Tagged: free agents

Eh? I’ve been sleeping

I didn’t even realise his contract was up. One more year, only, Red Sox? After the Golden Glove?

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Finally

Lowell files for free agency. No, he filed yesterday. I’m just behind with the news.

                           

I’m awondering. Journalists are reporting that he wants a four-year deal. Now I’m curious about the whole notion of working by limited time contracts. I know professional sports is a tough lifestyle and sometimes very much a game of Russian roulette. These guys are told that they “peak” at an age at least a decade younger than the rest of us average human beings.

                               

Even in a relatively low contact sport like baseball, injuries happen rather easily and sometimes completely ends a player’s career. So I understand, from the business point-of-view why teams have short-term commitments to players.

         

I remember once asking my father about the unfairness of life. Why do middle class people like him toil away long hours in a sometimes frustrating job and make just enough while kids so much younger get paid millions to play ball? How does that logic play out. The answer: risk. Many of us have some relative job security. Those players don’t. They get paid millions as they tether the risk of hurting themselves and finding themselves without a job very quickly. 

             

So Lowell asks for a four year contract. Four years. That’s quite a long time, especially for someone who’s 33 (and looks much older than that). I can’t blame him for asking. He had a phenomenal year. And he has proved to be a great teammate and an understated leader. If he had been just a bit younger, I would have been ready to suggest he be Varitek’s successor as captain. So he can’t be blamed if he uses his great year as a bargaining chip for the Sox to keep him and to establish some stability and a longer-term guarantee. As a fan, I say, emotionally, yes, let’s keep him.

From a purely business perspective though, it’s a lot of investment on someone well into his 30’s. Anything can happen in four years. A whole new generation of players are coming up and making it big. It is always so exciting, too, to watch a rookie blossom and grow as we watch them. So there won’t be a lack of players to replace the position, and probably at a lesser cost.

                

Folks are getting paid the big bucks to make those tough decisions. And I’ll settle with my simple job. And my responsibility to be a loud and vocal fan.

Silence isn’t so golden

Finally, I get a taste of offseason with no baseball games and no player antics to comment on. I scour the newssites and there really isn’t much going on outside a few postseason dealings and Papelbon making late night.

Looks like Torre continues to coach. I am not surprised. He is far too accomplished and talented to retire, no matter his age. Furthermore, baseball has been so important in his life- he can’t be forced to retire. He needs to retire on his terms, when he wants. So the Dodgers gained big time. Hopefully, the team will support the hype of his joining. Unlike what I remember of the hoopla that surrounded this city when Joe Gibbs came back to coach for the Redskins. The fans predicted an immediate turn-around with the team and a Super Bowl visit that same season. Hmm, doesn’t quite work that way. Patience and time, fans. It takes both for changes to take effect, unless we’re talking about a complete overhauling.

I was reading Curt Schilling’s blog today. It seems to be the primary source of Red Sox reporters’ articles anyway. And one comment from a fan on his latest entry really resonated in me: “My only question is, did you have to start talking about free agency, the very 1st day after the World Series? Couldn’t it wait a week?”

Um, actually, that’s true. Why that day, the Rolling Rally day? And on his blog as well. How much of a grace period did he have to declare free agency? Was it ten days or so? It may be something in the regulations and policies and I simply don’t know about it. Was it his way of forcing the Red Sox front office to act by creating competition? Or was it a message to the fans that “it just ain’t happening, so goodbye!” Or maybe not the fans, but, rather, to the clubhouse itself, as a kiss-off? I can only wait and see.

This postseason stuff is slow, man. I ought to know. I used to be in the business of contracting and, boy, “slow” doesn’t even begin to describe how dragged out the process can be. But, at the same time, if both parties really want the agreement down fast, it can be done.

So, back to watching leaves fall.