This week has been nothing short of a disappointment for a guy who loves to read and write about baseball. We got some minor blips: the Rockies tried to trade Todd Helton to the Red Sox, Curt Schilling made himself the center of attention by publicly requesting a contract extension, and Barry Bonds can’t find even ground with the Giants.
Obviously, the NFL is to blame, with the Super Bowl comprising the bulk of sports coverage this week. That’s fine. They can have their week of glory — which will surely spill a bit into next week. We’ve got eight months ahead of pure baseball, though. Activity will pick up accordingly at the Baseball Critic. For now, though, let’s explore the tidbits from around the league.
Jim Bowden actually made a smart move (!!) by inking Austin Kearns to a three-year, $16.5 million contract, buying out his last arbitration year and two years of free agency. He’s a good bat, and certainly worth more than his salary. Jim Bowden makes an astute move…no cliched joke follow-up.
Dave Littlefield, who joins Bowden among the lower echelon of GMs, picked from the free agent tree, locking down Tony Armas for a year and $3.8 million. You have to wonder why, with the well below average Shawn Chacon already on the roster, they would want to ink an even lesser pitcher?
Want to make $25 million? Punching your wife in the face in broad daylight in Boston is the first step. At least according to Bretty Myers, who is now signed for three years.
Bernie Williams got an invite to Spring Training earlier this week, and Ken Davidoff of Newsday reports that he may accept. He might have some skills left with the stick, but he can’t run, can’t play defense, and, well, could very well be walking with the assistance of a cane by September. Good luck, Bern!
Finally, Giants catcher Mike Matheny retired yesterday, stemming from chronic post-concussion syndrome. The upside: you’re no longer Barry Bonds’s teammate.