Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Rosh HaShanah for baseball - or maybe just Rosh Chodesh Elul

I'm watching The Golden Girls right now. Did you know that in some episodes the opening song repeats the phrase, "And if you threw a party and invited everyone you knew, you would see the greatest gift would be from me, and the card attached would say, 'thank you for being a friend.'" This is news to me. In some seasons they actually deleted this entirely, so I find it interesting that it was doubled in some. Kind of unnecessary, since singing it once made clear the degree to which the best present would, in fact, be given by the singer, and particularly strange in our modern enlightened times that eschews theme songs for sitcoms all together.

Ok then. Happy baseball season everybody! Pitchers and catchers reported Wednesday for 8 teams, resulting in...absolutely nothing. Pitchers and catchers is kind of anticlimactic, isn't it? Sure, it represents the first blossoms of the new baseball season (if we were to express baseball in the most feminine terms imagineable). But nothing really happens that makes things feel particularly different from last week. Is my life affected by Glendon Rusch now being in the state of Arizona instead of the state of California? Not really. But still, after three and a half months of inactivity, it's nice to have taken the first steps towards the new baseball season. In just a couple of weeks we'll have exhibition games, and then, as we watch the NCAA tournament, we'll be rapidly heading towards opening day 2006. Yes indeed, baseball is in the air.

We still have hot stove news, though. Jeff Weaver realized that since his job is "professional baseball player," it would be wise to actually have a contract with some team during the season. So he signed with the Angels for 1 year and $8.4 mil, up to $9 mil if he hits all the performance bonuses. I like this for the Angels. If it had been even less per year over more years, say, 5 years and $40 mil, I wouldn't be so keen on it. But for one year the Angels can afford to overpay a little to reap the benefits of Weaver over Hector Carrasco in the rotation. They aren't locked in and can move on after this year if they want but have definitely made themselves better for 2006. Weaver isn't great but he's not bad and seems comfortable in southern California. And the Angels have a damn good rotation with Colon, Lackey, Santana, Escobar, and now Weaver - important in a competitive AL West. I hope for Weaver's sake that he doesn't have an injury plagued or just general down year, because he will sorely regret not having locked up a multi-year deal this winter when he could have. Wait, what am I saying. Jeff Weaver is rich as hell for playing a game for a living, I don't give a damn what happens to him from this point on.

Sammy Sosa is apparently done now. He was done a year ago; this just means he's made it official and will stop collecting a paycheck for putting on a uniform. Sosa's numbers are excellent and are worthy of the hall of fame. If in 5 years the voters have good reason to take his presumed steroid use into account then fine. That's about all I have to say about Sammy Sosa for right now.

The Mets signed Jose Lima to a minor league deal yesterday. See, I knew that Omar Minaya had a game plan. Sure, he made some curious moves this offseason, but if you were smart, you had faith that he had the big move up his sleeve. And lo and behold, he pulls it off. Jose Lima. OH, and don't forget, Darren Oliver is in camp with the Mets too. Yes indeed, Omar Minaya is quite the general manager.

4 Comments:

Blogger Adam said...

Sammy Sosa and his steroids do not belong in the hall of fame. He does not deserved to be mentioned with the names of the other greats who earned it.

3:36 AM  
Anonymous JP said...

You can't crucify someone who was never convicted of a crime. And as Jews, we should know all about crucifixion...

I'll bet anybody that Lima ends up taking the 5th rotation spot from Heilman because Lima is a "proven commodity." Lima's ZIPS line calls for 7-12, 5.53 in 161 innings. At least we'll see more home runs hit at Shea Stadium. Too bad it'll be by the other team.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

I don't agree, I think the hall of fame is about the court of public opinion, and you can keep him out even if the hard evidence has never been found.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous JP said...

The court of public opinion is fickle, it will support whatever the media tells it. Remember when McGwire first got in trouble for taking andro? The substance was NEVER BANNED by MLB, nor was it tested for. We don't know what Slammy Sammy took, if anything; he's simply a product of his era. He did add bulk, but he also started hitting all those home runs when he learned to stop chasing breaking balls in the dirt. And 'roids or no, no player in Major League history has caused pitchers to wet themselves in such a manner as Barry Bonds does. That's exemplary, regardless of how he became such a great hitter.

2:00 PM  

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