You can't always get what you want. The Patriots didn't even make it to the playoffs, although I'm expecting a terrific football game today. Can a short passing attack by the Cardinals neutralize the Steelers?
Jason Varitek wasn't the loser in the negotiations. Can you name any other profession where he rakes in five million bucks this year doing? The sportswriters, broadcasters, bloggers, and unctuous doctors who say otherwise can simply envy Varitek's bank account.
This chart from ESPN.com shows that Varitek got paid for his intangibles. But he got paid. Frankly, I'm more disturbed that he reportedly can't understand why he got a pay cut.
Varitek's signing certainly makes Terry Francona's life easier. Of course, he may need to pinch hit a lot more often for anybody with a plus fastball who can throw it past the left-handed hitting Varitek (see strikeout data above). Varitek fanned 102 times in 328 appearances against right-handed pitchers in 2008 with an anemic OPS of .616.
How will an economic turndown of biblical proportions NOT affect major league baseball. The 'staycation' mentality boosts companies like Netflix, where you can get a year of entertainment at less expense than a monster seat ticket to watch Kansas City. And you have to wonder why the Royals paid Kyle Farnsworth a king's ransom, to be Kyle Farnsworth...a sub .500 reliever who defines mediocrity statistically. Maybe he's a great guy, or an investment genius.
Many professional athletes (like many Wall Street professionals) simply don't get it, incredibly blessed to be making a fortune playing a game.
Ray Allen can enjoy working on his golf game and healing some aches and pains instead of going to another All-Star game. Nothing wrong with that.
Plenty of productive offensive players still out there, including Manny (not walking through those doors again), Bobby Abreu (reportedly considered the worst right-fielder in baseball by some statistical services), and Adam Dunn. Pat Burrell's contract with Tampa set the bar a lot lower.
And isn't this the best play ever?