Mariners at Angels, 9/21
One of the more interesting and laughable assertions of the last couple of years ties into this game: the Orioles, who before the 2000 season turned down Aaron Sele at the last minute, probably at the direct request of Peter Angelos, skipped out on a three-year deal. Sele, as you know, signed with the M’s for two years, where he did okay — a pretty good pickup for the money, I’d say. Then he went to the Angels, where he’s been bad and had shoulder surgery late in the 2002 season.
The Orioles, who’ve suffered through no GM, more than one GM, and general confused leadership, have tried to spin the story that they turned down the deal not because they thought it was too long, or too expensive, or whatever the reason was, but because they say, in the results of his physical, clear signs that he would break down in three years, so they decided not to sign the deal.
This is obvious balderdash. Even the best doctors, the Yokums and the Andrews (Andrewses? Andrewii?), look at photos of pitcher’s arms and have trouble telling if a guy like Rafael Soriano is injured right then. Given the same photos of a pitcher’s shoulder, different specialists will come to entirely different conclusions (smart teams look at this and figure out who’s right more often) about what’s going on right then. Team physicians and players often waffle over whether or not a player should have surgery or rehab right then, based on all available evidence.
To think that anyone could look at pitcures of Sele’s arm after the 1999 season and say “well, it’s frayed, but not badly, and at the current rate of decline he should start to lose effectiveness… 2002. Yup. Why, were you thinking of giving him a three-year deal?” is… well, I don’t fault them for floating it, but at least tone the lie back: “We thought there might be an injury risk, and it was serious enough that we backed off.”
That they have to go for the gold ring of prescience by pretending they knew he’d have two good years — and how do you even know any pitcher’s going to have a good year, much less two? — and then get injured… it’s wacky. It’s like shooting for the big lie and then hoping people give you credit for 50% of it.
Which reminds me: I don’t think I’ve mentioned lately that I invented the taco. It’s true. All by myself. Think of me the next time you enjoy one. Also, widescreen movies, that was me too.