I was reading through the comments on this diary over the Rev's site, and it brought up a few more thoughts:
acuda27: If Matthews is CUT then what?
First answer: I open one of those bottles of Chimay that I've been saving for a special occasion.
Seriously, and let me be clear about this, I would prefer to see HGHMJ released before the start of the season, even if it means spending Arte's $50MM while HGHMJ goes somewhere else for the league minimum. I don't think he's very good, and I think there's a good chance his one good season was the result of certain enhancements. I also don't think the distraction is good for the team.
I would rather start the season with Reggie Willits and his 11 walks in 56 career plate appearances in center.
Let's compare the two. Matthews brings more power to the table (in terms of slugging - I'm including doubles as part of the power package), as well as a better batting average. It's likely that one of those was the result of certain pharmaceuticals, while the other is notoriously unreliable, especially when the average that landed him this contract was 50 points higher than his career average, and done in a hitters park. Some will argue he brings gold glove caliber defense. Some are stupid. For "gold glove caliber" defense, look no further than Steve Finley.
Willits, aside from being better than HGHMJ defensively, is not going to hit home runs. But he's also not going to make a ton of outs, he's going to get on base a lot. He's not going to strike out a lot. And he's got the potential to steal a lot of bases.
To put it bluntly, the Los Angeles Angels would be a better team, regardless of the money involved, if Reggie Willits was starting in center field than they would be with HGHMJ starting in center field.
The funny thing is, I've never been a big anti-steroid guy. I've never hated Barry Bonds like a lot of other people. And my feeling has always been that if a guy got a substance legally, and it wasn't against the rules of baseball, it wasn't cheating. I'd actually like to see Bonds break the HR record just so that someone may finally call out Hank Aaron and the rest of the greenie poppers of his ERA when the inevitable whining about Bonds begins.
But I really don't care for Matthews. I hated the deal from the moment it was announced. I hate it even more now that last year looks chemically enhanced on top of being incredibly fluky and done in a hitters park. I think it was probably the worst major league deal of the off-season.
Ever since the rumors of the DirecTV deal started going around, I've been of half a mind to give up baseball for good, and half a mind to go out and get DirecTV right away. As a result of this deal, I'd say I'm up to 80-20 against getting DirecTV, at least until the NHL announces a similar deal and I'm forced to get it to watch Anze and Jack Motherfucking Johnson next season.
Bottom line, if he's on the opening day roster, I'm going to have a tough time rooting for the Angels this season. I can't explain it, but that's my gut feeling right now.
UPDATE - Anonymous writes in the comments: "I guess I don't understand why you are rooting for Bonds to break the record (he did not obtain steroids legally) and yet you will not root for the Angels because of a bad signing."
First, I think you're comparing apples and oranges here. I'm not rooting for Bonds because I like Bonds (and I think there's actually an argument that he didn't obtain steroids illegally, but that's another issue entirely). As I said, I just sort of hope he does it because I think the obvious result will be the howls of players from Aaron's day, pretty much all of whom were popping amphetamines like candy at the time. The hypocrites all deserve each other.
Second, I haven't said I won't root for the Angels (though I'll arguably care a lot less). But I do hate the contract, and have hated it since day one. It's another moronic move from a team that just rid itself of the Steve Finley (into Edgardo Alphonso) contract. And mind you, it's not that I'm upset that they overpaid, it's that I'm upset that they paid period. It's frustrating to watch a team put out a roster that is worse than the roster they could have put on the field even if they'd done nothing in the off-season (outside of the bullpen moves). They signed a guy who already wasn't very good, and on top of that, it's turning out that he's also not very likable (with Bonds, I could at least respect the fact that he didn't care that he wasn't likable). I just find the whole thing very frustrating, and ultimately, at this point of the spring, it makes me care a lot less about the Angels.