Making Sense of What Just Happened

by Ross Friedman

Do you remember back to when $88.5 million was a lot of money. It's hard, it seems so long ago. Oh that's right, it was 2 weeks ago when the Yankees spent all that money on Mike Mussina.

Doesn't Mussina feel stupid now for signing so early in the offseason.

I think the real moral of the story here is if there are a bunch of big-name free agents, be the first to sign one. Hell, ARod got almost 3 times the $88.5 million that Mussina got. Although I have this weird feeling that the Rangers won't get three times the value or three times the championships or three times just about anything over the life of ARod's contract.

Not as long as their pitching staff is a 5-man rotation of guys who had a combined 5.81 ERA last season.

For that money, I sure hope ARod can pitch too.

Then there's Manny. Which makes people like Jeter and Nomar worth more than $20 million as well. As long as there was just ARod, we could say, well, that was just one team making a stupid move.

Manny may be baseball's best hitter. But he's a two-tool player. he can hit for average and he can hit for power. He's also one of the worst outfielders and baserunners in the game. By the end of the contract he'll be a $20 million a year DH (which may be the going rate for DHs by then).

I can't wait till Vladimir Guererro becomes free.

Don't you like how both Tom Hicks and Jerry McMorris, the owners of the Rangers and Rockies, respectively were on the commission about the economic problems in baseball. I guess they solved them. I don't know what Bud Selig is still doing then.

When was the last time George Steinbrenner had the highest paid player in the game? I think it was Dave Winfield in 1981. Maybe George is not the problem. At least he wins when he spends.

Jerry Reinsdorf didn't start winning till he stopped spending. His 26th highest payroll in baseball got him the best record in the American League. Remember where the White Sox were when he made Albert Belle the highest paid player in the game.

Mike Hampton and Alex Rodriguez should just admit it was about the money. There are a lot of people that won't blame you for taking a quarter of a billion dollars if you can get it. However, they will blame you if you insult their intelligence and say it was about winning, and not the money.

Last time I checked, both players came from playoff teams. Both could have gotten offers from the Braves. The two teams they went to have a combined two playoff wins in their history. That's not enough to win one playoff round. The two players won a combined 3 rounds last year. It wasn't about the winning.

Maybe for Mike Hampton it was about the weather as we know he prefers the warm. Oh, wait, that's right, Colorado is the coldest weather team in baseball. They both went for one thing. The money. I'm okay with that, if they would just admit it.

Well, Tom Hicks got his superstar player. Now let's see if he can get a .500 record.

In the end, I'm not sure what just happened. I'm still trying to make sense out of it, and if I do, I'll be sure to let you all know.

The only thing I've figured out so far is this:

Scott Boras won.

I know, sort of makes you feel sick, huh?

Send Ross your opinions, comments or verbal abuse at ross@JBaseball.

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"How can you not be romantic about baseball?" - Moneyball.