Three months into this difficult Cubs season, Bradley will have to really turn it on to avoid being viewed as one of the biggest free-agent busts of the year. He surely tops my roster of the ridiculously overpaid free-agent pickups thus far, what with the underperformance (five HRs, 16 RBIs, .237), indifferent play, crummy attitude, and of course the prerequisite bad contract.
Here are my best and worst free-agent signing so far. I'll list the best ones first since I'm that kind of guy.
There's no evidence that outgoing players union chief
That seems to be true of the owners, as well, who generally view Fehr and Orza as intractable zealots. But Fehr, who is said by supporters to have been paid less than the union heads of the other three major sports, did have his fans.
There's no denying Fehr and Orza did make their players a lot of loot, and that they generally served them well for two decades. A large part of Fehr's legacy is the spectacular job he did increasing player salaries, almost exactly ten-fold in fact, from a bit more than $300,000 per player when he took over in the mid '80s to more than $3 million now, and his efforts are very much appreciated by some.
"Don Fehr was not only great for players, he was great for baseball,'' agent
However, Fehr's solitary failure was a big one. He either ignored or failed to grasp the proliferation and seriousness of steroid use in the game. He and other union leaders surely wanted to protect civil liberties (and perhaps profit, if you believe their many detractors) when they should have considered the integrity of the game above all. It was a big E on the union.
Fehr and Orza mistakenly fought testing for years, then foolishly failed to do away with the list of survey failures from '03 in a timely manner. Their big defense on the leaky list is that it was subpoenaed only six days after it was compiled. But they haven't explained why the list wasn't destroyed immediately. All indications are that it was their own misguided interest in finding false positives that led them to compile and hold the list at all (had the failures been below five percent, testing would have gone away for good), which ultimately has caused 104 players to sweat out the release of the list, and two stars to already suffer irreparable harm.
From the start, Fehr failed to heed early warnings of a small group of non-steroid using players. Instead, he fought commissioner
Fehr held a conference call to discuss his decision to step down with selected writers last week upon his announcement that he'd be stepping down in nine months. But even his writing favorites couldn't get him to concede he wasn't perfect.
Asked if he had any regrets in his 26-year tenure, according to someone on the call (sorry this is second hand, but I wasn't invited on the call), Fehr said no. Later, someone tried again, and Fehr seemed to become agitated, according to the person on the call. The lesson is, if he was looking for only folks who thought he was perfect, maybe for perhaps his final conference call he should have been even more selective.
• The Marlins inquired about closing stars
• Great pickup by the Cardinals to get
• While the Dodgers, Phillies, Mets and Brewers are believed to have inquired about
• The suspicion seems to be that
• Phillies reliever
• E-mailers are correct.
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