Did JD Drew get $70 million (over five years)? Are we talking about the same JD Drew?

The JD Drew I know has played more than 110 games in a season four times and less than 110 games in a season four times. The JD Drew I know reached 100 RBIs exactly once, this year. He has hit over 20 HRs twice in eight seasons. Hey, maybe those compound numbers per season are tough for Drew, because he rarely finishes a season. But he rarely finishes a season. If Tony LaRussa thought Boston would eat Edgar Renteria alive, what would he say about JD “Nancy” Drew?

Let’s take a look at the annual salaries of some recent mid-relief free agent signings in baseball:

Danys Baez: $6.33 million annually, three years

Justin Speier: $4.5 million a year, four years

Jamie Walker: $4 million a year, three years

Mike Stanton: $2.75 million a year, two years

My God. Didn’t Mike Stanton’s arm fall off two years ago? Isn’t Danys Baez, like, bad? Here are some more irritating free agent signings:

Alfonso Soriano: $17 million a year, eight years

Carlos Lee: $16.66 million annually, six years

Jason Schmidt: $15.66 million a year, three years

Vicente Padilla: $11.33 million annually, three years

Gary Matthews Jr.: $10 million a year, five years

Ted Lilly: $10 million a year, four years

Juan Pierre: $8.8 million a year, five years

Moises Alou: $8.5 million annually, one year

Adam Eaton: $8.17 million a year, three years

Bengie Molina: $5.33 million annually, three years

Alex Gonzalez: $4.66 million annually, three years

Eight years for Soriano, taking him into his 39-year-old season? That’s crazy. Six years for Lee, who is also on the senior 30 team and doesn’t do much more than hit home runs and eat donuts. Wasn’t Schmidt’s arm hanging by a thread a couple of years ago, and hasn’t he lost dangerous speed on his fastball? Padilla, Matthews and Eaton, all former Rangers teammates, are simply unexplainable. It must be the Arlington water. The Phillies know that Eaton has a 54-45 career win-loss record from him, a career ERA (mainly in the NL) of 4.40 and a career WHIP of 1.36, right? And Padilla might have some good stuff, but his ERA-plus (which is park-adjusted, where 100 is an average score, and the higher the better) has been 96, 96 and 104 over the past three years. Matthews capitalized on a good year at Fort Knox. Three years for Bengie Molina? 10 million dollars for Ted Damn Lilly?

I don’t even want to dream about what Gil Meche will achieve. Oh good. Guess there’s no collusion this year.

What do you think of NFL Network’s coverage of regular season games? Have you been able to find NFL Network? Does Bryant Gumbel need an earlier wake-up call on game days? Do you think the NFL is making a mistake by keeping so many millions of people from watching?

BoDog Bookmakers, BoDog.ws: You only need to check the forums on the NFL Network or Google “NFL Network” to see that people aren’t totally satisfied with the new coverage or the new play-by-play player. For now, we’ll ignore the fact that Gumbel recently spent half the day cooking turkey on The Martha Stewart Show. We could go on and on about his closet brimming with Emmys, his 15 years as host of the Today Show, and his work on CBS and HBO, but NFL play-by-play coverage isn’t in the same ballpark as discussing fall fashion tips. with Katie Couric. The fans who turned off the sound last Thursday to listen to Enberg on the radio may be an indication of her success. The rumor so far has been that this is a bug. The NFL may have to consider how big the error really is. The league obviously wants the Network to be in as many homes as possible, and like any growing network, on cable or broadcast, it’s using the exclusive rights to the game as leverage; in other words, playing hardball with football fans.

I remember in this space we decided that the national championship game would definitely include USC or Michigan. Oops. What is your opinion on the Florida/Michigan controversy? Do you honestly think Florida is better than Michigan?

BDB, BoDog.ws: Doug Flutie said it best: Michigan deserved the opportunity. Their only loss was to Ohio State on the road by three points! All of his other victories, including the victory against the then number 2 Notre Dame team, were decisive. Florida lost to Auburn and had a pair of wins against teams like South Carolina and Tennessee. Honestly, I don’t think Florida is any better than Michigan; If Michigan had had a chance to prove itself again on the last Saturday of the year, the spotlight on Florida’s hyped win over Arkansas might have faded in time to give them the job.

In addition to the five great bowling games, can you give us two or three other college bowls that you think will be particularly great to watch or bet on?

BDB, BoDog.ws: The Hawaii Bowl should be exciting to watch, with the No. 1 offense in the NCAA playing at home. The state of Arizona may present some kind of fight against the spread. After UCLA’s big upset over USC, punters will love the temptation to back the Bruins against Florida State in the Emerald Bowl. This game opened at -4.5 in favor of UCLA, which could make for a lot of action in recent spoilers.

What do you think has been the best transaction of the baseball offseason so far? How about the worst?

BDB, BoDog.ws: That really hasn’t been determined yet with the rumors currently brewing. So far, the best has to be that the Cubs have signed Soriano to an eight-year deal in the Windy City. He cost them, but his numbers speak for themselves. The worst has to be Maddux bilking the Padres out of $10 million, unless there’s an extended option as pitching coach; he could start work early. The riskiest so far is the Red Sox’s charity effort in Matsuzaka.


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