Tuesday, January 25, 2011

God Bless America

Apparently after 1,450 posts, you start recycling titles. This might be because in baseball, themes are recycled. Just like Eric Gagne getting a $10 million contract after his disastrous 2007 baseball season when this post was penned, another Red Sox player with an embarrassing season received a pay raise that would make most people blush.

That, of course, would be Red Sox backup outfielder 46, who played 18 games last year, hit .192 in those 18 games, and spent most of the time nursing a phantom rib injury in Arizona instead of being around with his teammates. Forty-Six got a 383% raise after whining about the organization and after making Jay Cutler look like Aron Ralston (look it up).

Nick Cafardo wrote about why this was the case over the weekend. Teams don't want to harbor the bad blood with the player after each side has to build a case of "I'm valuable" versus "no you're not." According to Cafardo, Michael Bourn at age 27 in 2010 is a barometer where many view 46 to be in 2011 (when he's also 27 - not 22). So therefore he is being paid this year like Bourn was last year.

I could go into a whole dissertation about how Bourn is better than 46, but I'll leave it to these three points: 1) Bourn won a Gold Glove, 2) Bourn isn't the second-best base-stealer on his team, 3) Bourn can stay on a baseball team for an entire major league season. Not that Bourn is any more than a one-tool player - his strikeout totals are staggering. But you gotta think that Bourn struck out looking on pitches right down the middle last year less than 46 did in eighteen games.

The part about this that I really don't understand is why the Red Sox don't want to have bad blood with this player. They already do. He publicly crushed the team's medical staff with his "front AND back" escapades last year. So he doesn't like them. They weren't too pumped about the fact that he sulked and pouted while rehabbing his ribs with the 1930s-era treatment method of heliotherapy - to the point where Kevin Youkilis was calling him out publicly. What more damage would this have caused?

I mean, the real state of the union tonight is the fact that Ronnie Magro can make millions of dollars by telling bros to come at him. Eric Gagne can sign a $10 million contract the day before being named on a steroid list and following a disastrous season. Bud Selig can get $14 million a year by driving his sport into the ground. And Barack Obama can continue being the president despite the fact that he spends more time watching irrelevant mid-major college basketball games than researching facts to back up public policy or learning how to spell "Syracuse."

But the beauty of this great nation is that in other countries, 46 might have been euthanized if he complained about a broken rib for six straight months. In America he gets a 383% raise. This is really why the United States is the greatest country in the world.


TimC said...

Thoughts on the speech:

-A 'response' that is thoughtful, composed, flowing, and TEN MINUTES LONG that comes minutes after the conclusion of a one hour plus State of the Union is not a 'response', it is a 'pre-prepared statement with a couple of mad libs'. Cute, though. Must suck to be out of the White House.

-Science fairs, Super Bowls? Umm, no one is watching a science fair in a bar. And, as far as I know, no one watched the speech in some liberal tavern called the 'Southpaw Donkey' in downtown DC, either. Obama is just pissed the Bears lost. Sack up, Pres. Like DV said, you have more to do.

-Nice showing from the legs of our military representatives when Obama addressed their 'recruitment' policies.

-I think Congress would get more done every day if they stopped having standing ovations and long handshake lines every time someone walked into a room. What do I know, though? I used to do the same every time Planeta showed up for pre-practice.

-Obama would have made some big strides with his thoughts on going green, minding the budget, and creating jobs if he hired some guy for $10 an hour to drag him and his wife to the speech instead of burning thousands of our dollars on a police-escort in his luxury limo. Air Force One was unavailable?

-Does 46 get added to the deficit?

-It is, and always has been, impossible to spend responsibly and fight a war. Ask any NFL team that has tried to assemble personnel to beat a specific opponent.

Lots of issues in our country at the moment. I think the biggest question to drag from tonight is, what is the role of the President? Is it to really solve all these problems? Or is it to galvanize the population, to get them moving in the same direction through motivation and charisma? The speech straddled the fence and I'm not sure if he should be on one side of it or not but its been on my mind of late and would be interested to hear some thoughts.

the gm at work said...

Tim C,

In high school, there were a lot of kids who snuck out the front door before the fall sports / football team's pep rallies during spirit week and the day before Thanksgiving. That was me last night. I watched Mean Girls and the Celtics instead of the pep rally.

You have several terrific lines here.

And 46 will not be added to the deficit, because there is no deficit. Not sure if you knew this, but John W. Henry & Co. did quite well last year. Up 20%. Mathematical formulas did it. Don't understand? Neither will your readers.

TimC said...

Maybe Liverpool can help Obama bet against the dollar and we can make up some of that red money. I did not even go into SPUTNIK but we should note that most of the nationalist excitement that fueled that particular push resulted in an organization, NASA, which he REFERENCED, that is now just as useless as any part of our government. Am I against NASA as a concept, or the use of it to aid defense? No, of course not. But do we really need to spend that money on looking at Mars or contemplating the actual size of the Milky Way? Goodness.

Let us hope that by 2035 the Boston Red Sox will be 80% fueled by non-injury faking, steroids avoiding baseball players who care to play and train and might occasionally end up with some pants that actually need washing.

the gm at work said...


NASA's efforts after the Cold War (and you could even argue during the Cold War) are pretty much like going to a ski resort in Aspen and trying to hook up with a 40-year-old cougar you meet on a lift. Does it actually accomplish something? Only if you go a real roundabout way in justifying it. But people continue to make those efforts just for the sake of saying they're the first (or only) member of their group to make it happen.

Anonymous said...


The Red Sox are taking the high road with Ellsbury. Last year was the first time I found myself exacerbated with the guy, but he really mailed that whole year in which is frustrating and disappointing. That said, it's questionable as to whether he's anything more than an average outfielder, so you have to wonder just how much he was missed. Management knows all of this and isn't going to get worked up over whether some third year player is going to get $2.75 million or $2.45 million. It's not a big deal, it doesn't matter, and they understand that.


At this point all I'm asking for is a President who is well spoken, isn't involved in sex scandals, and doesn't agree to fund every completely retarded (yes, I just said that) program that comes across his desk. President Obama has provided us with the first two (thus far) and hopefully will gain a touch on how to balance a budget and create jobs. In reality, that's all any President needs to do--don't create scandal and keep the economy rolling. Anybody that cares about anymore than that has too much time on their hands.

--the Gunn