Two more miserable days and then we'll know - is Stephen Strasburg a Nat or is he not a Nat? The "spin game" has already started, as anyone who watched last night's broadcast knows.
Rob Dibble, Bob Carpenter and Ray Knight all had their say on the matter. Ray's take was probably the best. The Nationals have offered Strasburg around twice what Ray made in his entire career (and it was a good one - he's a former World Series MVP). He's done pretty well with that money. Double figure millions is a shocking amount of cash and it is unthinkable that it could be turned down.
Other than Rob repeatedly saying the word "blogger" like it was the most profane word ever, I actually agree with most of what they had to say - repeatedly - in the booth during the game. It's a ton of money. How can you turn that down? And so forth. What I didn't like was the assertion that they knew, they just knew, that the "bloggers (holding nose)" and media would be all over the Nats if they fail to sign Strasburg.
Really? I'm not so sure. I'm willing to bet some will go off the deep end and rip the Nats a new one but I hate to see all us "bloggers (throwing up)" and media lumped into that boat. There's plenty of blame to go around. I'm not so sure it is automatic it falls on the Nats.
I blamed them not at all last year when they failed to sign Aaron Crow, who appears to be on the verge of not signing again. Smart career move to basically sit out two seasons. What they offered him was fair and, if he said no, it's on him. Cost him a lot of money now and over the long haul.
I have no idea what the actual offer to Strasburg is now, other than it beats what Mark Prior got. So it is double figure millions. Let's just say 12 for the sake of argument. Any more doesn't really matter. The point is the same.
THAT IS A SHEETPILE OF CASH. How can an adult who allegedly makes a career out of financial advising advise a youngster to turn that down? As a guy who has worked hard for his entire career and not made 15 percent of that in 30 years (and still helped provide for a family), I shake my head in wonder. What world do these people live in? If someone offered my son a dozen million and someone else advised him to turn it down, there would be a hammer on someone's head.
That said, I do have a nagging thought in my head and, yeah, it may make me one of those "bloggers (gagging)" or other media lumped into that "rip the Nationals" category: Does it have nothing to do with money? Is the Nationals' reputation so bad that no one wants to play for them?
Crow is a tool and a fool for listening to bad advice. The Hendricks Brothers overvalued him and the Nats offered him too much anyway. He said no and he paid, falling in this year's draft.
I don't think Strasburg is a tool. I do fear he's out there thinking, "What the heck - I can make it another year and play somewhere else." I hope not. The Rays last year gave hope to every franchise that appears to be a lifelong loser. Things can change. With JimBow gone, I hope the Nationals are taken more seriously among baseball insiders.
But the very thought that someone could actually say no to a dozen (or more) million makes me wonder.