That being said, I’m not in favor of witch-hunts or the ridiculous hypocrisy that goes along with any conversation about steroids in baseball. Ballplayers are being blamed for something that was condoned and encouraged by all levels of baseball hierarchy, from the commissioner, to the owners, to the GM’s, to the writers and commentators, right down to the fans.
The biggest perpetrator of this unjustified witch-hunting has been our own government, which, in their attempts to nail Barry Bonds, seems willing to trample on the rights of every single American perceived to be standing in their way. Peter Abraham frames the scenario in a way which is easy to understand without oversimplifying things. Read this and tell me if you’re as disgusted as I am.
2. The San Francisco Giants signed Barry Zito to a seven year, $126M contract with an option for an eighth season also at $18M. That is just way too much money to pay a pitcher, even if he’s proven to be durable and is still relatively young. Barry Zito has never been a game-changing ace like a Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, or Roger Clemens and is more of a #2 or #3 starter in terms of stuff and ability. Not only do I not understand why they didn’t make an offer to Jason Schmidt but why they were willing to double what Schmidt got from the Dodgers. I have a hard time seeing Zito finishing this contract in San Fran and I fully expect the Giants to eat a big chunk of his money in three or four years when they look for potential trade partners.
Of course, the biggest losers in all of this are the New York Mets. The Mets wanted Zito. Hell, they needed Zito. They tried to go for Suppan last weekend but missed the boat. While I praise the Mets for showing restraint in not offering more than five years, they certainly should’ve offered more than the $75M. Had they gone up to $18M a year, perhaps Zito would be in their rotation. Now, the Mets have to figure out how to repeat as NL East champs with Glavine and El Duque as their #1 and #2 and hope that Pedro does indeed come back in July and not much later.
That was my last baseball post in 2006. It’s been a good year for me in the baseball department – I learned a lot and expanded my interests into the minor leagues and statistical analysis. I hope some of my posts have been interesting and informative. Happy New Year to all.