Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Left Over
2006-12-12 05:12
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

According to George King, the Yankees and Red Sox are both interested in Pittsburgh reliever, Mike Gonzalez, a southpaw. Boston has its hands full as they work on signing D. Matsuzaka this week, a deal that despite all of the posturing, I expect will get done.

Comments (231)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-12 05:30:02
1.   Yankee Fan In Boston
if proctor gets traded to ATL, i wonder how many times torre would call still call the bullpen looking for him. any over/under estimates?
2006-12-12 05:37:07
2.   mikeplugh
Hey Alex.

I've been saying all along that I thought it would get done (Sox/Matsuzaka), but I'm beginning to really think it's not going to happen. I posted about it both at COH and Matsuzaka Watch.

If the Mets, Yankees, Rangers, and maybe Cubs are all waiting in the background to pay Matsuzaka $100 million over 6 years, plus the posting fee, why would he take $12 million or $14 million over 6?

If he waits it out for another year, Boras can make up the difference in lost salary by supplementing his Seibu pay with HUGE endorsement deals. It will prove a minor blow to his reputation, but he'll recover just fine if he heads to the Majors a year later and wins the Cy Young. It'll be forgiven if he helps to lead Seibu to a title next year, which is very possible.

In the end, the Sox have zero leverage.

2006-12-12 05:40:44
3.   mikeplugh
By the way, a posting fee of $40 million, plus 6 years and $100 million equals about $23 million a season.

A posting fee of $51 million and 6 years at $72 million is $20.5 million a season.

The difference is, in scenario #1 Matsuzaka and Boras make $28 million more over the course of the contract. Wouldn't you hold out a year for that?

2006-12-12 05:45:59
4.   Jim Dean
3 Hey Mike, we were discussing DM in the last thread. As per Gammons lattest, you think Boras can really spin the failure to get a fair offer as Japanese players = second class. Would 40% of Japan buy into that? "It's not that DM wants more money - it's that he should have been treated fairly."

It's a nice piece of verbal jiujitsu if you ask me.

2006-12-12 05:54:56
5.   jakewoods
Boston is making a huge mistake if they dont sign him.
2006-12-12 06:07:43
6.   ric
"Boston is making a huge mistake if they dont sign him. "

you'd undoubtedly argue they are making a huge mistake if they signed an unproven MLB caliber player to Boras' demands of $20 mil a year as well. my question is how do they NOT make a huge mistake in this situation?

2006-12-12 06:16:54
7.   mikeplugh
Who cares what people think? Not to buy into the greedy money play here, but if there was an extra $28 million that could go into your pocket if you waited out a year in your old stomping grounds, you'd do it to, right?

If Matsuzaka wins another title for Seibu next year, and still gets them their money, no one will care. Trust me.

Boston's only mistake in this whole thing was outbidding the 2nd place Mets by 13 million. If they'd bid $40 million, and offered Matsuzaka 6 years, $90 million, it would be an average expenditure of $21 million. That's steep for an unproven guy, but the annual salary of $15 million is reasonable, and the extra $6 million per year in posting money could easily be written off creatively.

An extra $13 million makes it all but impossible to offer a Boras client, which they knew he was in advance of their posting bid, top dollar. It was a terrible blunder than cost them the player and maybe more. They look completely ridiculous. Epstein and Lucchino's press conference was pathetic. My favorite part was Theo saying all doe eyed:

"We do have plans to meet tomorrow and at that time will present a second offer, an improved offer."

When he said, "An improved offer" he looked totally panicked. He kind of swallowed hard, raised his voice to a higher pitch, and looked over at Lucchino. They know he's not coming for a penny less than $15 million a year, if at all.

2006-12-12 06:17:41
8.   Simone
What I find amazing is how the Red Sox ownership and front office have brainwashed most of their fans into to justify their craziness. They sign JD Drew to an outrageous salary and then low ball their young potential ace Matsuzaka and their fan base all over the Internet don't see the contradiction.

The Red Sox are acting as if bidding the $51.1 means that they can pay Matsuzaka peanuts. They want to pay him as if he is projected as a back of the rotation guy. I don't understand how they can think that this is good business.

As for Matsuzaka, if he cared about his reputation being tarnished by wanting a large contract in Japan and just playing in the U.S., he would have never hired Boras as his agent and the Red Sox knew this when they entered the bidding the process.

In the end, I still see the deal getting done with Matsuzaka getting a salary close to what he deserves.

2006-12-12 06:20:50
9.   Jim Dean
6 That's the beee-uty of it! I love this game!

The thing is: He absolutely has to live up to expectations, and even as many have said the chances of that are pretty likely, when's the last time this much hype has been met in baseball and for a pitcher? Further if he does meet those ridiculously high expectations, they then have to pay for a huge extension in a few years.

Why do I keep thinking the rivalry will be on life support this time next year? Too many things have to break right for Theo to keep his job. The vulchers in Boston will be fighting over that flesh.

2006-12-12 06:27:42
10.   Yankee Fan In Boston
9 Why do I keep thinking the rivalry will be on life support this time next year?

there's no killing the rivalry... at least not in these here parts. sox fans (generally speaking) are single-mindedly focused on how their team stacks up against the bombers. this is a fan base that pre-2003 would chant slogans touting the vaccous nature of the yankees as their own team was losing to the orioles. i've seen it 1st hand. it is the sound of insecurity.

that said, both teams have their share of question marks. this year will be really interesting.

how many days until pitchers and catchers report?

2006-12-12 06:28:32
11.   Jim Dean
7 Don't the "Japanese people" expect their "national treasure" to hew to "their culture" and take it like a good "servant boy"? That's supposedly the other side, Mike, if you beleive what you read over here. DM must be torn between his "duty" and his "honor".

I agree with everything you say.

2006-12-12 06:28:38
12.   mikeplugh
9 Listen. I think he's worth ace money, whatever that is in this day and age. Even given that fact, the Red Sox painted themselves into a corner with that idiotic bid. If they sign him, they pay the single highest per season output for a player in the history of the sport. If they don't they disappoint their fans all over again.

Brilliantly misplayed Theo.

2006-12-12 06:29:47
13.   ric
"It was a terrible blunder than cost them the player and maybe more. They look completely ridiculous."

"They sign JD Drew to an outrageous salary and then low ball their young potential ace Matsuzaka and their fan base all over the Internet don't see the contradiction. "

are you guys taking crazy pills? if there was talk about the yanks paying an MLB amateur (non FA) $20 mil you guys would be foaming at the mouth. besides, whats ridiculous is that sox bought sole negotiating rights and BORAS DID NOT MAKE A COUNTEROFFER or NEGOTIATE in any way! Boras should spend less time planning the demise of the posting system and more time sitting arcoss a table with teams trying to make the deal.... am I wrong?

2006-12-12 06:30:57
14.   mikeplugh
11 It's overblown. Yes, there is certainly an element of that, but the thing is, along with the tsk tsk that he'll get, the Japanese HATE HATE HATE HATE confrontation, or criticism. He'll get it in the press a bit, and the fans will politely lose respect for him, but he's SO good that national pride in his ability will eventually win out again.

I think the whole cultural imperative thing is overplayed.

2006-12-12 06:33:55
15.   mikeplugh
13 ric, you always come over here and tell us all the reasons why we're crazy or wrong. You're entitled to defend your Red Sox Nation, but even you have to admit posting $51 million was bound to come back and bite Theo in the end. If he signed the player and he turned out to be a league average starter, people would be furious, but he'd at least be on the team.

Offering a guy the same amount of money as Adam Eaton is an insult. Screw the posting money. You didn't have to spend it. The Yankees would have gladly paid $35 million and ponied up for Boras. You guys just got in the way and turned cheap after you strapped on the big balls to win the pissing contest.

2006-12-12 06:36:20
16.   Yankee Fan In Boston
13 i think many people expected boras to wait the month out, so that the looming deadline would serve as his source of leverage. sitting on his offer was likely his plan from the outset. he'll start what the rest of the world would regard as being negotiation as the hourglass empties.

he seems to love the drama, and even more than that, getting his name in papers.

2006-12-12 06:38:04
17.   mikeplugh
I'm going to bed over here in Japan. Have at it people. I predict here at BB, right now, that Matsuzaka will be a Seibu Lion in 2007.


2006-12-12 06:41:07
18.   jonnystrongleg
I don't think the Red Sox don't look ridiculous at all. Maybe on Friday morning, it will be a different story, but up until the deadline anything can happen. The Red Sox are starting as low as possible to keep his final salary as low as possible, but until they lose his rights, I don't see it as anything other than a first lowball offer to establish a desirable final price.
2006-12-12 06:41:59
19.   Jim Dean
10 Another third place finish and it won't matter what Sox fans think. The whole organization will be in tatters. This off-season was their hail Flutie. They had a "philosophy" and completely threw it overboard in an attempt to compete. If they don't, there goes the neighborhood.

The Sox have a decent lineup but they absolutely have to be carried by Papi and Manny. They've got injury prone guys at CF, C, 3B, RF, and an unproven rook at 2B. Their rotation consists of two 40 yo guys, a "rookie" coming back from injury who's never thrown more than 150 innings in a year, a headcase, and an international man of mystery (if they sign him). And they still don't have a bullpen.

The Yanks have a shaky rotation, but I'd argue that at least it's pretty much a known commodity. Their lineup is even moreso. You know what you're going to get from both - many more runs scored than allowed. And they have nice organizational depth to make a trade or cover up injuries if they need to.

I'm more worried about Toronto than Boston.

2006-12-12 06:42:30
20.   jonnystrongleg
18 should be -
I don't think the Red Sox look ridiculous at all.
2006-12-12 06:46:56
21.   Jim Dean
"You guys just got in the way and turned cheap after you strapped on the big balls to win the pissing contest."


When the bid came out, the soxoholix were linking to a certain prosthetic that enhances size in that area. Theo must have had his strapped on and feeling mighty.

2006-12-12 06:46:59
22.   ric
"The Yankees would have gladly paid $35 million and ponied up for Boras."

and you know this how exactly? im not trying to start a flame war, i just feel like its a very valid argument that Boras' demands may be a little much? and then he compares to the FA, which Matsuzaka is not. Bora is obviously not happy with the rules and he's trying to overcome them.

2006-12-12 06:49:56
23.   Shaun P
7 I don't think the Sox's mistake was the $51.1M bid. I think their mistake was in expecting to not have to pay to full bid price.

Which, honestly, was very stupid, especially given the size of the bid. Every team that lost instantly had an incentive to make sure the Sox paid every last penny.

And, from the Sox's perspective, it makes only too much sense. If the kickbacks worked, the Sox could 'give in' to Boras - even say 4 years/$52 mil + $25M in the posting fee = 4 years/$77M, or just under $19M/year.

The icing on the cake would have been trading Manny and his - wait for it - $20M/year salary.


