Friday, November 11, 2005

Post-Series Depression

I have to admit, that every off-season I experience a bit of depression. It's better if the Yankees win the World Series, but it's not really about winning or losing. It's about the Game, a constant companion through the spring and summer months, coming to an end. Baseball's daily presence is an amazing phenomenon in the world of sports--football is a terror that monopolizes the weekends, the NBA plays every other day, with games on back-to-back nights a relative rarity. The NHL is the same as the NBA, although they better get some cheap tickets into circulation if they want to catch my interest, post-lockout. But baseball's there every day, so much so that on the off-days that bracket the All-Star Game, the silence is deafening. It's that daily rhythm I'm missing.

The November awards season holds very little interest to me (I'll comment on it when it's through, after the MVP announcements next week). The hot stove isn't really lit yet--free agents have just finished filing, teams other than their old team are only now getting the chance to negotiate. It's a huge lull, and I have trouble filling the void.

One way I stave off the depression is by writing. You'll find some of my thoughts about the home team's free agent situation over at Baseball Prospectus (free, as always). Here's a glimpse:

By next Tuesday, the Yankees and Hideki Matsui will have agreed to a new deal, or they will have parted ways. This is because of a contractual provision under which the Yankees are obligated to release Matsui if he’s not re-signed by the November 15 deadline, making Matsui a free agent. If it weren’t for this clause, Matsui would be treated as any other third-year major league player: eligible for arbitration this winter, but not eligible for free agency for another three years.

Looking back, the three-year deal Matsui signed with the Bronx Bombers prior to the 2003 season was a bargain.
Check it out, and feel free to tell me what you think.


In the larger world outside, Mike Bloomberg won re-election on Tuesday, whuppin' up on the city's first major Hispanic mayoral candidate (IIRC), former Bronx Burrough President Freddy Ferrer. As a Latino, I should be bummed out that Freddy lost, but I'm not. Ferrer was a rather weak candidate who never really managed to capture the public's imagination. Much like in the last election, Ferrer managed to stuff a shoe in his mouth a number of times, and Mayor Mike was able to capitalize each time--once, Ferrer was quoted as saying that the police officers who shot Amadou Diallo were over-charged by the District Attorney's office (probably true, but still the type of thing that would alienate many black voters); later, Ferrer's blog claimed that he was the product of public schools (since Ferrer was a catholic schoolboy, this played wrong in every made Ferrer look incompetent, since obviously he wasn't writing his own blog; it allowed Bloomberg to point out that despite his present wealth, he was a public school product born into a family of modest means; and it made Ferrer look ungrateful for his catholic school education).

While everyone will point at Bloomberg's incredible spending advantage in this election (it's estimated that he spent ten dollars to each one of Ferrer's) , dig underneath and you'll see that Ferrer didn't lose because of a lack of advertising dollars. He lost because the incumbent mayor kept crime down, steered New York through the post September 11 financial downturn, and took personal responsibility for the City's school system. Mike Bloomberg was Rudy Giuliani without the nastiness, and Ferrer never really found an issue to pursue that outweighed those achievements.

So here's wishing Mayor Mike a fine second term--for the sake of all New Yorkers.


Greg said...

Ok, if the Yankees don't resign Matsui by tonight, I'm gonna cry. Damn shame too. Grown man crying like that.

DJ said...

Don't cry, Greg. Godzilla's locked up for a four-year deal.