Thursday, March 17, 2005

Ringolsby on Roids and Late Draft Pick Signings

Columnist Tracy Ringolsby gives his take on the steroid flap currently being bandied about in Congress. He criticizes Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va, for issuing subpoenas to seven current or former major-league players.
It was last spring Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker referred to "steroid McCarthyism" and Boston right-hander Curt Schilling compared the recent turn of events to "a McCarthy witch hunt all over again," which is not all that far out considering the way Davis and his buddies have responded.
Yes, interesting. But with the persepctive of history the Verona cables proved McCarthy was right, the US government WAS riddled with communists. I suspect that Major League Baseball was (if it still isn't) riddled with steroids. Now if you want to make an argument that Congress should have about ten thousand other issues more pressing, I can not really disagree with you. But the overriding issue is credibility and baseball has certainly lost a lot over this issue. When cracks start forming around institutions like baseball then people will begin questioning others pillars of authority like, oh I don't know, Congress! Yes, I know, politicians get questioned all the time. But there is an underlying security in knowing we have two sides battling it out and hopefully keeping the country blissfully in the center of most things. Most Americans do not feel emotionally taken-advantage of by their government like they might for caring about Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa's chase for 62 homeruns. This mild exploitation could further harden the hearts of taxpayers who might figure 'if I can't trust Mark McGuire than Howard Waxman must really be a crooked SOB!' Essentially I see Congress as doing two things: (1)applying some quick plaster to the cracks in one of America's dearest institutions and (2) getting a little face-time on ESPN for that next re-election campaign. Not to worry, it will all be over very soon.

Ringolsby also touches on the Weaver/Drew negotiations (or lack thereof). He notes that only two players who eventually signed with their clubs held out longer than these two. Here is a list of the longest holdouts of eventual draft signees Year

Year Player Club Round Signed

1994 Jason Varitek Mariners First April 20, 1995
2003 Steven White Yankees Fourth April 7, 2004
2002 Bobby Brownlie Yankees Fourth March 5, 2003
2002 Trevor Hutchinson Marlins Third Feb. 24, 2003
1998 Jeff Austin Royals First Feb. 20, 1999
2004 Philip Humber Mets First Jan. 11, 2005
1998 Kip Wells White Sox First Dec. 23, 1998
1997 Matt Anderson Tigers First Dec. 23 1997
2002 Mark Schramek Reds First Dec. 18, 2002

Hmmm, not too many superstars seem to come from draftee hold-outs. I would take may Varitek off this list and White is still considered an elite prospect. But even so, none of these guys is worth a guaranteed $10 million right out of the gate which was what Weaver was initially after before he "downgraded" his offer to $7 - $8 million depending on who you talk to.


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3:03 AM  

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