While you were away...
A few weeks ago we told you that Albert Pujols was not going to be able to join the USA All-Stars in their Japan tour this year, because he was committed to host a camp in Orange. LAT covered that camp yesterday, showcasing one of Pujols' greatest attributes: his give back to the community.
This year's Qualifying Offer is set at $15.3 million dollars for a one year gig, which, on the surface, sounds like a pretty damned good contract. Only the Halos, only Hamilton, Pujols, Wilson and Weaver are set to earn more. I find only David Price projected to win more via arbitration. And yet, a Monday deadline for acceptance looms, and (so far) exactly zero players have accepted their offer. Sounds a lot like 2014, doesn't it, when all 13 FA's rejected their QO's last year. And all 9 FA's rejected same in 2012. This year, rumors suggest that only Michael Cuddyer might - might - accept the QO from the Rockies. And yet, despite the size of the QO, I can think of only 2 times when rejecting it cost the player money: last year with Kendrys Morales and Kyle Lohse. It's a crazy, crazy, world when a sub-.300 hitter Russell Martin is making a wise decision to turn down $15 mill to cash in on the first +5 bWAR season he has had since 2007. But running these freakonomics out into the future is exactly why I don't worry as much about the back end of Pujols' contract. After all, at this rate what's a Russell Martin gonna be worth 7 years from now?
Now that ARod's suspension is officially over, and he's tracking towards Spring Training, everybody is coming back out of the woodworks with fresh attacks. We have rumors of confessions to the DEA, we have news of the Yuri Sucart dope mule history, we have urinating on the floor and threats to go public, and all this adds up to the thought that maybe MLB can go after ARod all over again. It's only the first half of November, and already we have gotten to the throw-up-our-hands stage. Those people in New York? They really need to find something productive to do with their time.
Man, I hate getting old. That's because I am joining the ranks of other old guys, and old guys are crotchety. I hate crotchety old guys. Especially crotchety old guys who think that today's young studs can't hold a candle to what they did back in the day. Guys such as Mickey Lolich. "Great for [Bumgarner], he had a great World Series," Lolich said of Bumgarner. "But as far as comparison [with Lolich]? It's not there."
Here. Have some fun with this one. 14 minutes worth of inside-the-park home runs, showcasing quite a lot of sterling outfield play. H/T CBS Sports...........Not your cup of tea? Well, then, how about 90 minutes worth of ejections?? Some people can get sooo angry...
You get to play GM. Your boss, Arte Moreno, just announced that he needs you to do Big Splash. Again. You argue back and forth a little bit, and Arte lightens up just a hair, allowing you to choose between a new starting pitcher or a new third baseman, either off the Free Agent market.
On the one hand, this year's FA crop of pitchers is pretty deep, and you might be able to make the jump for a reasonable price. On the other hand, your rotation is not that bad (it will already start off better than the one that won 98 games last year), and starting pitchers only see every 5th game - and that is just during the regular season.
On the other hand, the roster of FA infielders, including those that could move to third base, are all flawed. And that is despite nearly all of them being a pretty decent upgrade to a spot that has underwhelmed in Anaheim for years now. Some guys only hit right handers, some guys have poor OBP, some guys are pricier due to post-season phenomenon (which might, when one thinks about it, come in handy if the Angels get back to a post-season). Most guys are just plain old. But all these guys want longer-term deals and they will be costly.
So, sport, what's it gonna be?