Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not enough

$15+ million? Only $8m this year.

Are you kidding me?

No money for the rest of the draft. No money for international signings. No money to absorb major league salary in exchange for prospects.

And it comes out to a mere $8m?

Let's say after SS's $8m and the crummy attendance and the miniscule ratings that the team only breaks even this year.

There is still the matter of the $35-$40m PROFIT from last year. Profit NOT reinvested in the product in any appreciable way this year.

Kansas F*(&^&%^( City was blowing up slot up and down the draft. The whole day yesterday signings kept coming in: 7th round pick Brody Colvin signs for $900k with the Phils. And on and on.

Are you telling me that a franchise with the worst record in baseball last year, with the worst record in baseball this year a billionaire owner AND turned a profit last year CAN"T AFFORD to spend on the draft?

Ackley the #2 pick got $7.5m guaranteed $9.5 in all. That's only a LoDuca more than SS!

It's easy to spend other people's money I know. I just wonder why this franchise is acting like a small to mid market franchise when it should be one of the big boys. I'll grant you half of New York is bigger than the DC metro area but Philly? Atlanta? Florida? Should easily be able to compete financially with those guys.

And at least until 2012, the Mets are totally hamstrung!

Great. You did what you had to do and signed Strasburg. Now go get the guy some help.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I told you so

Meet Aaron Crow . . . much less rich because he is a greedy bastard.

How'd that turning down $3.5 turn out for ya? 

Please call Steven Strasburg and tell him your story.  How you lost millions (the difference between what he'll get this year over last year plus the fact that he's one year farther away from his FA contract) by holding out for "What you are worth".  HA HA HA HA HA

It probably not right to make such mean generalizations about a kid like that.  I'm sure his agents told him to hold out, the offers would get better.  You never hear about how that strategy fails (Matt Harrington anyone?). 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gambler's Fallacy. . . they are dead right

I've mentioned the gambler's fallacy before. Basically, it means that previous events don't influence future events. Like if you flip a coin and heads comes up 10 times in a row. Tails is "due" but the likelihood of a tail is the same as it was the first 10 times.

But obviously that doesn't work for baseball. For the last 25 games, the same breaks that they didn't get in the first half they get. Timely hitting, decent pitching from the starters and the pen and tighter defense. This is the team we thought we had in ST . . . regularly mediocre rather than the bust of historic proportions we suffered through.

It is going to take some getting used to. I shut off the Game Cast of Thursday's game at 6-0. If seen that movie too many times I thought. Oops.

Anyway on to other matters.

First, the Guzman saga. Boston claimed him, then no they didn't no one claimed him. Nats say they aren't looking to deal him.

If so, I wonder why the Yanks didn't claim him. Cashman should know the Nats aren't going to stick him with the $8m next year and it would block the Sox from getting the SS they need.

What to pay the mighty Strasburg. Here's the debate at MLBTR:

Two points. I advocated the Godfather method espoused by one poster here. Make an initial public offer so large that it would make him look like a greedy bastard for saying no. Upsides: he might have signed two months ago and might be in the rotation right now. No one could claim cheapness. Downsides: they really want the $50m and wouldn't budge no matter what public pressure.

A lot of the posters make the point that SS isn't worth even $20m since he hasn't proved himself in MLB. What did not proven in MLB Dice-K get? That's been a mixed blessing for Boston at best. But, and this is Boras' argument, the Dice-K deal sets the market for major league ready pitching talent outside of MLB. And he's right.

Strasburg's problem comes from the fact that he doesn't have good options. Forgo a year of $20m in the pocket and risk injury and getting NOTHING and liking it. Dice-K could have stayed in Japan and made more money than 99% of his countrymen. Also, waiting a year to sign means you are one year farther away from the big payday, the first FA deal.

It's also unlikely that Boras could scare off a San Diego or Kansas City from taking him so he could fall to a big market team (Mets should be in the top 10 thanks to Omar!). Why? He's out of leverage. He CAN'T sit out two years.

Hey, some international spending. Way to go guys! Now, crack open that checkbook just a bit wider and get this guy too.

Finally, I won't give a detailed report on the Saturday night P-Nats game I attended. I will say this: Michael Burgess hit a ball that is still traveling. I mean an absolute BOMB. In the first, he hit a frozen rope that one hopped the 400 foot sign in dead center. 2nd inning . . . wow. It cleared the 400 foot sign in dead center, over the second row of billboards, over the American flagpole and disappeared into the trees. It wouldn't surprise me if one or two of those trees were lying on their sides. My friend said that was the longest home run he's ever seen and I have to agree. Tom Milone started and scattered 6 hits in 6 1/3. Didn't seem dominant just very efficient.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Progression to the Mean

I'm pretty sure I wrote that when Manny got the ax, the new guy was likely to look better in comparison simply by progression to the mean. That is, the Nats HAD to be luckier than they were in the first half. Well, that seems to be the case.

11-11 in the Riggleman era. With the starting rotation in tatters, I can't see this being a .500 team but they are now what we thought they were . . . below average but not historically bad. Good offense, suspect run prevention.

Nyjer Morgan's been playing way over his head and that's helped a lot. The middle of the order has taken turns scalding the ball. Aside from Morgan, the rest of the team has been about the same as when they were losing 7 out of 10 on a regular basis.

You know, I'm just going to enjoy this week of wins. It'll be 10 days from now when I can hang my head in shame as the future of the franchise gets fitted for his Fort Wayne Cats uni. I was confident the Lerner's understood how important this was and they would simply make a deal happen. Boras has to know he isn't getting $50 million. Lerner's know they are going to fork over $20m guaranteed at least. Now, I think it was going to be a pissing match from the start and nothing was supposed to happen.

Look at how many 1st rounders are unsigned. And very few if any over slot. Hmmmmm. Of course, this time the players union will be at the defense table during the collusion hearings.

And one last musing. At least 2/5ths of the starting rotation is completely untrustworthy (Mock and Martin). Stammen is slightly better but not much. There is nothing in the pipeline either. J Zimm needs to be shut down. He's got the #2 starter job sewn up, no need to stress that shoulder. Anyway, this starter problem looks to wear out an already fragile bullpen. THose guy have alimited shelf life as is and they would be better used up in coming years.

Attn: Front Office. Get better fast without losing talent. See here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Not much change

Aaron Thompson is one more soft tossing lefty in the organization. Hurrah. Maybe he grows up to be John Lannan . . . more likely he grows up to be Matt Chico. At least they got the idea . . . they basically paid the rest of NJ's salary for Thompson. A good start but not really the impact deal we're hoping for.

I do like the fact that one of the guys they got for Beimel comes pre-injured. That'll save a bundle in medical bills. Ha ha the Rockies had to pay to fix his elbow ligament!!!

Once again a trade deadline passes without a major move. Not that one was possible without any real assets to deal. I just read that the most salary any one team took at at the deadline was a little over $7m. So no one was taking on salary (except for the Peavy deal no long term expenses either).

Give them another gold star for bringing Elijah back and making him a regular. Please don't keep fing with him. Zim Dunn Willingham Dukes makes a pretty formidable middle of the order. At least it could.

Really the only mystery left is the Strasburg countdown. Two weeks exactly. As I've said before, it's a franchise defining moment. Don't screw it up.