Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Season is Upon Us

New contracts are abound in the MLB this winter, complete with incentives and no, we’re not talking Paid Time Off! In light of these ostentatious incentives players are being offered, we asked how you thought the MLB could make their benefits packages less offensive to the blue collared working man that Bruce Springsteen always writes about. Sadly, only 3 of you seem annoyed enough about this situation to respond. 2 of you decided that a “No play, no pay” policy should be adopted. A player who doesn’t run out an infield hit gets benched. A benched player means he’s not playing. See policy for next step. 1 person would like to just cut through the BS. Forget the new policies. Let’s just go straight to a pay cut. We’re in an economic depression here, people! Where is the MLB getting this funding? The federal budget problems could be solved with the MLB’s excess wealth. Honestly, we’re just happy that no one voted for “I’m not really sure there’s actually a problem here. You’re just jealous.” Realistically, we ARE jealous, but it’s more of a disgusted jealous.

A lot changes in a week. Last week, we talked about how Derek Jeter was still a free agent and this week he’s back to being a Yankee again (surprise, surprise). Granted, he seems to be a bit miffed at how public things got, but perhaps he should keep his agent on a tighter leash next time. published a few details of this contract and boy…does it have our heads spinning. For starters, the contract is for $51 million over 3 years. Okay. That’s pretty basic. Let’s throw in an $8 million player option for a 4th year. Still pretty basic. If Jeter were to decline the option for 2014, there would be a $3 million buyout. Here’s where it gets fancy. His option year could increase in value by as much as an additional $9 million based on incentives or what the Yankees are calling “points.” Like gold stars for good behavior. He’d earn $1 million for every point he scores. WAY better than just getting a gold star. He could get points for finishing in the top 6 in MVP voting, winning a Gold Glove Award, Silver Slugger Award, regular season MVP, ALCS MVP, or World Series MVP. Some of these awards are naturally worth more than 1 point, which means several million dollars. Wait…why is Jeter so angry again?

On the other side of the bridge in Flushing, the Mets have acquired 5 players through the Rule 5 Draft: DJ Carrasco, Ronny Paulino, and 3 others (whom we can only assume are Larry, Curly, and Mo) that are said to “plug the holes and fill out rosters and give the club efficiency in terms of dollar amounts.” Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay…

A few smattering of baseball notes for this week:
On Sunday night, just before the winter meetings kicked off, Jayson Werth parted ways with the Phillies, signing a 7-year contract worth $126 million with the Nationals. This is both a good move by the Nationals and a bizarre one by the Phillies. Did you really just let your clutch man walk to the worst team in your division? So…it’s official. The Mets will be in last place this year and the Nationals have just paid a lot of money to be in third…but it’s better than last!!!

According to a source, the Red Sox snagged Carl Crawford on Wednesday for 7-years with a contract worth $142 million. MAN, Rays! You didn’t pony up for him?? You’re going to regret that choice, we assure you. Grudging kudos to Red Sox Management though. To quote an amazing commercial, “well played, Mauer.” Another source claims that the Yankees have bumped their original 6-years offer to Cliff Lee up to 7 years. SEVEN??? GOD, no pitcher (or catcher) should get 7 years! What IS it with these teams? Hasn’t anyone learned from the Giants and their Barry Zito contract yet? Cliff Lee, you better be the answer to all of our questions for 7 years…and not just the baseball ones, pal. Serena wants to know what REALLY happened to the dinosaurs and you better be able to tell her.

We’ll summarize this brief posting with the immortal words of Dean Martin. “We really can’t pay. It’s cold out there. Some players need to go away. What’s in this contract, you say? Baby, it’s cold outside.”

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