Results tagged ‘ Free Agents ’

Holidays, Hollidays and Halladays

Matt holliday cardinals Here is an actual excerpt from an email I sent a business associate today at work:

Dear (So and So Business Associate),

I hope this finds you well rested after the long Thanksgiving holliday.  Your question really needs little thought to answer, for the best single volume on Chinese symbolism is most definitely Hidden Meanings

Did you catch that?

No, not my inane nice guy approach (which I admit, reeks of staleness).  I mean did you catch my spelling error?

Holiday.  Not holliday.  Silly Jeff.

If this can happen to me, it can happen to you.  Dear readers, if you allow your baseball nerdiness to infect your everyday life then please at least take the extra careful step of proofreading your work-related correspondences. 
Roy halladay
And that goes for everything work related.  The baseball gods blessed me with a 24/7 baseball persona, but they weren’t careful enough to provide me with a reality censor.  Some things slip by and the result can be as catastrophic as postseason errors by the Tigers pitching staff (eat it, Mr. Krause; it’s never going to go away).

Other mistakes I’ve made at work include but are not limited to the following:

  • Screaming out Holy F***! when DeWayne Wise made “The Catch”
  • Telling the mailman he reminded me of a young, early 60s era Dal Maxvill to which he replied: “That’s the coffee with the Columbian guy on the front, right?” Wrong.
  • Asking a client to hold (while I sat in an online queue to score Cards/Cubs tickets)
  • Turning red in the face while explaining to a colleague that a batter cannot advance to first base on a dropped third strike if there’s a guy on first! Jesus Christ I know what I’m f****** talkin’ about here, man!

The above are all avoidable, but when we find ourselves in the trenches of the holiday season and the two most sought free agents are named Holliday and Halladay, someone is bound to find himself in a world of blunder.

And that’s what we want to help you avoid.

So, y’know, don’t mess up.  Like I did.

Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I fell victim to the occasional spelling error, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*PS. Drop by A Bite Off the Big Apple and say “Hi” to Jess; his currently featured NY Note was sent in by a witty, strapping, genius of a baseball fan.

Scott Boras Tactics on Capitol Hill?

When you have the right cards and you know you are going to win the hand, it’s natural to hold out and sweeten the pot the best you can, while you can.  The concept is as ancient as it is common: supply and demand; buy low, sell high… all those stock economic catchphrases.

We see this in sports all the time — in baseball in particular — most notably with the high profile clients of Scott Boras. 

Sure, we were all initially excited about the Matt Holliday show in St. Louis last July; but we also knew that despite its quaint, warm appeal, it would ultimately end like this:

http://www.liveleak.com/e/afe_1258501713

Naturally, our nation’s elected leaders are not immune from similar Boras-like tactics. 

You want that health care reform bill to pass the senate?  Give my home state of Louisiana an extra $300 million in federal dough.  Credit Sen. Mary Landrieu with that walk-off homerun to end the game (but not the series).

scott boras thinking.jpgDo that 59 more times (they need 60 votes to move this thing) and we’re looking at an extra $17.7 trillion we need to set aside to get a multi-billion dollar plan in place. 

Or senators could just vote according to their constituents.

Now there’s a thought.

Somehow, considering how much money is involved in motivating people to do… well… anything, I still feel like I must be doing something wrong. 

I am skilled.  I am intelligent.  I have good ideas and I perform well.

But I only have about $345 of liquid assets to hold me over until payday and there’s a lot of beer that must be consumed before then.

I wonder if Boras would be interested in representing a linguist.

Hate me ‘cuz I am willing to sell out, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Words, Words, Words

shakespeare.jpg“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
                              — Everyone’s Mother

How very un-American our mothers are!

Indeed, freedom of speech — speaking one’s mind — venereal verbosity — is just but one of the many great attributes of being an US American.  Believe me, after living in China for four years, it is both comforting and refreshing to know that I can publicly endorse the extreme social and mental benefits of playing the Harold Reynolds drinking game on a semi-regular basis.  (*In China, drinking games are not allowed unless they are a) a way to dupe silly Americans into sending jobs overseas b) a way to dupe silly Americans into eating Fido and liking it or c) a means to getting drunk.)

