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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hot Stove Baseball

By David

The baseball off season got even more interesting today when we learned that Japanese phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka will most likely be signing with the Red Sox's. All 30 major league teams had the right to bid for the 26 year old pitcher, but Boston entered the highest bid at $51.1 million. Remember that this dollar amount is only for the Sox's to negotiate with the pitcher and not the amount of his contract.

Matsuzaka said "I was very surprised when I heard the figure" and I concur with his comments. It's unthinkable to believe that any team would bid that much money for a player. I understand that any person in any type of profession is entitled to a reservation wage, but the amount of money many major leaguers are making today is absurd. The re-signing of Aramis Ramirez by the Cubs for five years and $73 million as well as this recent transaction should be a good indicator for what the rest of the market has in store. Now, we will see many players who might have average skills receive large contracts.

The move by the Red Sox's will have major repercussions on the field. Their pitching staff struggled throughout last season and by acquiring this outstanding pitcher they are greatly bolstering their team. The tandem of Schilling, Beckett, Papelbon, Matsuzaka and Wakefield will be hard for hitters to beat.

In other news around baseball Jim Leyland of the American League Champion Tigers won the AL manager of the year. This award was expected after his teams surprising success, but you can't count out the hard work Leyland put into having such a great season. Many people laughed at the prospect of Leyland taking over a team that endured so many losing seasons, but he silenced the critics.

Over on the NL side Joe Girardi won manager of the year for the Marlins, but it's unfortunate he won't be back to continue his success. He took over a team that many people said was the worst in the game, but instead guided his club to a 78-84 record and was in contention for the wild card for much of September. More than any manager Girardi deserved this award as he showed the baseball community just how good he is and more importantly how much he was capable of doing with a team full of rookies. I hope that Joe Girardi will return to baseball and manage a team that appreciates his abilities.

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