Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Fat Guys & Jheri Curls

Well, it's almost official, Pedro Martinez got the fourth year he was looking for and the Mets got a 33-year old pitcher with a history of arm trouble and the inability to throw effectively after 100 pitches. Honestly, I'm happy for Pedro because he wanted a 4-yr. contract and even though he's playing in New York, it's not for the Yankees. I do have a couple of questions though.

First, is it worth one year and $10 million to Pedro to go from a city that gave him every benefit of the doubt and a team that's looking to repeat, to a city that categorically despises him and a team that can kindly be described as the New York Giants of baseball? Second, what's the difference between $40 and $50 million in the Dominican Republic, Pedro's offseason home -- or what's the difference between $40 and $50 million in the U.S. (my permanent home)? I mean
seriously, unless Pedro plans on building an MC Hammer palace, what the hell is he going to do with the extra cash?

This leads me to a couple of thoughts. First, I vaguely remember Hammer having some pretty ostentatious stuff after "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em" hit it big, but I had no idea how out of control it got. Anyway, I came across this little nugget (on an astrology website oddly enough):
Hammer's 1990 album "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em" sold 25 million copies and in 1991 he earned a staggering $33 million. Wearing outrageous balloon pants, bare chest and gold chains, he blew his cash with abandon, going from rags-to-riches-to rags again. He built a $10 million mansion in California with two bowling alleys and an indoor basketball court. He bought 17 cars, including a sleek Lamborghini and a Range Rover, had his own private jet and hosted wild week-long bashes in the world's top hotels. He was one of the richest rap stars in the world until he squandered millions with the high life and ended up in bankruptcy court in 1996, owing some $13.7 million. After topping the charts, he'd hit the bottom, no longer able to afford a $12 million mansion with 17 luxury cars and a $1 million payroll monthly to some 250 folks in his venue.

Ugh. This is almost too embarrassing to post. Almost.

Um, note to self, don't buy 17 cars at one time and "avoid the week-long bashes at the world's top hotels." I've often wondered if I could burn through $33 million, and I'm guessing wearing balloon pants makes it a lot easier. I mean really, once you're wearing balloon pants, does it really matter what you do after that (which I suppose would help explain the bare chest and gold chains)?

Oh yeah, I had a second point and it's this: if Pedro is planning to use the extra $10 million to build schools or hospitals in the Dominican Republic, then all bets are off -- good for him. Otherwise, I'm not sure he made the right decision by signing with the Mets (of course no one ever offered me $10 million -- or $10 -- so I have about as much credibility on this as Jason Giambi does at grand jury investigation of steriod abuse in professional sports). But you don't have to believe me, just ask Tom Glavine.

Which in a roundabout way leads me to the Red Sox most recent acquisition, David Wells. Not only is Wells half way to being an octogenarian, but I think for his age, height and weight, he's clinically obese (when I initially wrote this, I was kidding, but after looking it up, I was right -- Wells is listed as 6'4", 248 lbs, which according to this website makes him, um, let's see, I think the medical term is really fat; of course if you put in Casey Hampton's vitals, your computer will actually blow up).

Seriously, I think David Wells is a solid pickup. First, you know what you're getting with this guy: one, he likes to drink beer and eat donuts; two, he'll throw a lot of innings and throw even more strikes. And the thing is, I'm guessing he'll be less of a headache for Terry Francona in the clubhouse than Pedro was. And I trust whatever Theo decides to do because the Yankees (much like the Redskins) make it an offseason ritual to spend like MC Hammer in balloon pants in the hopes that something sticks -- and since 2000 they're 0 for 4. Continued success.