Purgatory Online

Friday, August 15, 2003

The Orange County Register is reporting that Glaus has a torn right rotator cuff and frayed right labrum, meaning that in all probability he's done for the year. Both he and Erstad should have whatever surgery they need as soon as possible, to ensure that they'll be healthy in time to start spring training next year.

And yes, for those of you who are wondering, I did see Rob Neyer's not terribly bright column blaming the Angels' woes this season on Darin Erstad. Or, actually, not quite; what he says is "...if you want to pinoint just one problem, it's obvious: Darin Erstad."

Now, Neyer has had a stick up his ass about Erstad for as long as I can remember, so it doesn't surprise me that he'd say something bad about him. What does surprise me - and it seems like Neyer's been doing this kind of thing a lot lately - is the sheer lack of sophistication on display. Looking at the Angels' season, why on God's green Earth would you pinpoint "just one problem?" There have been more than enough problems to account for a disappointing year, regardless of who was playing center field. Saying that Erstad is "the most to blame" is like saying that a guy who's been shot seventeen times actually died when he was hit by bullet number two. How is this Tinkertoy analysis worth a national audience?

And let's not forget that it's not Darin Erstad's performance in the field that's hurting the Angels - or, at least, not very much - because he hasn't actually been playing all that much. Assuming he doesn't return, he'll have finished the year with 258 ABs in 67 games. So here we have Rob Neyer taking the curious position that a team good enough to win the World Series became a subpar club largely due to a guy who didn't even play half of their games. How is that possible? Oh, it's his contract that's hurting the Angels, because they're paying him eight million a year and now can't afford to improve. But didn't this team just deliberately eat $15 million rather than keep Kevin Appier on the roster? Why, yes, Rob. They did do that. So maybe affordability isn't the question.

The cherry on top of the stupidity sundae, however, is this:
Maybe the Angels had to spend $32 million for the two-and-a-half months of Darin Erstad that helped them win the World Series.

But that seems to me like one hell of a price to pay.

Got that? Neyer thinks that if one concedes that the Angels had to pay Erstad that money in order to win the World Series, even so it's still too high a price!. $32 million over four years? For a World Series? Go ask George Steinbrenner if that's too much to pay, Rob. Or any other owner, for that matter.