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Grant's tomb: The rites of spring

March 02, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

Oh no, not this again.

One day after appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, venerable Red Sox shortstop and all-around good guy Nomar Garciaparra wakes up with a bum wrist. Why can't those SI guys just leave us alone?

First it was Pedro Martinez on the cover and the bold prediction that the team from Beantown would win the World Series last year. That ended quite well, didn't it? Yes, a second- place, no-playoffs culmination to a season that was more interesting off the field than on. And now they do this! Why oh why do they have to keep picking on me?

I guess I shouldn't complain too loudly. At least baseball season is back. There is nothing quite as exhilarating as the beginning of March. The teams have all been at camp for over a week, plenty of guys have complained about the minuscule amounts of money they make and games are finally being played.


Of course there are the yearly problems for the Red Sox, but I will choose to ignore those for now. For while one of my best friends and fellow member of the Red Sox nation is somewhere in Florida watching the boys prepare to make another run at the Yankees, I am stuck here, buried in this silly Tomb.

So I will not discuss my beloved team. It's going to be hard though. Every discussion I ever have had about baseball always ends up coming back to the Red Sox.

But isn't it more interesting to talk about Frank Thomas and Gary Sheffield. Yes, these two pitifully paid all-stars are already in mid-July form. Of course, I'm not talking about what they're doing on the field. No, I'm talking about what they're doing off it. Their mouths are already running like they're fading superstars on sub-500 teams with the trading deadline approaching.

Gary wants a trade. Frank wants more money. I'd like a villa in Italy and an Audi TT roadster. I guess two of us will probably get what we want. Man, it sure sucks to be the guy who can't hit the fastball.

Seriously though, I feel for Frank and Gary. I mean, they already have more money than they'll ever be able to spend, but does that really mean they don't need more? Hell no! These guys know in their hearts they are two of the best players in baseball. Of course they need their bank accounts to display this fact as well. That's really all they ask. They just want to be paid as much as all the other guys who surely would demand to be paid as much as them if they were being paid less. Did you follow that? Neither did I.

At least Pedro Martinez doesn't feel underpaid. (You see, I told you it always came back to the Red Sox.) If the greatest player in the game is happy to make $10 million a year less than Alex Rodriguez, then why are you complaining, Frank and Gary? Perhaps the whine is all you have left. Maybe the Dodgers and White Sox should provide their fans with all of the complimentary cheese they can stomach.

As it is obvious to see I have become a bit bothered by all this whining so I will now take a minute to solve all these guy's problems.

Let's just pay everyone $100 million a year in deferred payments and let them take home $10 million of that. The rest will be deferred over the next 1000 years.

Sure, none of these guys would ever see all of this money, but they don't really need all of it anyway. And then they'd all be happy.

Everyone who has the ability to hit or throw that little white ball would make $100 million a year. No more, no less. Everyone is equally overpaid.

I think maybe that should be written into baseball's next collective bargaining agreement. It would only be fair.

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