Tuesday Triple Play
1. So there you have it: a new market standard has been established for the remaining plethora of hulking, bad-glove, big-bat corner types in this recession-wary, post-New Year's, post-Yankees-spending-spree marketplace. And you have to conclude it looks good for teams like the Nationals. If Pat Burrell is only worth $16 million over the next couple of years, Adam Dunn, to name the most prominent example of the type, ain't gonna get that monster deal he's looking for. There must have been some high-fiving going on over in the executive offices at Nationals Park after the Burrell deal went down. It's no secret the Nats are focused on Dunn these days, and now they must be thinking they can get him at closer to their price than his.
2. How dumb must the Phillies be feeling now? Back in the pre-market-crash days, they gave three years and $31.5 million (roughly double Burrell's money) to Raul Ibanez, who is an older (by four years) version of Burrell, and who also hits from the wrong side (the heavily left-handed Phillies needed a right-handed bat, like Burrell's, not a left-handed one, like Ibanez) and is quite possibly the only left fielder in baseball who is a worse defensive player than Burrell. To top it off, the Ibanez signing cost the Phillies their No. 1 draft pick, and they get no compensation for losing Burrell, to whom they did not offer arbitration. Yikes.
3. Take it from someone who covered it: The Olympic baseball competition in Beijing was pure tedium, just awful. (Just ask Tracee -- I was pleading with her to let me cover anything besides baseball.) Nonetheless, this story made me sad. Wukesong Stadium looked like it was made out of one of those old Erector Sets -- as if the Chinese government was prepared to take it apart the day after the Olympics ended and put up some sort of shopping mall or something. Turns out, they waited, what, six months? One more reminder that baseball still is not the global game MLB officials make it out to be -- and who knows if it ever will be? While baseball's international governing body makes its pitch to the IOC to be reinstated to the Olympics in 2016, the sport already has its own true international showcase, and it's coming up in about two months.
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