Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Carl Pavano - a gamble worth taking

My Yankee-fan co-workers will be laughing in the morning.

In fact I'm certain they are laughing right now, but I'm not within earshot at the moment so I can't hear them.

They are laughing because, while they signed CC Sabathia (just for starters), the Indians have inked a deal with Carl Pavano to help fill out their rotation.

Yankee fans HATE Pavano. And now the lowly Cleveland Indians - one of baseball's many Bob Cratchit's (I know the seasonal reference is a little late but it is still Three Kings Day after all) - have had to go panhandling and came up with the despised Pavano.

His crime?

He signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the Yankees and then had the audacity to get injured - several times - and pitch virtually not at all over the four-year period.

He was a big mistake, a big Yankee mistake, and so it all goes on him, not Yankee management.

Typical Yankee-fan stuff.

Well, now he's ours and Yankee fans can laugh all they want as they plunk down $375 for a seat 20 rows behind third base at the new Yankee Stadium.

They'll tell me how smart their organization is because they identified the two best pitchers and the best hitter on the market and threw wads of money at them. Such genius.

While my Yankee-fan friends are laughing, I'll be smiling to myself.

At least I follow a team that will have earned (by smarts and talent, not money spent) any success they have.

The Indians' front office identified its greatest need - the back end of a bullpen - and threw what money it had in that direction, signing Kerry Wood and trading for Joe Smith.

They got one of the better infielders available (Mark DeRosa) for prospects that would not impact this year's roster.

And then they went to the scrap heap to find someone for the rotation and just may have found someone useful in Pavano.

I am under no illusion that Pavano is a sure thing, or anything close to it. But I do remember myself thinking late last season - as Pavano was coming back from his latest injury and tossed a few games for the Yanks - that he would not be welcomed back in NY, and that he should be someone Cleveland should at least look at.

When it became clear that, with no more money to spend, the Tribe would either have to trade Kelly Shoppach or go to the thrift store for another starter, I began to think once again that Pavano would be worth a look on an incentive-laden deal.

And so, they have taken the gamble. But it's a small gamble and the only kind the Tribe can afford to take.

And that is what my laughing Yankee-fan friends don't get - that for most of us, we just can't buy our way to the top.


Anonymous said...

good to see the tribe fan is back -thought maybe he was going on a leave of absece. will Pavado be a kevin millwood or a jason johnson
Since this is apay by performance and the risk is small. Can't blame the guy for trying

this is moose I forgot my google password

Anonymous said...

wood is injured already - is this the beginning of the end