"Go to hell, gringos!"
Hugo Chavez not only trash talks when it comes to baseball, he talks trash to the planet's last super power.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told US officials to "Go to hell, gringos!" and called US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "missy" on his weekly radio and TV show, lashing out at Washington for what he called unacceptable meddling in Venezuelan affairs.
The dude is one crazy son of bitch, but he provides literally hours and hours of entertainment. They need to get his TV show on in the US. It would be the hottest new comedy show.
Nine months pregnant and married to a fervent Bears fan with tickets to Sunday's NFC Championship game, Colleen Pavelka didn't want to risk going into labor during the game against the New Orleans Saints.
Due to give birth on Monday, Pavelka's doctor told her Friday she could induce labor early. She opted for the Friday delivery.
"I thought, how could [Mark] miss this one opportunity that he might never have again in his life?" said Pavelka, 28, from the southwestern Chicago suburb of Homer Glen.
I just shed a tear.
On the surface that would seem to suggest the Mets are saying "we still want to see more" before committing themselves for another couple of years to Randolph. But putting aside the fact that in his first two years as a manager Randolph has taken a 71-91 Mets club to 83-79 in '05 and 97-65 and one game from the World Series last season while instilling a no-nonsense, play-hard-every-day culture, what kind of money are we really talking about here?
Randolph pitched in, but signing Beltran, Pedro, Wagner, trading for Delgado, trading for LoDuca, trading for Sanchez, lowering Heilman's arm slot, and having Wright and Reyes blossom had nothing to do with it? It's the aggregate of all the parts that led to the Mets improvement with Omar as the mastermind. For reference, Omar signed a five year deal through 2009 season worth about $4 million, which is approximately $800,000 a year. Let that one sink in. Willie is making $700,000 and people are whining. Omar is making $800,000 and no one is crying. Yes, Omar has more years left, but wouldn't one have to assume if Willie is underpaid, Omar is certainly underpaid.
At least Omar was a GM prior to his job with the Mets and and assistant GM prior to that. He's been plying his trade for while. Willie was a bench coach for one year and was known as windmill-Willie prior to that. In the end though, how underpaid is he?
Joe Torre, NYY $7.5 million
Lou Piniella, CHC $3.5 million
Bobby Cox, ATL $3 million
Tony La Russa, STL $2.8 million
Mike Scioscia, LAA $2 million
Jim Leyland, DET $2 million
Bruce Bochy, SF $1.75 million
Terry Francona, BOS $1.65 million
Phil Garner, HOU $1.5 million
Mike Hargrove, SEA $1.3 million
Ron Gardenhire, MIN $1.25 million
Ozzie Guillen, CHW $1.1 million
Eric Wedge, CLE $1.025 million
Jim Tracy, PIT $1 million
Bob Melvin, ARI $875,000
Buddy Bell, KC $825,000
Ned Yost, MIL $825,000
Clint Hurdle, COL $800,000
Charlie Manuel, PHI $800,000
Willie Randolph, NYM $700,000
It's clear that Willie is getting underpaid, but not by much. The rumblings were that Omar wanted to give Willie $1,000,000 a year or so. You know what? That's fair. I'm not of the mind that you deserve more because you coach the Mets vs. the Twins because the Mets have more money. Yes, the Mets can spend more if they need something because they have deeper pockets, but that doesn't mean everyone enjoys the 25% bonus pay just for being a Met. Fuck that shit.
There are certainly names in the top ten that stick out like a sore thumb, but overall, the top fifteen have predominantly the best of the best. I see guys like Jim Tracy and Ron Gardenhire in the $1 to $1.25 range and I see good managers getting paid well. Should Willie make more than them? Probably not. I value Willie at approximately that price for a moderate number of years. With all the success Gardenhire has had with the Twins, how much is he getting paid? A lot, but not enough to satisfy Willie as it seems.
It is hard for us casual fans to say what managers deserve. It is hard to quantify what they bring to a team versus a pitcher or a position player, but judging by what some of the cream of the crop is getting paid, Willie is not too far off what he should be getting. I'm not the biggest Willie fan so I might not be as objective as a responsible disseminator of information should be, but I think I'm being fair here. Willie is not a $2 million manager or a $1.5 million manager. $1.25 million is the ceiling with $1 million more of an ideal figure. He can get some escalators for playoffs or World Series appearances, but I hardly think in his short time as a manager he has earned top flight billing as a manager. Only six managers are $2 million dollar managers, seven if you count Lou Pinella. Willie is light years away from being held in the same regard as those guys.
Hey there,” the woman shouted. “Who are you?”
Mr. Met froze on a balcony above the street. Usually, he does not leave New York and therefore does not require an introduction. But in New Orleans, a city known for its costume parties, he just looked like some guy who decided to dress up as a baseball.
Eager to make the woman’s acquaintance, Mr. Met tossed her a string of beads from the balcony, keeping with local tradition.
Oh, right...tradition...we all know the series of events that occur down in the Big Easy. What other big league mascot is out getting girls to flash for beads?
Minaya trusts his youngsters and does well in terms of identifying premium talent and filling holes on the roster. He's also made the Mets the destination for Latin talent. Let's also not forget the solid work he did under impossible circumstances with Montreal.
I'm glad he brought up what Omar did in Montreal as he often gets maligned for his moves while up there. People forget he had little to work with and took over a team with literally no future.