I didn't even need to read the story to know that Mr. McAdam was about to bombard me with wrongness. The article was linked with the following explanation:
Devil Rays ownership does not seem ready to spend the money necessary to challenge the big-market competition in the American League East.
That would be, approximately, the moment I had a brain aneurysm and almost died. Mercifully, the Mayo Clinic had some crack neurologists on call, and they managed to repair the rupture and get me home in enough time to make sure this post was still timely. Amazing, that medical technology.
Tampa's rotation is young and gifted, anchored by Scott Kazmir and James Shields, with Andy Sonnanstine gaining valuable experience in the second half. But the Rays could use a veteran starter to set the tone -- someone like, say, Jon Lieber or Russ Ortiz.
I swear, he actually wrote that what the
No, Sean, what the
In what universe does a team get better by picking up players who are worse than replacement level? It's awe-inspiring, really, how this dude could conclude this is what he wanted to include in his supposedly authoritative piece on the
And, at the risk of throwing another broken record onto the player, enough with the money shit. Tampa Bay has spent the last two seasons doing everything just about as well as it could be done, stockpiling loads of cheap, young talent while not weighing the roster down with overpaid veterans in long-term deals. The Rays have, at almost every position on the field, either one of the former top-five prospects for that position in place (Upton, Young, Pena, Kazmir, Crawford, Baldelli [when healthy]), or have a top-fiver coming up (Longoria, Brignac, Price, Niemann, Dukes [if he ever makes it up again]). That is awesome, and most of those guys are going to be awesome, but everyone knew it was going to take a little bit of time for the players to come around. And now, most people think that within the next two years, the Rays are going to make a serious push for the playoffs. I promise you, if that's the case, that Jon Lieber will not be one of the reasons why, unless you consider his not being there a reason why.
I would like to think the average baseball fan is astute enough to know that McAdam is totally wrong, but I know that's not the case. In fact, the majority of the people who read that story will think, "Yeah, that's the problem ... those tightwad Rays just aren't willing to spend a buck to beat the YankSox!" Some of those people might even be residents of Tampa, who will now be even more resolute in their unwillingness to attend the games of this particularly fun, exciting team (though I'm unsure that I would be willing to sit in Tropicana Field 20+ nights per year, so I can't be too critical). They will complain on sports radio and write letters to the editor about how management "doesn't care" about the fans, and maybe the owners will decide that the front office in place — which could turn out to be a pack of geniuses when it's all said and done, for these and some other reasons — needs to be replaced by Ed Wade, Jr., who will immediately sign Rheal Cormier to a four-year, $26 million contract with a vested team option for the fifth year that kicks in if Cormier, at any point in his contract, throws a ball that a batter actually misses.
For what I know won't be the last time: There is more than one way to skin a cat. And, depending on implements available, there are ways to skin cats that are good for some people, but wouldn't work for other cat skinners. To continue with this uncomfortable analogy, the Yankees can afford the PussySkinner3000TM, which costs $150 million and is made entirely out of Howard Hughes' melted-down gold fillings. The