2006-12-12 06:53:28
24.   jonnystrongleg
And what if the Red Sox get this deal done in the next few days? It's totally premature to dissect Boston's blunders. Save that discussion for friday.
2006-12-12 06:55:33
25.   JimCobain
Here's a question to ponder, let's say the Mets won the rights to D-Mat or even the Yankees. Would the same thing be happening right now? Would Boras be playing the same game or would the New York teams and gerneral managers have made a better offer right off the bat. I agree that most of the trouble the Red Sox get into is that they think they are smarter than everyone else.
2006-12-12 06:57:48
26.   Jim Dean
22 Look up the history of one Nancy Drew. His agent: Devil Boras.

When was the last time a Boras client got a contract that seemed fair. The guy is just an amazing example of the profession. He does his job and does it well. Das it.

You better believe we would have been foaming at the mouth. But it would have been much earlier in the process. Why? Because the Yankees wouldn't have bungled things so badly afterwards. Damon got done in three days. A-Rod in less time than that. If the Yanks won the bid, it would have gotten done in a very low-key way. And everyone would have bemoaned their spending power and criticized them.

Instead, the vast majority of RSN was giddy at the bid. 90% of the local and national media praised them. And the organization has bungled everything since, includiong their FA spending spree and Manny. Go read Mnookin today. He's spot on after yesterday he said what you're saying about Boras. Your FO is to blame for thinking they could be smarter than everyone else. The shit's about to hit the fan and the feces will be flying everywhere over the next year.

2006-12-12 06:58:14
27.   kylepetterson
13 "Boras should spend less time planning the demise of the posting system and more time sitting arcoss a table with teams trying to make the deal.... am I wrong?"

Yes. You are wrong. Boras should do exactly what he's doing. Try to get the most money possible for his client. That's his job. That's why players hire him. They don't hire him to make friends or even, and I know this may come as a shock to you, set up the best deal for the Red Sox. It's the dollars. Plain and simple.

2006-12-12 07:05:11
28.   ric
"Why? Because the Yankees wouldn't have bungled things so badly afterwards."

whats this bungling you speak of? the sox made an offer several days ago that was unanswered. i always thought it is a bad idea to bid against yourself.

"and I know this may come as a shock to you, set up the best deal for the Red Sox."

genius remark!

2006-12-12 07:07:35
29.   Jim Dean
24 See 6 and 9. This will be a gift that keeps on giving - much like the Clement/Pavano bidding war of 2004.

And just for shits and giggles, if DM does match expectations then we'll have a competitive season on our hands.

I love this game!

2006-12-12 07:09:04
30.   Shaun P
25 I think there would have have been posturing - the NY tabloids are great for that - but no, the posturing wouldn't have been as bad, because I think Minaya and/or Ca$hmoney would have seen the bid and the contract as separate. Neither of them has ever let money stand in their way the Boston has.

The real question becomes, will Boston let money stop this deal too?

2006-12-12 07:10:58
31.   Jim Dean
28 What, you enjoy all this drama? Manny too? The three weeks it took to announce Drew and Lugo?

No the Yanks would have got him signed, sealed, and delivered. We would have all complained about the cash, but it would have gotten done over three days.

2006-12-12 07:14:04
32.   kylepetterson
28 What do you expect Boras to do?

"Alright Theo, since you overpaid on the posting fee, my client will take $8.50 an hour as long as he can live in the clubhouse."


Your Red Sox believe him to be a front of the rotation guy! That's why they bid what they did. That being said, he should then make front of the rotation money. Gil Meche is making $11 million a year for the next 5. Gil Meche! Don't get pissed at Boras for not accepting the Sawx's joke of an offer, get mad at Theo and crew for making a bid so high that they're struggling to close the deal.

2006-12-12 07:22:34
33.   ric
"What do you expect Boras to do?"

hhhmmm.... counter-offer?!

2006-12-12 07:28:31
34.   Yankee Fan In Boston
33 this is not a free agent signing. the usual rules and practices don't apply to these discussions. boras' only leverage is the possibility of matsuzaka returning to japan. that becomes more of a possibility as the clock continues to click. boras probably didn't want to negotiate until the deadline was in sight. this is the only way to play his hand and doi his client the service for which he has been hired.
2006-12-12 07:35:40
35.   ric
"boras probably didn't want to negotiate until the deadline was in sight."

its becoming increasingly clear that you are 100% right. ans most likely this would apply to any team that won the bid; not just the red sox.

2006-12-12 07:36:48
36.   Jim Dean
A friend of mine once had a Testarossa that he told me he was going to sell. I told him "I'll give you $3,000 for it!". He laughed and that was that. He took it for the joke that it was and laughed. He didn't then come back and say "How about 100k?". If I was serious I would have given him a fair price. Then we could have negotiated./story

30 is exactly right.

2006-12-12 07:41:06
37.   Jim Dean
35 Tell yourself whatever you want to feel better hainge the Sox FO. History tells me you're wrong.

They let A-Rod get away over a few bucks. They let Damon get away over a few bucks. Both Boras clients.

However, they overpaid for Nancy Drew. They overpaid for Varitek. Both Boras clients.

The choice seemed very clear very early on. Either overpay or don't bid. The Sox FO wanted it both ways - probably by spinning the bid amount into the contract. Too bad they're too "smart" for their own good.

2006-12-12 07:43:02
38.   tmcm650
King's rumor mill says the Yanks' offer for Mike Gonzalez might be as high as Proctor & Melky, which seems to me kind of over the top. Are there any saber-projections on how MG's performance for P'burgh will translate into the AL East?
2006-12-12 07:49:54
39.   ric
"They let A-Rod get away over a few bucks. They let Damon get away over a few bucks. Both Boras clients.

However, they overpaid for Nancy Drew. They overpaid for Varitek. Both Boras clients."

so you're telling me they don't want to pay the agent's asking price on some players and overpay on some other players. im failing to see a point here....

2006-12-12 07:54:17
40.   chris in illinois

A simple question here: Does anyone on this board believe in rc/27 outs?? By that measure Hafner, Howard, Pujols, Manny and Berkman were the best five offensive players in all of MLB last year---that does seem reasonable, right?

So when JD Drew shows up as the #24th best RC/27 and he can play center why is this a bad signing?? He does miss 'some' games each year, but his major injuries are the result of being beaned---do we hold that against him??

The guy has put up more runs on the board per out than Soriano every year, if I were a Yankee fan this is the one signing that I think I'll look back at and wish wouldn't have happened.

2006-12-12 07:55:06
41.   Jim Dean
Sorry, last thought for a while:

Lugo = 36 mil/4

Alex G = 14 mil/3

That same 20 mil (~5mil/year) difference could easily kill the DM negotiations. And the difference between Lugo and A-Gon is .60 in career OPS but the latter plays significantly better defense!

I love this game!

2006-12-12 08:02:07
42.   kylepetterson
ric kinda reminds of someone who used to post here....Good old angry sawx fans.

Life is good here at the Banter. Even though we got knocked out of the postseason early, there has been plenty to be happy about: the sawx finished 3rd behind the Jays of Blue, we've had a very productive hot stove season without moving George to the poorhouse, and we've got a new sawxer to tell us how dumb we are while we laugh at him. Good times.

2006-12-12 08:09:01
43.   ric
"and we've got a new sawxer to tell us how dumb we are while we laugh at him. "

"Alright Theo, since you overpaid on the posting fee, my client will take $8.50 an hour as long as he can live in the clubhouse."

you're right! uninsightful non-intelligent comments like this are a laughing matter.

2006-12-12 08:27:24
44.   yankz
I'd bet a paycheck Cashmoney wouldn't be in this situation right now. I think a lot of objective baseball people agree.
2006-12-12 08:33:14
45.   sabernar
What are going to have to give up for Gonzalez? Wasn't Atlanta going to trade Laroche for him? We don't have anyone of his caliber worth trading. A couple middle minor leaguers? Henn + someone?
2006-12-12 08:39:38
46.   yankz
Melky + Proctor for Gonzalez is a ripoff.

45 I think Atlanta would be the third team in the deal.

2006-12-12 08:39:41
47.   Yankee Fan In Boston
45 there's always cash. pavano and millions of dollars?
2006-12-12 08:47:56
48.   joejoejoe
Cashman is going after the wrong Pirate. I want C Ronny Paulino as the next NYY backstop.
2006-12-12 08:48:55
49.   Count Zero
As has been pointed out, the D-M deal will likely still get done -- the Red Sox can't afford to not get it done.

I think the only error the Sox made is that they underestimated the significance of what they were doing. When I heard that they had bid $51.1MM, my thought was "Theo's all in -- this decision will make or break his career as a GM." Strangely enough, it seems like he didn't realize this at the time.

The thing with D-M is/was: Once you made the decision to bid an enormous amount of money to get the negotiating rights, you really had no choice but to follow through at any cost. You truly are "all in." (And this would have been true for any franchise that did it.) Because...

a) Failure to sign him will wreak massive fan and local media criticism upon your franchise

b) Failure to sign him may have a lasting negative effect on your image in Japan and your ability to do business there

And in the case of either the Yanks, Mets or Sox

c) Failure to sign him would leave you scrambling to sign a FA pitcher after much of the market was already gone (Zito for 6x$18MM anyone?)

If you ask me, the only franchise that really realized the full implications of the whole situation was probably the Mariners -- which is why they got out of it early, and very publicly.

2006-12-12 08:54:04
50.   Simone
43 Ahh, a Red Sox fan comes to a Yankee blog to insult Yankee fans over their opinions. What you don't belong to Sons of Sam Horn where all the obnoxious insulting Red Sox fans reside?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-12 09:02:00
51.   standuptriple
49 I guess Theo hasn't played as much poker as some others. I saw it similarly too. He really showed too much and can't back down seeing as getting the $51M back really isn't what they wanted.
2006-12-12 09:03:13
52.   williamnyy23
If anything, the Matsuzaka saga is definitely getting interesting. On the
one hand, you have the Red Sox trying to justify offering D-Mat an Adam
Eaton-type deal, and on the other, you have Boras claiming he should be
paid $100mn over five years. That doesn't sound like the parties are very
close. All along, I think the Red Sox believed that they would have all
the leverage in the negotiation, but now they are finding out otherwise.
For example, Boras already has the Red Sox flying across country uninvited
to offer a second proposal. As a result, the Sox are essentially bidding
against themselves. Consider the following quote from Theo:

"It's highly unusual but again signing Matsuzaka is extremely important to
the Boston Red Sox and we're very committed to making sure that happens,"
Epstein said. "Although it's normally not good policy to make a second
offer without receiving a counteroffer, we want to demonstrate to
Matsuzaka and to fans of Japanese baseball around the world just how
important this is to us. Matsuzaka represents more than himself. He really
represents the entire nation of baseball fans who have been looking
forward to this day."

I think that statement represents a change in strategy for the Red Sox.
Instead of relying on Matsuzaka having to return to Japan as leverage,
they are playing the "national pride" card. If they aren't careful,
however, that tact could backfire on them. After all, isn't the Japanese
national treasure worth a salary of $20mn? Then again, Theo might just be
laying the ground work for saving face if a deal can't be reached?

