Baseball’s salary arbitration process is generally a good thing in that it can help young and productive players get the money they deserve well before they are allowed to test the free market.
It also presents some hilarious situations.
According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels avoided arbitration Wednesday with catcher Jeff Mathis by agreeing to a one-year, $1.7 million contract.
Mathis, 27, batted just .195 with a .291 on-base percentage and .278 slugging percentage last season and also played poor defense behind the plate. In truth, he might have been the worst player in baseball to register more than 200 plate appearances.
But that’s how arbitration goes. Mathis made $1.3 million last season in his first year of eligibility and he will probably get a raise next season as well no matter what kind of results he turns in this year.
Unless, of course, the Angels want to non-tender him and risk another team picking him up as a free agent. One would have to assume that manager Mike Scioscia would be against that type of move because, after all, he was the one that allowed Mathis to play so often in 2010.
Major League Baseball just announced the broadcast schedule for both Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) of the NLCS and the entire World Series.
There are no surprises here. The World Series games are all on Fox. The pregame show starts at 7:30 and the games themselves start just after 8pm Eastern Daylight Time, regardless of whether it’s Chicago or Los Angeles representing the National League. For some reason Game five of the World Series, scheduled a week from Sunday if it comes to pass, starts seven minutes later than all of the other games. Maybe something super exciting will happen then.
David Ortiz had a whale of a final season with the Red Sox. It was so good that he was asked, many, many times, if he was thinking of reversing his retirement decision and coming back for 2017. Ortiz always said no, he was still retiring, occasionally making mention of his aching feet and the physical grind his 40-year-old body was undergoing.
We now know just how much of a grind it was. Indeed, it was extreme. We know this because Dan Dyrek, the Red Sox’ coordinator of sports medicine services, tells it to Rob Bradford of WEEI. Dyrek says that the injuries to Ortiz’s feet, which were often referred to as achilles tendon problems, were way, way more complicated than that, affecting every muscle, bone and tendon in his feet in chain reaction fashion. Dyrek:
“He was essentially playing on stumps. Instead of having this nice, flexible, foot, ankle, calf mechanism to act as a shock absorber, he was playing on stumps. And you can do that for only so long. He was in warrior mode trying to play through this. Once we diagnosed him and saw what was going on and started explaining things to him, there was actually a sense of relief because now he had an explanation of what he was in such excruciating pain.”
That Ortiz was able to even walk through what Dyrek describes is pretty amazing. That he was able to put up a near-MVP season with all of that pain is incredible.