Friday, July 29, 2005

Masochism and you: a winning combination

1) Ah, Manny. The delightful dope has suddenly decided he wants out of Boston because he has no privacy, even though he has a contract that only the Mets or Yankees could take on. I'm sure the New York press corp would be willing to give him his privacy and not intrude on his life. Then again, I'm also an idiot, so take that last sentence with a grain of salt.

Personally, I doubt Manny is going anywhere, and I mean that for the duration of his contract (unless the Sox are out of the race in 2008 at the deadline). The trade market has been slow this year in general, mostly because the few sellers out there are insisting that the buyers not only be held over a barrel for the "marquee" names, but also that they sing and dance while doing so. A big part of the problem, of course, comes from two of the more poorly run organizations in the league in the Mets and the Devil Rays. Last season, when Scott Kazmir was traded for Victor Zambrano (possibly the worst deal in the last 20 years that didn't involve Heathcliff Slocumb or Larry Anderson). This had two consequences which are still being felt this season:

1. Chuck Lamar has gone insane. The Devil Rays GM, who has a track record of making brutally awful deals where he gets back fractions of a penny on the dollar, absolutely fleeced the Mets. So, like a fat guy that wins a foot race against his best friend, he suddenly feels like he can run a marathon. He is dangling Denny Baez (Denny Baez!), trying to get a top tier prospect from someone. And the scary thing is, if he gets it, then this will effectively kill the inseason market for years to come, because if crappy relievers are worth a top-tier pick, then what is anyone of value worth?

2. To save a modicom of face, the Mets signed Kris Benson to a ridiculous contract and set the pitching market unfathomably high. This led this offseason to a massive over-valuation of pitching, to the extent that pitcher like Chris Redman and Kip Wells are viewed as steals insted of thieves. Also, trading for a guy like AJ Burnett (who I’m not sold on, by the way) means the team either has to concede he will be a rental (and not want to give up as much for the priviledge) or sign him to an extension right away (which will be ridiculously expensive, also making the team less interested).

So basically, when we look at the mess that is the trading deadline, then throw in the best right-handed hitter in the league into the mix, I just don’t see him going anywhere. Why? Because he looks too good to be traded in an uncharacteristicly expensive market, yet at the same time he looks too flawed to give up anything of value for him. Here is why:

The Red Sox have the best right-handed hitter in the league, have him signed for three more years, is a hell of a force in the midde of the lineup that would be hard to replace if traded away. So if you are the Red Sox, you are going to want to get a ton back in the trade, especially with how expensive everything is to get this season.
Yet a prospective team trying to get him sees a 33-year old with $70 million to be doled out over the next 3.5 years who really should be a DH (if in the AL) or is a liability in any park that doesn’t have a truncated left field wall. So if you are trading for Manny, you aren’t going to give up all that much for him without getting rid of a lot of salary.

So, basically, Manny isn’t going anywhere, just like when he was on irrevocable waivers. He is too expensive and poor defensively to give up a lot for, yet is to good a hitter to be given away for free. He is a complex paradox, which is odd when you consider he is often called simple.

2) I'm actually starting to enjoy the google adds at the top of my pages, especially when viewing a specific post (that is, try clicking on the time published, and google puts up a new set of ads based on the content of that post). For example, I emailed a freind of mine "On the origin of origin", as we were talking about it last night while enjoying a glass of port in our smoking jackets, and I noticed that three of the adds were for creationist websites. So it seems that whenever I condem some organization or movement for being a bunch of cock-swilling monkey-molesters, I also am creating a forum for Google to advertise for them. To put it more bluntly: Google is mocking me. Well, seeing as how the add revenue that I have pulled in over the last two weeks is rapidly approaching the two dollar mark, I guess I will just have to accept their crazy adds with their money...

3) Random thought of the day: it's not binge drinking if you do it every night...

4) Wow, two points in one post that end with an apoplexy (err, an ellipsis, rather). I wonder if this will become a new habit for me...

