Monday, December 11, 2006

Sox News?

The news highlight since the predetermined signings of J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo was Jason Varitek's appearance at a Celtics' game last week. And with the ticket prices in Boston these days, one wonders whether you have to be a multimillionaire to attend a game.

Meanwhile, back at the non-negotiation table, the rumor is that Scott Boras, Daisuke Matsuzaka's agent, has never made a counter-offer to the Sox' original lowball offer, whatever that was (greater than the GDP of Haiti). Or as the joke goes, "what's the difference between Scott Boras and a terrorist?" You can negotiate with terrorists.

If Matsuzaka's currently pulling in about 2.5 million (whatever that may be in yen), then not negotiating for a sum twenty times higher over about four years wouldn't make most players confuse Boras with Einstein, or even Steven Hawking. In fact, that might make Jody Reed's agent look less absurd (you may recall that Reed turned down a king's ransom only to get something more than a famous Cardiologist might earn).

Now for the good news. Sox fans will not have to learn Japanese, worship the ground beneath another ungrateful athlete, or vilify Theo Epstein or John Henry for spending a hundred million dollars on a player who will always be a frayed labrum or loose ulnar collateral ligament away from the dungheap of baseball.

Yes, Matilda, the Sox have become the mirror image of the Evil Empire, spending like drunken sailors while showing doglike affection to carnival barker agents. It almost makes you want to cheer for the Twins, Tigers, or baseball's bottom feeders, the Royals. Almost.

Of course, we can't really know what subterfuge and intrigue actually happens in the Fenway boardroom. Yes, we can speculate on the horse trading going on between Master Theo and Darth Boras, but we can't know. We can wonder whether John Henry shares his latest trend following algorithms with Mr. Big, whether Boras now knows whether copper futures will turn around or when orange juice has peaked. "Sell, Mortimer, sell."

Having never strapped on the leather in the big leagues, become lost in the Tiger Stadium infield, or been spiked making the pivot at second, we lack the qualifications, experience, and savoir faire to render hardball judgments. We can't know that Edgar Renteria was soft as a cottonball or that Cla Meredith just needed more seasoning. Bam!

Worse still, we the lowly fans, the great unwashed, dare to question the mighty Wizards behind the curtain. You get the point. We just wallow in dumacity* while the brass, replete with servers, spreadsheets, and unique formulae bring us title after title.

*dumacity = the act or condition of being a dumba$$

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