The Mets placed K-Rod on the disqualified list yesterday, saying they won't have to pay his salary until he is able to pitch again. The union has already filed a grievance, and a key part of the case is that if he truly did hurt his thumb in the altercation, then why was he allowed to pitch on Saturday? We will see what the fallout of this is eventually.
Anyway, onwards to Marc's 1st guest column. Enjoy and feel free to make comments below.
I figured there would be more K-Rod stuff here, but I guess not. I will chime on the topic though. Everybody wants him out of town and to void the contract. I don't agree...and here is why (once you get past the idea he is a fool..which doesn't bother me that much really...most people are fools, myself probably included)...
#1: People will get over this. Everybody gets over things. So he hit a guy. It's wrong. It's bad. Get him some anger management classes.
#2: If they do get rid of him and don't replace him with somebody good, Met fans will turn to hypocrites and complain "how can they get rid of K-Rod for so and so". I know the PR of this might force the move or a trade, but until that happens, I have my opinion.
#3: There is NO WAY the contract is going to be voided. Not a chance. the Players Union won't allow it. There is no way to prove when it actually got injured and it just won't happen. The good part is now that he is done, it is highly unlikely that vesting option will kick in.
Now, here is what I really think (besides keep him because he is still better than most): the Mets are telling you what they really think about K-Rod. If they are this willing to get rid of him, they don't think he is any good. Somebody in that organization is convinced that they can get the same production from another pitcher either in the system (or there now) or can acquire one. It also tells me that payroll is an issue and losing that money might be beneficial to them. There is no way they are better without him.
the PR thing is an issue, but not a huge one in my view. As I said earlier, this will go away. the Mets might try and hide behind the PR issue and that's their right, but I think it would be just that--hiding--from the fact that they just don't like him as a closer. Maybe I am wrong, but if a team is willing to get rid of somebody so easily, it usually means something other than what is making the headlines.
Lastly, I have heard that the fans won't ever cheer for him or like him. Boo hoo. That's ridiulous. Has anybody read the book "the Bad Guys Won" about the 1986 Mets? They were maniacs, renegades, and crazy. Between who was doing drugs, women during the games, fighting during the team photos, and trashing airplanes, they have more crap going on than just about anything you heard of. BUT THEY WON! And they are trated like heroes. Nobody cares that Doc was doing coke or Straw was doing women during the game (his words, not mine). My point is winning takes care of everything (show me one Met fan who says "yeah we won in 1986 but they did some bad things"...you can't, they don't exist). So if K-Rod comes out next year and closes the first 20 games lights out or puts up big numbers, the love affair starts again.
Keep K-Rod. His option likely won't kick in. he is still better than most. Is he a fool? Yep. No doubt. But he can still close for my team...just send him to anger management and maybe some "how not to break your ankle" while pitching classes.
My Take: I agree with the majority of his points, but the issue with the salary/payroll I addressed above. It's more just trying to figure out when this team is built to win for. Is it 2011, or are they trying to clear payroll and get ready to win in 2012 or 2013. Looking at the contracts for next year, I don't see them being able to be creative enough and add enough payroll (40 million for a Lee and a Fielder or something similar to that) to win next year. So my view is to clear payroll off the books this year and next, and prepare to win in 2012 and beyond. It's easy for me to say that, but I know it's impossible to admit you are "rebuilding" or "not trying to win this year" in New York.
One last thing, in regards to the vesting option: he needs to finish 100 games combined in 2010 and 2011 AND finish 55 games in 2011 for it to vest. If my memory is correct, he has around 45 games finished this year, so in effect, he still just needs the 55 games finished next year, so him missing the next month is a non-issue if I'm correct.
Thanks again for reading Marc and keep up the great comments.