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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kei Igawa - The Lost Yankee

In the end, Cashman sounded mystified by Igawa.

“It’s the most curious case I’ve ever heard of,” he said. “And frustrating. The lesson is to be very careful with Japanese pitchers. I give him credit for living a dream and for fighting the fight. It can’t be easy. It has to bother him, too.”

Cashman added, “He does things his own way.”

Like commuting to and from Manhattan.

“Yeah, he’s passed me on the drive down to Trenton,” Cashman said. “He drives faster than his fastball.”

I found this fascinating.  I had no idea that Igawa was still playing in this country.

Dudefella Posted: July 23, 2011 at 04:04 PM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, yankees

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   1. GregD Posted: July 23, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#3883829)
This is a terrific account. If Igawa were one bit more open, it could have been a true classic. Igawa is basically mysterious, and the writer can't get us that close to the mystery, but even from far away it's compelling and strange.
   2. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: July 23, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3883835)
Why don't the Yanks release him? IF that was in the article, I missed it.
   3. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 23, 2011 at 05:20 PM (#3883851)
Ownership comes off pretty poorly. The Padres would have given him a shot, but ownership refused. They tried to trade him to japan, but only to teams of their choosing in order to get some cash. Just release the poor guy from purgatory already.
   4. Tripon Posted: July 23, 2011 at 05:29 PM (#3883854)
It has to do with the luxury tax for the most part. At triple-A, Igawa's contract doesn't count against the tax, but if the Yanks release him or trade him to another team and he makes the majors, it would suddenly count again against the Yankees.
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 23, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#3883856)
At triple-A, Igawa's contract doesn't count against the tax, but if the Yanks release him or trade him to another team and he makes the majors, it would suddenly count again against the Yankees.

So, in effect, calling him up to the majors would cost the team as well? Then it makes sense why the Yankees don't give really give him a shot if they think his ceiling is second or third lefty in the pen.
   6. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: July 23, 2011 at 05:39 PM (#3883859)
If the luxury tax rules are seriously somehow keeping him from being traded to somewhere that wants to let him play, or from being called up by the Yankees, those rules seem like something that the union should address.
   7. Dan Posted: July 23, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#3883862)
Igawa has a major league contract. I don't think the Yankees get to evade luxury tax on it by putting him in the minors. I assume the reason they haven't released him is simply that they don't want to see him succeed somewhere else while they're still having to pay him, and he has no leverage to force them to release or trade him.
   8. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 23, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#3883863)
“Yeah, he’s passed me on the drive down to Trenton,” Cashman said. “He drives faster than his fastball.”

FTR, I drive faster than anybodys fastball.
   9. Tripon Posted: July 23, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#3883872)
Late last night in one of his classic Heard This tweets, Buster Olney said that one reason why the Yanks have yet to deal Igawa is because doing so would cost them big time against the luxury tax. Ben and I couldn’t exactly figure out how that would work (neither could Maury Brown), but Jayson Stark explained the situation back in May:

At least now, you see, Igawa doesn’t count against their luxury-tax payroll because they were able to dump him off the 40-man roster. But if somebody actually wanted him (not that there’s any indication of that), the Yankees would have to pay virtually his entire salary. And that would pull all those dollars back onto their luxury-tax bill, to the tune of a 40 percent tax on whatever they’re paying.

In other words, one GM said, “They have huge incentive not to trade him, even if they could. So he’s one of the all-time stuck-in-purgatory cases.”


http://riveraveblues.com/2010/07/why-kei-igawa-is-still-a-scranton-yankee-32818/
   10. Dan Posted: July 23, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3883881)
So does Daisuke Matsuzaka not count against the Red Sox luxury tax cap? He's not on the 40 man roster, since he's on the 60 day DL.
   11. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: July 23, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3883886)
So does Daisuke Matsuzaka not count against the Red Sox luxury tax cap? He's not on the 40 man roster, since he's on the 60 day DL.

I believe that actually he technically is on the 40 man roster. It just becomes a 40+ man roster when guys hit the 60 day DL. Once he comes off the DL he is immediately added to the 40 man and if they want him off would have to go through the normal procedures to do so.
   12.   Posted: July 23, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#3883910)
That was a terrific article.
   13. Darren Posted: July 23, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#3883914)
I don't get the luxury tax thing. If that were true, why wouldn't the Red Sox have bumped Cameron off their 40-man and sent him down? Or have done the same with Lugo?
   14. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3883915)
If Kei wants to get out he can always tear up his contract. If he is in purgatory it is of his own making.
   15. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: July 23, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#3883916)
If Kei wants to get out he can always tear up his contract. If he is in purgatory it is of his own making.


