Thursday, July 17, 2008

You're not gonna believe this, but . . .



Mike Hampton left his minor-league rehabilitation start with Class AA Mississippi on Wednesday night after only two innings, having tweaked his groin. "He didn't want to take any chances with it," said Nick Skinner, PR director for the Mississippi Braves. "He said his arm felt great."

I do hope no one was suffering from the delusion that Hampton was actually going to pitch for the Braves again.

7 comments:

Ernesto said...

Has there ever been a worse contract in MLB history? Albert Belle? Kevin Brown? Any other contenders?

hermitfool said...

I gotta vote for Barry Zito. Hampton pitched decently for a while before he blew up. Any bets on whether Zito is starting for San Farancisco during the last year of his contract?

Dre said...

Russ Ortiz

Dre said...

Eric Byrnes

hermitfool said...

Oh, man, how could I have forgotten Andruw Jones? I'm not good at math, but I'll bet the Dodger front office is getting a huge kick out of dividing Andruw's salary by his hits. They'd get a way more comforting number if they figured out how much they were paying him per strike out.

Peter said...

Gotta defend Albert Belle here...I don't think he belongs anywhere near the "worst contract ever" conversation.

First, 5 years/$65 million for a hitter of his caliber (HoF peak) looks like a bargain basement deal these days.

Second, in the '98-'99 offseason (when the deal was signed) teams were generally still able to insure deals, so I don't think the Orioles had to pay him out of pocket the final three years (after his career-ending injury).

Third, while I suppose it's a matter of how you define "worst", I think you have to take into account the extent to which injury was forseeable. Belle was a 31 year old outfielder who had played in about every game for the past seven seasons (153-163 in non-strike years from 1993-1998, 106 in 1994, and 143 in 1995). So it doesn't seem like handing the guy a 5-year deal was especially reckless.

FWIW, I couldn't believe (and still can't believe) that people called Manny Ramirez's contract the worst ever.

I'd have to say that Zito and Hampton are the top contenders. Giving a pitcher a 7-year deal is incredibly risky to begin with, and not only is Zito terrible, but all of the warning signs were there. Hampton had two great years before his big contract, but even then his K:BB ratio was not good and, especially when you consider that his contract was signed six years before Zito's, the length and amount of money was incredibly risky.

One to keep an eye on is Torii Hunter's $90M deal with the Angels. He's barely an above average hitter anymore and his defense isn't what it used to be. Certainly his contract can't be considered with the worst ever right now, but the potential is there -- the Angels could conceivably be looking at an $18M/year bench player (in terms of caliber) from 2010-2012, and it's not like they couldn't have seen it coming.

hermitfool said...

Is it too late to add Carl Pavano?