“[H]ere I was, eleven picks [later], able to get my time in the big leagues,” wrote Doug Glanville, outfielder turned baseball writer (and a fine one), in The New York Times two years ago, remembering his draft (first round, 1991, to the Cubs) and the number one overall pick therein. “I made my major league debut, earned a multiyear deal, had a locker next to Alex Rodriguez’s. [Glanville played for the Rangers for part of 2003.] I try to tell myself that it was because of my better judgment about what risks to take, or my Ivy League opportunities, but comfort does not come. For me, reading about Brien Taylor is haunting.”
We could see a 2014 baseball season and maybe more without Alex Rodriguez, after all. The original 211-game suspension didn’t hold up, but on Saturday independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz imposed a ban of 162 games plus any postseason competition into which the Yankees enter. As no few observers have noted already, that’ll be an easier jump to justify than a 211-game jump, the thinking being that losing a season is more defensible on appeal than losing an unprecedented season and a third.
You’ve seen this scenario before. Marquee gigabat on the market for dollars only slightly less than those needed to bail out the auto industry, or so you’d think with the hyperbolic gnashing around the water coolers and the Twitterpated. Team who’s just lost an impact bat for the season to a torn ACL in his left knee denies that, whatever the hole now created, Marquee Gigabat isn’t the one to fill it. That was last week, this is this week. And this is no ordinary Marquee Gigabat signing with an ordinary team.