Reading MLBTR and came across a post highlighting several comments from the venerated Peter Gammons on WEEI. This is the one that left me agog:
I don’t think they go Halladay because I think it would be a disaster to give up Buccholz and Kelly and then try to pay a guy with his medical history $18 million a year through the age of 38.
ROY Halladay? the guy who plays for the Blue Jays, THAT Roy Halladay?
Lets review boys and girls.
Halladay has missed significant time with a throwing arm issue exactly ONE year in his career.
That was 2004.
In the five years since, he has a leg broken by a line drive in 2005, and he averaged 233 innings a year in the 4 years since.
THIS is a "medical history"?
Or is Gammons thinking the man's going to have chronic broken legs? Maybe he's afraid ANOTHER appendix will have to come out?
This is a guy who's had 30 or more starts in six of the last eight seasons (and one of the two he didn't was the broken leg in 2005) and has four consecutive seasons of 220 or more innings pitched.
Don't get me wrong - if Gammons wants to say "you don't guarantee ANY pitcher big money until he's 38" that's a legitimate point of view. but questioning Doc's medical history is like questioning the Yanks for being cheapskates.
Insert double facepalm here.
On a totally unrelated note - Rob Neyer referenced in his blog this article regarding a case the NFL has taken to the Supreme Court which, the author argues, will revolutionize the sports labor landscape if the league wins.
I am not expert enough in the sports labor scene to attempt to debate whether or not Munson is correct in his conclusions but it seems to me that if he is, laws can be passed to remedy the implications but, all that aside, here's the quote that caught my eye:
In a single sentence on Page 14 of their argument in the brief, the owners describe their idea of their league and its role in the economy: "A sports league produces a single entertainment product, a structured series of athletic competitions leading to a championship, that no member club could produce on its own and it competes as a unit against other entertainment producers."
Instead of 32 teams competing for coaches, players, sponsors and fans, the NFL is, in the owners' dream world, a single producer of a "product" that competes with television, movies and concerts.
Regardless of the implications for the labor unions that might ultimately be regretable, I would argue that the owners claim here is correct. Later in the peice Munson says, in so many words "Tell that to Al Davis" but the fact remains, the Oakland Raiders can't have a footbal game by themselves.
I bring this up here because I have long argued that the fundamental logic behind profit sharing in the Major Leagues is flawed because it ignores the principle described above. the Red Sox compete with the Yankees for a chamionship, true enough. but the Red Sox do NOT compete with the Yankees for profit. They compete with other entertainment venues in Boston which are unrelated to baseball.
To say that the Red Sox and Yankees are business competitors is the same as saying the McDonalds on Main Street is a competitor with the McDonalds on Elm Street. That's obvious nonsense. McDonalds is competing with Burger King and Wendy's and verious other unrelated companies.
Now, is this an inconvenient truth for player unions or others who'd like to challenge sports leagues on anti-trust grounds? Possibly. If so, too damned bad. Reality is what it is, if the current law doesn't address the reality then go to Congress and try to get some new ones. don't blind yourself to an obvious truth just because you want to use anti-trust laws as a weapon to increase your economic power and leverage.