Davis Makes The Deal

It is a bit disconcerting. Imagine that you are involved in a relationship with someone. You offer to make a serious commitment. They decline. Then a month later, realizing that no one else is interested in them, they suddenly want you back. I don’t know about you, but at that point, I’d say hit the road, Jack. But alas, this is not about love. This is about baseball.

Having just occurred Saturday, it is now ancient news that Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a seven-year, $161 million deal. This, of course, after Davis declined an earlier $150 million offer and left the Orioles and their fans hanging while he and his agent tested the free market. At that time, there was talk that Davis, who led all of MLB in 2015 in home runs, was seeking a contract in the $200 million range. Well, well, well, reality, as they say, bites.

While it was a frustrating waiting game for the Orioles fans and organization, there is ultimately nothing wrong with Chris Davis testing the market to find the highest bidder for his skills.  In fact, I think it is our responsibility to know our worth and seek the maximum compensation for our services. Who are we to ask or judge “how much is enough money” for one person? We did not hit 47 home runs last year. He did and that has value.

Some have called it greedy.  I call it smart (by Davis, not by the Orioles). Davis was not out bilking innocent investors or taking advantage of anyone. The Orioles owners and management must think that he is worth that investment (debatable, but we shall see).

$161 million. Not bad for a guy from Longview, Texas with a baseball bat. Good for you, Crush. We hope that it will also be good for the Orioles.

Chris Davis and The Orioles: We Wish You a Merry “Chris”-Mas?

I am just going to say it. I am not a fan of Christmas. I know, I know. I have heard it all before. The shock. The outrage. The “Maria, what is wrong with you everyone loves CHRISTMAS!!!” Finding that there is very little public support for my honest distaste for this holiday, I have learned that it is best to generally keep it to myself (Well, until now). There is no deep seated psychological reason for my not liking Christmas. All of my childhood Christmases were wonderful by every standard, as they are today. Had I not admitted it here, you would never know how much I dislike it. I do all of the decorating and the shopping and the wrapping and the baking. But secretly, I can’t stand the music, I don’t like forced sentimentality and well, there is no baseball. So three strikes against you Christmas and…you’re out.

Beyond the music and the forced merriment, Christmas involves a lot of spending. Now, no one would ever describe me as a miser or any type of fiscal conservative. Its just that if I am going to buy something, I tend to prefer that it be something that I either really want, really need or can really use – and it has to be at a price that I consider reasonable. Not necessarily cheap. Just reasonable enough so that it does not overly strain my resources and limit other options.

It has been reported that the Baltimore Orioles have now offered a contract to free agent slugger Chris Davis in the amount of approximately $150 million for 7 years. Given some of the numbers being tossed around this off season, I think we are all past the sticker shock on the price tag for certain players, so I won’t go into that. With this offer,the Orioles appear to be making a serious attempt to retain Davis (and alas, in this same space I have been complaining about them not opening their wallets). Could he and should he look for more than this $150 million? Maybe – and getting more would not be out of the question at all for the man who lead all of MLB in home runs last season.

But my question is, should the Orioles really be the ones putting up that kind of money to sign him? We all love our “Crush”. What baseball fan doesn’t love that kind of power and those home runs that seem to so effortlessly fly through the dark, hot summer nights in Camden Yards? But man, we could really use some of that Christmas money to grab a solid (lefty!) outfielder and more importantly, beef up that starting rotation.

Using the same logic I use in shopping for Christmas gifts, I think that the Orioles should consider that while Chris Davis is certainly something that the fan base would want  – will he bring enough overall impact on the number of wins to make retaining him worth that type of investment? Is he someone that we really need and can really use without severely limiting our other options?  Is he just the hottest toy on the shelves right now ?

Well,they made the offer and whatever happens, we wish him all the best.

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(Here is a picture I took of him in June. Makes you feel a need to get into the gym doesn’t it?)

2016 Orioles – Embrace The Uncertainty

Last October I was bedecked in orange and black,sitting in Camden Yards looking up at a glowing JumboTron screen. It read four of the most beautiful words in the English language: “American League East Champions.” With the 2015 Orioles finishing their season at .500 (81-81) that screen, and the mood around here, is dark.

Well, at least they went out in grand style with Chris Davis smashing two more home runs (he of course, lead the league with 47) and a sweep of the New York Yankees.

The end of the regular season ushers in fall and a time of uncertainty. Will it be 70 degrees or 40 degrees today? Will we have enough guys to fill our fall baseball lineup this weekend ? What are the forecasters predicting for winter this year?

With six key players set to become free agents this offseason it is also an uncertain time for the Orioles. These players include: Chris Davis (1B), Matt Wieters (C), Wei-Yin Chen (LHP), Darren O’Day (RHP), Gerardo Parra (OF), Steve Pearce (IF-OF).

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-these-6-key-orioles-could-soon-be-free-agents-20151006-story.html

(Indulge me in my Steve Pearce crush for a moment. 🙂 Thank you.)

Uncertainty is uncomfortable. Our brains are wired to want to “know.” We speculate, we predict, we make plans. We want information. Perhaps this enhances our illusion of control. But deep down we all know the painful truth – that despite all of the speculating and planning we may do -none of us ever have a clue what is going to happen from one minute to the next.

Uncertainty is generally referred to as a bad thing. But wouldn’t a world where we always knew what was coming next be extremely boring?  It would be like re-watching the game you had seen the night before. When you know what’s going to happen – the thrill is gone.

One thing we do know is that Chris Davis will be a hot commodity on the open market. What we don’t know (or, we kind of do, unfortunately) is whether the Orioles will be able to come up with the cash to keep him. But even if they did, we really don’t know if he can repeat his stellar offensive performances again.

Here is an interesting quote from Dennis Lindley:

There are some things that you know to be true, and others that you know to be false; yet, despite this extensive knowledge that you have, there remain many things whose truth or falsity is not known to you. We say that you are uncertain about them. You are uncertain, to varying degrees, about everything in the future; much of the past is hidden from you; and there is a lot of the present about which you do not have full information. Uncertainty is everywhere and you cannot escape from it.Dennis Lindley,Understanding Uncertainty(2006)

So, if we cannot escape uncertainty, our only other option is to embrace it. Next year’s 2016 Orioles will most likely be a very, very different team. Here is hoping that somewhere in the uncertainty, there will be opportunity.