The offseason has recently renounced its slow spiraling delve into the bottomless recesses of the baseball abyss and has instead exchanged it for a nice, quick swan dive off a terrible metaphorical ledge. My once firm optimism has been quickly replaced by a growing dread, facilitated by the names Molina and Feliz.
While the easy course of action would be to blame one man–Brian Sabean–there is a much more sinister force pulling strings and manipulating the market on the fierce upward curve that it has recently run.
Think Wizard of Oz, only instead of a big green head and a booming omnipitant voice the perpetrater is a suit clad man sitting at a desk surrounded by bags and bags of cash.
In short, I blame Omar Minaya, the GM behind the curtain, waiting behind a corner with a sock full of silver dollars ready to ambush the next potentially overpayed free agent.
It had seemed just a few short years ago the baseball free agent market had begun to normalize, the Texas/A-Rod contract was just a memory, a glint in the eye of all hopeful free agents and the waking nightmare of many Ranger fans. But then Omar Minaya, newly hired GM of the NY Mets saw Kris Benson, a former first round talent, who had never shown anything to prove he was more than a replacement level pitcher and he signed him to a 3 year 22.5 million dollar contract. Somewhere, in a galaxy far far away Obi Wan Kenobi felt a disturbance in the force as if 29 other GM’s suddenly cried out in terror and then suddenly picked up their phones and upped thier offers.
Now that we’ve all settled nicely into the grim aftermath of the Benson deal 22.5 million for a replacement level pitcher seems like a bargain but that’s only because every other pitcher saw what Benson was getting and shrewdly used their deductive facilities to discover that they were in fact better players than he.
However, the stupidity of Omar Minaya should not detract from the blame given to Brian Sabean for the individual plight of a Giants team scrambling to find two wheels for a chariot that has already caught fire before the 16 team national league race has even begun.
After all, its been many many years and Sabean still hasn’t figured out that he is no longer in the Yankees organization and therefore cannot pay players like Matt Morris 27 million dollars to pump 88 mph fastballs down the middle of the plate.
The contracts of Winn, Morris, Molina, Benitez and I’m sure the next soon to be Giant, Jeff Suppan make as much sense as an 8 mpg hummer in a global economy screaming for oil and an environment yearning for relief…not to mix grievences.
In the modern baseball world an 85 million dollar payroll is like bringing a spoon to a spork fight, sure you might get a few lucky thwaks in to someones temples, but sooner or later your going to get sporked and…er…wait…what? Anyway, the cold reality is that 85 million is the new small market payroll, so its time to start thinking like a small market team.
Think smallball, moneyball, hardball, go lean and mean, invest in the farm, spurn the overpayed and overated and raise a new flag that bears the colors of A Giants team ready for the future!
…or just keep doing what your doing, I liked the old candlestick days where it was easy to get tickets, but at least if your going to suck drop the ticket prices.