Clearly, the Red Sox are going to have to pay a lot more for D-Mat than
they originally thought. I have a feeling they expected they would be able
to recoup some of the posting fee by means of a side deal with Seibu. I
also think they figured they'd be able to strong arm Matsuzaka into
accepting a discounted deal. With both scenarios coming apart, the price
tag keeps becoming more prohibitive. Some observers have suggested that at
the price it will take to sign him, the Red Sox may actually be better off
letting him go. Personally, I think that would be such an embarrassment
that a better solution would be to compromise with Boras and sign a
shorter deal for a smaller annual value, while forgoing arbitration rights.

In addition to Theo's comments, the words of Boras are also intriguing:
"One thing is clear -- D-Mat will someday be a major league player," Boras
said. "We have further negotiating to do. The deadline's not here in five
minutes. The parties do understand what this player's value is in the free-
agent system."

Maybe I am having too much fun with this, but it seems to me as if Boras
has a major card up his sleeve. Perhaps, he is planning to "buy" D-Mat's
rights from Seibu? I am sure he could afford to do it…maybe $25mn from
Boras to Seibu, plus a percentage of both the contract and certain other
salaries (i.e., endorsements and personal services)? That might be
fanciful, but there doesn't seem to be any rule that would prevent it.

Anyone have a conspiracy theory to share? Or, does the conventional wisdom
that the deal "has to get done" still hold?

2006-12-12 09:03:25
53.   Simone
49 If the Matsuzaka deal doesn't come through, this is on Werner and Henry not Theo. There is no way that he could make that bid and now the deal without their permission. Remember they are the same people who vetoed the A-Rod trade over $15 million.

However, I completely agree with the rest of your post. From jump, I argued that all the teams that bid on Matsuzaka were serious because they understood that this was huge deal. They have to get the signing done out of need for an ace. Additionally, their reputation and future business relationships with Japanese teams and fans would be destroyed. No team would enter the process and risk their reputation just to block another team. Ultimately, this is why I see the Red Sox getting the deal because if not ... it be will be ugly for them for awhile.

2006-12-12 09:06:21
54.   kylepetterson
50 I actually like having ric here. It brightens my day to see someone get so angry over nothing. Opinions about baseball.

ric, this is where you chime in with something along the lines of "I'm not angry, you guys are just idiots"

2006-12-12 09:16:50
55.   yankz
54 Quit taking your crazy pills!
2006-12-12 09:19:00
56.   kylepetterson
55 Actually they're just Skittles. Man, these things are GOOD!
2006-12-12 09:19:19
57.   Jim Dean
52 I think you're right on the short deal. They can get it done if they're willing to swallow 60mil over 4 years, on top of the posting fee. It sucks, but as you've all pointed out, it was always going to. They were the fools for thinking otherwise. Then the short deal gives DM time to establish his true worth for his next contract. They could save 30 mil (90/6) if he's a not worth a big contract or they can pony up an additional 5mil/year to 20/year in the next big one.

As for the conspiracy theories, MLB has consistently said either DM signs with the Sox or he goes back to Japan. I think we have to take them at that. As with the JD Drew draft, I don't see MLB killing one of its rules just because Boras roughed up one team. He's been doing that for years.

2006-12-12 09:23:02
58.   standuptriple
I guess they're going to enter the Zito sweepstakes now? Lovely. To be a fly on the wall...
2006-12-12 09:23:48
59.   ric
"Opinions about baseball."

your posts have not provided any evidence that you have an opinion about baseball. im glad you're happy to have me though!

2006-12-12 09:25:55
60.   kylepetterson
54 59 That'll do.
2006-12-12 09:29:35
61.   Bama Yankee
54 I'm with you Kyle, I like having people like ric stop by from time to time. I always thought it was funny when ric would troll by during the season after one of our losses and give us grief (saying that we were all staying up late chatting like little girls).

Wonder why all that stopped after a certain five game series in August?

2006-12-12 09:33:17
62.   mehmattski
Man, serves me right for actually doing work this morning, look what I miss.

59 Here's an opinion: Uncle Theo lost all of his negotiating edge to make a "reasonable" deal with Boras when he bid $51.1 million for Matsuzaka. What that communicates to the agent is: we really, really, really want this player, and we think he's worth an exorbitant amount. That much is unrefutable.

So then you're the agent, sitting at the negotiating table with a man who just bid $51.1 million just to talk to you. And that man says (with his salary offer) that your client is worth less than Gil Meche and Adam Eaton. The two actions (high bid, lowball offer) are contradictory and it makes sense why Boras has backed off and decided to play the posturing game. He was insulted.

I'm assuming based on your posts that you don't have a job that involves sales or negotiating in anyway. Let me help you out: say you're selling a used car. The buyer has already said "I must get this car today!" (nullifying his leverage). You think the car is worth $10,000. The buyer says "I'll pay no more than $2,000." This is a lowball. The next step from the seller's standpoint is not to "counter-offer" as you suggest, but to act insulted. The whole purpose of the lowball tactic is to bring the seller far below what he thinks his product is worth.

This might work for Theo in an open market against a less experienced agent. But this is a closed market with the best agent in the history of sports. Theo needs to make a more reasonable offer first, if this deal is going to get done.

2006-12-12 09:37:59
63.   Count Zero
53 "If the Matsuzaka deal doesn't come through, this is on Werner and Henry not Theo."

A valid point. Sucks when your career is all in and your boss can't decide whether or not to back you up. :-)

2006-12-12 09:50:13
64.   ric
"The next step from the seller's standpoint is not to "counter-offer" as you suggest, but to act insulted. The whole purpose of the lowball tactic is to bring the seller far below what he thinks his product is worth."

i dont work in sales but i study law and offer and acceptance under the Restatement (Second) of Contracts doesn't mention anything about acting insulted... but I understand what you mean about pragmatic negotiations. it doesnt seem fair to me to not get a response when you have bid $$ based upon a limited negotiations time window (moreso than the open market). besides, i thought the offer came before these ridiculous meche and eaton signings

2006-12-12 09:53:51
65.   vockins
...and in the middle of all this, Boras gets $8 mil/1 for Eric Gagne.

Dude is ruthless.

2006-12-12 09:54:33
66.   wsporter
Boras looks like a genius so far. He got Boston to make a second offer without countering their first offer. He got MLB jumping up and down about the integrity of the process. He sat out in Cali and let his phone ring and managed to get the Beantowners so uptight that they climbed aboard Mr. Henry's jet and flew out to see him to negotiate at the deadline. He did all this when his only real leverage is to leave the kid in Japan for another year or two.

A negotiation can't be judged until it's done but so far Boras looks like he's a man among boys.

Boston cut its throat early on in this. They made that huge bid to obtain his rights and allowed their pitching strategy to evolve into one of "we have to have this guy". They then tried to get cheap on him. They should have made an up front reasonable take it or leave it offer and hunkered down and forced Boras to come to them. If they wanted to they could have used negotiations with other pitchers on the market as leverage and shown a willingness to go in other directions. When they were accused of "blocking" a simple reply of "… (I)t's not our fault the other MLB teams interested misread the situation. Our offer is a reasonable one in this market. Stick it in your ear" would suffice. Instead they fell into the trap of believing they have to have the guy and once Boras understood that they were his pigeon. It isn't over but my sense is it may as well be.

They may still get the kid and I expect them to but this seems like a lousy way to run a rail road or a negotiation for that matter.

2006-12-12 09:55:14
67.   kylepetterson
64 "it doesnt seem fair to me to not get a response"

If life was fair I wouldn't be so much better looking than all of you, but that's just the way it is.

2006-12-12 09:58:45
68.   unpopster
here's a question:

If the issue is indeed $$$$, then how do these negotiations effect the Manny Ramirez situation.

let's assume that Boras is now forcing the Sox FO to make offers that they were originally unwilling to make. And let's also assume that should the Sox actually close the deal with Boras, that MLB will not let Theo renegotiate the agreement with the Seibu Lions and therefore force the Sawx to actually pony up the $51mil that they bid.

So if Theo and Co. fork out approx. $110mil ($51mm posting and the reported $60mm contract) on top of the $100mm+ for Drew and Lugo, then they might very well be forced to trade away Manny's contract in order to keep some sort of financial flexibility for '07.

So, to simplify a rather long and convoluted premise above, is Boras forcing the Sawx to choose between Mats or Manny? if so, I'm ALL FOR the Sox getting Mats and trading Manny out of the AL East.

Does anyone read this scenario similarly?

2006-12-12 09:59:08
69.   C2Coke
If it wasn't for Matsuzaka, we would've had so much less to talk about in the past months. For that, I am thankful. It really goes the same for ric, if it was for ric, I wouldn't have as many opportunities to be entertained.

46 "Melky + Proctor for Gonzalez is a ripoff." After I read that, I've been mumbling: in Cashman I trust, in Cashman I trust...

2006-12-12 10:01:19
70.   OldYanksFan
From ESPN: "The Red Sox said on the call they also intend to sign Masumi Kuwata, a 38-year-old right-hander who has spent 21 seasons with the Yomiuri Giants."

If true, are the Sox still interested in Mike Gonzalez?

13 Boras is playing it perfectly. Theo and Larry are flying to Boras's home in CA to get it done. Boras will get to negiciate at his favorite resturant, get DM his money, and stick Theo with the bill for the meal.

26 Should a guy who makes pork sausages be talking about 'flying feces'?

33 No Ric.... the lack of counter offer said that the Sox offer wasn't even enough to open discussions. Did it work? Where are Theo and Larry now? Flying to Boras's house. Theo packet a suit, 2 shirts and 10 pair of underwear.

34 Boras has TONS od leverage. If DM is NOT signed, the Sox (not Boras) will have caused an international incident. When the Sox have another sucky year (without DM), all of RSN and every pundit will say 'if they only signed DM'. Not to mention the Yankees signing DM next year. Shit doesn't stick to Boras. The Sox HAVE to get this done.

40 Chris - good point. RC/27 is an important stat, but when you pay big dollars, you are really looking to buy RC/27 * 162.

RC/27 108 games = RC/18 162 games. RC/27 is a talent evealuator. RC/season is what counts to the FO.

[Everybody] Question: Does Boras have the final say, or does DM? If Boras wants 15m/yr, he may stand pat. But DM could see 12-13/yr as enough and pull the trigger.

I still think the deal will get done for around 12m/yr.

2006-12-12 10:07:49
71.   Zavo
38 Not to take away from the DM conversation, but I find it curious that the Yanks would be interested enough in Mike Gonzalez to trade for him.

We saw what Proctor and Farnsworth could do in the AL East last season, for better or worse, and trading Proctor+ for another late inning RP makes no sense to me. (Especially if it is rumored to be Melky which is insane).

The Yankee bullpen, with Mo, Proctor, Farns, Bruney, Myers, Leftie yet to be determined (Schoeneweis?), and then some combo of Britton, Beam, JB Cox, Jeff Karstens, Rasner, Sean Henn, Steven White etc. should be a fine penn with numerous young options.

