Off Base
Be-Bye, So Long, Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

November 10 , 2006

Bon voyage, J.D. Drew. Have a nice life. It wasn’t good knowing ya.

Take your Darren Dreifort-like $55 million contract and decalcifying body back to Georgia where it belongs.

Oh, what the bleep. What do you say we take the gloves off? At least we put them on, and every day, which is more than we can say for the man of the hour.

J.D. Who?! You five-tool player, the five tools being scalpel, heating pad, ice pack, a gross of Band-Aids and a fresh-as a-baby’s-bottom baseball bat, untouched by a baseball during the 2006 postseason you!! You douche!!!

The bleep with you. Bail if you want to. Fine, be that way. See if we care.

And you know what? We do care. Care? We’re bleeping elated. Have you seen the beaming smiles, all over Los Angeles? I know a house on Ybarra Road in particular whose inhabitants are beside themselves with glee. “Better than sex,” said the man of the house. I’ll have to get back to you with the woman of the house’s comments. Stay tuned.

So-called “super-agent” Scott Boras describes Drew’s leaving town as a “business decision,” which apparently means “anything goes,” dubs him a “center fielder,” while throwing in this inane comment: "The demand for a five-tool defender, a 25-homer guy, a guy who can drive in 100 runs is pretty clear in today's marketplace."

Uh, hello? Hey Boras. Bite me, pal. Your boy’s hit all of 25 homers all of one time. One. He’s recorded 100 RBIs, and exactly 100 RBIs, once. Once, and the quietest 100 RBIs in history at that. “Five-tool player” is the single most overused phrase in baseball history.

Besides, he’s not a five-tool player. Not really. And he’s certainly no center fielder; not any more than Kenny Lofton at 39 is a center fielder.

Who knows if Drew’s happiness was at issue or not, but check out this list of Boras' clients who were either perturbed for one reason or another immediately following a monster signing, underperformed to an unimaginable degree, rarely played at all, or ended up just plain head cases: Rick Ankiel, Chan Ho Park, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Adrian Beltre, Kevin Brown, J.D. Drew, Darren Dreifort, Eric Gagne, Luke Hockevar, Gary Sheffield and Jeff Weaver. Notice the times the Dodgers got screwed there, did you?

Now, ask yourself how many of those players would have been better served if money had been one of several factors in their signings, instead of the one and only factor. What if A-Rod had stayed in Seattle for a mere $18 million per, instead of the $25 million he raked in?

Listening to Boras speak, you just might think, “hmm, what a thoughtful guy; he can’t be truly evil, as bad for the sport and his clients as people say.” You’d be wise to think again…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

Don’t Try This at Home: While waiting for the Rookie of the Year Awards to be announced, and quite obviously with nothing better to do, I decided to kiss the long hair good-bye. The Main Squeeze did it, actually, and with one felled swoop. Garden sheers, straight across.

In horror after a quick glance in the mirror, I made a mad dash for the nearest baseball cap. Luckily, one of BaseballSavvy.com’s finest BS dark navy domes was within arm’s reach. “You look like Jeff Weaver,” said Squeeze. “No wait, I’m sorry.”

“No, that’s OK now. Weave’s a World Series hero, even if he is a little gawky looking.” So, I’ve been reduced to being the handsomest man this side of Tom Petty. But it’ll grow back. Probably around the time pitchers and catchers and Rick Ankiel report…

Media Savvy: More from one our of favorite media targets, CNNSI.com’s Jon Heyman, who is in dire need of a Thomas Guide.

“In Wells' case, it wouldn't surprise anyone if he eschewed his chance to stay long-term with Toronto, and while his value may be hurt by the general belief he'll want to go home to Arlington, Texas, in a year, Toronto may not want to lose him without getting anything. He'd surely draw heavy interest from both Los Angeles teams, the hometown Rangers and probably many others.”

How many times do I have to say it, and how loud must I raise my voice? Earth to Jon Heyman, come in Jon Heyman. There is only one baseball team in Los Angeles. One!

Who Goofed? Why, who else but Jon Heyman, again: “Bud Black is well-respected. But anyone who hires a pitching coach to manage is taking a chance. Practically the only two times that worked were with Tommy Lasorda and Roger Craig.” Never happened. Heyman really needs to stop making things up. Tommy was a minor league manager for years before becoming Walter Alston’s third base coach in the mid-1970s...

Baseball writers really pulled one out of the hat by awarding the Gold Glove to second baseman Mark Grudzielanek. It’s as if they actually looked up the fielding percentages and everything. They figured it was either Grudz, or they were going to give it to Frank White again…

Moneyball: You can surf the Internet forever, and you’ll never run out of baseball stuff worth the time. Like say, this, from a Robert Birnbaum interview of “Moneyball” author Michael Lewis, posted on IdentityTheory.com in 2003. It’s about how Billy Beane helped make Jeff Weaver a Yankee:

Lewis: “[Beane] wanted a pitcher from the Yankees, Ted Lilly, who fit the A's profile. He was cheap and going to be cheap for a while. He was in the beginning of his major league career. He was not flashy, didn't throw real hard. But he was very effective in the way they measured pitchers. [Beane] found out because he had been constantly rapping with other GMs that the Detroit Tigers were willing to part with their fireballer Jeff Weaver. [Beane] had no interest in Weaver. He would cost him ten times what Lilly would cost him. Everybody knew that Weaver was good. He knew that the Yankees would like Weaver. So [Beane] baits his hook with Weaver and goes to the Yankees organization, and by the time he is done [Weaver is a Yankee and Beane has] Ted Lilly, plus 600 grand from the Tigers, in his pocket.”

Yes, but “fireballer” Jeff Weaver?

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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