1) It proves that the luxury tax doesn't keep salaries down. We've had 3 offseasons of this "payroll tax" in baseball and every year there seems to be someone who signs a big contract. And the same teams pushing up the market for everyone else before 2002 (when the luxury tax was agreed to by MLB and the MLBPA) are the same after 2002. Nothing changed.
People try to bring me examples of small-payroll teams that can compete like Oakland (breaking up its starting staff), Minnesota (traded away it's potential free agents; only wins its division because the White Sox doesn't try hard enough; can't beat a high-payroll, big-market team in the playoffs), San Francisco (can't surround Bonds with decent talent because of financial issues), and Toronto (can't keep Delgado, will trade Halladay soon) and none of them wash.
2) If a player who is considering other offers while negotiating to re-sign with his current team, he should say so. In other words, just tell people you're going to take the offer with the most money. At least you're telling the truth. Don't try to tell us how you want to stay where you are when it's not a consideration. No one buys it, and it just makes things worse when you take the bigger contract.
3) Why do these idiots take huge contracts in New York when a huge portion of it goes to pay New York's ungodly state income tax? Beltran realizes he's not going to keep all that money, right?
4) Why, of all teams, the Mets? The Yankees would have made more sense in terms of being in position to win the World Series. Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times made the point on "Around the Horn" yesterday that the Mets have a lackluster bullpen, and unless Minaya has cash we don't know about, he's probably tapped out at this point and can't fix the situation. All those big signings won't do the Mets any good.
Also, when the Mets aren't competitive, it's going to be Beltran's fault. Hell, if Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez both get injured, it's going to be Beltran's fault. Believe me, "Mike and the Mad Dog" and the New York newspapers will somehow make any problem with the Mets his fault. It won't matter whether the Mets struggles are his fault or not.
I'm sure Piazza loves it though because the pressure's on someone else now.
- The dominant topic this week on the Jim Rome radio show seems to be the upcoming Pats-Colts game. Given that the winner may have to go to Pittsburgh next week to get to the Super Bowl, why all the attention on a game that may mean nothing in the long run?
- Congrats to Peyton on the MVP. I still think Terrell Owens is the "most valuable" player because he got the Eagles believing they were getting over the hump this year before the injury, but Peyton is certainly the "most outstanding" and deserves recognition
- ESPN has released their first projected bracket of the college basketball season. Top seeds: Illinois(Midwest), Kansas(South), Wake Forest(East), UNC(West). Big XII has 5 teams: Kansas, Oklahoma St. (#2, West) Texas (#5, Midwest), Oklahoma (#6 Midwest), and Texas A&M (#12, West). Still a lot of time for change, though. Selection Sunday is 61 days away.
- Tom Arnold has just gotten more annoying and less funny as the Best Damn Sports Show has continued its run. I used to like his humor, but his act has gotten old.
- This week's Greg Easterbrook column brings up 2 interesting stats to keep in mind. First, Home teams are 45-11 ( a .803 winning percentage) since 1990 in the divisional playoffs. Second, Home teams are 16-12 (.571 win %) in the conference championship round over the same span.
- Syracuse scores a major coup by signing UT defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. Unfortunately, that Big East conference is going to be a lot tougher next year now that Louisville is joining the conference. Difficult to say if he will bring Syracuse back or not. But believe me, nothing pleases me more than to see one of Texas Tech's conference rivals have that much coachining staff turmoil. Mack Brown has lost 3 key assistants this offseason.
That's all for today...