2006-12-12 10:11:23
72.   mehmattski
40 via 70 Yeah the RC/27 point is a good one, and various people online (Lederer, Law, Carrol) have pointed out that if Drew is healthy, there's a lot to like about him. ".300/.400/.500 players don't grow on trees" they say. So while the Drew contract may be "absolutely" insane, I don't think it's "relatively" insane, based on the money thrown around this off season. $17.25 million/year (AAV) for Soriano, $16.7 million/year for Carlos Lee... $14 million/year for Drew doesn't look so insane, especially because Drew has the potential to outperform both of them.

Julio Lugo for $9 million/year is insane, though.

2006-12-12 10:12:26
73.   Jim Dean
64 Carl Pavano and Matt Clement got 10mil/year two years ago. If a team wasn't prepared to start there, they should have entered the bidding process.

I'd be throwing up in my mouth too if it was the Yankees trying to pay that money to a guy who has yet to pitch one inning in MLB. I actually hope the Sox sign him - better they figure out his value.

A 15 mil avg/year would get the deal done. That's disgusting but it's reality. Tell me ric, would rather: a) A-Gon and DM; or Lugo and no DM. Because that 20 mil difference could very likely end up being the deal breaker. Stupid planning if you ask me.

Further, they could have saved even more cash on Nancy, and went with a Pena/??? platoon in RF, and traded Pena+ for one of the big free agents (Rowand, Jones, etc.). The problem of course is that they were planning to trade Manny. Oops indeed 23.

2006-12-12 10:15:10
74.   ric
i guess the million dollar question is: entirely independant of any posting fee, what would you guys pay for Matsuzaka? what is the top that you offer before you walk away? and what number would be too high such that Boras looks bad?
2006-12-12 10:16:15
75.   standuptriple
71 Pete Abe says it's a move to drive up the price for the Sawx. Brilliant Ca$h. Especially now that Gagne is off the market.
2006-12-12 10:17:39
76.   Shaun P
70 (In response to your [Everybody]) Purely from a technical legal standpoint, yes, if DM says, "I want to do this deal ($12M/year or $13M/year), then the agent is supposed to obey the wishes of the client and the deal is done.

Could that happen? Of course.

Practically speaking, Boras and DM probably discussed all their options from the beginning - including not signing a contract. It would be foolish for Boras to do otherwise, and Boras is not a fool. I'd bet DM is looking for a very large amount - why else go with Boras? - and trusts Boras to do his thing and get him that money. If its close enough, at the last second, DM might say, "OK". But if its not, DM might agree to go back and try this again next year, to try to get the money.

66 MFD, great read on the negotiations. I think you're right, especially about the bid being the root cause of all the trouble.

2006-12-12 10:18:36
77.   mehmattski
Yeah, Proctor + Melky better bring us a starting pitcher, not an oft-injured reliever.

On the backup catcher front, it's possible that Yorvit Torrealba could be a non-tendered free agent at midnight tonight. I think that would be a solid choice. Would be nice to have someone who can crack a .700 OPS back there. And he's still just 28.

2006-12-12 10:18:52
78.   ric
"a) A-Gon and DM; or Lugo and no DM"

i never understood the infatuation with Lugo... i alway have considered SS the position where defense is essential and offense should be sacrificed (ala pokey reese)lugo doesnt seem to be worth his contract.

2006-12-12 10:26:18
79.   unpopster
74 I'm still feeling the sting of Irabu and Contreras so I would be absolutely opposed to this whole fiasco had it been the Yanks instead of Boston that won the bid on Matz. In fact, I am very happy that the Yanks came up short in the posting process.

I think the Sox have a very valid argument when they propose to pay $8-10mm/year for Matz based on his ZERO experience in MLB but by bidding an insane $51mm for the rights to even talk to him they have essentially screwed themselves.

I think the deal will get done for about $12mm/year, however if I were the Sox and their fans, I'd be very very very nervous that, a) Matz would be a bust a la Irabu/Contreras or b) he gets hurt. The anxiety surrounding Matz on my team would eat away at me and diminish my joy for that team.

I rather the Sox fans live with that anxiety, thank you. Plus, the Nancy Drew Chronicles in Boston should result in enough heartburn by itself.

2006-12-12 10:28:38
80.   C2Coke
74 We don't pay for him, the Yankees organization does.

However, considering all the crazy offers that have taken place this offseason, one can only conclude that this situation works in Boras' advantage.

Offering Matsuzaka anything less than 10 million/yr simply doesn't make sense as most expect Matsuzaka to be a front totation guy (Now I know there's whole another discussion we can get into). And if Meche can get a 55mil/5yr deal, I think Matsuzaka deserves more than 7-9 mil/year (reportedly as the initial offer by the Red Sox).

I always thought Cashman knew better (because there is still indeed posting fee involved this time around)which was why he didn't try to pursue Matsuzaka as hard as most people thought. There is always a possibility for a trade once he proves himself.

2006-12-12 10:30:05
81.   yankz
69 Ditto, and I definitely trust him.

70 That underwear joke was the funniest thing I've heard in a while.

2006-12-12 10:32:14
82.   mehmattski
80"We don't pay for him, the Yankees organization does."

I really hate this reasoning. Have you ever been to a Yankees game? Or watched one on their giant television network? Have you ever bought memorabilia? Where do you think that money goes? That's like saying you don't care what the American government does, because it's their money, not yours. We all have a bit of stake in this team, because the massive amounts of money they have are collected from fans like us. I for one would like to see them spend my money wisely.

2006-12-12 10:33:27
83.   C2Coke
82 That response was strictly for ric's question, not in general.
2006-12-12 10:36:46
84.   mehmattski
83 Fair enough. It felt good to get that rant out there, anyway. Carry on.

Oh, and the list of the possible non-tenders includes Ben Broussard. Now that would be a bat I can handle at first base. But the Mariners will probably tender him, then trade him. Which I would do, for the right price.

Cashman seems to be shopping where there are sales this year, instead of being distracted by shiny displays at the expensive stores. Me like.

2006-12-12 10:44:24
85.   RichYF
So I just had a few cups of coffee (finals week) whilst reading the banter, and it occurred to me: What if Cash signed Kei Igawa to a contract well above his value? What's the estimation on him? $4M per? Something like that?

What if Cash signs him for, oh say, $8-10 per? Obviously that's a bad idea in a baseball sense, but if Kei Igawa is making $10M/year as a projected #5 guy, what's Matsuzaka worth? The market for Matsuzaka is already high enough, and this move would probably make the Yankees FO look incredibly unintelligent, but Boras could presumably use it as leverage to nullify the "unknown quantity" argument in terms of Japanese pitching value.

If I were Cash$, and I knew the DM negotiations were struggling, wouldn't Thursday at about 6PM be the PERFECT time to announce this signing? The thought of the possible implications of such a devious endeavor have made me giddy. My apologies.

2006-12-12 10:45:39
86.   YankeeInMichigan
77 Interesting. I had assumed that Torrealba's .439 slugging percentage was Coors-induced, but it turns out that he hit quite a bit better (.274/.306/.481) on the road. Hardly an heir to Posada, but better than any of the backup options currently on the roster.
2006-12-12 10:48:08
87.   Jim Dean
84 "Cashman seems to be shopping where there are sales this year, instead of being distracted by shiny displays at the expensive stores."

Me like too.

And he's aware of when he can get 50% off, like Abreu. Even the three pitchers for Sheff was a steal. The Sux would have taken that for Manny.

2006-12-12 10:49:52
88.   Jim Dean
85 If he's that much, I'd rather not. 7-8 million / year, tops.
2006-12-12 10:50:38
89.   wsporter
{76] MFD, I think that is 100% right: DM is looking to break the bank. That is precisely why he went with Boras. If the Sawx were foolish enough to believe that their post bid would impress him with their zeal they were right. It impressed him but not the way they thought. "Lots more cheese where that came from" was DM's foremost thought, I imagine, as he sat down with Boras to have the "what do we do now" conversation.
2006-12-12 10:57:38
90.   alasky

teams charge for tickets, merchandise, tv contracts, etc. irrespective of player salaries. A number of studies have been conducted regarding a correlation between ticket prices and player salaries and there really is no corellation. A team bases its ticket, food and beverage, and merchandise prices to essentially sell the most seats at the highest prices fans are willing to pay. Paying a player a lot of money and then raising ticket prices doesn't work...the most notable case in which this was attempted and failed was with Tom Hicks and the Dallas Stars a number of years ago. Thus, whether or not the Yankees have a higher payroll has little to do with their ticket prices. If the team was winning just as many games with the payroll the size of say, Kansas City's, the rational economic decision would be to charge just as much for tickets as they do now, and this is exactly how the CFOs and Team Presidents Operate. Bob Nicholson, former CFO of the Washington Nationals and Montreal Expos, has spoken at length about this subject in many publications. If you'd like, I could dig up some old links for you...

2006-12-12 11:04:17
91.   RI Yankee
90 Umm . . . I believe the word you're looking for is "irregardless" . . . ?
2006-12-12 11:06:19
92.   jakewoods
What do you want Cash to do? Give Gil Meche 55 for 5 yrs?

I think he knows what hes doing and he'll get a 1b and a backup Catcher in here soon.

2006-12-12 11:06:41
93.   Shaun P
89 90 Haven't I read both of those comments before, or am I experiencing a Banter-related deja vu incident?
2006-12-12 11:06:51
94.   RIYank
85 Fiendish. I like that.
I was wondering whether somehow Ca$hman let Boras know what kind of a contract he'd give DM were there to be a free agent bidding, thus making it clear how much Matsuzaka would be giving up by signing now.

My immediate reaction to the bid, weeks ago, was that it was too high and the Red Sox had made it economically impossible to sign their prey. My confidence has been ebbing since then, but now Mike Plugh has sent it skyrocketing! I'm also very happy to see David Pinto's latest paean to Boras.

2006-12-12 11:07:13
95.   alasky
RI...they're synonyms
2006-12-12 11:08:34
96.   williamnyy23
90 You are correct...there really is no correlation. In fact, if teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox placed their tickets on an open market (ala Stub Hubb), I'd bet they'd fetch even higher prices. Instead, they keep them at artificially low prices and allow scalpers to make the marginal profits.

I also strongly disagree with the notion that it is too expensive to attend baseball games, even at Yankee Stadium. Between the discounts offered and the ability to bring food into the ballpark, the average cost of attending a game is well below most other forms of entertainment. I have a Friday evening plan at YS and when I factor in the free ticket coupons they give plan holders, the average ticket price is less than $15. The notion that we as fans "pay the players salaries" is just plain silly. We pay for a product we enjoy...plain and simple. The price of a ticket isn't a contribution; it is consideration for something of value in return: the entertainment of attending a baseball game.

