I just can’t quit you

November 19th, 2006 → 9:54 am @ // No Comments

Seriously, the man is just taunting me.

“The Chicago Cubs must live in a fantasy world. They keep fantasizing that Kerry Wood and Mark Prior will stay healthy some season and pitch them to a pennant.

The Cubs re-signed Wood as a free agent last week despite his injury history. He has been on the disabled list 10 times in eight seasons for a total of 397 days, or 27 percent of his major league career. Last season, when he started only four games, the fewest in his career, he was on the disabled list twice for a total of 162 days out of 182.”

— Murray Chass
On Baseball
The New York Times
November 19, 2006

This, in response to a one-year, $1.75 million deal, incentive-laden deal for Wood, whom the Cubs intend to transform into a closer. (In August 2005, when Wood was used as a reliever, he averaged 1.4 K/9 and posted a .75 WHIP.) And this, during an offseason in which pitching is at a premium and career journeyman Jamie Walker landed a 3-year, $11.5 million contract from the Orioles.

OK, that’s it about Murray. (For today, anyway.)

Post Categories: Murray Chass

6 Comments → “I just can’t quit you”

  1. miles44

    17 years ago

    The health issues of Prior and Wood are due to them playing for old school managers (Baylor and Baker) who pitched them until their arms (almost literally) fell off. Wood at $1.75 million is a steal.


  2. V06

    17 years ago

    That Murray Chass…. he’s one helluva a drug.

    Seth, I have faith that you can someday beat this addiction to reading MnChass. Do it for your blog readers sake if not for your own mental health.

    Personally, I’m more irritated by the fact that there’s a more plausible explaination for the following than what MnChass theorizes:

    “The Red Sox bid a whopping $51.1 million for the rights to Matsuzaka. They aren’t talking about their bid, but from the looks of it, they might have feared that someone else might bid $51 million, so they added $100,000 to their bid.” Wow, the Sox head honchos are some pretty wiley business people to devise such a scheme.

    Reports indicate that Boston bid exactly $51,111,111.11 or a cool 6 billion Yen even. I’m nowhere near as smart a NYT sports columnist but I’d got out on a limb and guess the Sox just wanted a round Yen figure. Why? Well, I’m not smart enuff to figure that one out, but maybe someone is smart enuff to send John Henry an E-mail to ask why…he always seems ready to tell all. No sense in asking Theo since he probably considers keeping secret the answer as vital to Red Sox National security and will refuse to answer even with the threat of CHB designed torture.

    Or do you think they bid that extr-ey 11 cents to beat a competing bid of 51,111,111.00? Which makes me wonder why wouldn’t they bid 6 billion and 1 Yen just in case some other team was just as wiley as they? Man, my head hurts now from trying to think like a wiley businessperson.

    “MnChass” because every good “M” deserves to be followed by a little “n”.


  3. maineiac

    17 years ago

    The other news with the Cubs is that Soriano has agreed to an eight-year contract worth about $136 million with them.


  4. branatical

    17 years ago


    I think you may have an obsession but still, it’s good to keep main stream media members accountable for what they write, so keep it up Seth. I enjoy it. It works in my favor when someone in the office comes to me armed with some Chassaganda. I can fire back.

    In reference to your initial Matsuzaka post…I don’t really get what there is to be confused about in regard to the price of the bid. You said it yourself Seth, “D-Mat* fever is already a full-on reality.” It’s that fever that the front office knows it can benefit from. Baseball is an entertainment business. Ratings do matter, no matter what Theo says. Larry knows it, Henry knows it and you got to know that Werner knows it.

    The Red Sox are like the Cosby Show. Only instead of good actors, the team needs good ballplayers because ultimately it is still a game. Each team struggles for fans the same way TV shows struggle for viewers. The owners need to keep their fans interested. Look at the end of last season. So much for the consecutive sold out record. If we the fans don’t watch games at the park or on TV, the game is literally over. It’s happened before. MLB has been down that road and they’ve learned from the mistakes. So no matter what the Sox say or do, the most important thing they need to do is keep us hooked. The bidding process alone for D-Mat has me hooked.

    Now each team has unique visions and goals and unique ways of achieving their goals. Are the Royals setting out to make the playoffs 8 out of 10 years? Not likely. The Red Sox as you documented so clearly in your book have their vision of what they want to achieve and they have their ways of achieving those things.

    One thing the Red Sox do is put a price on a free agent and stick to that price. That doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to pay too much for someone. They’ve handed out lots of money in the past to players of far less potential worth than Dice-K. Players like Renteria and Clement. Sure Renteria and Clement weren’t signed to anything near what the total sum of what they’re going to pay for the dice man is but were they nearly as good? Remains to be seen. In retrospect, the Sox paid a lot of money for players who sunk the ratings. In those cases the Sox were willing to spend the money when they thought they had something worth it. With Matsuzaka they feel they have something worth the price, plain and simple.

    Aside from his pitching potential, Matsuzaka is a marketing dream and I am sure they plan to make the most of his value in this regard much like they planned to reap the benefits of A-Rod. Matsuzaka has already been to Nike headquarters. He’s setting up shop in L.A. Never mind Japan, this guy is going to bring in tons of money in New England alone. Take a look at this guy, he isn’t Irabu. He is a stud and he’s a legitimate ace who by all accounts smiles in the face of pressure. By all accounts, this kid is going to do well in Boston and in the majors. He is mister cool.

    51.1 million dollars is an exorbitant sum but they know they can make it back. It’s been two years since the viewers had something worth watching. It was time to make a bold statement.


  5. Evan Knopp

    17 years ago

    You mean Kevin Millar ISN’T a good 1Bman??

    I love that he thinks 1.7 is too much for Wood, it just cements the idea in my head that he knows absoulutely nothing in which he speaks of. Just check out Justin Speiers contract, or lets see what Eric Gagne gets.


  6. Mude

    17 years ago

    Chass is likely comparing Kerry Wood’s contract to the one Dave Winfield signed in 1981. He probably thinks $1.7 million makes Wood the second-highest paid player in MLB.

    I mean if THE Dave Winfield averages $2.3 mil a year…


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