Thursday, December 14, 2006

Do Contracts Dictate Playing Time?

There is a new sheriff in town and his name is, Lou Pinella. Gone are the days of the screwball lineups and mishandling of the pitching staff. Uncle Lou brings a pedigree we hope, that has been honed from understanding performance, not size of contract determines playing time. Now that's not to mean that size doesn't matter, we all know it does, but the contracts I'm referring to are those 3 year, $13 million contracts, not the $13 million per ones.

We've all witnessed to many times with Don Knotts as the sheriff, that his decisions on playing time were determined like he was actually paying the players salary himself. I must respectfully suggest, that shit has got to stop.

There was a day, not to long ago, like a month or so, when a contract like Mark DeRosa's was considered starting money. That mindset has changed now with the crazy off season contracts that have been doled out so far. If the DeRosa contract is more than what a super sub should get, so be it. It's chump change in comparison to what the Cubs goal is, a world series title. The fact that DeRosa can play in so many different roles is a valuable commodity most teams don't have and Pinella should realize this, especially if someone else is capable of doing an equally good job at 2B.

Should DeRosa be the front runner in spring training for the 2B job? Of course, but there should also be a spirited competition for that job in spring training. If the likes of The Riot can perform as well as DeRosa, who becomes a more valuable bench player then, The Riot or DeRosa. We should then expect Pinella to do the right thing and insert the speedy Theriot, The Riot just didn't seem to work there, regardless of DeRosa's contract or the Cubs initial intentions of DeRosa being the everyday second baseman.

This small decision if warranted, would signal a new direction is the clubhouse. One that is based on performance and accountability, not perception and favoritism.

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