2006-12-12 11:10:01
97.   RIYank
Uh oh, this was bound to happen. RIYank and RI Yankee posting in the same thread.
2006-12-12 11:11:39
98.   kylepetterson
97 brace yourselves....
2006-12-12 11:13:01
99.   tmcm650
I seem to recall one writer relating, after the bids became known, that Ca$h was feeling some "buyer's remorse" after submitting the Yanks' bid, thinking he'd bid too high, and that he was relieved to some degree that he'd been outbid. If true, that's a sure sign that Ca$h had a much better read than Kid Rock did up in Boston on how the hand was going to play out.
2006-12-12 11:14:20
100.   mehmattski
90 That is fair, and I am completely unlearned when it comes to hardcore economics, so I will trust you. I was speaking from the standpoint of the fan, and my money that comes from buying tickets, beer, jerseys (#22 for x-mas, baby!) through my cable company to the YES Network goes into that big pot of money from which the Yankees do their business. Since I spent my money thoughtfully, my hope is that the money is put to good use, also thoughtfully. Does that make sense.

And for the record, "irregardless" is not actually a meaningful word. Breaking it down... ir = not, less = without... so it means "not without regard," a double negative. Yes, both of my parents were English teachers.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-12-12 11:16:03
101.   alasky
how about irrespective? Come on, mehmattski, I'm counting on you for some vindication!
2006-12-12 11:16:20
102.   YankeeInMichigan
USA Today reports that RHP Christian Garcia, Yankees' 3rd Round pick in 2004 and #6 prospect (according to BA -- now #7 with Sanchez in the mix), is out for the season. Does anyone know any more?
2006-12-12 11:19:38
103.   wsporter
102 Elbow surgery. Check out the link at the right to "Pending Pinstripes".
2006-12-12 11:21:03
104.   RI Yankee
97 I'd use my other name, but I can't remember the password . . . .
2006-12-12 11:21:04
105.   RI Yankee
97 I'd use my other name, but I can't remember the password . . . .
2006-12-12 11:21:28
106.   RI Yankee
or when to stop clicking the submit button . . .
2006-12-12 11:22:11
107.   RI Yankee
100 I was being ironical . . .
2006-12-12 11:23:31
108.   mehmattski
101 Sure, "not respective" makes sense. "regardless" will do just fine in that situation though. That's what I'd say if I were your copy editor, anyway.

102 RLYW also had a feature on him, Fabian bumped Garcia down considerably (#20 among all Yankees prospects) because of the surgery. He's still just 22 though, so hopefully he'll bounce back. Tommy John surgery is so successful nowadays.

2006-12-12 11:24:29
109.   ric
"it is consideration for something of value in return"

williamnyy23- now that is some straight up Contracts Law... and all you need is a peppercorn of consideration!

2006-12-12 11:24:34
110.   thelarmis
just getting in and enjoying catching up on all the posts!

not sure if Big Ben will be a non-tender option. nomaas mentions Brad Wilkerson. even though he's lefty, he's got reverse splits.

i'd be down with Yorvit Torrealba. i'd LOVE to hear the "Voice of God" say his name! not to mention the Yankee related "Torre & Alba." btw, a buddy of mine emailed me two Jessica Alba photos today. GOOD LORD! : O

there'd be some poetic justice for Igawa to shut down the BoSux at The Fens whilst the Bombers go Wall Ball against Dice-K. could happen!

not sure we need Mike G., but if the price is right... Paulino would be fine, too. Proctor & the Melk Man is a steep price though. Atl. may very well move Rochey. I live in the ATL and while he had a pretty good season, i can't stand watching that guy...

someone PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE tell me what "MFD" stands for!!! i've been trying to figure it out for ages and simply cannot... : ~

2006-12-12 11:28:16
111.   Jim Dean
MFD = My fairy daddy
2006-12-12 11:29:21
112.   yankz
93 I'm getting it too.

[110} Ditto re: MFD. WTF?

2006-12-12 11:29:29
113.   mehmattski
Wow, it's been a long time since someone showed up confused about MFD. Let me do the honors, from the archive:

Oh, the good old days. Before I got here. And before Rob Gee was banned.

2006-12-12 11:29:48
114.   yankz
111 Thanks...
2006-12-12 11:29:53
115.   thelarmis
111thanking you! not sure i quite get it though! : ~
2006-12-12 11:31:25
116.   yankz
113 Ha! That was the day I broke the news about the Rollins streak ending. Me and my obsession...
2006-12-12 11:31:52
117.   YankeeInMichigan
103 Thanks. I see from the Pending Pinstripes post that Mark Melancon (#9 prospect) blew out his elbow in Hawaii as well.

108 And Garcia's surgery is apparantly the same one that Mariano Rivera had in the minors, so he's in good company.

2006-12-12 11:32:35
118.   mehmattski
I guess the story goes back one step further... wsporter and Shaun P attended the same college (Hofstra?) whose mascot is The Flying Dutchmen. So there you have it.

Man, the Banter is awesome.

2006-12-12 11:33:25
119.   Jim Dean
BTW: Check out Seth Mnookin's blog. Nothing better than seeing a professional writer going apeshit about player moves. They lose all sense of professional perspective.

He cites Olney's piece today but he conveniently leaves aside the original homer - Gammons. And while I can't read that piece without dropping trou and bending over for the ESPN tyranny, the preview and title suggest he thinks the Sux should just pony up the cash required. Love it PG! Especially because he couldn't praise them enough with the bid.

2006-12-12 11:34:01
120.   Jim Dean
Who's Rob Gee?
2006-12-12 11:35:15
121.   Yankee Fan In Boston
mehmattski, can you make sense of this?

"There was some initial speculation that this was defensive maneuver on our part," Lucchino said. "We wanted to disabuse people of that notion and make it clear that this was a commitment to Matsuzaka-san..."


2006-12-12 11:37:37
122.   thelarmis
113 thanks mehmattski, you ROCK! and yes, the Banter is indeed awesome! funny thing is, i totally was there the day of the 'fellow dutchmen,' it just didn't stick. my dirty mind thought it was some kind of curse word. that's what ya get growing up in Queens, i guess...

i read both Alex and Cliff, individually, religiously for a long while now. just never posted til recently.

thanks for clearing up the MFD, guys - 'preciate it!

btw, my Pop transferred from NYU to Hofstra back in the day just so he could play Baseball there. guess he's a fellow flying dutchman... i used to play the Newsday Marching Band festivals every year at Hoftstra...

2006-12-12 11:38:34
123.   wsporter
114 Um ... No. MFD = My Fellow Dutchman. Shaun P and I discovered here that we attended the same College, although years apart. The nickname of the Athletic Teams and student body generally is "Dutchman". Hence MFD.

118 Union college.

2006-12-12 11:41:25
124.   mehmattski
121 Disabuse, though sounding like sounding like it discribes the act of taking Scott Proctor away from Joe Torre, is actually a word. It means to free (from something). The phrase "disabuse people of that notion" is a pretty commmon one, if you do a Google search.

And I'd like to point out that RI Yankee using "ironical" (a non word) in 107 to describe his previous use of "irregardless" is indeed quite the irony, in the quite frequently misunderstood literary sense, as opposed to the Alanis Morsette sense.

2006-12-12 11:44:25
125.   mehmattski
123 Aw... I took a stab at it, reading the Flying Dutchman wikipedia page. Union College is not there, because their Dutchmen are considerably more grounded, it seems.
2006-12-12 11:45:08
126.   yankz
Posting the archive inspired me to find my first BB comment ever. August 4, 2005, comment 22 on the "Chim-Chim-Cha-Ree" thread.

Digging, I found a bunch of good memories. Remember when Michael Kay used to check out the women in the stands in between innings? And you could hear him on

2006-12-12 11:46:41
127.   thelarmis
i'd like to finish up last nite's thread about Pitch Backs, if that's okay, and if anyone from then is around right now...

turns out BOTH pitch backs have survived a good 1/4 century! my pop did not use 2x4's, but 1" pieces to make it nice and sturdy. they were by 3 or 4 inches. that was pretty much all that was needed, though the hooks in the ground could still add some added security.

i must've been hallucinating about the "X" in the middle. the box is simply a ribbon that is weaved through the webbing. i was probably confusing it with the strikezone we had on the basement wall, replete w/ the "X," like we would draw with chalk to play stickball at local schoolyards. (man, i miss stickball...)

my 'tennis balls only' rule was off, too. hard balls are fine... my dad is surprised the elasticity has lasted a solid 25 years. both pitch backs are in use w/ my little nephews, the younger of whom is a little lefty slugger and BIG Yankees fan! these kids even get their own baseball cards in little league. how cool!

in summary, the Hank Aaron endorsed, Little League approved Pitch Back of the 70's kicks ass. so does the Banter for causing and allowing such conversations to commence!

2006-12-12 11:53:29
128.   C2Coke
Is it just me or today there are some very interesting yet strange conversations going on here on the Banter?
2006-12-12 11:54:23
129.   thelarmis
128 it's not you!
2006-12-12 11:58:16
130.   Jim Dean
127 Anyone for a stickball game?

(That would be sweet)

2006-12-12 12:03:48
131.   Schteeve
This is out of control. Bottom line is this, the FA market is nuts, see Gil Meche, in a year in which Gil Meche gets $11 mil for 5 years, the sad truth for the Sox is that it's going to take at least $11 million a year to sign a guy you thought so highly of that you spent $50 million just to talk to. Those are the facts, all this debate about posturing and what not is foolish. Either the Sox open the checkbook or Matsuzaka is going back to Japan. Boras won't let him sign a deal that makes him look underpaid next to Gil Fucking Mess.
2006-12-12 12:04:00
132.   C2Coke
How can you not love this line from Pete Abraham's blog?

"For once, the Yankees are on the sidelines for a circus."

2006-12-12 12:05:08
133.   kylepetterson
132 It feels good, doesn't it?
2006-12-12 12:07:20
134.   thelarmis
130 i still have at least 2 stickball bats up in my old closet in NY. yeah, i'm down! when/where?! ; )
2006-12-12 12:09:17
135.   Jim Dean
133 Yes it most certainly does. Between Tampering, Manny, and Sushi, oh my!

The Boston Zoo is officially open for business. Though I guess it really opened when it obtained the first Gorilla Manager known to man.

2006-12-12 12:15:38
136.   C2Coke
135 And remember there's also Cashman's ability to find the right stores for discount shopping.
2006-12-12 12:27:24
137.   unpopster
130 just curious, are we talking the traditional, old skewl in-the-middle-of-the-street stickball or are we talk the more modern version, schoolyard, fast-pitch-against-a-drawn-box stickball?

Ah, the days of playing modern stickball in the Brooklyn school yards. Winding up and doing my darndest to throw a 70mph fastball past my friends' stickball bats.

