Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The rich get richer ... or at least more Japanese

Ben Godar

Just when you start to think that revenue sharing might be moving The Game toward financial equity, something like this happens: the Red Sox pay $51 million just for the right to negotiate with one player.

For that sum, the BoSox will try to negotiate a deal with Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka through America’s Sweetheart, Scott Boras. If no deal is reached, hell will freeze over and the Sox get their millions back. Otherwise, the cash goes to Matsuzaka’s Japanese team, the Seibu Lions.

It was disgusting to see several Yankee players with a higher annual salary than the entire Marlins team. But the Red Sox bid just for negotiations tops the total salary of five MLB teams. It is more than half the salary of the World Champ Cardinals.

But wait, it gets worse.

Published reports estimate it will cost Boston around $40 million more to sign Matsuzaka. That means Boston is likely to spend $91 million to sign one player. Only nine teams had a payroll of higher than $91 million last season.

And enough of this business of the Red Sox as the lovable underdogs, or the anti-Yankees. The Red Sox play Yankee ball, they’re just not as good at it. And when I say “not as good,” what I mean is “they don’t have as much money.” That’s what it comes down to, and that’s the problem with this whole damn system.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Out with the purple, in with... Another red team!

Ed McElvain

The Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday made baseball fashion news by trading in their horrible purple and turquoise uniforms for... red. As in the same color that the Nationals adopted after saying bye bye to their less-than-illustrious past playing the Expos blues. As in the same color that the Astros and Angels adopted last decade. As in the same color that the Rangers, Braves, and Red Sox wear (only, at home on a Sunday when a lefty with 3 vowels in his first name is pitching or something). As in the same color that the Cardinals, Reds, and Phillies have always worn.

Next year there will be an almost 1 in 3 chance that at least one of the teams playing in any ball game will be wearing red as their primary color (assuming it is the day that the part-time teams wear their red unis) -- 6/16 in the National League. Red is batting .375 in the NL.

It could be worse, though. In the late 19th Century the game experimented with having unique uniforms by position (rather than team) great confusion. No one could tell who played for what team. Luckily, due to road/home jersey differentiation and the fact that most teams today have 3 or 4 different jersey's to choose from, we probably aren't going to have to worry about it getting that bad even if eventually every team wears red.