Hey Bud, Fiscal Responsibility Starts at
by Ross Friedman
The reason the Brewers cannot compete very
little to do with the disparity in
payrolls. It has almost everything
to do with the way the Brewers, the team owned
by the Selig family, spends its money.
Last year Marquis Grissom was their highest
paid player. Grissom was also
their leadoff man and managed to have
the lowest on base percentage of any qualifier
in ALL OF BASEBALL! The lowest on base percentage
in baseball, and hes their highest paid player?
Whats sad is that he still produced more
than their highest paid pitcher.
That distinction went to Jaime Navarro
who managed a total of ZERO WINS during the 2000
season. Money well spent, huh?
Now they have a new highest paid player,
Jeffrey Hammonds. And yes, the Brewers
did it again. For over $7 million
per season, over the next three seasons,
they got a player who most likely will produce
nothing for them. Two years ago he had a good
season. He hit 17 home runs, drove in 41 (only 262
at bats), had a .279 average and a .523 slugging percentage.
These are hardly numbers worthy of $7 million
per season, especially for a guy who has never been
healthy enough to make it to 500 at bats in a season.
Now you may be thinking he had a good year
last year. Well he didnt. Coors Field carried him
last year, and he wont have that
luxury anymore. How much did Coors
carry him? Well, he had 236 at bats away from home
and 218 in the hitter friendly ballpark. In those
home at bats he hit 14 home runs and drove in 71,
while batting an amazing .399. On the road, he only
hit 6 home runs, drove in only 35 runs and had a .274
average. His OPS on the road was only .740, well below
average for a right fielder.
The moral of that story for hitters, is get
yourself to Colorado before you hit your
free agent year.
Not only did the Brewers sign a player that
isnt that productive when hes on
the field, they did it with one of
baseballs most injury prone players. And now they
get to call him the highest paid player in their franchises
That, Mr. Selig, is the difference between
the haves and the have-nots.