2006-12-12 12:33:21
138.   Jim Dean
137 We used to do it with a metal bat and tennis balls throwing into a hockey goal (strikes hit net) - so not stickball per se. Yes, that was a bastardized version but we had a cul-de-sac. Man, that was fun.
2006-12-12 12:33:34
139.   standuptriple
137 We played the schoolyard version, except it was off the garage door (lived in a court) where I owned Sabathia (3 yrs younger). And we called it Strike Out.
2006-12-12 12:36:10
140.   Yankee Fan In Boston
139 c.c.?
2006-12-12 12:36:39
141.   unpopster
It was in those school yard games that I mastered my Valenzuela and Quisenberry windups as well as my Strawberry, Donnie Baseball, Henderson, Pagliarulo and Winfield stances.
2006-12-12 12:37:32
142.   Yankee Fan In Boston
141 pags!
2006-12-12 12:39:32
143.   thelarmis
we played the schoolyard version w/ "official" stickball bats and tennis balls. essentially a broom stick w/ two rounded ends and some tape on one end for the "handle." i always held the end w/out the tape.

we drew a strikezone on the brick wall. hit the fence on 1 bounce = double; on a fly = triple; over the fence = homer.

we played in the mid-late 80's on Long Island. there was 1 kid who was a "real" pitcher. fast fastballs, moving curve balls, etc. no one could hit him. no one. wasn't even fun...

2006-12-12 12:41:30
144.   thelarmis
141 i always liked pags! he was the 1st one i thought of when Alex took #13. i remember reading a good article/interview w/ Pags, not too very long ago - last year maybe. good guy. affiliated w/ the Twins, methinks. can't remember for certain...
2006-12-12 12:45:19
145.   standuptriple
140 Yup. My parents next door neighbor is his best friend.
2006-12-12 12:52:57
146.   Yankee Fan In Boston
144 145 the teams of that era were so terrible. i used to lie awake at night listening to them lose on the radio night after painful night.

donnie and pags made it worth it, though.

re: alex /#13
wayne tolleson wore #2 in those days.

...oh how far we've come.

2006-12-12 12:55:43
147.   thelarmis
146 who is wayne tolleson?

j/k ; )

btw, i think bobby meachem is a major league coach. rox maybe...?

2006-12-12 12:56:35
148.   RIYank
Mariners replace Gil "GA!" Meche with Miguel Batista. Roughly equal pitchers, and the Ms save $3mil/yr.
2006-12-12 12:57:26
149.   Yankee Fan In Boston
147 last i knew, alvaro espinoza was an infield coach for the pirates.
2006-12-12 12:57:30
150.   RIYank
Sorry, here's the Mariners/Batista story:

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-12-12 12:57:30
151.   thelarmis
scratch that - bobby meacham was the 3rd base coach for the Fish last season. not sure where he'll be next season. if he'll be...

btw, can you italicize here?

2006-12-12 12:58:45
152.   RIYank
151 No italics. You can boldface by surrounding the phrase with asterisks; _underlin_ing is, given the first bit, a test to see if you're smart enough to be a Banterer.
2006-12-12 12:59:56
153.   Yankee Fan In Boston
"btw, can you italicize here?"

no, but by putting an asterisk before and after text, it becomes bold.

ask kylepetterson for a demonstration sometime...

2006-12-12 13:06:32
154.   thelarmis
152 153 hey, thanks guys! i've actually paid attention some and knew about the bold and underlining and the bracketing of {#'s}, too! just wasn't sure about italicizing. i realized after i posted the ? about it, that the boldface probably takes care of that.

anyway, thanks again, you all ROCK!

2006-12-12 13:13:42
155.   Eirias
I have a question I haven't seen discussed much. Does anyone know how good Kevin Long will likely be as a major-league hitting coach?
2006-12-12 13:15:27
156.   chris in illinois

Good Point, but Drew isn't as fragile as everyone thinks:

2006- 146 games, that's 90% of the season. I'll take 90% of a season of Drew than 96% of a season from Carlos Lee.

2005- 72 games. Broken hand via HBP---is this his fault??

2004- 145 games, awesome season again 145 ain't bad.

2003- 100 games, again beaned.

Last four years he's been pretty healthy beyond getting hit by pitches and having his hands broken, I suppose that could continue, but I doubt it.

Maybe I'm just dumb, but I thought he was the best FA out there bar none. I guess we'll see in a few months

2006-12-12 13:31:23
157.   debris
Ken Rosenthal at foxsports make a lot of interesting points. Looking at the economics from Dice-K's point of view:

If he goes back to Seibu, he earns $9 M over the next two years.

Let's say, for arguments sake, the Sox hold to $10 M annually over six years. Matsuzaka would then earn, with endorsements, estimated to be $20 M annually by Rosenthal if he plays MLB, $60 M over the next two years.

Playing out his two years in Japan before becoming a FA, he loses $51 M in that time.

Over the following four years, he would have to draw an MLB salary of $22.75 M to make up his losses from 2007-2008, the $10 M hypothetical figure, plus $12.75 M per year to make up the lost $51 M. And, of course, to do this, he'd not only have to continue to pitch effectively and retain his value, he'd also have to stay healthy.

In short, if Dice-K goes back to Japan, he is the guaranteed loser.

2006-12-12 13:35:57
158.   JimCobain
{155} What's the saying? Those who can't do teach. Just kidding. But the guy can't be that bad, he helped along Cano and Melky. Cano can rake and Melky is selectively agressive.
2006-12-12 13:40:07
159.   Simone
157 If Matsuzaka thought like Rosenthal, Werner and Henry, he wouldn't have Boras as his agent. I don't understand why all of them and Red Sox fans think that it is a hardship for him to pitch in Japan for one year before becoming a free agent for the money that he deserves. No matter how the Red Sox, their fans and their media supporters spin it, Matsuzaka isn't going to accept being paid as a back of a rotation guy to make up for that posting fee. No way Boras accepts less that Gil Meche's contract so wake up from that fantasy.
2006-12-12 13:41:10
160.   RIYank
Debris, he isn't under contract for two more years, though. He's under contract for a year and then a couple of months of the 2008 season. Furthermore, nothing stops him from doing endorsements while playing in Seibu.
2006-12-12 13:42:19
161.   Jim Dean
157 You forget he could get posted again next year. And what the bleep does Rosenthal know about endorsement money? Who's to say he can't earn a bunch of that any ways?

You guys are just grasping at straws to make yourselves feel better.

BTW: I love how Sox fans are already turning on DM, and not their front office. It's just like Damon all over again. DM could walk over $5 million a year ($10 vs. $15 million). That's the same $5 million a year they gave to Julio Lugo over A-Gon with only a marginal difference in value, if that. And they revisit the Damon mistake by signing the Anti-Damon in Nancy.

Good times!

2006-12-12 13:43:54
162.   Yankee Fan In Boston
160 actually, i heard that while he's under contract with a japanese team, they control his ad rights.

anyone able to verify? i was unable to do so.

2006-12-12 13:45:23
163.   RIYank
Jim 161, I'm hearing a lot of anti-front-office stuff from Red Sox Nation, actually. And personally, I think that if Theo leaves that will be a much bigger loss than failing to sign Matsuzaka.
2006-12-12 13:45:50
164.   Jim Dean
162 That may be true but I can't imagine they control his international rights. With Boras as his agent, I wouldn't be surprised if got a big Nike contract before he lands in MLB.
2006-12-12 13:48:10
165.   Jim Dean
163 That's true. I was just tweaking debris.

And, I agree, but he's pretty far from the 2004 Boy Wonder. Makes me think he just got very lucky the Nomah deal worked out so well. If the Yanks hadn't choked so bad, is Lord Theo even still the GM?

2006-12-12 13:49:39
166.   Yankee Fan In Boston
164 that's what i was thinking.... commercials for PS3, playing the baseball game, striking out pujols, ortiz, rodriguez with a clever subtitle about it being easy...

it would also keep him visible in this country regardless of whether he signs here right away or not.

...but he will play here in '07.

2006-12-12 13:57:04
167.   RIYank
165 I agree about Epstein. As a matter of fact, the gild is off the lilly, and had the Awful October never occurred I doubt Theo would be in charge of the team now.
It's just that whoever they replace him with will be less smart and do a worse job.
2006-12-12 13:58:05
168.   ChuckM
Meacham got named 1B coach for the Padres...
2006-12-12 14:00:15
169.   RIYank
Just googling around to try to find the answer to 162 I found an awful lot of blather (never to be confused with banter!) on all sorts of sites under the misimpression that Matsuzaka is under contract for two more years. I wonder where that came from? As all Matsuzaka Watch fans know, the Lions control him until May 2008.
2006-12-12 14:00:16
170.   Simone
Just when you think that this situation can't get any better, I just read in the NY Times about Matsuzaka:

"If there is no deal, then all bets are off," said Lou Melendez, the vice president of international operations for Major League Baseball. "They'd have to post him again next year because he can't be a free agent for two more years."

If true, this means that the Yankees and the Met get a chance to bid for Matsuzaka again. Can you imagine if the Yankees win the bid next year and sign Matsuzaka? Hysteria in throughout New England. So this is Boras' "real" leverage. Good times, my fellow Yankee fans, good times.

2006-12-12 14:03:08
171.   standuptriple
170 Or they could just talk about posting for him and watch the circus again.
2006-12-12 14:06:02
172.   RIYank
There, see! Even the Times 170 has got hold of the misinformation.

Here are some sources confirming that Matsuzaka becomes a free agent in May 2008: (Fox) (MSNBC/Sporting News) (Hardball Times)

2006-12-12 14:07:49
173.   Jim Dean
What's up with the "gorilla" tactics, debris? We haven't seen you much, and you choose that post to represent? Come on! You can do better than that!

Actually, with the way things having been going for your third place team, you probably can't.

2006-12-12 14:18:05
174.   yankz
I'm definitely down for some street baseball.
2006-12-12 14:32:00
175.   kylepetterson
157 "In short, if Dice-K goes back to Japan, he is the guaranteed loser"

First off, if he let's himself get called "Dice-K", I can pretty much guarantee his loser status.

As far as your guarantee, you can get a good look at a butcher's ass by sticking your head up there. But, wouldn't you rather to take his word for it? No, I meant, you can get a good look at a T-bone steak by sticking your head up a butcher's ass... No, wait. It's gotta be your bull.

2006-12-12 14:32:54
176.   yanklifer
Jason Jennings traded to Astros
2006-12-12 14:35:35
177.   yanklifer
The Rockies have traded RHP Jason Jennings and minor-league RHP Miguel Asencio to the Astros for OF Willy Taveras, RHP Jason Hirsh and RHP Tyler Buchholz, reports Ken Rosenthal at
2006-12-12 14:37:24
178.   Bama Yankee
Man, this job thing is starting to get in the way of reading all these posts today.

127 Thanks for the update on those Pitch Backs we talked about last night. Glad to hear that they are still in use.

110 I agree with you mehmattski about the salary issue. Even though I will also have to defer to alasky on the economics he stated in 90 about the higher salaries not resulting in higher ticket prices, it certainly seems like it happens the other way around. Teams that generate a ton of revenue from ticket sales, merchandise and TV contracts certainly are able to spend it on salaries.