Could he even do that? I've got to think the Players' Association would strongly object. It's kind of too bad that there's such an adversarial relationship between labor and ownership in MLB, because this is the kind of situation where some kind of compromise would be best for everyone.
   16. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#3883918)
I've got to think the Players' Association would strongly object.

Who cares? Why should Kei take a bullet for the union? The union can't actually stop Kei from tearing up his own contract.
   17. DA Baracus Posted: July 23, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#3883926)
It's kind of too bad that there's such an adversarial relationship between labor and ownership in MLB, because this is the kind of situation where some kind of compromise would be best for everyone.


Compared to all the other major sports, the MLB and MLBPA's relationship is anything but adversarial.
   18. Srul Itza Posted: July 23, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3883927)
I don't get the luxury tax thing. If that were true, why wouldn't the Red Sox have bumped Cameron off their 40-man and sent him down? Or have done the same with Lugo?


Perhaps because they were out of options, and they could only DFA them, which leaves them on the hook for salary? Just guessing.

If Kei wants to get out he can always tear up his contract. If he is in purgatory it is of his own making.


We are calling it purgatory. My guess, again, is that he is well-paid enough that it is an unusually comfortable purgatory.
   19. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: July 23, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#3883929)
I don't get the luxury tax thing. If that were true, why wouldn't the Red Sox have bumped Cameron off their 40-man and sent him down? Or have done the same with Lugo?

Once a player has a certain amount of MLB service time (something like 3-4 years, I think), you can't send him down voluntarily - he can refuse the assignment, become a free agent, and still get paid.
   20. Srul Itza Posted: July 23, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3883931)
So you're saying it was a good guess.
   21. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#3883932)
We are calling it purgatory. My guess, again, is that he is well-paid enough that it is an unusually comfortable purgatory.

I have no idea what Kei wants or how he views his current situation. I am merely stating my opinion on an "if".
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 23, 2011 at 08:48 PM (#3883937)
Who cares? Why should Kei take a bullet for the union? The union can't actually stop Kei from tearing up his own contract.

Correct, he can "retire" any time he wants, releasing the Yankees from the contract.

He could then go play in Japan, or try to catch on somewhere else next year. The Yankees certainly wouldn't object to his "un-retirement" if he was off their books.
   23.   Posted: July 23, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3883938)

Who cares? Why should Kei take a bullet for the union? The union can't actually stop Kei from tearing up his own contract.


Can't they?
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 23, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#3883940)
Can't they?

No. He can retire.
   25. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 23, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#3883947)
If Kei wants to get out he can always tear up his contract. If he is in purgatory it is of his own making.


This is an excellent point, and very revealing of his motivation. Clearly Kei doesn't want to take the risk of losing the remainder of his current contract just to be able to play MLB baseball or for the Japanese team of his choice.

If I were his agent, I'd suggest a buyout to the Yankees so that they save money after luxury tax. If they get hit for a 40% surcharge on the buyout, you would think that anything below 70% would be an interesting number to them.
   26. Darren Posted: July 23, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3883955)
If Kei wants to g
et out he can always tear up his contract. If he is in purgatory it is of his own making.


That's right. No matter how bad a job situation is, you can always quit. That's what I tell any of my friends who have any kind of problem at work. Even if they're not complaining about it but simply answering my questions. "Just quit," I always say.
   27. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 23, 2011 at 10:49 PM (#3883961)
This is a great article. One of the best parts, is that 4 years after he spent $46M to acquire Kei, Cashman has determined that he is a flyball pitcher unsuited to their ballpark.
   28. Something Other Posted: July 23, 2011 at 10:53 PM (#3883962)
Acc to BBRef, it looks like Igawa's contract is up after this season. Problem solved, no?
   29.   Posted: July 23, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#3883973)
If he retires there's no guarantee any other MLB club will sign him again -- that's all he wants, a chance to play in the MLB. He already had the option to go back to Japan and declined. Just RTFA.
   30. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2011 at 11:32 PM (#3883981)
And none of that actually disputes what I and several other people have said. Kei had no shot at being a major leaguer this year as a Yankee and hasn't had a shot at doing that since the Yankees took him off the 40 man roster back in 2008. If Kei had wanted a shot at being a major leaguer he could have at any time between then and now gone to the Yankees and worked out a deal to get out of his contract. It appears he did not do that.
   31. CFiJ Posted: July 23, 2011 at 11:33 PM (#3883982)
Is "mysterious" the new "inscrutable"?

