photo by Samara Pearlstein
Nate Robertson, 3 years, $21.25 million. Those are the facts.
The news is so exciting that Nate can’t contain himself, or his words:
“There’s just a lot of great things happening right now,” said Robertson, whose wife Kristin is expecting their first child next month. “We’re driving here today to the ballpark, and it hasn’t really hit me. You talk about this Kansas boy from a small town. We went out and cut firewood for a living when I was a kid. Now I’m playing baseball and signing a contract. I always thought that things happen for a reason.”
1. His wife is gonna have a baby.
2. He’s from Kansas.
3. He cut firewood for a living as a kid (?).
4. Now he plays baseball.
5. He signed a contract.
6. Things happen for reasons.
Are these things related, or is Nate so overcome by the generosity of this deal that he’s been reduced to communicating via unconnected sentences? I suspect the latter. Seriously, was the wood chopping of his tender years supposed to somehow be the reason why he’s signing a contract with the Detroit Tigers today? ‘Cause, I’ll be honest, that’s a line of reasoning that I completely missed out on.
I do always love it when these guys talk about this stuff happening for a Reason. Yeah, you’re gonna have a baby because you impregnated your wife. You’re signing a contract because you pitched well enough to make your team think it was worth their while. REASONS. THINGS HAVE THEM. I never knew until baseball players started telling me.
Anyways. I’m not exactly peeing my pants in sheer glee over this signing, but I’m also not peeing myself in despair. In fact, I’m not peeing myself at all, so on the whole I think this situation comes out on the positive side of things. Nate will be in his early 30s when this contract runs out, which isn’t bad at all, even if that does make him second in command only to Kenny Rogers when it comes to old folks on the starting pitching staff. He’s not made of rubber or anything, but he also isn’t Mark-Prior-brittle, so it’s not an unsafe contract bet.
Is he a spectacular pitcher? No, not really. He’s a real good, solid 5 starter, maybe 4 if he gets in a good streak and can bribe the batters to get himself some run support. But hey: everyone needs one of those. So the Tigers decided to lock him up for the time being. It’s not like pitching of any description is going cheap this winter.
Rotoworld complains about his increased tendency to be a flyball pitcher. Yeah, maybe. I don’t like the implications (that he’s leaving his ball up more, that his spin is decreased, whatever), but our home games are in Comerica Park; if you can’t be a flyball pitcher here, you can’t be any kind of pitcher anywhere.
Generally speaking, this just doesn’t seem like a bad move to me.
And heck, if he keeps the gum thing up, we may have got ourselves a real bargain here, kids and kittens.
The other news: The River Thames signed a one-year contract. There’s Jacque Jones’ platoon, and there go any hopes of Brandon Inge slotting in at that position. I’ve always been somewhat fond of The River and wished he would get more of a chance. Maybe this will be the year, and he’ll hit 500 homeruns and we can all nod knowingly to each other like we totally saw it coming.
In yet other news: oh holy cats. Thanks a LOT, Detroit News. Jim Leyland is “concerned” about the prospect of Vance Wilson being ready for Spring Training and beyond, i.e. ALL MY CATCHING FEARS COME TO LIFE. Now would be a GREAT time for Brandon Inge to swallow his pride and figure out why he can’t hold a bat right-side up when he’s catching instead of playing third. Ball’s in your court, Inge.