Jump to content

Le Batard: Where'd the Money Come From?


Recommended Posts

He's at it again:

 

Where did the money come from?

 

DAN LE BATARD

 

dlebatard@herald.com

 

 

Let's get the hyperventilating out of the way first.

 

The signing of Carlos Delgado makes this the most breathtaking day since the Marlins were celebrating their World Series title in front of a crushed New York.

 

Best team in the National League East now?

 

''Yes,'' a giddy Jeff Conine says.

 

Conine loses the job he loves at first base to Delgado.

 

''No problem,'' he says. ``I'd play catcher if it meant getting this guy.''

 

Delgado represents a commitment to spending this team hasn't shown since Wayne Huizenga owned it. Delgado is one of the 10 best offensive players on this planet. He is Jim Thome at half the price, and a better offensive player than $119 million Met Carlos Beltran. Best hitters in Marlins history? Gary Sheffield and Delgado. That's the beginning and the end of that list. About the only time we've seen a comparable bat in South Florida's left-handed batter's box is when Barry Bonds and Jim Thome visit.

 

Delgado makes the Marlins very, very good.

 

Best-in-the-league good.

 

Possible championship good.

 

But. . . .

 

(You knew there was going to be a ''but,'' right?)

 

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

Where did all this money come from?

 

And do all the departed champion Marlins -- Pudge Rodriguez, Derrek Lee, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny -- have a right to feel betrayed and hurt by the sudden appearance of it?

 

Because they actually helped win and hold up the trophy here.

 

And Delgado has never been in a playoff game.

 

And he gets the $52 million jackpot?

 

These are not criticisms, just questions. Repeat, in case you just read over it: not criticisms, just questions. Save all your flammable e-mail about the evil journalist raining all over the championship parade on what should and is a day of sports celebration.

 

Delgado is an exceptional, exciting signing that makes Florida immediately better than any team in the National League except the Cardinals. But the Marlins did something they never do here, getting into a bidding war that inflated an original and fair offer of $30 million to $52 million, pushing aside even a Mets team that has been spending sloppily all winter.

 

And there are other good ways that money could have been spent if anyone knew it existed before Delgado discovered it here as if in a buried treasure chest.

 

Not better ways to spend it, necessarily.

 

Just other good ways.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

The Marlins, for example, could have kept Pudge and Lee for less than the $69 million they just gave their replacements (Delgado and Paul Lo Duca). In other words, they could have kept a defending champ almost completely intact. I wouldn't have given a 30-plus catcher the $40 million Pudge wanted, not even after seeing the monster season he just had in Detroit, but it is fair to ask today if Delgado-Lo Duca makes you better today than the champion duo of Lee-Pudge. I think it does, but there's room for debate there.

 

That $69 million could also have been used to lock up Penny, Pavano, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis and A.J. Burnett for the next three or even four years if it had been offered, with vision, at the start of last season.

 

That's risky, obviously.

 

Pavano hadn't really done anything yet. The Marlins rightly fear injuries eating up salary, and Beckett, Burnett and Pavano all have a history of them while Penny is always in the kind of shape that lures them. But if you had your starting staff locked up, you don't have to fear 2006 the way you do now, when Burnett and Al Leiter will be gone, and the only remaining starter from any of the Marlins championships will be Beckett (Willis was a reliever in the 2003 postseason).

 

MONEY BETTER SPENT?

 

In other words, Florida could have locked up a champion pitching staff that beat Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa/Kerry Wood/Mark Prior and the Yankees -- plus Burnett. But it opted instead to give that money to Delgado even though the mathematics show that, whether it is A-Rod in Texas or Delgado in Toronto, teams never do any winning when too high a payroll percentage is in the bank account of a single player.

 

We can go back and forth on whether pitching or hitting wins. Yankees-Red Sox were one-two in AL runs scored last season. Cards-Astros were one-five in NL.

 

Lack of hitting crippled the Marlins last September, so you need a Delgado. But the Marlins did win their championship on pitching while Brian Giles, an offensive player comparable to Delgado, has never done any winning and the Phillies have done nothing but underachieve since getting Thome.

 

All in all, it is a fascinating baseball discussion.

 

That's one of the things Delgado brings along with that bat.

 

Buzz and talk and hope.

 

But it bears noting today that there are other ways to have spent that much money -- money nobody knew the Marlins had.

 

For example, wasn't $52 million about what the Marlins needed to ensure a new stadium?

 

And a future here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


i have a few legitimite beefs with spending this much on delgado when we could have spent the dough on better things last season, but this article is awful.

 

i don't know why, but lebatard really sounds like a know-nothing when he writes anything about baseball.

 

for example:

 

Delgado is an exceptional, exciting signing that makes Florida immediately better than any team in the National League except the Cardinals. But the Marlins did something they never do here, getting into a bidding war that inflated an original and fair offer of $30 million to $52 million, pushing aside even a Mets team that has been spending sloppily all winter.

 

hmm, yes, we overpaid by 73%.

 

That $69 million could also have been used to lock up Penny, Pavano, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis and A.J. Burnett for the next three or even four years if it had been offered, with vision, at the start of last season.

 

you don't have to fear 2006 the way you do now, when Burnett and Al Leiter will be gone, and the only remaining starter from any of the Marlins championships will be Beckett (Willis was a reliever in the 2003 postseason).

 

i don't even know why this was printed...the article lacks any substance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's one thing to take a negative stance and at the very least have some evidence to back you up. This is a sloppy written piece...with no substance.

 

I love how the 'mathematics show' that a team can't win if a large part of its payroll is consumed by one player...

 

Wow...I wonder what kind of math that is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's got to fill his allocated column inches with something. Writing an insightful, positive article would tax his limited baseball knowledge and writing lazy, questioning crapola like this is just too easy.

Overall, I feel that, for whatever reason, we didn't have this money a couple of years ago - now we do. Simple as that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you don't have to fear 2006 the way you do now, when Burnett and Al Leiter will be gone, and the only remaining starter from any of the Marlins championships will be Beckett (Willis was a reliever in the 2003 postseason).

 

i don't even know why this was printed...the article lacks any substance.

669562[/snapback]

 

Actually, Willis started in the NLDS and the NLCS...

 

Or was it my imagination when the Cubbies smacked a grand slam off of him at PPS in front of his momma?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...