Marlins' finances obviously stronger than their memory
Ah, the good old days of 2007, back when ballplayers did honest work for honest pay.
The Mariners signed Ichiro to a five-year, $90 million contract extension. And Marlins president David Samson, speaking on Dan Le Batard's radio show in Miami, went apoplectic.
Samson said the contract would "take the sport down," declaring that it would "end the world as we know it."
Well, the contract didn't take the sport down. Nor will the Marlins' $325 million commitment to Giancarlo Stanton. That deal is worth more than 3 1/2 imes more than Ichiro's and is drawing similar -- if somewhat less hyperbolic -- criticism within the industry.
But back to Samson's rant, which was one for the ages.
"It's a joke. It's inexcusable. It's complete mismanagement. It can't be true," Samson said of Ichiro's deal, pointing out that it would start when the player was 34.
"I am speechless by that contract. I'm hoping that report is false, because there's no chance a top-of-the-lineup guy -- forget that, anybody -- is worth that much. And Ichiro, who's led his team to zero, nothing?"
Bill Bavasi, then the Mariners' general manager, responded, "My mother always taught me that if the only thing you have to say is, '---- Dave Samson,' then don't say anything at all. So, I'm not going to say anything at all. Is my mother the greatest or what?"
Ichiro actually performed quite well during his five-year deal, batting .306 with a .738 OPS, stealing 180 bases in 216 attempts and appearing in 793 of a possible 810 games. The Mariners traded him to the Yankees on July 23, 2012, with a little more than two months left on his contract.
Complete mismanagement? Hardly. And now the story comes full circle.
On Wednesday, Samson will be part of the Marlins' front office making the official announcement on Stanton's deal.
It's the end of the world as we know it. Again.