102 "Who is Christian Garcia?"

2006-12-12 14:47:56
179.   Marcus
175 You can't knock a guy for his given name; after all, you do pronounce Daisuke as "DICE-kay".

The loser is Chris Berman, who's got to be counting down the days until he can call him Andrew Dice-K on air.

2006-12-12 15:06:08
180.   kylepetterson
179 I argue that fact that there is a significant difference between "Daisuke" to "Dice-K" even though they are pronouced the same.
2006-12-12 15:08:18
181.   kylepetterson
179 I will, however, agree that Chris Berman is a loser. Sorry if anyone here is his dad or son or significant other or etc.
2006-12-12 15:11:50
182.   OldYanksFan
"Tiffany from the YES Network's Ultimate Roadtrip show (Season 2) has a blog now - it's called Ultimate Banter - in case you're interested."

Would anyone here who happens to be a lawyer please forward their resumes to Cliff and Alex.

Something must be done about this!

2006-12-12 15:23:19
183.   Shaun P
182 I'm a lawyer, indeed an IP lawyer. But really, does it do any harm to Alex and Cliff? Probably not. After all, as others have noted before, there is a Bosox Banter blog, a Bluebird Banter blog (Toronto), and probably a few others. My quick Google search turned up a "Baseball Banter" blog on Vanderbuilt baseball, another "Baseball Banter" blog at, a "Blueshirts Banter" blog (Toronto Maple Leafs), and a "BlueJayBanter" blog.

I'd like to think it similar to people referring to Yankee Stadium as simply "The Stadium". There are plenty of places known as "______ Stadium", but there is only one known as "The Stadium".

Similarly, there might be a lot of blogs called "________ Banter", but there's only one blog people mean when they say "The Banter".

2006-12-12 15:23:29
184.   C2Coke
182 From What I know, there're plenty fellow Banterers who work in the legal system.
2006-12-12 15:25:17
185.   kylepetterson
182 I think it's the Ultimate Bastard. As in "My blogs name is the ultimate bastard ized version of that awesome blog where Kyle hangs out." or something like that.

153 thanks for the props. B-O-L-D that spells BOLD for you and me. I just made that up. Right now. If that isn't BOLD, I don't believe I know what is.

2006-12-12 15:27:10
186.   kylepetterson
183 I'm not a lawyer, but I play one in my sleep.
2006-12-12 15:30:27
187.   wsporter
"Red Sox worry Boras is warping their message". This headline is courtesy of the boys at the 4 letter network. I'm not sure what the Sawx are hoping to accomplish by planting that one at this late date other than to concoct some post-cataclysm cover in the press.

It's way to late to separate the client from the agent on this one especially one who is not a native English speaker.

Is that panic I smell? The desperate hours are upon them; this should be fun.

2006-12-12 15:33:58
188.   wsporter
183 MFD Is it a "No Bills" night at "The Banter"?
2006-12-12 15:46:07
189.   Shaun P
188 Sure, MFD - its the least I could do for Alex and Cliff, right?

Its not as good as dollar drafts night at Chet's - which, come to think of it, is something you didn't experience as an undergrad, given Chet's started in the early 90s - but it'll do.

187 Ha! I bet DM understands English well enough, but I also bet Boras speaks more (and better) Japanese than anyone who works for the Sox. Perhaps Theo and Larry are buying a "Japanese for Dummies" book right now? ;)

It really is funny to watch. Peter Abraham was right about the circus.

2006-12-12 15:57:35
190.   jakewoods
Im pretty sure Dice-K wont consider himself a loser if Boston F-'s up and doesnt pony up the money. I think he'll get his money eventually and maybe play where he actually wants to play ie NY.
2006-12-12 15:59:23
191.   wsporter
189 Jesus we had a nickel draft night at a place called the Electric Company (I think) on Erie Blvd. Maybe it was a roulette wheel that used to hit on a nickel A-LOT. Maybe that's why I can't remember! Dollar draft; damn that's racy company.

I think Boras speaks a very international language - MONEY. It's one understood by a host of different clients.

2006-12-12 16:05:14
192.   Schteeve
180 Hilarious and true.
2006-12-12 16:07:38
193.   standuptriple
187 Good thing it's on Insider. I'm sure all the Japanese are rushing to fork over their hard-earned yen to translate that page.
2006-12-12 16:09:36
194.   standuptriple
193 I only mention the Japanese because all of Beantown is probably already signed up. They love the Berman Kool-Aid.
2006-12-12 16:12:20
195.   mainmanmaitland
"Red Sox worry Boras is warping their message" -

I don't think that DM has to speak much English or be brainwashed by Boras to see that signing a deal that pays him $10 million or less a year over 4 years means that his former team is making a lot more out of this transaction than he is.

Tha Red Sox screwed themselves when they made that ridiculously high bid since there was no way that Boras and DM were going to take any deal that paid Matsuzaka less than the posting fee. Especially with pitchers like Meche and Lilly making more than $10 mil a year.

2006-12-12 16:12:50
196.   RIYank
Has everyone seen this YouTube commercial starring some famous Texan pitching?

Courtesy of Canyon of Heroes. Sorry if it's already been posted or linked here.

2006-12-12 16:22:52
197.   wsporter
193 195 Yes, the concept is patently idiotic. Given the Sawx performance on this one they seem to be just the people to push forward with it. This has been like watching paint peel, but not in a good way.

I would imagine Sawx fans are not happy at this point. If they get it done though and DM delivers nobody will remember this other than the folks who want to get rid of this idiotic posting process.

2006-12-12 16:25:21
198.   kylepetterson
197 Boras will remember it whilst he swims in a big pile of cash that used to belong to the Nation of Sawx.
2006-12-12 16:38:00
199.   jakewoods
Lets give some credit to Dice K. Hes no rube. Hes a smart guy and he knows what he wants. Otherwise why hire Boras?

He wants to be respected and paid. As well he should.

2006-12-12 16:39:05
200.   yankz
Guiel wasn't offered a contract. He seemed pretty classy, I liked the guy:

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-12-12 16:44:14
201.   mainmanmaitland
My thing is this - the Red Sox and the Boston media (this includes Gammons in this case) make it seem that DM and Boras are being greedy by trying to get Matsuzaka a salary in line with what a similar skilled FA pitcher would get. They use the fact that DM has not pitched a day in the MLB and needs to prove himself.

If that is the sticking point, why don't they give him a base of $10 mil a year (only 2-3 million more than they were planning to pay anyway) and put $4 mil in incentives in his deal? He makes the All Star game ($1 mil), he pitches 200 innings ($1 mil), he has 200 strikeouts ($1 mil). That way if he is a bust he ends up costing them roughly what Pavano costs us. If he is as good as everyone says he is, they aren't going to mind paying him the money.

2006-12-12 16:50:25
202.   wsporter
201 MMM yeah I think that makes sense. If he's just a guy who has not pitched a day in MLB and needs to prove himself then why did they bid $51 million just for the exclusive right to get to know Boras in an up close and personal way?
2006-12-12 16:55:00
203.   mainmanmaitland
If they are so worried about getting hit with the luxury tax maybe they should have thought about that before they cut the fat checks for Lugo and Drew. If you asked most people who they would rather have (Drew, Lugo, or DM) I'm thinking DM would pull out a win....
2006-12-12 16:55:41
204.   jakewoods

what newspaper writer writes stories giving credit to the plauyers and their agents for getting top dollar??

not many. thats not how they think. they cant "sell" stories that way. they try to appeal to the average bum out there and defending boras doesnt do that.

also with boston be warned. the columnists got a very cozy relationship with the team. one reason is because the globe owns part of the sox. so the writers given that access have to fulfill there end of the bargain which is to spin that boston is doing its very best to get him signed. his agent is the big bad guy.

2006-12-12 17:08:33
205.   monkeypants
157 175 I have a hard time feeling that anyone who will make a MINIMUM of $9 million/ year is going to be a 'loser' in any meaningful way. Good lord, I do not understand all the sympathy for D-May, or the antipathy for the Sox for 'being cheap' or treating him 'unfairly.' This is a business negotiation between a millionaire performer and two billionaire busineses, negotiated by another millionaire. The Sox want what is best for them, however perceived and within whatever payroll structure they envision. Boras, the D-Mat, and Seibu wnat what's best for themselves. I don;t see this as some sort of morality tale or zero sum game.

either enough sides will be satisfied enough and a deal will get done, or it won't, and D-MAt will still make 9 mil, Seibu will still have its star, the Sox will have aabout $100 mil to invest in some way or other. And, gasp, BORAS is the big loser (relatively speaking).

2006-12-12 17:24:24
206.   Simone
204 I remember when media cheered Bronson Arroyo for taking less money to stay with the Red Sox. Of course, when he got traded a few weeks later because his contract was so cheap, the media and fans didn't exactly weep tears.
2006-12-12 17:29:23
207.   mainmanmaitland
It is not so much sympathy for any one side as it is looking at how badly this has been handled by the Sox (so far) and the potential fallout if no deal gets completed.

The Sox showed poor judgment in thinking that the amount they bid for DM would in any way reduce a contract that Scott Boras was negotiating. By making the amount they bid a part of the potential deal they wasted almost two weeks. Once they saw that they weren't getting any action on their original offer they should have shifted the focus of the negotiation to how much money was going to be guaranteed/base money, what, if any incentives were going to be part of the deal and what was the length of the contract going to be. Now, because Boras dug in and wouldn't even counteroffer, the BoSox have had to crawl to Boras' door and beg for the right to give DM money.

2006-12-12 17:43:48
208.   monkeypants
207 But I still don't see this as the Sox handling things badly. They bid a pile of money, presumably figuring they could offer a low contract and come out more or less even (especially since the bid would not count to luxury tax). The player (and agent) are holding out for more money than they want to pay. In the end, he may end up back in Japan (but not in NY), and the Sox get their money back, none the worse.

How is this badly mishandling things? Because they don't pay more than they want to? By that logic, did the Yankees mishandle Lilly by not overpaying for him, because they 'lost' him?

Frankly, I think that the real mistake would be if the Sox actually get led down the path to paying 15 mil/year for four years, making the whole deal worth 25+ mil/year for an unproven starting pitcher. What a millstone that contract would probaby prove to be.

Overpaying and/or panicking is, in my opinion, the worse mishandling than setting a firm budget and sticking to it. In fact, one could even argue that the Sox have played this perfectly--they tried to bootleg the system (and they still may get away with it). They failed, but in failing preventing other teams (including a divisional rival) from negotiating with the same player.