Yet sometimes, our mothers seem to actually know what they are talking about.  And such advice would really come in handy if your name was Alex Rodriguez or Ann Coulter or any one of these individuals: 

Curt Schilling
He says publicly that he would like to make a comeback and play for either the Chicago Cubs or the Tampa Bay Rays.  Okay.  Fair enough, Curt.  You are a gamer.  You probably still have it in you to pitch at the Major League level.  Yet, considering your less-than-admirable reputation among others in the league, would it not be more beneficial to just go about your business and get in the game rather than release a statement of who you would like to pitch for?  And why the ultimatum for those two teams?  Could you not pitch for the Pirates just as easily as you could the Cubs?  This ploy is eerily similar to me drunk texting women from my past at three in the morning when I would be much better off going to bed or more successful by getting in a cab and just showing up at someone’s doorstep.

jabba the hut.jpgRush Limbaugh
As an US American, it is one thing to say “I hope my party [the Republican Party] gains momentum and succeeds in the next presidential race.”  I do not think anyone would have a problem with that.  The problem is, the GOP’s own Jabba the Hutt did not say that.  He said: “I hope he [President Obama] fails.”

Go eat yourself to death, Rush.

steve phillips.jpgSteve Phillips
Personally, I like Steve Phillips and the general manager perspective he brings to ESPN’s broadcasts.  In general, I find Phillips to be a decent guy who always calculates what he is going to say before he says it.  But to publicly lambast Lou Piniella on his handling of Japanese imports (Kosuke Fukudome) is something even I find astonishing.  He said:

“My view is Lou doesn’t have a great deal of patience of assimilation
into culture, assimilation in the team. He is just not the most patient
guy around and he tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way.
I think that may have affected Fukudome a little bit.”

Hmm.  Well, Steve-O, I think you may have ticked Lou off just a tiny bit with that one.  Ordinarily, I would attempt to defend you in some way, but then I saw how crazy you really are when you said: Dontrelle Willis will be the comeback player of the year in 2009.

Coo-koo!

Rod Blagojevich
Yes, the democrat who just won’t go away is still… around… and this time he is writing a book!  Don’t feel bad, folks; I didn’t think he could read either, but apparently he can (or someone can for him) and when it is all said and done there will be a big, fat, juicy tell-all telling all about… er… eh… what we already know.  Blago’s foray into Jose Canseco-ism may be a success only if he can convince anyone to care about what he has to say.  From my vantage point, that ain’t happening.  We are talking about corrupt politicians here, not homerun happy ‘roiders.  Big difference.

Ryan Dempster
I know, I know.  Dempster has not said anything extraordinarily stupid… yet.  But he will.  That is what he does.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

**In lieu of THIS BREAKING NEWS, we at RSBS would like to congratulate Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras on successfully hijacking the Dodgers for the entire off-season.  That is classy.  No, that is Roberto Alomar I’ll-spit-AIDS-in-your-eye kind of classy.  Believe that.  

The Filibuster

Griffey's catch.jpgKen Griffey, Jr. found his way back to Seattle last week despite his
obvious decline in market value.  What does it say about a team when
its best shot at putting fans in the seats is to sign a dilapidated
hero of old on the cheap?  Will this be a trend?  And ultimately, Is it
fair to the fans?

–Jeff

_________________________________

Dilapidated hero of old? I don’t remember you saying that when Griffey was playing for the White Sox last season. In fact, if I remember correctly, you were pretty excited about it. That statement is more than silly. It’s ignorant.

Here’s the deal, Mr. Lung. The Mariners are terrible. They lost more than 100 hundred games last year. But they’re also a proud franchise and a franchise that was built by that “dilapidated hero of old” that they just signed. This signing isn’t about turning the franchise around this season or building a playoff team around Junior. It’s about restoring some pride to the franchise and letting Griffey play his probable last season back where he began. It’s good for the team, it’s good for the fans and it’s good for Junior.

Now, if you want to look at the signing from a pragmatic standpoint, it still makes sense. After all the problems Griffey has had physically, he’s probably not going to be playing 162 games in the outfield. He’s also not the same player defensively that he was while playing with the Mariners back in the day. And that’s a liability in the National League. It’s the same problem the Giants ran into with Barry Bonds (along with, well, you know, that “other” problem). It didn’t make sense for Griffey to go to the Braves.

But Junior back in Seattle? That makes sense. When he’s healthy, he adds depth to their outfield and even when he’s not able to go at full speed, you can still include his bat in the DH spot. Yes, you’re right. Junior is not the same player that we grew up watching. But he’s still a formidable threat and it’s a win-win situation for the Mariners.

