Wednesday, December 21, 2005

One More Idiot In New York

Maybe it's premature to be thinking about uttering the 'last word' on the Damon defection. But that never stopped me before.

The structure of Major League Baseball not only permits but encourages free agency, allowing all players an opportunity to strike it rich, but incentivizing agents to 'pave the road' for their own enrichment. Johnny Damon, like the Red Sox and the Yankees made a business decision, one that was best for him. As I wrote earlier, while taking a 'hometown discount' is attractive to us, it wasn't to him. It's all about the Benjamins.

There was an article recently in the Boston Globe about long waits for doctors' appointments. Why is that? Simply, the compensation structure for Massachusetts physicians, added to new physicians' debt (educational), practice costs, and area housing costs make attracting physicians from outside Massachusetts difficult. Massachusetts cannot compete with the south and parts of the midwest. I know physicians and surgeons unable to attract qualified applicants for years. Over a third of Massachusetts physicians are over 55 years old, long in the tooth by medical standards. Do the math.

The Red Sox weighed the potential productivity from Damon both offensively and defensively, factoring in age and likely statistical trends, and decided that they weren't going to 'call' the Yankees. Although Sox management isn't sending me any cards, I share their analysis going forward about the length and terms of the contract. Regardless of whether the Overlord or his Co-conspirators were aware of the Yankees, bid, the price was simply too high.

In the aftermath of Damon's departure, why plan to trade your historically most productive offensive player, Manny Ramirez? Reportedly, TheoSlayer announced the Sox intention to do just that.

Of course, Damon is barely at the fringes of paycheck frenzy in Metropolis, earning more than Posada, Williams, and Cano, but far less than A-Rod, Jeter, the Juice Guys-Giambi and Sheffield, and about the same as Matsui.

So, we can hope for biblical fulfillment with a Samson and Delilah story, or the inevitable public dismay at Johnny's Achilles' heel, his anemic throwing, or just have to content ourselves with the analogy to Will Rogers' noting that when the Okies moved to California they raised the IQ in two states. So, let's accept that New York has one more idiot and hope that the front office has better plans than trading Manny Ramirez. Just a reminder, not one word like in The Graduate, "strength up the middle". Oh yeah, and an organization, like a fish, rots from the head.

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