Some people thought New York Mets manager Terry Collins was somewhere between nuts and flakes to let Johan Santana try to finish what turned out to be the first no-hitter in club history last June. Wasn’t Santana on the comeback trail after missing nineteen months including all of the 2011 season recuperating from surgery to repair a torn left shoulder anterior capsule.
Yes, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ new ownership has spent the equivalent of two small nations’ gross domestic product. (Yes, I’m exaggerating—perhaps only slightly.) But no, and I’ll say it until the day I buy the rancho, it doesn’t mean they’re a lock for a 2013 World Series ring. If you still persist in believing money talks when it comes time to nail down the ring, I suggest you have yet another look at the New York Yankees and (pre-Madoff) Mets. For openers.
Sometimes it seems the Yankees have an engraving wrapped around the base of Yankee Stadium: “Give us your tired, your spent, your former flashes-in-the-pan, your unwanted elsewhere . . . ” Barely has the proverbial ink dried on pitcher Chien-Ming Wang’s minor league deal with his first organisation when the reports breaking all over the spring training stretch say they’re going to make a deal to bring Vernon Wells (OF) to the Bronx from the Los Angeles Angels.
You thought the World Baseball Classic was immune to some of the slings and arrows that come with playing in the major leagues? Then you didn’t see the Canadian-Mexican War that broke out in the top of the ninth Saturday, a war instigated at least as much by a tournament rule as by the pitch Mexico’s Arnold Leon threw to hit Canada’s Rene Tosoni—on the third try, and after two umpire warnings in the bargain.
If you look at it strictly from the vantage point of baseball’s incumbent collective bargaining agreement, the Los Angeles Angels were only too well within their rights to raise Mike Trout, their stupefying 2012 Rookie of the Year who Should Have Been the Most Valuable Player, Too, a fat four percent (or, $20,000) over the major league minimum salary for 2013.