It’s “Million Dollar” Monday …..

August 17, 2009 |

Good Morning, Baltimore …..

As the title indicates, this blog is devoted exclusively to TODAY, which I’m officially proclaiming as “Million Dollar Monday.” Hell, it’s actually MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR MONDAY, if we wanna be exact about things.

Last Wednesday, Orioles Scouting Director, Joe Jordan, announced the team would no longer pursue 2nd round draft selection, Mychal Givens. Good for Joe, and the Orioles, as an organization.

I’ve been following this Mychal Givens debacle, since the draft unfolded, back in June. Thus, I’m not surprised he’s not signed. And, I’m not surprised he didn’t even acknowledge or respond to the team’s offer.

I’m not disappointed in Givens; I don’t know him. But, I’m also not disappointed in the Orioles.

This is a business.

The Orioles made a competitive offer to Givens. That’s right, I call more than $1 million dollars for a kid who’s never played a day above high school baseball, a competitive, if not generous offer. The slotted amount for Givens’ draft position was approximated at $600 thousand dollars. The Orioles were willing to overpay.

Mychal Givens chose not to accept the offer, albeit by not responding with a counter-offer or a simple “NO THANKS.” History says a day will come when Mychal Givens wishes he had a million bucks, or an offer of it.

Just ask Matt Harrington. Yes, THAT Matt Harrington. He turned two offers exceeding $1 million dollars. In fact, he turned down nearly $5 million dollars. Today, he’s changing tires at Costco for $11.50 per hour.

Remember Wade Townsend? In 2004, the Orioles offered him $1.85 million dollars. He turned them down and a year later, he begrudgingly accepted $1.5 million dollars from the Tampa Bay Rays. Townsend’s greed cost him a cool $350 GRAND !!!!

By the way, Wade Townsend is out of baseball.

Let’s talk about Mychal Givens, again. He expected to be a 1st round selection. He was wrong. He changed his financial expectations, on draft day. The Orioles gambled on his fallen stock and overall upside. It was a good business move.

Mychal Givens feels he can go to college and improve his prospective draft position. Print this blog, because I’m telling you he’ll never see another offer exceeding a million bucks. He was a .380 hitter in high school. That’s not a great accomplishment.
I’m not gonna beatup on the Orioles. Not on this one. They signed their #1 pick and he’s playing ball. They’ve signed an impressive contingent of draft selections over the past few years. I’m not criticizing them over an unproven kid who rejects a generous offer.

You know what happens when you give into extortion or unreasonable demands? Yep, you get more of it. Whether its favors for politicians, the respective business practices of Somali pirates or baseball prospects, they’re all looking for a weak link in the “money chain.”

Losing Mychal Givens is not a big deal.

Losing Steven Strasburg is a big deal. And, it just might happen to the Washington Nationals.

If it does, I’ll give them the same pass afforded the Orioles. The Nationals have made an offer in the range of $14 to $16 million dollars for Strasburg. It’s not enough – not enough for Scott Boras.

The Nats are willing to exceed the previous record signing of Mark Prior, by roughly $5 million dollars. But, Scott Boras is inclined to gamble with Steven Strasburg’s career. And, that’s a shame.

Throughout this very public Steven Strasburg vs. Washington Nationals affair, I’ve had one distinguishable concern cross my mind …..

Where are Steven Strasburg’s parents ???

Where are the people who love him ???

Don’t feed me the “he’s an adult ….. blah, blah, blah,” either. Steven Strasburg is 21 years old and he’s barely seen this world. Has he struggled to pay bills? Has he lived on a budget? Has he gone without things?

The Nationals are offering him a lifetime of financial independence. If he really is Nolan Ryan’s Second Coming, he’ll earn much more and walk directly onto a Cooperstown stage, someday. If he’s half that good, he’ll still earn much more and be a very comfortable retired player, someday.

But, most importantly, if Steven Strasburg turns out to be another Adam Eaton, Rocky Coppinger or Brien Taylor, he has an opportunity to still be a rich man for the duration of his lifetime. But, he’s less than 24 hours away from pissing it down the drain.

He can be the next Adam Eaton – believe it.

I don’t care about Scott Boras. He is what he is. But, I am wondering where Steven Strasburg’s folks are in all this. They should be counseling their son and shepherding a “sure thing” decision.

Ironically, a bunch of kids, less than 10 years younger than Steven Strasburg, are assembled in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They’re the best of the best and the LOVE THIS GAME. Steven Strasburg is also the best of the best, but I don’t believe he loves baseball.

I hope kids like Strasburg and Givens wake up and make some responsible, well informed decisions, before midnight. Then again, if they don’t, the world will still go round …..

And, Costco will still need tire changers.