MARLBORO, NY – Truth be told, I’m not the rabid sports junkie that I once was. I’m all about the games and less about pregame shows, scouting combines, trade rumors, et. al. Sometimes the more I think I know about sports the less I actually understand, too. Two items that happened this past week just have me plain old perplexed. One is the Bryce Harper contract and the other is the un-retiring of Jason Witten.
The Harper Deal. Yeah, that one. The one that saw a team commit to thirteen years (more than both of my failed marriages combined) and 330 Million Bucks. It’s not the $25M+ per year that the Philadelphia Phillies are ponying up for Harper’s services that has me scratching my head, it’s the length. While it’s the richest deal in sports history, is it a wise fiscal decision for the Phils? Are they that close to winning a World Series that this one player, albeit a fantastic one, will put them over the top? And if you’re a Philthies fan you want more than just one World Series over the next baker’s dozen years of The Harper Era.
Another point is how prudent a fiscal move this is from an organizational stance. Will the deal hamstring the team monetarily from adding more pieces to build a championship? Also, there’s a no-trade clause, so they’re stuck with a player when he hits the law of diminishing returns down the road later on in the contract. Don’t get me wrong. Bryce Harper is a top player and I don’t pay nearly enough attention to baseball to know what other teams were offering for the outfielder’s services… but a thirteen year term is ridiculous in my mind. It also amazes me that a guy who was a free agent and thought to be colluded against, actually got the deal he got this late in the off season. Pitching still wins games and I don’t care what metrics say about baseball these days but the Phillies aren’t closer to winning a championship than they were before adding Harper.
Jason Witten, who left the Dallas Cowboys high and dry by announcing his retirement just days before last year’s NFL Draft, is thankfully (for our ears) leaving the MNF broadcast booth only to return to the gridiron to play tight end for the Cowboys. WTF?!
As a Cowboys fan I hate this move. Here’s a guy who screwed the team over and all is well and good to have him come back on a one year deal? He’ll turn 37 years old before the start of the season, and while the team doesn’t have a legit threat at the position, is Dallas really close to winning a Super Bowl by adding him for one year at $5M? I think not! His blocking skills have eroded recently and the team is a run-first offense that needs that type of effort first and foremost. What about giving Blake Jarwin, who came on late last year, time to develop? I’m not really certain why the Jones family made this move and it’s just another one of those questionable management decisions. Don’t even get me started on the thought that Witten is considered head coaching material who could take over for Jason Garrett, if Jerry Jones ever finds reason to fire the guy.
I’ve done enough complaining, so I’ll toot the horn for my wicked-hot Boston Bruins, who have a 15 consecutive game-point streak and finished the month of February without a regulation loss. If you don’t think this is a big deal consider the fact the roll has occurred without top scorer David Pastrnak. The team sits in second place in all of hockey behind only Thursday’s latest victim, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Funny things happen in hockey and maybe, just maybe, the Bruins are building on something special for the Spring.
Speaking of something special, come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz.