News of the Irrelevant – Royals Sign Ankiel

by on January 22, 2010   6 Comments

The game of baseball, of all of its great traditions, has one black eye worse than performance-enhancing drugs:  the worst competitive balance in all of professional sports.  There are at least twelve teams with no shot to win the World Series before pitchers and catchers even lace up their cleats.  Anything that happens with these twelve teams, including the uber-mediocre free agents they sign, is what I like to call the, “News of the Irrelevant.”

Bud Selig may fool baseball fans into believing that anyone can win in MLB, but he isn’t fooling the Vegas odds makers.  As of today, there are twelve teams going off at more than 75/1 to win the 2010 World Series – Houson, Toronto, Arizona (75/1), Baltimore, Cincinnati (100/1), Oakland, Seattle (125/1), Kansas City, Pittsburgh (150/1), and last, but irrelevantly most, San Diego, Cleveland, and Washington (200/1).  All that I can guess is the maximum is 200/1, because that’s not even close to the chance the Nationals have of a champagne shower in 2010.

Kansas City, albeit hand-cuffed by their market, made another mind-numbing signing today with outfielder Rick Ankiel, formerly of the Cardinals, formerly a pitcher.  Ankiel will get $3.25 million in 2010 with a mutual option of $6 million in 2011.  Hey, KC, this isn’t 1908, the way to add pop to your lineup isn’t by handing out millions of dollars to a guy who hit 11 home runs last year while batting .231.  For the record, Ankiel would have finished 2nd in home runs in 1908 behind the Brooklyn Superbas’ Tim Jordan, who had 12.  Ankiel will join newcomers Scott Podsednik ($500k) and Jason Kendall ($5m) on the Royals.  Let me just say this about Kendall – really, Royals?  Really?  You’re telling me your minor league system is so bad you can’t bring up someone who isn’t 35 years with two home runs per year type of power?  For less than $5 million dollars?!  Really?

In other irrelevant news, the Pirates signed reliever Octavio Dotel to a 2010 contract for $3.5 million.  Stay hot, Pittsburgh, you’ve had a top 5 draft pick for the better part of two decades and you need to go out and buy relief pitching.  Apparently, the Pirates will try Dotel in the closer’s role, which he hasn’t done since 2007.  If he gets 30 save opportunities, I’ll buy season tickets in 2011.

Author: Aimee Connors
Categories: Major League Baseball (MLB)
Tags: , , , , ,


  1. The Nationals chance of winning equates to the “Pants on the Ground” guy winning American Idol.

    Comment by Adam Boyce
    January 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

  2. I never would have guessed that the M’s would be that much of a long shot. I definitely think they’ve got a good chance at winning the AL West this year, and once you’re in the playoffs, anything can happen. Look at the Rockies in 07, who got hot at the right time and kept the hot streak going until they met the Sox in the Series.

    Comment by Matt Pennington
    January 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

  3. Dayton Moore signs Ankiel, so Omar Minaya has to one-up him by trading for Gary Matthews Jr.

    Excellent GMing, fella’s.

    Comment by Mac
    January 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm

  4. They have Cliff Lee, Flex Hernandez, and not much after that. They have Ichiro and Figgins at the top, but nobody to knock them in. The offensive production out of corner outfield, DH, and 1B will be bad – Ken Griffey, Jr., Milton Bradley, Casey Kotchman, and Franklin Guiterrez. Only Jose Lopez had more than 76 RBI on their team last year, and it will be more of the same this year, too. They got better, but so did the Angels and Rangers. They still finish third.

    Comment by Jason Wuerfel
    January 22, 2010 at 11:30 pm

  5. I’ve gotta disagree with you there. In the right situation, Bradly can be effective. Adding Cliff Lee and Chone Figgins is a significant upgrade, plus they just locked up one of the best defensive SS’s in the league for a few more years. LA lost Lackey, Figgins, and Vlad while only adding an aging DH and overvalued Fernando Rodney. I think Seattle’s chances to take the division just got a whole lot better.

    Comment by Matt Pennington
    January 27, 2010 at 1:38 am

  6. I agree that Seattle will be improved, but so will Texas, and the Angels are still better. Bradley will implode, he has done it every season, and the Halos still have a better overall starting rotation (no one with more than 15 starts or 100 IP last year other than King Felix) – you know your pitching staff stinks when your ace goes 200+ IP and wins 19 games and the next closest has 7 wins and he is a reliever which more than likely vultured his wins from starters by giving up runs and getting rewarded by the offense. The Angels have a better bullpen (Fuentes/Rodney > Aardsma/Lowe), better LF (Rivera > Bradley), better CF (Hunter > Guiterez), better DH (Matsui > Griffey), better SS (Aybar > Wilson, who is not in the top 30 in VORP), better first basemen (Morales >>> Kotchman), and better catcher (Napoli >Johnson). The only advantage that the M’s have is their RF/2B production and Abreu is only a few spots below Ichiro in VORP, and Ichiro played in a career low 145 games last year and SB numbers continue to decrease with age. Believe it or not Maicer Izturis actually had a better VORP than Felipe Lopez and Howie Kendrick was just a couple spots behind, but I will concede that Lopez is much better.

    Interesting note of interest is I got to catch Mark Lowe on the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the Northwoods League back in 2002 when I was going to be a senior at Michigan and he was at UT – San Antonio.

    Comment by Jason Wuerfel
    January 27, 2010 at 8:56 am

Leave a comment