6 Comments:

At 10:39 AM, July 29, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I don't think Manny's going anywhere either the question must be asked: if Manny does get traded then who's Monkey would Millar be???

 
At 10:47 AM, July 29, 2005, Blogger Fletcher Austin McGuffin said...

Just like there was a secret provision that if ever George Herbert Walker Bush was incapacitated for any reason (or even just slow waking up in the morning) then Dan Quayle would be immedeatey shot before he took over as president, it specifically says in Millar's contract that the moment Manny is no longer a Red Sox, he is sent to Hiroshima's Toyo Carp for a bottle of Saki and a pair of California Roles, with a can of Soppora possibly coming back depending on how he performs.

 
At 11:03 AM, July 29, 2005, Anonymous Dario Rosario said...

Mets bashing are we? I hope this will be the last time I read "Mets" and "most poorly run organization" in the same sentence. There might be some legitimacy to some of your points, but I still feel compelled to defend a family member when they are being picked on. First of all, I am sick of hearing all this bitching and moaning about how the Mets overpaid for Chris Benson and set the free agent market bench market unreasonably high. The Mets did not get into bidding wars for every free agent pithcer on the market. Those teams willing doled out those fat contracts. Leiber asked for way too much from the Yankees, and they let him walk. Benson's situation was different anyway. They traded for him so there was added pressure to sign him. If they did not resing him, they would have given up players essentially for a rental pitcher. Benson knew this so he milked them for everything he could. Lets not forget that pitching naturally comands more on the market, because everyone needs it! So please dont throw insults especially if your organization was on of the last to integrate....a nasty blemish.

 
At 11:16 AM, July 29, 2005, Anonymous Dario said...

By the By:
Vicor Zambrano
5-9 3.78 ERA

Kris Benson
7-3 3.14 ERA

Scott Mazmir
6-7 4.28 ERA

 
At 11:22 AM, July 29, 2005, Blogger Fletcher Austin McGuffin said...

Hey, I just call them as I see them. All your points are valid and understandable, and emotionally they were the right actions to take once the trade was made.

However, these results were easily foreseeable when making the trade, and they ignore the phenomena of "sunk cost". The Mets felt pressured into signing Benson at all costs because they knew they messed up with the Kazmir trade, and in turn they were forced to overpay in order to save face, as the two trades were linked and keeping Benson would defray the sting at least a little. What they should have done, though, was say, "alright, we messed up with that trade, but let's not let that mistake dictate our actions going forward and instead make the best out of the situation by allocating our resources correctly this year." Instead of doing that, they overpaid for Benson. Therefore, at east in my eyes, that makes them a poorly run organization.

Also, just like the Rangers paying A-Rod an extra $100 million affected 2000 market, any contract signed will determine how things shake out. Basically, pitchers were able to point at Benson and say, "hey, I have as good numbers as that guy, so give me the same contract", which is effective. Just like Tejada's contract with the Orioles railroaded Sox-Nomar negotiations (they said Tejada would get about $9mm per, and they would give Nomar $12. Then Angelos got down on his knees and offered $12 per, making Nomar want $16), the market for a position is effectively slotted by what the first guy signs for. That is how it has gone since Steinbrenner was found guilty of colluding with the other owners and forcing nobody to outbid him for Reggie Jackson to keep costs of players down.

Also, the Yanks didn't get Leiber because they are morons. They had an $8mm option, but figured they could resign him for less, so they didn't excercise it. So the Mets did screw the Yanks with that, which is an added bonus.

 
At 11:24 AM, July 29, 2005, Blogger Fletcher Austin McGuffin said...

right, but the comparison should just be Kazmir and Zambrano. Throw in that the good rule of thumb is to add/subtract 1 run to the ERA when switching leagues, and the fact that Kazmir would probably be in his last year in the minors, and I don't think your point is as strong as the numbers you tossed up there.

 

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