From the sound of the article, I'd hazard that Igawa's emulating Nomo, who was always willing to play in the minors if it meant a shot at a Major League team, and never returned to NPB once he left. Nomo's stoicism was lauded quite a bit over here when he retired.
   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2011 at 11:39 PM (#3883986)
As usual, McCoy is, I believe, correct. If Igawa doesn't like his lot in life, he can simply ask the Yankees to release him from the contract, or negotiate with them to do that. The MLBPA will try to convince him not to do so, but ultimately I don't think they could stop him.

Snapper, as you note, the potential problem with "retiring" in the typical case is that a player who doesn't like his current deal or situation can't simply "retire" and get a do-over. Although in this case, as you say, I doubt the Yankees would object.

Something Other is correct as well: According to Cot's, Igawa's deal is up after this year. The Yankees "only" paid $20 million over four years to him -- but they paid another $26 million for the right to negotiate for him. Just brutal. Where did they go wrong in their scouting of him? Was Cashman on board with this? Was their decision to sign him reasonable? I don't recall people calling them idiots at the time, although perhaps people were deferring to their scouting of him.

What's odd is that he's pitched ok in the minors, from the looks of things; one might think the Yankees would call him up either to try him out again as a 5th starter or just to pitch as the last man out of the pen, even if it's just as a LOOGY. It's not like the Yankees are awash with pitching. Although just eyeballing his major and minor league numbers, the home run ball seems like it's a problem.
   33.   Posted: July 23, 2011 at 11:44 PM (#3883990)
Based on the article I get the impression that his attitude is that he was given a contract and he has to "do his best" and honor that. He's not complaining and doesn't want to quit. At the risk of sounding like I'm using a Japanese stereotype, I get the impression that he wouldn't find it ethical/honorable/whatever to quit or tear up his contract. Just my impression.
   34. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2011 at 11:50 PM (#3883995)
Does he find it ethical/honorable/whatever to suck and cost his corporation $46 million?
   35. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2011 at 11:50 PM (#3883996)
Based on the article I get the impression that his attitude is that he was given a contract and he has to "do his best" and honor that. He's not complaining and doesn't want to quit. At the risk of sounding like I'm using a Japanese stereotype, I get the impression that he wouldn't find it ethical/honorable/whatever to quit or tear up his contract. Just my impression.


None of that has anything to do with the fact that he could ask the Yankees to tear up his contract.

If he wanted to.
   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 23, 2011 at 11:53 PM (#3883999)
Ownership comes off pretty poorly. The Padres would have given him a shot, but ownership refused. They tried to trade him to japan, but only to teams of their choosing in order to get some cash.

The San Diego interest was way back in 2007, and apparently there was some reluctance to give up on the Yanks investment that quickly. It's not like the Yankees have turned down any offers lately, and what's the problem with the trades to Japan? Igawa didn't suggest that there was any concern about the teams involved, just that he preferred (beats me why) to pitch in the United States. He's only 32, so someone will probably give him a shot next season, although almost certainly that will be in Japan if he wants anything more than a make-good contract.
   37.   Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:06 AM (#3884016)


None of that has anything to do with the fact that he could ask the Yankees to tear up his contract.

If he wanted to.


Fine.

So, what is your point?
   38. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:08 AM (#3884019)
I thought I made it.
   39. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:09 AM (#3884020)
Anyway, your #33 seems internally contradictory. He "was given a contract and has to do his best to honor that," even when his employer would rather he not honor the contract?

Why don't you just call it for what it likely is: He doesn't want to give up the money. Now, I don't blame him in the slightest for that -- I'd do the same thing myself -- but there's no sense cloaking this in "honor." (It's not dishonorable either.)

Both he and the Yankees are acting in their own best interests. That is entirely normal.
   40.   Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:24 AM (#3884030)
Indeed it is.
   41. 'Spos Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:48 AM (#3884039)
“He doesn’t want to be here,” Romine said. “He’s doing what he’s told. It’s hard when someone owns you.”