Now, as for your other question, about this being a trend for players to return to the teams they started off with, I don’t know if it is but I can think of worse things. It makes sense that Griffey should end his career in a Seattle uniform. It would make sense for Smoltz and Glavine to end their careers in Atlanta. It’s how we know them and it’s where they belong. I’m sure that if the Cards ever traded Pujols away, you’d still want him back, even if he wasn’t in MVP form. In many ways, free agency has gutted baseball but every once in awhile it works out in our favor. This is one of those times.

-A

The Interns Channel Their Inner Cassandra

four_horsemen_apocalypse.jpgEvery time I sit down to read the news these days, it seems that one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse is leering out from behind the story. Wildfires in Australia, cholera in Zimbabwe, war in the Middle East and famine here, there and everywhere. Even in the United States we are far from immune to these problems. Unemployment is out of control, no one knows where the financial crisis will ultimately leave us and despite the situation, Congress still can’t seem to figure out how to work together.

But I think the problem can be traced back deeper. No, Mr. Huckabee, it’s not the “anti-religious” forces within the country. And thank you for your input Bristol but it’s not because of teenage pregnancy and the unrealistic idea of abstinence. No, my very exact calculations based on the careful use of a divining rod and an ancient gypsy monkey paw have placed the sewing of the seeds of this crisis on September 9, 1992.

Oddly, another event took place that same day. Could the two be related? It seems too perfect to just be a coincidence. And since there was only one way to find out, I flew the RSBS interns in from Chicago and set them to work. And by the end of the day, in typical RSBS fashion, they came up with several interesting conclusions.

In much the same way that lax regulation allowed the housing market to become overheated, Bud Selig’s single-minded focus on increasing owner revenue allowed a bubble to develop in the baseball market. This enveloped the entire spectrum of baseball related services, too, from the price of seats at a game to the inflated salaries earned by players. But, as fans start tightening their belts, the teams are going to have to figure out some alternate way to keep the money coming in. Perhaps they’ll do it by offering better deals on ticket prices or attempting some new way to keep the concessions moving. It’s a pretty safe assumption that the owners won’t be seeing the same kind of money they did in the past, though. Soon, they might even have to start applying Verizon math to make ends meet.

Additionally, the confluence of decreasing revenue streams and the steroid situation will hit the free agent market pretty hard. The current log-jam in the credit markets came about as a result of toxic assets floating around the banking sector with no one knowing who would take the hit at the final reckoning. It’s like Barry Bonds floating around the periphery of MLB, trying to convince someone to take a chance on him. In the halcyon days of 2005, someone would have been willing to take the risk on both the fancy financial instrument and Mr. Bonds but the market is too tight right now to justify adding such huge liabilities to the books. Free agents will be signed to short-term contracts with PED stipulations, the union will call foul and soon we’ll have a breakdown, just like what we’ve seen in the credit market.

On the bright side, baseball still does provide a quality product so it won’t turn into a situation like that facing the automakers:

calvin_and_hobbes.jpgAt the same time, though, the tendency of owners to rely on municipal largess to rejuvenate the flagging fortunes of their franchises has backfired, a similar situation to what we’re now seeing at GM and Chrysler. Just look at the two new ballparks in the Bronx and Queens, payed for in large part by taxpayer money. As a result of the current economic situation, both teams are struggling to find the sponsorship and financing they need to finish off their end of the bargain. And once again the burden will fall on the shoulder of the taxpayer and the consumer because all the effected parties are “too big to fail.”

The question is, what do we do with these conclusions? Do we continue to chant the Selig mantra, sticking our heads in the sand and claiming that we did all we could do and no one would listen to us? Do we follow the new administration’s path and throw lots of money at the problem in hopes that it will break up the jam? Me, I think there’s a simpler answer. It’s time that the leader who got us into this mess admitted his culpability and fell on his own sword. Healing cannot take place until the tumor has been removed. For that reason, Bud Selig must go.

-A (with special thanks to DK) 

Free Agents: Manny & I Are A Lot Alike

manny ramirez.jpgHere we are, two superstars, both unsigned.

Manny is supposedly asking for too much money; but he deserves a multi-year deal.  I am supposedly too nice of a guy; she said I “deserve better” so she dealt.

