Friday, November 09, 2007

Counterpart's Counter-Point

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special “Hey” goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

As mentioned here before, we usually defer on all things “Boston sports” to Quikdraw – after all, he is in the nerve center, so who are we to question him? However, on the issue of Curt Schilling’s new contract, a few points merit further consideration. The “counterpart” will made in with a counter-point, from a strictly “me, myself and I” point of view.

So it is no secret that Quikdraw isn’t at all down with the contract – not with the base salary or the incentive clauses (don’t get him started talking about “fat porkers”). For the most part, the signing was still a shrewd move on Theo Epstein’s part.

The base salary reflects close to market value on what you would pay for a guy who is way past his prime, but can still give you a dominant start every once in a while and give you somewhere close to a quality start every second or third time out. Schilling’s win-loss record will always be flattering with the offensive support he gets – so $8M for a guy that will wind up winning 10-12 games isn’t bad.

The “weight clause” isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. When I first commented on it, it was based on a report I saw on a Boston newspaper’s website that said something to the effect that Schilling had to meet a certain weight on all six weigh ins and that the weights he had to reach would decline with each successive weigh in – making it highly unlikely he’d collect the full amount.

Now, given the way things have been going lately, with articles being pulled off websites, perhaps the writer or “his sources” (and I) were mistaken (my bad). However, if Schilling gets down to the weight the Sox want him to get to, doesn’t it stand to reason they think that would make him a better pitcher – and by extension much more effective than he had been at certain points last year? If he loses the weight, feels stronger/healthier, and comes anywhere where he was in 2004, wouldn’t a $10M contact (if he collects the full $2M) be reasonable for a good pitcher? Can you argue with a guy who is considered better than average getting $10M? I mean…we aren’t talking about a Roger Clemens’ contract here.

The weight clause, while on the surface ridiculous, is probably the cornerstone of this contract. Maybe the Sox think that if Schilling commits himself to getting into, and staying in, shape this off season, he can be much more successful – thus making the team better. If losing the weight results in increased strength and stamina – doesn’t it stand to reason it would also be accompanied by better results?

For Schilling to collect the full amount of the contract would mean he would have to have a dominant season – can he? Don’t think so…but IF he did, the Sox would pretty much be a lock for their third World Series in five years.

For those of you out there who love Schilling and wipe a tear from your eye whenever you think of the bloody sock game – this shouldn’t be interpreted as support for Schilling. The way he conducted himself before and after the negotiations is sad – from practically begging for a contract, to employing emotional blackmail, to threatening to leave for any one of up to 10 teams, to acting like he was the architect of this deal and that he did it for the great fans of Red Sox Nation. Don’t buy a word of that garbage.

Schilling (in his mind) took a discount (left money on the table or however else he wants to describe it) for one reason and one reason only – for himself. He’s a blowhard, but he is astute and knows enough about the game to know that he isn’t a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. He signed with Boston knowing that another World Series and a shot to win a few more post season games will likely get baseball writers to ignore his won-loss record (no way he gets to 300 wins) and vote him into Cooperstown based on winning four World Series and picking up wins in each of those World Series runs. Schilling left money of the table for a chance to win three or four post-season games to make his October record the stuff of legends – that’s it.

So for those of you lauding this guy for loving Boston and wanting to stay in the community – think about it. It has always been all about Curt – so what makes any of you think he would give up $4-6 million bucks to win another championship for you? He gave it up because it wants into Cooperstown and this edition of the Boston Red Sox is the best chance for him to make one last impression on the baseball writers of America.

So, to wrap things up – I’m not in total disagreement with Quikdraw, I’m just looking at things through a different lens. But what do I know? I’m just a Los Angeles Dodgers fan living in Canada who is more concerned with the plight of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Portuguese National Football team than the Red Sox.

Washington Capitals C Viktor Kozlov had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over the SenaTards – that will always get you some love here.

Phoenix Coyotes D Ed Jovanovski had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win over Dallas – we’re liking Eddie, especially with rumours swirling that he may come to the Maple Leafs for Bryan McCabe.

Dallas Stars C Mike Modano became the highest scoring U.S. born player on Wednesday night when he had two goals against the San Jose Sharks. We’ve said it before – the guy is a class act.

We haven’t kept up this week – but we aren’t really in the hole, so that’s a good thing. Tonight’s suggestions:

Florida over Atlanta – Kovalchuk has been hurting lately and he may not play tonight; gotta like the Panthers. Lay $100 on Florida - $155.

Toronto over Buffalo – the Maple Leafs have outplayed the Sabres on their last three trips to Buffalo – they’ve all been losses, but that changes tonight. Lay $100 on Toronto + $130.

San Jose over Anaheim – the Ducks are having problems at home, San Jose is one of those teams that can really play effective road games. Lay $100 on the Sharks + $115.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in. Special thanks to Tilt for posting. Have a great one.

Hazel, here’s hoping things are groovy in your world.

I’m Out!


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