The Hodge Podge: A Whirlwind of Fury
In getting caught up in the NBA Finals, Britton, Dan and I haven’t been fulfilling our civic duties of satisfying your baseball fix. For that we apologize. In retribution I’ve decided to give the Hodge Podge a bit of flare, by making this chaotic array of thoughts only about baseball.
Let’s do this.
I’ve been thinking…
I Heart Huckabees (but not the Braves)
Paraphrasing a a line from perhaps my favorite film of the new millennium, Bobby Cox and company were the parking lot crusaders who turned their backs on Tom Glavine like a cold blooded-gangsta. But they had to do it, didn’t they?
Or did they?
I’m with Glavine on this one. It seems entirely plausible giving him a proper night-cap wasn’t worth the $1-million roster bonus he would have received, had the Braves taken a risk on whatever is left in that 43-year-old left-handed tank of his.
Finding out if his fastball had enough life to let him close out his storied, future Hall of Fame career, wasn’t worth the rake.
Do I blame them? Absolutely. This wasn’t about creating space for top prospects, Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen. One or both of them could have waited in Triple-A for another month or two while the Braves properly handled the Glavine situation. This sure as heck wasn’t about winning, while only six-and-a-half back — and in third place — in the NL East, you’d be hard pressed to find a baseball executive or analyst who expects them to beat out the Mets or Phillies.
Atlanta biffed on the chance to bring Greg Maddux back for one more spin on the merry-go-round and they did the same with John Smoltz. Tom Glavine makes 0-for-3. Not a great track record for one of baseball’s “elite” clubs.
“Twenty Million Rupees!” (Better make it an even billion.)
How in all that is decent can San Diego State junior, Stephen Strasburg, in good faith, ask Washington for $50-million? He’s going to turn the system upside down.
There are far too many young, but established stars, making light years less than Strasburg presumably will sign for, for his bonus not to send shock-waves throughout big league clubhouses. If you think A-Rod has it tough for being MLB’s richest player, just wait until a guy who has never thrown a big league pitch inks for more than any free agent may this winter.
GM’s aren’t throwing that kind of coin around for just anyone these days, so why break the bank for a college player?
Seems to me we have a broken system.
So tell me, who’s going to man-up and fix it?
Nike Needs To Make Another Puppet
Don’t worry, I’m not breaking my “baseball only” promise. Heard the name Bryce Harper? Odds are you have, or if you haven’t, you will soon.
(Skip past the intro to the 1:45 mark to see him hit – unless of course you think you will get stimulated by watching the kid hit off a tee, in which case skip ahead only to the 1:33 mark.)
Forget about Strasburg, SI’s Tom Verducci wants you to think younger. He isn’t the first to dub Harper the next LeBron and he won’t be the last.
(I’m guzzling the Kool-Aid as we speak. Sweet gosh I’m thirsty. Please sir, can you spare a buck or two for more purple stuff?)
Look, who knows if this 16-year-old demigod is as good as they say — or even real for that matter, remember SI is also the magazine that spun the curious and mind boggling tale of Sidd Finch, a right-handed Buddhist who perfected a 150-MPH pitch — but forget the mammoth 570-foot home run Verducci claims Harper hit on glorious Las Vegas afternoon, if the kid has quicker bat speed than Mark McGwire did in his prime, well color me intrigued.
Random MLB Stories I’m Sick of
-The downfall of David Oriz. We get it. He’s either older than advertised, a washed up former roider, or blind as a bat. I love that if hurts Red Sox fans, trust me, that part fascinates me, but Ortiz rose to fame when unless you were a Yankees fan, you probably didn’t loathe the Sox. His historic collapse is depressing.
-Matt Holliday is playing well and thinks a trade would be nice, or not. He’s good either way. Oakland has won four straight, with Holliday leading the charge. He is really swinging it right now, but it’s only a tease. With four rookies in the rotation the A’s version of a winning streak won’t last much longer and the rumors will begin to swirl before he is finally dealt. It’s just so bleeping sad. Can’t the A’s keep one decent player in his prime? Just one?
-If voted into the All-Star game, Manny Ramirez should respectfully decline his invitation and go back to hitting high stacks of society off tees in Newport Beach. What Manny did. The fans voting him in would be wrong. The All-Star game determining home-field advantage is wrong. The fans having to annually sort out this whole, “It’s a fun exhibition, but it actually means something” mind game is wrong. Rooting for the Padres or Mariners is wrong.
Sorry, my point is, it’s a terrible decision to place in the hands of fans who annually treat the process as if they were voting for the prom king and queen. I just don’t want to hear about it anymore. I’ll accept stories about other Dodger outfielders (Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and may my Lord God help me, even Juan Pierre at this point) but not Manny. I’m not ready yet.
One trade storyline which peaks my interest much more than which MLB Monopoly space Jake Peavy, Matt Holliday or Erik Bedard will land on, is where much too talented for the Padres slugger, Adrian Gonzalez will end up.
It’s as if I can feel Theo Epstein picking up his Blackberry and dialing up San Diego GM, Kevin Towers as I type this blog.
Would you rather pay Gonzalez, $3-million this year, $4.75-million in 2010 and a club option (which would definitely be picked up by any team in baseball) $5.5-million in 2011, or have ponied up $180-million over the course of eight years (roughly $22.5-million per) as the Yankees did this past offseason for Mark Teixiera?
Looks like New York jumped the gun a little.