Brewers….Stick a Fork In Them
The year long struggle to get a resemblance of a starting pitching rotation has doomed the Brewers. I’m baffled that Doug Melvin could not find one decent starter or take a chance on someone ala the Phillies with Pedro Martinez and the Cardinals with John Smoltz. I mean what do you have to lose? They couldn’t be any worse than our current group of slugs (except for Yovani Gallardo) and who knows, they could find lightning in a bottle.
Instead he demotes JJ Hardy and then refuses to trade him, releases then trades Bill Hall to the Mariners for a minor league pitcher and gives Bill Castro his walking papers.
Even though Alcides Escobar has started out fine, he can’t pitch and it is still way too early to project what kind of player he will be.
So the Brewers who started out so promising are now cooked. And don’t look for much improvement in the near future. There are some attractive free agent starters worth pursuing in the off-season; Josh Beckett, Rich Harden, Tim Hudson, Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb to mention a few. Look for the club to make some half-hearted offers just to appease fans by saying offers were made but were rejected. Of the above mentioned, I would take a shot at getting either Hudson, Webb or, yes, even Ben Sheets. All three will be coming off major surgeries and their contracts could be uploaded with incentives. Perhaps they can go overseas and sign a Japanese pitcher, most of whom have done pretty well over here.
Now that he is in Cooperstown, Jim Rice apparently feels that he can mouth off on all things baseball. His ridiculous criticism of Derek Jeter was uncalled for. He said that Jeter is not a good example for Little Leaguers! What, and I suppose Manny Ramirez is?
Who is Jim Rice to talk about a player who is already better than Rice ever was? Soon, Jeter will become the Yankees all-time hits leader. He is one of few major leaguers who truly represents the image of the game the way it should be. Scandal-free, he avoids tabloid headlines. He takes his Captain’s designation seriously. If I had a young son right now you better believe I would want him to emulate Jeter.
And Rice? He’s lucky to be in the Hall of Fame. If I were him, I would walk quietly into the sunset and never be heard from again.
Strasburg Era Begins.
Well the Nationals signed phenom Stephen Strasburg to a record contract for a draft pick. Thanks to Scott Boras, who’s only goal is to eventually bankrupt teams so long as his players are taken care of, a new era of inconceivable wealth is being awarded to unproven players who have yet to pitch or hit at the major league level.
These kids are now being enriched based on their potential. Imagine if Strasburg blows out his arm before he’s even pitched in the major leagues. Who loses? All of the risk is on the team, not the player.
Something needs to be done. To those who want to compare these contracts to those that rookies get from the NFL and NBA there are two big differences. One, first round picks almost always make the professional team the year they are drafted. In baseball, there is no guarantee. They sign rich contracts and begin in the minors. Second, both the NFL and NBA have restrictions on what they pay draft picks. The NFL has a slotting system with suggested pay ranges for draft picks, (baseball supposedly does to but it is, at times, ignored). The NBA has a hard salary cap for rookies. Baseball has neither and won’t as long as the union is calling the shots.
I don’t know where the Nationals, who play in front of some of the smallest crowds in the majors, came up with the money for this contract. They will be paying Strasburg over $15 million over the life of the contract. By contrast, the Brewers signed their first 13 picks for just over $6 million! The Marlins entire 2009 payroll is just over $21 million.