Sets a good example for the bushies... don't f with ownership.
   42. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:59 AM (#3884044)
One of the best parts, is that 4 years after he spent $46M to acquire Kei, Cashman has determined that he is a flyball pitcher unsuited to their ballpark.
Didn't they sign him before NYS was built/opened?
   43. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 24, 2011 at 01:12 AM (#3884052)
Didn't they sign him before NYS was built/opened?


I was just thinking this as well. If they just build like two or three new ballparks, they might get one at which Kei could pitch.

I wonder how often he's been to NYS?
   44. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 24, 2011 at 01:23 AM (#3884058)
Trying to completely change his delivery in his first year here probably wasn't a great idea. Though his minor league performance since going back to his old delivery doesn't seem to suggest he'd have made it anyway.
   45. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 24, 2011 at 01:53 AM (#3884089)
why wouldn't the Red Sox have bumped Cameron off their 40-man and sent him down? Or have done the same with Lugo?

In addition to what was already said about veterans being able to refuse minor league assignments, you have to clear waivers to be outrighted to the minors. The Yankees got to take Igawa off their 40-man roster because the other 29 teams passed on taking his contract off their hands.
   46. Something Other Posted: July 24, 2011 at 02:11 AM (#3884110)
Does he find it ethical/honorable/whatever to suck and cost his corporation $46 million?
So you're no doubt getting ready to make the point that "his corporation", if he had turned out the be a 6 win pitcher, would of course have tipped Igawa $50m or so for the good work. As the only honorable thing to do, of course.

Given that Igawa's put up respectable numbers in AAA, and may well think of himself as a winning pitcher with good enough peripherals, why wouldn't he think of himself as a guy who's being screwed by The Man--who has given him exactly NO innings in the majors in the last three years, not even as a lousy September callup--and as a pitcher whom the organization has unaccountably taken a dislike to and who would probably succeed, given any kind of fair shot to make it in the majors?

How many of you, if you'd been bad in a mere 72 innings three-four years back, got sent down and pitched 530 innings with an ERA of 3.83, a record of 36 and 25 and a 2.5 to 1 K/BB ratio at AAA, would think to yourself, "Gee, I really suck, I should give the money back. I can't blame the Yankees for giving me no chance at all to prove myself"? I'd guess the number is, oh, zero.
   47. McCoy Posted: July 24, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3884134)
I wasn't the one who brought up the stereotype of a Japanese man caring about the honor of doing his part for his corporation.
   48. booond Posted: July 24, 2011 at 04:11 AM (#3884156)
Does he find it ethical/honorable/whatever to suck and cost his corporation $46 million?


It's not up to him to make these decisions. The Yankees are paying him to play ball. If he's doing it at the best of his abilities then the Yankees must make the decision on the next steps.
   49. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 04:27 AM (#3884164)
It's not up to him to make these decisions. The Yankees are paying him to play ball. If he's doing it at the best of his abilities then the Yankees must make the decision on the next steps.


It's like people aren't even following the discussion.
   50. booond Posted: July 24, 2011 at 04:35 AM (#3884165)
None of that has anything to do with the fact that he could ask the Yankees to tear up his contract.

If he wanted to.


Why would anyone do this?
   51. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 04:45 AM (#3884168)
Of course, the most ironic thing about the Igawa signing is that the person who scouted and recommended signing Igawa* when he was employed with the Yankees, turned around and publicly criticized them for signing Igawa after he ceased to be employed by the Yankees.

*That would be Mike Pagliarulo ... yes, that Mike Pagliarulo ...
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 05:01 AM (#3884172)
BP's 2007 comment on Igawa:

At this writing, before Igawa has pitched to even a single major league batter in an intra-squad game, it isn`t clear how good he actually is. His strikeout rates have been quite good, but he has also allowed a great many home runs, particularly in 2004 and 2005. His 2006 was far more impressive. Igawa adjusted his style last year, using his 90-MPH fastball to set up his off-speed stuff, and his walk and homer rates dropped and his strikeout rate went up. Igawa will initially benefit from his status as an unknown, but may receive a more lasting benefit from pitching in a large park in front of a major league defense. If the Yankees guessed right, they`ll have added a solid, experienced fourth starter.
   53. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 24, 2011 at 10:28 AM (#3884193)
Why would anyone do this?

For the virtuositiessness of it!!!!
   54. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:09 PM (#3884198)
It's like people aren't even following the discussion.

No, you just simply don't understand the culture that Igawa comes from. Just because all your morality and values are based around $$$, doesn't make it so for everyone else. It's entirely possible tha Igawa sees nothing wrong with taking the Yankees money, while thinking that quitting, or being disloyal, would cause him shame.
   55. OCD SS Posted: July 24, 2011 at 01:05 PM (#3884209)
No, you just simply don't understand the culture that Igawa comes from. Just because all your morality and values are based around $$$, doesn't make it so for everyone else. It's entirely possible tha Igawa sees nothing wrong with taking the Yankees money, while thinking that quitting, or being disloyal, would cause him shame.


Instead of trotting out some cliched stereotype about an entire culture based on values that come out of the middle ages, why not simply look at the specific case of Igawa. He signed with the Yankees expecting to pitch in the major leagues, settled in Manhattan, but instead is playing out in a (comparatively) dumpy minor league park. At the same time, his Yankee check is larger than he'd make anywhere else (including Japan). So he's in the position of working at a job he hates because he gets paid extremely well to do it.

Does he find it ethical/honorable/whatever to suck and cost his corporation $46 million?


That same corporation would have no problem cutting him lose, saving the money, and showing no responsibility to him or his future well being if it could. The Yankees are perfectly happy to play hardball over money when it suits them, and that isn't seen as any kind of ethical problem. They signed Igawa to a contract to play; while they hope he will play well, that isn't specified, and Igawa has lived up to the terms of the deal he signed. Just because he's not living up to the expectations of Yankee fans, that does not mean he's the one with the problem.
   56. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 24, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3884368)
I didn't know that the Japanese didn't practice a cutthroat form of capitalism.
   57. McCoy Posted: July 24, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3884391)
That same corporation would have no problem cutting him lose, saving the money, and showing no responsibility to him or his future well being if it could. The Yankees are perfectly happy to play hardball over money when it suits them, and that isn't seen as any kind of ethical problem. They signed Igawa to a contract to play; while they hope he will play well, that isn't specified, and Igawa has lived up to the terms of the deal he signed. Just because he's not living up to the expectations of Yankee fans, that does not mean he's the one with the problem.

I think you missed the point of my comment. I was mocking the Japanese stereotype that was being trotted out.
   58. Ron J Posted: July 24, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3884415)
#19 After 5 years he has to be offered his release. After 3 years he can opt to become a free agent -- generally not as good a deal since you'd expect the value to be low if you're contemplating sending a guy out.
   59. Ron J Posted: July 24, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3884420)
#24 The Yankees would retain the rights to him. The I'll retire thing has been tried in other sports. Come to that, the precedent in baseball goes back to the 1890s (possibly earlier) where a number of players "retired" in contract disputes.

I'm only about 95% confident that an arbitrator would make a similar ruling as happened in the NHL with Alexi Yashin. To be specific, that the contract is for X years of service and that you can't sit it out to get around the provisions of the contract.

He can retire and stay retired, but he can't say "I'm retired" and resume his career without working out something with the Yankees.

Now you might be correct in that the Yankees might be amenable to some form of deal. Particularly one that gives Igawa his freedom while freeing them from paying him.

And while the PA would probable suggest that he not do it, I doubt they can prevent any kind of deal of this nature.
   60. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: July 24, 2011 at 10:08 PM (#3884468)
The Mariners Had two Japanese players retire with time left on their deals, Kazuhiro Sasaki and Kenji Jojima. I believe that something went on behind the scenes in each case, almost certainly related to the Japanese majority owner of the Mariners.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 10:18 PM (#3884472)
He can retire and stay retired, but he can't say "I'm retired" and resume his career without working out something with the Yankees.

The Yankees would have been laughing with glee if he had "retired" at any point, even if he signed with SD the next day. They've been paying him $4M per year to pitch in AAA.

At this point, the money left is trivial, but if he had done this 3 years ago, they would have thrown him a going away party, and given him a free plane ticket to SD.
   62. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: July 25, 2011 at 12:41 AM (#3884494)
I wasn't the one who brought up the stereotype of a Japanese man caring about the honor of doing his part for his corporation.

You are, in fact, by equating a proposed desire to honor a contractual commitment with "doing his part for his corporation," which are two separate things.
   63. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 01:33 AM (#3884505)
Who are you and why are you telling me what I mean? You jump into this thread just to quibble with me about this one post? BTF is a crazy place.
   64. steve821 Posted: July 25, 2011 at 02:31 AM (#3884519)
This season, Igawa has been shuttled between Trenton and Scranton, frequently making just one start at Class AAA before being demoted again to Class AA.


What's this about? They just messing with him?

Anyway just an unfortunate situation. There are $20 million reasons not to feel sorry for Igawa but I still give him credit for handling his situation with class. It sounds like he has never caused a stink or even complained about it. Hopefully, he can catch on with a team with a big home ballpark next year and have a few of decent seasons in the majors.
   65. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:05 AM (#3884598)
What's this about? They just messing with him?

Could be just routine roster management. When you bring a guy up from AAA, you generally need to replace him with a guy from AA. When you option a guy down to AAA, you generally need to clear a roster spot for him. Fortunately for Igawa, Trenton and Scranton aren't that far apart.
   66. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:25 AM (#3884601)
This is a really good article.
   67. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:34 AM (#3884604)
I'm calling it here. He'll be a 2012 All-Star with Pittsburgh.
   68. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3885873)
Snapper, here's how a "retirement" situation is currently playing out in the NFL. Carson Palmer of the Bengals is trying to force the team to trade him. (I wonder if he feels Marvin Lewis sucks at coaching an offense.) Palmer has threatened to retire if they don't. Right now neither party has blinked in this game of chicken. The team refuses to comply.

Quoting now from today's ESPN story:

Palmer, who has four years left on his contract, told the team in January that he would retire if he's not traded. The Bengals have only two winning seasons in the last 20 years, one of the worst stretches of futility in league history.

Brown said the club will move on without its franchise quarterback. The Bengals plan to hold their first training camp workout Saturday in Georgetown, Ky.

"I honestly like Carson Palmer," Brown said. "He was a splendid player for us. He's a good person. I wish him well. And he is retired. That is his choice. ... I'm not expecting him to be back."

Asked why he wouldn't trade the 31-year-old Palmer and get some draft picks in return, Brown said it was a matter of principle.

"Carson signed a contract. He made a commitment. He gave his word," Brown said. "We relied on his word. We relied on his commitment. We expected him to perform here. He's going to walk away from his commitment. We aren't going to reward him for doing it."
   69. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 26, 2011 at 09:07 PM (#3885890)
NFL player contracts suck. They could cut Palmer and not pay him, right?
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 09:25 PM (#3885898)
NFL player contracts suck. They could cut Palmer and not pay him, right?


I don't know a lot about NFL player contracts or how their CBA works (then again, neither do they right now), but presumably Palmer took a lot of money up front. If so, to their way of thinking, they've already paid him a bunch, and have his rights as long as they continue to pay him more.
   71. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 26, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#3885911)
Yeah, I know, the "signing bonus" is a plus. IINM, few NFL player contracts are/were "guaranteed" fully, like MLB contracts are.
   72. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 26, 2011 at 10:27 PM (#3885930)
Just read TFA. If I were Igawa, the next time Cashman "playfully jabbed me in the arm", I think I would spike him.
   73. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 26, 2011 at 11:39 PM (#3885968)
Igawa has a mild form of Aspergers. That's why he's sticking to the contract no matter what. He's uncomfortable with change
   74. pkb33 Posted: July 27, 2011 at 12:38 AM (#3886021)
The MLBPA will try to convince him not to do so, but ultimately I don't think they could stop him.

They did with ARod, so I am afraid they can...ridiculous as that may be.
   75. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#3886027)
They did with ARod, so I am afraid they can...ridiculous as that may be.


I was under the impression that ARod caved, rather than them being able to legally prohibit him from re-working his deal to sign with Boston.

IOW he still had to agree. And I don't think Igawa would feel the same need to cave that ARod did. Nor do I think the union would have as good an argument, since Igawa's goal would be to get out of AAA, not to get out of Texas; it would be kind of silly for the union to essentially try to force one of its members to remain in AAA.
   76. Howie Menckel Posted: July 27, 2011 at 01:00 AM (#3886049)
"That was a terrific article."

Great topic, and Bill is a great writer. From there, 'terrific' is inevitable...
   77. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 27, 2011 at 01:39 AM (#3886082)
FTR, I drive faster than anybodys fastball.

I can't throw 55.

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