Tuesday, December 06, 2005

MY CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT THE BURNETT SIGNING

Ok, I love the St. Louis Cardinals, but I will say this...if you want a good laugh you should go over to the Cardinals message board and read some of the posts over there. You will hear everything from "I have a source inside the organization" or my personal favorite, "I have a buddy, that saw AJ Burnett last night at St. Louis' Lambert International Airport."

While I certainly agree with the reputation we Cardinals fans have, as the best fans in baseball, the Cardinals message board here lately certainly proves that we are not above (how do I say this?) spreading a little fertilizer around. There, is that PC enough? So here is my theory on this whole deal, because frankly I'm getting sick of waiting. First I preface this by saying, I do not have a college buddy, who's brother's ex-wife's cousin is a secretary in the Cardinals organization (you may laugh, but some dude used that one a few days ago). This is just my theory, so take it for what it's worth...

A few things we know for sure, 1) AJ Burnett grew up in Arkansas as a die hard member of Cardinal Nation, 2)AJ's wife does not like airplanes (I can't blame her on that one) so therefore does not like to travel and wants to remain close to home, 3) although I'm not positive I'm fairly certain that AJ does not want to play where the distances marked on the outfield walls are written in meters instead of feet, 4) AJ's agent Daniel Braunecker, is new to the agent business and AJ Burnett is his first real big name client.

So I have taken all this information (that I know for sure) and established my personal theory that AJ's agent is trying to make a name for himself in the agent business and he is trying to establish himslef as a guy that can get big contracts for any player - a Scott Boras wannabe if you will, and he is delaying the signing, trying to drive the offer up from the team AJ really wants to play for (the Cardinals) by putting them in a bidding war with at least two other teams (the Natinals and the Blue Jays). In the past few days we have also heard the Cubs and the Angels as possible suitors for Burnett.

Where Braunecker is failing, is if he is going to do that (which I suppose is an agents job) he should at least get a couple of teams that have as much to offer as the Cardinals. I would be concerned if we were bidding against the Yankees or the Red Sox , or any team that can offer what the Blue Jays can't, and that is the opportunity to pitch on the biggest stage in baseball, and that is the playoffs and the World Series. You see it is highly unlikely that in his 5 years in Washington or Totonto that he will ever get a shot to pitch in the playoffs where with the Cardinals it is certainly no gaurantee, but far more likely given that the Cardinals have been in the post season 5 out of the past 6 years, and are not in the same division as the Yankees and the Red Sox, or the Braves in the case of the Nats.

Supposedly the Blue Jays have offered a guaranteed 5 years and 50 million, which I tend to believe since they just gave BJ Ryan a million dollars per career save, to be their new closer, so I would say it is a safe bet to say that they would also offer AJ a million dollars per career win. The Cardinals are appearing to be standing firm on their 4 year 40 million dollar offer, with a option for a 5th year. It appears Walt Jocketty is calling Braunecker's bluff, and for that I applaud him. It's about time some GM's stood up to these players and agents. Some of these contracts are just ridiculous because the MLB players have too much power. So I agree with Walt and say fine if you want the 5th year guaranteed, and a few extra bucks to go pitch in basbeall purgatory, then fine chump, I hope you enjoy Canada.