Well, after giving myself about ten days to process my feelings, I have come to accept what we all must accept: the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX. None of us have to accept that Tom Brady is the greatest QB ever (he isn't) or that Belichick is the greatest coach ever (actually, we might have to accept that one). But the game is done, and thus football season is done. No more horrible Simmons gambling advice (not sure how he finished on the season, but rest assured that you would have lost money if you followed him). No more getting mad at thinking about what TMQ is probably writing, even though I don't even read his column anymore. But most of all, no more NFL for like 7 months--except the combine, the draft, OTAs, training camp, the preseason, and all the ridiculous non-stories we'll have to deal with while trying to pay attention to other sports all summer. Feels good just saying it.
Before we go, though, just a reminder: the NFL is a fucking joke.
One more reminder that the NFL is a fucking joke.
And finally, a final reminder that the NFL is a fucking joke.
It's almost baseball season yayyyy yayyy yayyy!
/realizes he will once again watch his favorite team lose 90 games this summer
Eh, whatever. Since it's baseball season might as well start focusing a little bit more on baseball writing. I hate Jonah Keri (I believe I have established this) even though he's really not that bad of an analyst and an inoffensively mediocre writer. So, I will pick on stuff he writes even when it's not flagrantly horrible. YOU CAN'T STOP ME. Here are some dopey thoughts of his from his "worst contracts in baseball" article from last week. Most of his picks for the top 10 are fine--I only briefly touch on them at the end of the post. It's the honorable mentions that mostly get my panties in a bundle. (Side note: good for him for doing a worst contracts, rather than a "most trade value" article, because fuck Bill Simmons and fuck anyone who appropriates his concepts into their own articles.)
DH Nick Swisher, Cleveland Indians: two years, $30 million remaining
OF Michael Bourn, Cleveland Indians: two years, $27.5 million
...I try not to weigh team finances too heavily when analyzing these contracts, I can’t discount that the Swisher and Bourn albatrosses will hurt the small-revenue Indians more than they would nearly any other team.
SP Edwin Jackson, Chicago Cubs: two years, $22 million
Among pitchers with at least 140 innings, Jackson’s 6.33 ERA was the worst in baseball last year by nearly a full run. With Jon Lester and Jason Hammel now in the fold, Jackson isn’t even ticketed for the rotation anymore. That means he’s either going to be a mop-up man in 2015 or on the chopping block in spring training.
SS Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers: eight years, $120 million
Aside from the Boras lesson, the main takeaway here is one that we’ll repeat several times throughout this column: When dealing with players who are still under team control for a couple more years, clubs should tread very carefully before offering an extension that won’t kick in until those years have expired. The consequences of failing to exercise that care can be disastrous.
SP Bronson Arroyo, Arizona Diamondbacks: one year, $14 million
Technically, Arroyo’s remaining deal is $9.5 million for 2015 plus a $4.5 million buyout to avoid his $11 million salary in 2016. Either way, the result is the same: Arroyo had Tommy John surgery in early July, making him a long shot to return before August and a virtual lock to deliver nothing of value for a moderate-payroll club that’s also overpaying Cody Ross and Trevor Cahill to not contribute.
SP Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore Orioles: three years, $38.75 million
1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds: nine years, $213 million
Votto signed his gigantic contract in April 2012, and in the two years since, I’ve agonized over whether to include him in my annual look at baseball’s best contracts; I left him off both times and got enough hate mail from Votto supporters to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool. And understandably so: From 2010 through 2013, Votto was around a six-win player every year, and an MVP award winner in 2010.
How quickly things can change. In 2014, he missed 100 games and hit for less power than ever before. It’s human nature to fixate on the recent past, and it’s pretty terrifying to see a 31-year-old player who’s owed $213 million after a season in which he hit .255 with six home runs — terrifying enough to make four years of absolute dominance seem like a distant memory.
4. OF Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers: six years, $116 million (NR)
Oh come on. Choo is like Votto-lite. He was a 4 to 6 win player EVERY season from 2008 through 2013. In fact, 2013 might have been his best year ever. And like Votto, OBP is his best skill. Now he stumbles in 2014 and he's got the 4th worst contract in the majors? GMAFB. It's especially insane when you factor in this:
Here’s another over-30 Ranger coming off an injury-plagued season who’s signed for waaaay too long and waaaay too much. Though Choo missed just 39 games last year, he first hurt his ankle back in April, so it’s possible a season-long mulligan is warranted.
When the Rangers gave Harrison his five-year, $55 million deal in January 2013, they were rewarding a 27-year-old durable ground ball pitcher who’d managed the rare feat of putting up solid numbers in the AL’s worst pitcher’s park, in the process buying out three years of arbitration and two years of free agency. Even though Harrison was never a big strikeout pitcher by the standards of the time, the contract didn’t seem like much of a reach.
But now here we are, with Harrison having made just six combined starts in the past two seasons and coming off spinal fusion surgery. It’s unclear if he’ll ever pitch again in the majors, let alone take the ball every fifth day and produce quality numbers.