Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Deep Breaths and Righteous Indignation

I'm not going to sit here and lie to you.  As I began watching Dontrelle Willis' start tonight, I literally found myself, in between pitches, closing my eyes and inhaling deeply.  No hyperbole.  I was that nervous.  Mike McClary at The Daily Fungo has already given Dontrelle what he terms an "advance mulligan" for tonight's game.   This is wise.  It's the Metrodome, for one, and it's his first start after coming off the DL with an anxiety disorder, for two.  It seems that Dontrelle was quite nonplussed over the whole diagnosis and trip to the DL.  Naturally, now, there's his whole baseball career hanging in the balance and whatnot, so let's allow him to get one start under his belt before the judgment comes rushing in.  I know there won't be a long leash, nor should there be.  I'm just saying, give the guy one start to get his sea legs back.  As I finish up this post, Willis exits the game after 4.2 innings.  Not a disaster, not a jewel, but possibly something he can build on.

Ok.  Now, I must move on to the other topic of the hour.  Magglio Ordóñez is not likely to finish out the season wearing the Old English D.  Always a Tiger?  Think again.  I blame this whole situation on Scott Boras, and you'll soon see why.  Michael Rosenberg pens a column today for the Freep, which outlines the impossible nature of Magglio's contract, and the resulting quandary in which the Tigers find themselves.  If Magglio reaches either 135 game appearances or 540 at bats, hit option for next year automatically kicks in.  That options pays Ordóñez $18 next year.  Now, that figure approaches outlandish in the current market.  In addition, Ordóñez is 35 this year, and is a below average fielder and baserunner.  All of these circumstances conspire to get the rumor mill a-going, and good.  Many are predicting Magglio's outright release, so we eat this year's salary, but are off the hook for next year, other than a $3 million buyout.  I ask you, is it right that his career in Detroit could end in this way?  It strikes me as completely ridiculous.  How--how in the name of balls and strikes does it come to this?  Noone, not even I, could expect Illitch to pay out $30 million to Ordóñez over the next two years, nor will any team touch that contract.

I don't blame the club, because the market at that time was different, and Detroit had to overpay a little to get some talent to come here after the likes of the 2003 season.  I don't blame Ordóñez, because he had just been burned by Chicago, and felt he had to just go out and get what he could.  

I DO blame Scott Boras, evil überagent.  First, it's convenient to have an outsider on which to lay blame.  Second, he pollutes and corrupts all he touches.  Third, only Scott Boras, with his grinchy heart, 20 sizes too small, could craft such a contract and be brazen enough to bring it to the table and get it signed.  He doesn't care about us Whos down in Whoville, who love the game of baseball, and our ballplayers too.  Nope, it's only the jingle of millions in his pocket that motivates and delights such a man.

So, I demonize Boras in attempt to soothe my achy heart.  I'm sure a fan's ire has about as much impact on him as a mosquito hitting the grille of an 18-wheeler , but I put it out there just the same.

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