In White Houses

Believer August 2007This week has already seen one epic contract come to life, with a second likely on its way right behind. In a world of ever more news outlets, as the new media takes hold and a seemingly endless number of voices sit in a position to weigh in with bold and strange new insights, what challenging and brilliant ideas have been foisted upon the reading world by fringe outlets that in another era would go unheard?

What’s more, when major media struggles to find new ways to engage its audience, how are they advancing the conversation on the state of the game? In a world where old-school publications fight to maintain their relevance, how are they proving their uniqueness? What can they say to differentiate themselves – to show us that we need what they have to say? Let’s watch as variety unfolds across the interhole:

“Stupid Yankees: Seven years? I’m not sure how they expect his arm to last that long.” – Rick Chandler, Deadspin, December 10, 2008

“Frankly, it seems very risky to lock yourself into a contract with [A.J. Burnett] on the back of his most recent performance. However, top-class pitching is at a premium and there’s no doubt that when he’s on the mound, [Burnett] has the stuff to dominate.” – Matt Smith, Baseball GB, December 10, 2008

“The list of nine-figure contracts given to pitchers is a short and not-so-pretty one.” – Jay Jaffe, Baseball Prospectus, December 10, 2008

“Long contracts for pitchers are always risky.” – Phil Kehres, iVoryTowerz, December 10, 2008

“Long-term contracts for pitchers are generally considered risky by baseball executives, but when deals reach the $100 million mark, teams flirt with doom.” – Anthony McCarron, New York Daily News, November 28, 2008

“Still, [such contracts] are reserved for only the most special players. Are they worth it? Sometimes yes.” – Jonah Freedman,, November 21, 2008

“And so far the results have been, by and large, favorable for these type of contracts.” – John Donovan,, November 21, 2008

“If you give a pitcher a penthouse contract for six years, the record shows you will be lucky to get four good years. Four healthy years is a stretch. You don’t have to dig through the Doug Drabek and Andy Hawkins archives. You can confine your research to today’s active pitchers, the ones who have sent more money into the wind than a Wall Street cyclone.” – Mark Whicker, The Orange County Register, November 7, 2008

“But $100 million-plus in a long-term deal is, to put it too kindly, not smart. You wonder what it will take to get baseball executives to understand that. The facts are there for anyone to see.” – John Donovan,, November 5, 2008

“Still, committing to a pitcher for eight years is risky.” – Stephen Cannela, Sports Illustrated, December 18, 2000

“What hath Jerry Reinsdorf wrought?” – Murray Chass, The New York Times, November 29, 1998

“I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell.” – David Simon, The Believer, August 2007

One thought on “In White Houses”

  1. well, what did you expect? there’s only so much you can say about giving that much money to a guy whose job it is to put his arm through the most unnatural motion available to a human being.

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