Now here’s a real Sale of the century
Not since friend and fellow New Englander Carlos Pena retired in 2014 have I admired a Major League Baseball player like this.
And here early in 2019, this 53-year-old hacker has a pair of new heroes, Chris Sale and Luis Severino.
Yes, the Red Sox lefty Sale, complete with his 0-3, 9.00 mark in 2019 and Severino, the Yankees’ ace who has yet to toss a pitch this spring.
Kind of an odd time to pronounce my complete and utter devotion to these guys, don’t you think?
But honestly, I can’t stop laughing hysterically this month. Both of these guys must chuckle daily, knowing that before this season even started, they had won and won big, sticking it to the man, in their cases, ownership. Giant, greedy, huge market ownership.
Start with Frail, I mean Sale, the spindly southpaw, who followed up a 158-inning 2018 season with a 4.11 playoff ERA, and then professed his love to Boston in the offseason.
He wooed management, sight unseen, with no free-agent leverage and conned Dave Dombrowski, John Henry and the crew into writing out a $145 million check.
Forget the fact that this guy weighs about 160 pounds soaking wet and his body wears out annually in August. He parlayed a scoreless ninth inning in a 5-1 clinching World-Series win after the Dodgers had quit – capped by a closing strikeout to the “King Quitter” himself, Manny Machado – into $29 million a year over five years, every penny guaranteed.
The guess here is that Henry and his billionaire’s club chose not to sully the process by asking for some kind of physical for Frail, whoops, again sorry Sale. They just signed him up for all that dough. They “owed” him.
I say bravo, Chris. This is a con job that Bernie Madoff would envy.
For you elder types like myself, Sale has looked like Frank Tanana so far, and I’m not talking 1970s Angels Tanana. I’m speaking of the mid-80s Red Sox version, featuring soft, softer and softest as his three pitches.
And it’s only mid-April. Chris, all the props in the world to you.
Sure, if you played out the string and had a good year, a $300 million payday was right around the corner. Wink. Wink. You did the Sox a favor, right?
Severino’s swindle wasn’t nearly as financially fruitful as the Sale-smanship foisted on the Sox.
But this kid, who is 41-25 lifetime still had years of arbitration to wade through. And coming into spring training, he knew his shoulder might only have months left in it.
His rotator cuff in distress, Severino somehow coaxed the Yankees into a “lock me up now, before free agency” deal.
Severino, who made $600,000 in 2018, bilked Brian Cashman for $40 million guaranteed over the next four.
Look, you know and I know that $40 million isn’t what it used to be in the bigs. But for a guy whose right shoulder is one breaking ball from implosion?
Last report on Severino is he might start throwing again next month. You Pinstripers had better not hold your breath.
Again, both players’ hits will feel like mosquito bites to the ownership groups for these evil empires (yes, plural).
But for the little guy, I’m just happy when “the man” takes a hit. These giant market clubs have ruined the playing field in baseball.
Thanks you Chris and Luis for giving this consumer a modicum of satisfaction.
One for us.