? It won’t happen. And I’m sure it wasn’t Holliday’s intention, but even the suggestion kind of makes Pujols look bad.
2. Which story do you think will be forgotten first once Spring Training gets underway: Michael Young is disillusioned with the Rangers, the Mets owners may not be the best investors, or Frank McCourt trying to pay off his former wife so that he can own the Dodgers? Blargh. If there’s a common lesson that can be learned from all three stories, it’s that you should never trust anyone ever. People are only interested in trading you, bilking you out of your money or taking away whatever is most dear to you.
In my opinion, Fred Wilpon’s dalliances with Bernie Madoff will have the most lasting effect, considering how ownership of the Mets could change because of it, and if it doesn’t you can pretty much rest assured that Jose Reyes will be a free agent after this season.
3. The American League East is going to be a little bit fascinating this year. I can’t imagine an outcome right now in which the Red Sox don’t win it, but I also can’t imagine the second place team not being better than the second place team in any other division in baseball, and any of the rest of the teams in the division could get there. Sure, the Yankees have rotation problems, but the rest of their team is so ridiculously deep that a healthy Eric Chavez could be a bench player. The Tampa Bay Rays shored up everything they had to this offseason and replaced the players that left with the young talent that was already waiting in the wings, but you have to wonder how long they can survive with Johnny Damon in their outfield. The Toronto Blue Jays didn’t especially improve their team from last year’s, but it’s not much worse, they’re saving a bunch of dollars in salary and that young rotation is another year old and has more experience coming into this season. Finally, the Baltimore Orioles look awful, but because I’ve been so critical of the team this offseason, there’s little doubt that they’re going to have a great start to the year.
4. Speaking of the Orioles, here’s one of the reasons I don’t think they’ll compete: they’re terrible against right handed pitching. This is what I’d imagine their starting lineup to be and in brackets is their OPS against righties last season.
2B Roberts (.726)
CF Jones (.804)
LF Scott (.935)
DH Guerrero (.810)
RF Markakis (.762)
1B Lee (.773)
SS Hardy (.759)
Good luck with that, boys.
5. If I were going to take a road trip to go see some baseball games this year, my plan would be to leave Toronto on Canada Day and head all the way down to Cincinnati in time for the Reds interleague game against the Indians that night. I’d hang out there for the weekend series and then travel back to Cleveland to watch a July fourth game against the Yankees. If I stuck around for the rest of that series, I’d still be around to greet the Toronto Blue Jays who start a four game series in Cleveland on Thursday, July 7th. Road trip?
6. After Robinson Cano did it last week, both Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn dropped their agents today to become the clients of Scott Boras. The Yankees have a club option on Swisher at the end of this season for $10.25 million. Cano is in a similar boat with two team options after this season: $14 million for 2012 and $15 million for 2013. Meanwhile, Bourn avoided arbitration this year by signing for $4.4 million. I’m going to guess that none of those guys ever sign another contract that includes a club option.
7. I really, really hope that all, and not just some, of the charges against Barry Bonds get dropped. If my tax dollars were paying for this ridiculous persecution, I’d be outraged. As time passes and charges get added and dropped, to an outsider like me with little to no knowledge of the U.S. legal system, it begins to seem more and more as though the prosecution has nothing there. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it seems to me that they’re cutting off their noses to spite their face in pursuing these charges against Bonds.
8. After reading the ridiculous suggestion that Albert Pujols might end up playing for the Kansas City Royals, I had a staggering thought: What if the Chicago Cubs signed him? It’s the only way I could imagine a player going from beloved to hated faster than Johnny Damon?
9. As always, you can get the latest Getting Blanked stories to pop up in your Facebook news feed by clicking here, and “liking” our Facebook page. We’ll even have some original content in there once the season kicks off. And staying on the social media train, you can also follow me on Twitter here, and follow the other Getting Blanked contributors here and here.
10. I’d just like to reiterate something that I linked to in a previous post about why baseball fans should care about how their team is spending money. For the more fanatical among us, we’re often just as quick to cheer a fiscally responsible move by our team as we are a transaction that makes sense on the baseball field, especially when you support a rebuilding team.
Other fans often criticize those cheers by claiming, “It’s not your money, so why do you worry about it.”
Ugh. That’s such a shortsighted comment, as Sam Miller explains in The Orange County Register rather well:
Yeah, they’re not your home runs, either. Rooting for a team is a vicarious experience, in which you project yourself into the situation and take pleasure (or pain) from the achievements of others. Nobody is arguing that taking on a bad contract is going to have any literal effect on your standard of living. The argument is that a) you want your team to win games, b) getting good players helps win games, c) overpaying for good players hurts your chances of getting more good players or better players. So if (C) hurts (B) and (B) promotes (A), then (C) hurts (A). Bad contracts make you sad.
Thanks everyone for hanging out with me this week. Have a swell weekend.