Monday, July 16, 2007

I remember once saying I liked Rick Sutcliffe ...

... but I realized today that, despite his charm and willingness to provide one of the greatest guest appearances in the history of baseball announcing, he is a complete and total idiot who hasn't paid attention to baseball since 2001.

During the Cubs-Giants broadcast, it is announced that the Cubs have acquired catcher Jason Kendall from the Oakland Athletics in return for recently-optioned catcher Rob Bowen and a minor-league lefty. No word if the Cubbies are picking up any of the approximately $6.5 million dollars owed to Kendall through the remainder of 2007.

Kendall so far this year: .226/.261/.281. Some have referred to Kendall as the worst position player in the major leagues so far this season.

This is what Sutcliffe had to say about the deal, verbatim (I love DVRs):

"They (the Cubs) just got better in a hurry."

"Oh wow. Good for the front office here at Wrigley."

"You know, you've got to applaud him (Cubs GM Jim Hendry) right there for being able to go out and make that happen."

"Lou Pinella saying before the game, the first thing he wrote down every day in the lineup was the catcher hitting eighth. He knew that, because offensively they (the catchers) had been really struggling. Well, you're not going to struggle there now. Jason Kendall is a proven, big-league hitter."

"And they had to pay some money. Jason Kendall, he does not come cheaply. But you know what? Neither does winning."

Unless Hendry somehow convinced Billy Beane to pick up the majority of Kendall's remaining salary — something I truly doubt — this is the equivalent of the Detroit Tigers trading for Neifi Perez. I still think the Cubs will contend for the Central this year, but this could possibly go down as one of the most lopsided deals in recent history, particularly if Beane uses the freed-up salary space to go out and get a bat down the stretch.

Rick Sutcliffe: Proving that the term "functional alcoholic" is kind of a misnomer.

1 comment:

C said...

Random baseball query here... Are you of the mind that there needs to be a salary cap in baseball? I just saw a video on Deadspin that detailed the accomplishments (sports and otherwise) that have been made since the 'Rats (I used to work with a guy from Shitsburgh, that's what he called them) last had a winning season. As entertaining as that piece of work was, it highlights an ugly and somewhat unique epidemic affecting the MLB: The extremely wide and increasingly devastating gap in the level of play amongst the teams 'richest' and 'poorest' teams in terms of finances.
I believe that this contributes to what R referred to on Saturday as the 'myopia' present in baseball today. If I correctly took his meaning, the sport seems to be heading into a state where only the most wealthy organizations are even relevant, let alone competitive.
As a part-time Trotskyite, this is worrisome. (I know you called me a Marxist, but you need to know what it is that you hate, dude.) I, personally, would not like to see the sport degenerate (any further than it already has) into a bi-lateral arms race between two superteams. At least not until engineers at MIT figure out how to attach a modified howitzer onto Daisuke's shoulder in lieu of an arm. A salary cap, in my mind, would certainly bring some sort of detente until then.

мир, земли, хлеб!!!! (Peace, Land Bread)