Grand Slams

Grand Slams: Everyone Is Overpaid (except for the Astros)



The MLB season is finally here!  After a great opening week in which my Braves proved to be geniuses (at least so far) in their trade for Justin Upton, we can start to realize a few facts about the 2013 season.  There are a lot of great stories already and there are a lot of reasons to rejoice if you happen to hate the huge, high-salary teams. And you better get your rejoicing in now while you can because it’s only a matter of time until they spend another hundred million bucks to correct their problems.

To organize these thoughts, I put them into a list of six things that are already evident or are quickly becoming evident this season:

1) While there’s been a lot of talk about parity in the MLB, it hasn’t been realized so well.  For every inspiring Nats story, there’s a futility story (I’m looking at you, Pirates) to go with it.  And if early indications are any sign, that futility isn’t going anywhere.  The Pirates just got off to a fantastic 1-5 start while ranking 30th (out of 30 teams) in batting average, runs, OBP and slugging.  The scored 8 runs in their first 6 games combined.  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

2) Overpaying doesn’t make you good.  Just ask the Yankees who have been hit hard by the injury bug in large part because they commited way too much money to long-term contracts which are all going bad at the same time.  The fact that A-Rod is making more money than the entire Astros team is alone sufficient reason to scoff in the Yankees general direction. And if you haven’t heard by now that the 2two highest paid Mets outfielders are a retired dude and a guy who now plays for the Mariners (Bobby Bonilla and Jason Bay), you missed one of the better bizarre facts of Opening Day.

3) The Astros and Marlins will indeed suck horribly. As a perpetual fan of underdogs I always like to think that out-of-nowhere good teams will happen every year, a la last year’s Oakland A’s.  But no amount of wishful thinking will help this year’s two worst teams with both clubs are coming way from recent changes. The Marlins are entering just their second season of being called the Miami Marlins and have few starters from last year’s roster, while the Astros switched from the National League Central to the American League West, and if you know anything about baseball you know that doesn’t help them one bit. After a nice Opening Day surprise in upsetting the Rangers, the Astros have lost six straight while breaking all sorts of futility records, such as strikeouts (by their batters, not their pitchers) in a series. The Marlins also opened to a 1-6 record and there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope.  Especially since the Marlins were giving massive discounts on tickets to their home opener.

4) The NL East will be rough.  Aside from the Marlins there isn’t a truly weak team in the bunch.  Yeah, the Mets probably won’t finish with a winning record.  But good young pitching from Niese and Harvey and perhaps Gee will combine with decent lineup potential from Davis, Wright and surprise contributor John Buck to keep them from being a pushover.  As such, they’re currently second in the majors in runs scored.  The Phillies are also no pushover, even as they all start navigating the basepaths with walkers and hearing aids firmly implanted in their ears.  The real story, though, is the budding rivalry between the Nationals and Braves. Both teams are set to be great this year and for the foreseeable future. We may be watching the beginning of the best two NL teams for the next 5+ years.

5) Closer situations are volatile.  No surprise here, yet if you play fantasy baseball you’ve surely either had a closer that lost his job, experienced one of your closers having a meltdown or you’re a genius.  With guys like Fernando Rodney, Carlos Marmol and Mitchell Boggs looking catastrophic at times and guys like Jason Motte getting injured, there’s no end to bullpen drama.  Nothing really new, but frustrating nonetheless.  On top of that, does anyone else find it strange that K-Rod, Valverde, Wilson and Cordero are all still unsigned?  You mean no teams could use a veteran arm in their bullpen?  So weird.

6) Youth is the name of the game. Right now, young teams just seem to play better than older teams. Maybe it’s the crackdown on steroids, maybe it’s something in the water, but either way, aging teams are paying for it. Younger teams (not counting those in the rebuilding phase of their franchise) are reaping rewards. We may start to see a sharper drop-off in skills after the age of 30 for MLB players due to injuries and general old-fartedness.

I’ll leave you with that.

Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits