Returning to the meeting room, I found it difficult to focus on preparations for the local elections in my part of Leamington, which is in any case pretty much LibDem Central. I spent the rest of the time working out how this affects the Phillies luxury tax threshold and speculating about the future of Sox closer Kimbrel.
The deal with Harper is the biggest single guaranteed contract in baseball.
And not merely in baseball. It is the biggest deal in American sports history. In technical terms, it is a shedload of dosh. More even than the previous records – cash and duration - held (briefly) by Stanton at the Yankees and Machado at the Padres.
Is Harper worth it?
Nah. No-one is. Not even a generational talent like Harper.
But that won’t matter to Phillies fans if they win the title. It will, however, matter to Phillies fans if Harper doesn’t do the business. There are one or two Sox players who can tell you what happens to you reputation when a huge contract coincides with diminishing stats. (Where are you now, Carl Crawford?)
It’s going to be tough. Can one guy make all the difference to a team that was under .500 last year?
He’s got 19 games against the club he has grown up with. He’s got the Mets 19 times. And in August, he’s got a couple of games against the Sox. (We get Machado and the Padres immediately after!)
But he knows the National League East well and he’s walking into a hitter’s park (though for lefties not so much) - and they are already talking about Trout next year.
It’s all talk, of course, with about as much substance as the rumours that he had turned down Philly and was heading for LA. Only the Dodgers fans believed that.
And it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference one way or the other to the Red Sox Nation. Philly won’t go for Kimbrel now unless he drops his demands to a year, in which case he might as well stay with us. If we still want him and maybe we don’t.
My response to the whole saga is, I’m afraid, dismissive:
“Hey, it's no big deal!”
RIP Nick Cafardo
and thanks for the lift.
Today from the everysmith vaults: I was alerted by the excellent Roy Kelly to an article in the New York Times about the Dead and Dark Star, which included a 12 Greatest Dark Stars listing. My need for displacement activity prompted the compilation of my own list, which features (to date) the 20 Greatest. Currently playing is 1970-02-14 at Fillmore East, which eases into St Stephen and The Eleven. So maybe 21 Greatest. 110 to go.