Archive for January 22nd, 2007

Monday Quickies

Phils give Utley 7 years, $85 million. He’s trading a few dollars for some security, but it should work out well for both ends. And you know it’s a good deal when I don’t have a wise-ass comment to go along with it.

Rockies ink homer-prone pitcher. Dan O’Dowd doesn’t make matters easier for himself by signing former Padre Brian Lawrence. Although he doesn’t walk a lot of batters, he also doesn’t strike out many and was susceptible to the long ball in San Diego. Think about how that’s going to translate to Coors Field. Dan, you are so fired after this season.

Mystery team emerges in Ohka sweepstakes. He’s the best pitcher left on the free agent market, and probably better than Brian Lawrence. The mystery team, though, is likely a fabrication on Ohka’s agent’s part to net his client eight figures, much like Scott Boras loves to use the Yankees to ramp up the price of his better free agents.

Prior looking forward to 2007. Because, you know, he wasn’t looking forward to 2004, 2005, or 2006.


Football: one time and one time only

Championship Sunday means a slow news day for baseball. A few tidbits are worth mentioning, but the lack of real news gives me a chance to cross sports lines and discuss—today and today only—football.

My roommate is perhaps the biggest Colts fan I’ve ever met. I was downstairs finishing some laundry during pre-game, and I could hear him upstairs, cheering and clapping as CBS ran their pre-game fodder.

When the game started, though, the scene at our house got a bit ugly. The Pats looked solid, and the Colts were flailing; it was destined to be a typical Belichick-Manning bout. Making matters worse for my roommate, I was reading (as I love to do during football games) Education of a Coach by David Halberstam, which to this point is an insightful, informative, and well-written book about Belichick.
Continue reading ‘Football: one time and one time only’

Zambrano on the Zito trail

We all know that Carlos Zambrano is a free agent after the 2007 season. We all know that he possesses a desire to stay in Chicago, but we also all know that he wants to get paid. And, with the free agent market for pitchers booming, we all know he wants to get paid a lot.

So, what is a reporter do with all of this well-known information? Write an article telling us what we already know!

Okay, okay. So the annual Cubs Convention was held last weekend, and a story had to come out of it. The “Jim Hendry has opened the checkbook” stories are even more exhausted than the “Zambrano wants Zito money” stories, so this one made more sense to write. And yeah, the writer was able to score a few quotes from Big Z. But I still knew this, like, last week.

”I don’t want to talk contract when the season starts,” Zambrano said. ”It has to be before the season starts or spring training.”

That’s about the only new news, as I see it. Though, that’s the case with most soon-to-be free agents, so it’s not like I couldn’t have figured it out.

The two sides exchanged salary- arbitration figures Tuesday, with Zambrano seeking $15.5 million in 2007 and the Cubs offering $11.025 million. Both figures were the highest numbers exchanged in arbitration this offseason.

Last week, last week, last week.

Both sides have expressed a strong desire to complete a multiyear contract before Zambrano is eligible for free agency next offseason.

Last month, last month, last month.

“There’s a [good] chance I sign with the Cubs,” Zambrano said. ”This is a business. I want to stay here, but like I said, this is a business.”

Follow-up question, Mr. Z: Did you say “good,” or was that inserted by the writer? Because that drastically alters the meaning of what you just said.

”You take less than Zito take and everybody talks about you, saying, ‘Zambrano sign a bad contract,”’ Zambrano said. ”You take more and everybody says, ‘Zambrano is taking advantage.’ I think the thing is to be around what Zito signed for, more or the same.”

The best part about that quote is that I can really hear Zambrano speaking those lines. So I guess this article isn’t all for naught; I got a good laugh out of it. And, for the record, I think Zambrano is going to end up taking advantage. Because, should he hit the open market, Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein will be sure to help him take big advantage.

January 2007
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