Rumors, Arrests, and Whatnot

Been an interesting week for rumors, no?

First, Matt Holliday was offered a contract for about $15 million per, 5 years. Then it became 8 years. Then 8 years at $16M per. Now it’s back to 5 years, but still $16M per. And today ESPN Insider contains a report he’s drawing interest from the Orioles.

I’m having a hard time imagining Holliday with the Orioles. Not saying Camden Yards is a bad place to play, or the people of Baltimore are somehow lesser humans than the rest of us; although they did take away the Browns. Even that, I guess, could be considered a good thing depending on your point of view. It’s just that Baltimore has a lot of young outfielders on the roster already – Nolan Reimold, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Felix Pie – under cost-effective control for a while still. Baltimore needs a third baseman and those guys who throw strikes and get people out. Plus, as I mentioned last night on the UCB Hour, AL teams likely remain a little leery of Holliday’s bat in their league, given how he struggled in Oakland the first half of 2009.

So I think this becomes nothing other than “more posturing” by Holliday’s representation.

What is interesting is the lack of rumor out there regarding other teams most thought might make a run at Matt, like the Yankees, Mets, and Angels. I don’t believe a guy with Holliday’s skill isn’t in demand with teams other than the Cardinals, but you wouldn’t know it based on the RUMINT out there.

The other big news item this week revolves around David Freese’s drinking. Or rather, his drinking and driving. David, arrested for DWI, reportedly blew a 0.232 BAC, 45 minutes after his arrest. David stands 6 foot 2 inches tall and weighs 220 pounds. If I remember correctly, the story reported David admitting to drinking 7 beers. I don’t know the time frame; let’s assume from 8pm to 2am (he was arrested at 2:4am). That’s 6 hours. The chart below shows BAC based on number of drinks and body weight.

OK. Twelve drinks would give an average 220 pound man a BAC of .205. The body burns approximately .015 alcohol per hour, and his BAC was taken approximately 1.5 hours after his last drink. If he’d had 12 drinks, his BAC should have been (.205 – (.015 x 7.5)) = .0925. It was close to three times that value. Which means (a) he drank for less than 6 hours, and/or (b) he had more than 7 beers, and more than 12 drinks.

I’d say David Freese has a drinking problem. Especially since it’s recently come to light he was cited for public intoxication while in the Padre minor league system.

I have two thoughts on this. First, I’m glad to see the Cardinals and Freese have decided David needs professional help, and taken steps to provide that. Second, seeing as this becomes the fourth substance abuse issue to hit the Cardinals in the last 2 years, they club has a problem. And they need to aggressively move to squash it.

No reasonable person would recommend the club can David Freese, or deny him a shot at the everyday third baseman job. He didn’t (luckily, I know) hurt anyone driving drunk. We will probably not know the full details of what the club does, but I wouldn’t be surprised (and frankly expect) he’ll pay a fine imposed by the club, and be ‘asked’ to perform some community service, like talking to high school students, something like that, in addition to whatever John Law throws his way.

And on that sober note, this will probably be my last post until after Christmas. Should some large story develop between now and 31 December, like Holliday signs with St Louis or signs somewhere else, or they pry Cliff Lee from the Mariners, I’ll put some thoughts up here. There is a UCB topic coming up – top 5 Cardinal stories of 2009 – that’s collectively to be posted 31 December, and I’ll be involved in that.

And there may be a story of an empty stocking here on Christmas Eve.

But until the calendar starts to turn, to echo the Christian tradition my ancestors bequeathed me, Peace to You and Yours, and a very Merry Christmas.

[update] I fixed the formatting issues. Sorry about that.


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