Jayson Stark from ESPN wrote an article Thursday on how signing Manny Ramirez to a 4-year, $100 million contract this offseason would be dangerous for the sport of baseball. His problem? That “it would, in effect, be an open invitation to every selfish superstar in baseball to pull a Manny. Act up. Stop hustling. Stop trying. Refuse to play. Make up an injury. Whatever you have to do to get back out there on the free-agent market.”
That, my friend, already happens and won’t affect those who don’t have that type of attitude. If you want to pay a 36-year-old outfielder $25 million a year until he’s the age of 40, that’s your choice to be that stupid. Stark said it himself, there are only two players in history to have three 30-homer seasons after turning 37 – Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron.
But seriously, the first name that comes to my mind that has experienced a similar situation is Brett Favre when he was in Atlanta back in 1991. He wasn’t getting playing time; the starter on that team was Chris Miller, who was a Pro Bowler that year, so Favre acted up and got dealt like he wished. It’s not going to change a damn thing in the sport. There are always people who will act up for money or whatever, and Ramirez’s antics won’t negatively affect baseball one bit.
After pitching a scoreless ninth to record his second career save on Tuesday, Brad Ziegler of the Oakland Athletics gave up his first career run in two innings of work Thursday. Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton did Ziegler in with an RBI double, but not after Ziegler posted the modern record for longest scoreless streak with 39 innings.
Ziegler’s current stat line:
40.0 IP, 1-0, 2 SV, 9 HLD, 18 K, 0.23 ERA
In Friday’s men’s tennis singles semifinal, James Blake of the U.S. lost to Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez 4-6, 7-5, 11-9. Notwithstanding three match points he failed to convert, Blake decided to blame the loss on Gonzalez for not admitting a disputed point two games before the finish. As the only American to have a shot at a medal in the men’s or women’s singles, Blake needs to shut up about the issue. He didn’t lose from that one point and even if Gonzalez got a lucky break, Blake is being hypocritical about sportsmanship in the Olympics. Regardless, this is what Blake had to say about his competitor. “Whatever he wants to say is fine. Whatever is going to get him to have some sleep tonight, then that’s fine.”
In all fairness, it’s not up to the player to make the calls – that’s what the judge is for. And I’m sure he wouldn’t be so enthusiastic to rectify the point with a chance at a gold medal on the line. I don’t buy that. Gonzalez will face Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final, as Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
Update on Michael Phelps:
7-for-7 in Gold medals
Friday – Gold in 200 IM
Saturday – Gold in 100 butterfly
Sunday – 400 medley relay
U.S. Olympic basketball (3-0):
Thursday – def. Greece 92-69
Saturday – vs. Spain @ 7:15a PT