2006-12-12 17:48:39
209.   Simone
Wow, Steve Phillips trying to claim that the Red Sox' way of looking at Matsuzaka as the whole package of the contract and the posting system on SportsCenter. I loved how Brian Kinney, the ESPN's best baseball guy point out that Matsuzaka isn't looking at it like the Red Sox.
2006-12-12 17:50:09
210.   Simone
Kinney tells Phillips that he is a man of the masses, but not a friend of labor. Ha. Love Kinney. I miss him on ESPNews.
2006-12-12 18:00:15
211.   seamus
208 The problem is, that when you bid $51 million you are making an admission of that player's value and you KNOW that that goes to the team and not the player. Boston knew this. Heck I knew this. Boston may make this argument as a matter of posturing now, but they knew that it would come down to this, particularly if they made a low ball offer.

btw, I'm unclear about the panicking. Any good negotiator knows that if he wants more money, the longer he holds out the more likely he'll get it. Did anyone really think that this WOULDN'T go to the last minute?

2006-12-12 18:19:51
212.   monkeypants
211 Ah, but 51 mil does not just represent the value of the player per se, it represents the perceived value of the player AND his value to Seibu. Seibu posted him earlyl, knowing that his value woulb be higher (age, perception after the WBC)--the high bid represents the value to Seibu, what Seibu as willing to take to lose two years of their star player.

That is essentially independent from the players 'value' as determined by his bargaining power. Once the Sox won the exclusive rights to negotiate with D-May (and exclusive negotiating will always drive down value), the negotiation becomes not what D-MAt is worth in some absolute or Platonic sense. Rather, it becomes what the Sox are willing to give v. what D-Mat is willing to take. Prsumable, he would be unlikely to take less than 9 mil/year, but there is little reason to expect that Sox should be compelled to bid much more than that.

Sure, D-Mat can hold out for more. But he may get injured. He may lose value if he ages a year or two. Of course, he may make more money. But that is his call, and really does not bear on the 'reasonableness' of the Sox offers relative to their own perceptions and budgets.

As for the question of who wouldn't think the negotiating would go to the last minute: you're roght, no one. Including the Sox. So all this glee at how the Sox (mis)handled negotiations is completely premature--undoubtedly they KNEW the negotiations would follow this course more or less.

2006-12-12 18:32:44
213.   monkeypants
In other news (I am probably late on this), Guiel was non-tendered. I don't really get this, since he seemed to have some utility as a platoon/semi-versatile player. Does this mean the retrun of Bernie as OF#5?
2006-12-12 18:37:46
214.   yankz
I believe Peter Abraham said it looks like the Yankees and Boras are planning a respectful exit strategy for Bernie.
2006-12-12 18:38:45
215.   yankz
Oh, and thank god they never called Donnie Baseball "D-Mat."
2006-12-12 18:39:22
216.   RIYank
212 Glug.
Obviously, the Red Sox thought that it was enormously valuable to be able to negotiate with Matsuzaka, immensely valuable to them. That's why it just looks ridiculous if they now say, well, he's unproven, etc.

On the other hand, Matsuzaka doesn't care how much money the Red Sox gave Seibu. He cares how much they're going to offer him. The $51 shouldn't even be mentioned in the discussions between Bora and Epstein, because it's irrelevant. Uh. Irregardless.

2006-12-12 18:48:33
217.   monkeypants
216 "The $51 shouldn't even be mentioned in the discussions between Bora and Epstein, because it's irrelevant. Uh. Irregardless. "

That's true. I guess what I meant is that the Sox shouldn't be ridiculed for planning on spending, say, 20 mil/year (or 15 or 18 or whatever) on D-Mat, including the posting fee. They gambled that the 51 mil fee + contract would not exceed their budget, meaning a contract offer of 10 mil/year for four years (or some similar sum). D-Mat can take it or leave it--that's his call.

But it's not about what his 'value' is. He is only worth as much as he can get. It makes sense for the Sox to 'lowball' him. If he doesn't take the Sox offer, he makes 9 mil next year with Seibu, and no matter what, D-Mat doesn't play for the Yankees or any team not the Sox.

2006-12-12 18:56:33
218.   RIYank
I think actually he gets $3 million from Seibu next year. Then $6 million the following year, total of $9 million.

By the way, I'm now doubting all those articles I linked earlier that insisted Matsuzaka would become a free agent in May 2008. Mike Plugh linked a Japanese Times article that claims that although by May '08 he'll have enough seniority, he cannot really be a free agent till the end of that season. I asked Mike to clarify that if he can.

2006-12-12 18:57:38
219.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Some very interesting names non-tendered.

one i like the most.

Chin-Hui Tsao

personal reasons aside, he was very very highly touted. and reports here in Taiwan says he's practicing, so sounds like he's shoulder is alright, i would definately go for a incentive laden minor league deal on him.

a few other potentially good players

Brad Wilkerson
Joe Pineiro
Shawn Chacon

2006-12-12 18:59:19
220.   monkeypants
218 Interesting figures. If true, he has even LESS leverage, so a lowball Sox offer makes even more sense.
2006-12-12 18:59:51
221.   RIYank
Oh, and I certainly didn't intend to ridicule the Sox. I said right off the bat, as soon as the winning bid was announced, that there was little down side for Epstein & Co., since in the worst case they still prevent their rivals from signing Matsuzaka.
2006-12-12 19:00:53
222.   wsporter
21 Monkey P, I don't see it that way. In a blind auction the value one thinks will win is only relevant if it is equal to or greater than the value placed on the object or right one is bidding for. The $51 million says a lot about the value the Sawx placed on DM. If they felt the probable acceptable bid was more than they were willing to bid (i.e. the value they placed on winning) they would not have bid. Given they felt the value of winning was greater than or equal to the likely acceptable bid they decided to bid and brought their number in at approximately $51 million. Their bid is an expression of what they thought winning was worth to them. $51 million exists within the range of value they placed on DM. Any party involved in that auction would have given exactly that information to Boras; not just the Sawx.

I think their error lays in not seeking other alternatives during the negotiation. They seem to have placed all their eggs in the DM basket and have therefore placed themselves in the unenviable position of having to go call on Mr. Boras after having delivered a second offer without receiving a counter offer from Boras on their initial offer. I think you're being overly generous to the Sawx on this one. Each signal sent to Boras by them appears to be one of need, desire and weakness. They had some leverage going in but by allowing their alternatives to DM to dwindle they are at best I think in a position of equipoise at this point. This hasn't been one for the text books from their POV.

I expect that they'll end up getting it done. I expect that they'll end up getting it done at a figure that's closer to Boras's minimum than their maximum. Then again I'm not in on what's happening so what the heck do I know other than what I've read.

2006-12-12 19:01:57
223.   wsporter
222 Uh that's 212 by the way. Night all.
2006-12-12 19:59:25
224.   Eirias
219 Outside of the fact that he is Taiwanese and a pitcher, I don't know much about Chin-Hui Tsao. Can you tell us anything more about him?
2006-12-12 20:06:45
225.   mikeplugh
Look at it this way.

There is a line 400 people deep in front of Circuit City. They have the last PS3 in the city left inside, and the manager decides to buy it. His supervisor gets the bright idea that they can make some money by offering the rights to negotiate for the machine to the highest bidder, who then must purchase the machine from the store manager.

One guys steps up and says he'll pay $510 for the rights to the machine. The 2nd place guy had bid $380, and is left with the other 398 saps shaking their heads.

The guy who won the bid goes into the store and offers the manager .50 cents on the dollar for the PS3. The store manager walks to the back room. The guy is left there waiting, and wondering why he can't get his game. Later, he walks into the back and says, okay I'll pay you .75 cents on the dollar, man. C'mon, I bid $510 just to get in here.

Meanwhile, the guy who bid $380 and his buddies were all willing to pay the going rate for the machine. If you were the manager, what would you do?

I'd boot the guy, and do the whole thing over the next day. (Actually, I'd offer it to the 2nd place guy, but that's against the rules).

2006-12-12 20:10:18
226.   JimCobain
225 Amen, brother!
2006-12-12 20:30:24
227.   monkeypants
225 Interesting analogy. How much is the PS3 paid under contract for the next year? Is it worth it for the PS3 to take .50 cents on the dollar because it is only going to make 25 cents the next year? If I am the manager, am I going to make more money selling the PS3 to the highest bidder even if he only offers 50 cents on the dollar, or will I make more money by holding the PS3 for a year and then trying the whole bidding scheme again next year. If I am the bidder, do I only have the 510 I bid plus the 75 cents on the dollar maximum bid, or can I go higher? But is it worst it to go higher, or to save the money and buy some different toys?

It's so much clearer now!


2006-12-12 20:41:22
228.   monkeypants
225 Ok, I am being facetious--we'll probably have to agree to disagree. But what if we look at this way: the Sox could argue to D-Mat, "Look, we posted a pile of cash to negotiate with you, and even though YOU don't get that cash, you have to understand that this limits what we will be able (or willing) to offer you. Moreover, it is our bid that has liberated you from your contract with Seibu, and we are still going to pay you more than you would make if you stay in Japan. So, yes, you could argue that our posting fee has no bearing on your salary. Or, you could recognize the reality of the situation and recognize that it is still better for you to sign with us now than to risk waiting until next year."

Either MLB or the Japanese leagues crated this whole mess by not allowing the Japanese team to move on to the next highest bidder if negotiations with the first team fall through. The whole scheme encourages lowball (by MLB standards) offers.

2006-12-12 21:07:47
229.   deadguy
A small, cynical part of me says that a deal could have happened in the first 24 hours or so. Everyone knew, or realized very quickly, what they were getting into on this one.

On the other hand, the extended negotiations have put a very bright spotlight on Mr. Boras during what is otherwise a very slow winter for super-agenting. And he does seem to love that attention, yes he does...

2006-12-12 21:35:07
230.   Yu-Hsing Chen
224 Tsao was the first Taiwanese pitcher to make a big league debut in 03, though he is actually a year younger than Wang, he had a fastball that easily average into the mid 90s and can gear it up to 99-100 range with a nice combo of slider/change.

He had the best minor league trio of the 3 super arms from Taiwan (Wang / Tsao / Kuo ) but like the other two his health record was also spotty (though not nearly as horrific as Kuo's famous blowing out his elbow in pro ball debute kind)

he was rushed a bit, making the Bigs before even pitching in AAA. though his records in AA and below are staggering when healthy. including a 10.45 K/9 2.25 BB/9 and a 1.04 WHIP.

His stuff is a lot like Farnsworth's although his minor league record clearly suggest he's eon better.

the only real question is wether his shoulder is ok , but he is spotted here in Taiwan practicing again, so one would assume at least it's not too bad right now.

Look at it this way though, we have 40 man roster spots to spare, there's really no risk, he should be a exellent pitcher if he returns to form and get out of Coors. with the potential to be a dominant closer/setup or a front rotation starter.

I'm guessing the Rockies have a under the table deal to resign him, or else it doesnt make any sense to give up on him this easily.

2006-12-13 06:13:32
231.   debris
Post 201 makes a lot of sense, except I don't see Boras going for an incentive laden deal.

According to this morning's Boston Herald, the Sox are offering $8 M, Boras is asking $11. (No mention of length of contract.) If this is true, it would seem to me that a deal will get done this morning. Hard to believe, though, that Boras is asking for such a reasonable contract; just not his MO.

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