Manny is quirky; you never know what he’s going to do.  I am quirky; you know every Saturday afternoon I clean my apartment.

Manny is slow; he looks heavy when he runs.  I am slow; I continuously run into and commit to bad relationships knowing they are bad.

Manny is in his thirties; he still has the ability to take charge of a game.  I am thirty; I still have the ability to take charge of the game.

Manny plays a crappy left field.  I play a crappy left field.

Manny intimidates pitchers.  I intimidate women, who are almost as unpredictable as pitchers, so it’s virtually the same thing.

Manny will most likely hold out until he finds the right fit.

I think I will too.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

On Ben Sheets: Buyer Beware

If you’re wondering why Ben Sheets remains unsigned in the latter half of January, take a look at this video which accurately portrays the pitching mechanics and inherent injury risks typical of Sheets’ style of play:

That’s one ugly mess that I wouldn’t want to clean up, let alone dish out millions of dollars to for a multi-year deal that would most likely end in pain and suffering (see Carl Pavano & the Yankees).

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Worlds Apart

Mark Teixeira at work today:

mark teixeira yankees.jpgMe at work today:

jeff lung.jpgI know, I know… things could always be worse:

pantless man hanging.jpgGo ahead.  Don’t be shy.  Click on the picture to get a better view.  Trust me, you’ll feel better about yourself if you do.

Hate me ‘cuz my pants are down, hate me ‘cuz I whine about Tex’s big paycheck, but don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Second City DYING to Catch Not-So-New Axis of Evil

al capone.jpgMy rackets are run on strictly American lines and they’re going to stay that way.
                  Al Capone (1899-1947)

Dear readers, whilst the baseball mavericks in New York, Boston and New York haggle and jockey for the mightiest and heftiest of major league players (the Sabathias, the Burnetts, the Mannys, the Teixeiras, the K-Rods, the Putzes, blah blah blah) both Chicago teams — the ugly step-sisters of large market franchises — have been busy making equally impressive moves that not only represent the unattested clout of the City of Big Shoulders but also prove that no matter how much money the Northeast Axis of Evil throws at free agents, Chicago still has that good ‘ole familiar, untouchable charm.

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
                         — Al Capone

Perhaps this was the motivation for Joey Gathright to become a Cub.  Now that’s clout!  When I first heard the news, I thought to myself: Wow, the Cubs really showed ‘em who’s boss with that move.  Take that Jake Peavy and Kevin Towers.  Yeah, take that.  The Cubs got Gathright.  Whoowee, watch out world!

But the Chicago melee of off-season moves didn’t just stop there!  No, the White Sox kept ‘em comin’ with that miraculous acquisition of Wilson Betemit and mind-blowing one-year signing of DeWayne Wise! 

And wait!  There’s more…

New York, you think you had a crooked governor?  Ha! 

http://www.nbcchicago.com/syndication?id=36300869&path=%2Fhome%2Ftop_stories

You hear that?  He’s “dying” to talk to we citizens of Illinois.  Dying!  See, our seedy politicians don’t just quit when the heat starts coming down on them.  No.  They stick around, hire expensive, slick-talkin’ lawyers and go for winter jogs in Ravenswood!  BOO-YEAH!  

Of course, New York (and you too, Boston), it should be known that Chicago isn’t just a harbor for back-alley gangsters and pay-to-play nepotists; no, we also breed crooked wife-killin’ cops who not only get away with murder but crooked wife-killin’ cops who get away with murder TWICE!  Then we celebrate when said crooked wife-killin’ cop gets engaged… again!  Duh, my friends.  Everyone knows that happiness comes in threes.  The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times are already preparing for the inevitable, mysterious disappearance of Drew Peterson’s latest (and perhaps craziest?) fiancé — what normal people call “murder” — but this is Chicago!  We do things our way — the US American way!

“Now I know why tigers eat their young.”
                — Al Capone

Me too, dear readers.

Look, it’s true.  I love Chicago.  I really do.  It has character, it has heart, it has Oprah. 

And yes, when it comes to dueling with the New Yorks (and subsequent Bostons) of the world, certainly, we have an inferiority complex bigger than Rush Limbaugh’s mouth at an all-you-can-eat Ponderosa buffet; but the fact remains:

We’re awesome.

Wilson Betemit will prove it in 2009.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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