Why Are The Yankees Reluctant To Sign Wang To A Long-Term Contract?
The Yankees avoided arbitration with righty Chien-Ming Wang by agreeing to a 1-year, $5 million contract—-ESPN Story. Since his big league arrival in 2005, Wang has been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. He doesn’t give up many homers; he throws strikes; he’s durable; and he wins. He had some shoulder trouble in the minors that required surgery and a scare in his rookie season that turned out to be tendinitis, but other than that, he hasn’t had any arm problems.
Having been a 19-game winner in 2006 and 2007, Wang was well on his way to another season of 17-20 wins in 2008 before injuring his ankle running the bases against the Astros. With the Yankees rolling the dice on a pitcher like A.J. Burnett with his rap sheet of injuries and inconsistency in every season other than a contract year, why would they continue to go year-by-year with a pitcher like Wang, who would be perfectly willing to negotiate a long-term contract which would save money for the Yankees in the long run?
Wang has been criticized for not being a prototypical “ace” and for not pitching well in the post-season, but compared to C.C. Sabathia’s post-season record, Wang looks like Josh Beckett; but Sabathia, four months younger than Wang, just received a contract upwards of $160 million, while Wang had to negotiate to get $5 million. That’s not to imply that Wang deserves Sabathia’s kind of money, but if he were on the free agent market, how much would Wang get from a desperate team? He wouldn’t get the Sabathia contract, but nor would he get the Burnett contract; he’d fall somewhere in between. To continue to haggle with a pitcher like Wang is either going to cost the Yankees a load of money, run the risk of Wang leaving for another team, or both, because if he is allowed to go out on the market, they’re going to either have to pay him lucratively or replace him with a lesser and more expensive pitcher.
It should also be mentioned that the current baseball world is such that a pitcher like Nate Robertson signed a long-term contract for over $20 million; Randy Wolf is probably going to get at least $9 million per year from someone; Tim Redding is going to get more money than Chien-Ming Wang and it doesn’t make sense. What makes it even more nonsensical is that this is the Yankees we’re talking about; even if they sign Wang to a contract similar to what Carl Pavano received through his first couple of years eligible for free agency, how much money would Wang be worth in comparison to the other pitchers the Yankees have brought in without success? Unless there are issues behind the scenes we don’t know about, what would be the reason for their frugality with this one player who has done everything they’ve asked and more up to now? It’s very hard to understand and might be a big mistake.
- The world dodges a bullet:
It’s all funny now, but watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night, during a “greatest hits” compilation of former GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, it occurred to me how close the world came to having this borderline clueless, incoherent, radical right-wing, religious fanatic as the next person in line to run the free world if something happened to the 72-year-old former POW who would’ve been president. When thinking about it, we should all be frightened of just what would’ve happened had Sen. John McCain won the presidency.
In his public appearances since the election, McCain has appeared as if the entire weight of the campaign and stress of running for president hit him all at once when he finally got a chance to rest. What would’ve happened had he entered the Oval Office and died shortly thereafter? Given he lack of knowledge of anything other than a series of scripted talking points and her only attributes being attractiveness and charm (she was beauty pageant contestant, remember), a “President Palin” would’ve made George W. Bush look like Abraham Lincoln.
That the power brokers in the republican party, who extolled Gov. Palin’s virtues as a candidate before the election, are finally telling the truth and saying that they knew she was unqualified and unprepared for the job and they picked her anyway for political expediency while still having the audacity to use the slogan of “Country First”, should be a worse nightmare than anything Stephen King could conjure.
Now comes the revelation that the mother of Bristol Palin’s fiance was arrested on six felony drug counts in Wasilla, Alaska—-NY Times Story. By the logic of Gov. Palin and her repeated attacks of President-Elect Barack Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers as they, according to her, “palled around”, doesn’t that mean that Gov. Palin “palled around” with a drug felon? Or is there going to be selective definition of the term “palled around” just as there was selective use of the truth with much of what Gov. Palin said and did?
It’s funny to look back at the campaign and the absurd things that the republican party said and did in regards to their vice-presidential nominee; it’s entertaining to laugh at the dead-on imitation of Gov. Palin by Tina Fey; it’s easy to reflect on what might have been had McCain/Palin somehow won; and it’s fun to imagine what kind of landslide will occur if Sarah Palin is the republican nominee for president in 2012 (and she might be despite the ludicrous idea of such a nomination; if the republicans see that they’re going to lose, she’s a perfect sacrificial lamb); but we, as a country, have to look at the system that allows someone of such limited intelligence and flimsy resume to get that close to the most powerful position in the world and think long and hard before making the same mistake again. That’s after we stop laughing to keep the nightmares at bay and really think about how close we came to completely destroying ourselves.