UPDATE: As I suspected, the Yankees deny that they ever offered Chapman a thing. Olney quotes Brian Cashman: “We never made an offer… Never.”
6:16 AM: This tweet from SI’s Melissa Segura is interesting:
The FL lawsuit v. Hendricks/Fernandez says Yankees made “offer to Chapman valued at more than $54 million” Chap signed 6yr/$30.25 mil w Reds
The only lawsuit of which I was aware against the Hendricks Brothers regarding Aroldis Chapman was the one filed by Chapman’s original agent, Edwin Mejia and his agency Athletes Premier International alleging, basically, that the Hendricks stole Chapman as a client. That was filed in Massachusetts, however, and as far as I know had been settled.
It’s possible that this is an offshoot of that first suit. The actual nominal agent of Chapman was Rodney Fernandez, the Fernandez referenced in the Segura tweet. He was the Hendricks employee who was just charged with stealing money from Kendry Morales. He lives in Florida, so he could have been sued there in his individual capacity.
But regardless of the specific nature of the suit, I’m skeptical of that $54 million offer from the Yankees. It’s substantially higher than that which Chapman ultimately signed for and it makes little sense that he’d leave that kind of money on the table no matter who his agent was. At the same time, in any lawsuit against Hendricks/Fernandez involving representation of Chapman an incentive exists to make the money Chapman could have received,were it not for the Hendricks’ bad acts, seem as high as possible, because the plaintiff is looking for a chunk of the deal.
I suspect we’ll hear more of this soon. It would not surprise me at all if the next thing we hear is a denial from someone with knowledge of the Yankees’ operations that there ever was a real offer for Chapman as high as $54 million and that — shockingly — a plaintiff in a lawsuit is overstating the amount of his losses in his complaint.
Retired big league pitcher Barry Zito has a memoir coming out. Much of it will likely track the usual course of an athlete’s memoir. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat and a few fun and/or sad and/or thoughtful anecdotes along the way. One bit of it, though, is not the stuff of the usual athlete memoir.
He writes that he ctually rooted against the San Francisco Giants — his own team — in the 2010 World Series. He did so because he was left off the postseason roster, felt miserable about it and let his ego consume him. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
“It was really hard to admit . . . I rooted against the team because my ego was in full control and if we lost then I could get out of there . . . It would a) prove they couldn’t do it without me, and b) take me out of the situation because I was so miserable coming to the field every day. I was so deep in shame. I wanted out of that situation so bad.”
Zito at that point was midway through a seven-year, $126 million contract he signed with the Giants after the 2006 season. Almost as soon as he signed it he transformed from one of the better pitchers in the game — he had a 124 ERA+ in eight seasons with the Oakland Athletics and won the 2002 Cy Young Award — to being a liability for the Giants. Indeed, he only had one season in San Francisco where, again, by ERA+, he was a league-average starter or better. In 2010 he went 9-14 with a 4.15 ERA and was way worse than that down the stretch. It made perfect sense for the Giants to leave him off the 2010 postseason roster. And, of course, it worked out for them.
Things would improve. He’d still generally struggle as a Giant, but in 2012 he was a hero of the NLCS, pitching the Giants past the Cardinals in a must-win game. He then got the Game 1 start in the World Series and beat Justin Verlander as the Giants won that game and then swept the Tigers out of the series. As time went on he’d fine more personal happiness as well. When his contract ended following the 2013 season Zito took out a full-page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle thanking Giants fans for their support. He’d leave the game in 2014 and pitch three more games for the Athletics in 2015 before retiring for good.
Not many baseball memoirs deliver hard truths like Zito’s appears willing to do. That’s pretty damn brave of him. And pretty damn admirable.