The deadline deals that died

Died: The Texas Rangers drafting a mission statement about the value of good spending habits.

Major league baseball is filled with shining moments and valuable lessons. Some, we should pass onto our children. This is not one of them. People have talked about how major league baseball has allowed a team (ehm, mess) in bankruptcy to actually spend more. Having the approval by a major corporation to spend more than you can pay would be one reason to scratch a new company mission statement about wise spending habits.

Died: The Yankees proving (once again) that they can pay too much for whatever they want

David Letterman’s Lebronesque plea last week to have Albert Pujols traded to the Yankees didn’t pan out to be anything. Yeah, of course, Letterman’s been trying to get him on the show forever AND it just never synced with Albert’s schedule.

Well, that explanation makes sense. Because, what’s exactly on Albert’s schedule when he’s visiting New York that he doesn’t have time to appear on Letterman? After all the attention he was getting in New York right before the trade deadline, without actually being a Yankee, the management started panicking. Everyone needs to be reminded at least once a year (and trade deadlines are opportune times for this sort of reminding) that the Yankees can spend a ton of money. So, they quickly acquired a whole bunch of players with fancy names. Experts agree these were good acquisitions but they failed and severely disappoint many, in the “using large amounts of unending wealth and paying too much for a player” category this year.

Died: trade deadline surprises

There was a lot of dumping. Many deals matched needs, but gone are the days of those fascinating, secret, hard to pull off trades. Remember way back when, before the days of tweetatextablackberry people? Days long ago, when rumors would quietly start around the ballpark about a trade that no one saw coming? The kind of trades that propel media types running back to their desks because they needed to dig up more information? Maybe all our tweetatextablackberry gadgets aren’t the best means to make baseball more exciting. There’s nothing that gets both fans and players excited than a GM pulling off a (good) down to the wire surprise.

Died: switching uniform attire for a Nationals first pitch ceremony

Sources are saying that a major deal fell through in the Nationals organization. It would have sent Miss Iowa to the pitching mound in a Nationals jersey and Mr. Batista to home plate in his Speedo. Let’s all take a minute and thank Mike Rizzo for not making this deal happen. I’m not qualified to judge what Miss Iowa should be wearing, but I’m certain no one wants to see Miguel Batista in a Speedo.

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  1. Jeffrey Gross said...


    I agree with the death of trade deadline surprises. I try not to watch the last 48 hours of MLBTR and actually go places so I get the mystery text of X has been traded for Y. Deals like Haren to the Angel (2010) and Tex to the Angels (2008) came out of the blue to me while at Cubs games. I think people should avoid reading the rumor mill until after the deadline. It makes the trades that much more mind blowing.

  2. t ball said...

    I do not understand the point about the Rangers at all.  The Rangers made several moves, but all of them involved them giving up more in prospects than they otherwise would have to get the other team to pick up salary. 

    They also traded away Kevin Millwood to free up money to sign Harden and Lewis.  They also did not sign any international free agents since the July 2 period began, saving budget money for the major league payroll instead.  They ALSO drafted very carefully, taking only players that would sign around slot money, and passing on several talents that would have cost more.

    The Rangers should be lauded for their fiscal responsibility, being able to fill needs despite not being able to take on salary, not have fingers wagged at them.  Any suggestion that they are being irresponsible is flat out ridiculous.  The Rangers have been forced to be VERY wise, indeed, with their spending habits this year.

  3. Pyro said...

    I can’t even think of Albert Pujols going over to the A.L.And the Yankees just lost their owner GS,so I don’t think that the A.L. has any chance of getting Albert.Albert has spent his best year’s in St.Louis,don’t forget that he was ROY in 2001,here it is 2010,and he’s won 2 MVP award’s.I Don’t know what year’s he won them in,but he sure did deserve them.I know it’s a rumor and all,but I don’t think Albert will go to any other team.Unless the $ is way up there,like in the 2 or 3 hundred or thousand $.He might not go for the hundred’s,but he would if it was in the thousand’s.

  4. ab03 said...

    What don’t you understand about the meaning of “cash neutral?”  Is it he neutral part?  Their budget has not increased at all from last year.  They basically sold 2 prospects and a former starter for extra cash. 

    I know you want to make a fancy point about people in debt not spending money but you completely missed the mark here since the Rangers didn’t actually spend any money. 

    I guess you wanted them to sell more of their players and maybe just shutdown the franchise because that’s how people get out of bankruptcy right?  Losing breeds success? 

    The fact that the Rangers made a bunch of cash neutral moves to probably assure themselves of a playoff appearance (worth about $30M by some estimates) and more importantly playoff success got completely lost on you. 

    And, embarrassingly, you miss the larger point, which is that a bankrupt entity sometimes needs to spend money to pull itself out of bankruptcy.  That’s the point of bankruptcy: to manage present debt to allow future success.  The Rangers did exactly that.  They didn’t run up their credit card bill buying fancy shoes, they spent on investments for future returns.  Sorry, Ms. McDonald, that is exactly the quality that has made America prosperous for the last 100 years. 

    Try harder.

  5. t ball said...

    There is no “deeper issue” here.  The Rangers were given a budget and I have not seen it reported anywhere that they have exceeded it; they stayed within that budget by utilizing the strategies I mentioned above. 

    Show me where I’m wrong.

  6. ab03 said...

    Do you realize that almost every bankrupt corporation gets financing (a budget)?  It’s what helps them get out of bankruptcy.  And it’s not good fortune to use that financing (a budget) to get out of bankruptcy; it’s prudent investing (a skill). 

    This is very basic stuff.  This is how finance and bankruptcy work.  The Rangers aren’t getting away with anything here.  If anything, they are the model for how a bankrupt corporation works it’s way out of bankruptcy. 

    How would you have wanted this to work out?  Maybe you could refrain from phrasing it as a life lesson so the point is more relevant and cogent.

  7. Anna McDonald said...

    The comedy is the Rangers good fortune in having someone give them money (a budget) and that it will probably all work out beautifully, with many prosperous days ahead, and that’s a fine thing. For some people/corporations this type of good fortune does not befall upon them so kindly.

  8. EdC said...

    You are clearly in over your head re the Rangers trade and trade deadline “expenditures”.  When you spend nothing, exchange players and get cash or salary guarantee back, you have literally spent nothing (that’s zero just for clarity) and have taken in actual money to cover previously enabled draft selections.  Maybe it isn’t clear that the team bankruptcy is a defensive manuver against summary judicial judgement in favor of a creditor against existing ownership (that ownership being more diversified than the Texas Rangers component of Hicks Sports Group).  Yes that 2nd hand creditor, who bought toxic debt IMO, is due a day in court but that is irrelevant (that means doesn’t matter) to either MLB or the operating franchise of MLB called the Texas Rangers. 

    (Inhale, sorry for the rant)

  9. t ball said...

    No, it’s just a bad idea to be so wrong.  The Rangers are still selling tickets, they still have revenue.  They have not spent money they don’t have, so the point was very misleading.

  10. Anna McDonald said...

    Creative moves to be sure.  However, the point being; not that the Rangers spending and moves are wise or unwise (depending on how you see it), but ANY spending being allowed (credited) by major league baseball while in bankruptcy.

    And I agree with you that they are now being very wise. However, someone else giving them a spending budget when they owe money and are in bankruptcy is a deeper issue.  Of course, this sort of thing happens all the time outside of baseball. Our judgment in America of prudent spending is clouded with such a thick fog it’s hard for us to see how odd it is, especially when there are things we really want. Things like a championship or a respectable new owner.

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