The big news is two fold: Manny rejecting a 1-year, $25M offer from the Dodgers, and the ongoing Barry Bonds saga.
Some people are all up in arms about Manny’s contract demands. I’m not. Yes, the money these guys get to play a kid’s game (or what once was the kid’s game) is ridiculous, but it has been so for years; this is not new. It was ridiculous when Kevin Brown got $15M a year from the Dodgers; it was ridiculous when Dave Winfield got $2.3M a year from the Yankees; hell, it was ridiculous when Mike Schmidt got paid $1M a year.
And this skewing of how much compensation one should get to play a sport isn’t unique to baseball players. Remember when Latrell Sprewell famously said, “I’ve got a family to feed” regarding the NBA strike? I believe he was making upwards of $15M a season at that time. Makes you wonder who the family was he needed to feed – the greater St Louis area?
Although I agree Scott Boras feeds on the souls of the damned, this isn’t something to get fired up over. The market will correct; Manny will accept some more reasonable terms (I can’t believe I’d think $20M is more reasonable; that’s still outrageous), or he won’t play in 2009.
The more interesting story, to me, is the Barry Bonds saga. The judge presiding over his perjury trial has unsealed some documents (the trial starts 2 March). Here’s what they said:
– Bonds tested positive for steroids in 2000 and 2001, his two highest HR years.
– Samples collected in 2003 were re-tested; steroids were found in those, too. Not surprisingly, this sample was tested by MLB in 2004, and passed; that should tell you all you need know regarding the standards MLB had for doping back then.
– Other ancillary evidence regarding taped conversations, etc.
All of it makes the government’s case look far, far stronger than it did. All if it makes the argument Bonds is being persecuted because he’s black much weaker. It makes me wonder what, if anything, MLB will do if the courts find Bonds guilty of perjury – will they place an asterisk next to his records? Will they expunge them entirely from the record books? And will this influence voters when he is eligible for the Hall in 2012?
The title of this post refers to a pretty good short story by Edgar Allen Poe. I wonder if Barry hears it beating whenever he walks into a room with baseball ‘stuff’ in it.