Monday, November 24, 2008
Poker Lessons with J.P. - Going All In Works Every Time but Once
When playing poker, a well-timed bluff has no downside. If you can move the other guy off his hand, you win! If you get called only to turn over jack shit, everyone thinks you're crazy. On top of the added bonus of pissing off strangers, you'll get paid off down the line when you've holding the nuts and no one believes you. It's all about optics.
On the surface, J.P. Ricciardi is playing fast and loose with the Jays limited-budget future. The Jays hilariously low-ball offers for Burnett pre-opt out seemed like due diligence; keep the season ticket holders happy by making an attempt to stay competitive. But reports of the Jays attempting to make up the lack of per year dollars with an additional year continue to surface. Holy fucking shit, could you imagine a worse scenario?
Darek Braunecker has become the drunk frat boy on an incredible run of cards. He's daring you to call him, assuming the deck will continue to hit him in the face. Early chatter from a myriad of suitors drove up the price and lengthened the terms of the contract, but already teams are balking at a fifth guaranteed year. No shit, a 37 year old power pitcher might not offer too much return on investment.
What if J.P's bluster and posturing, presumably driving up the price for the Sox & Yankees, ends up being the best offer on the table? What if they call his bluff and accept some ridiculous long-term contract? Is he pushing all his chips in with jack-ten suited, hoping he hits the flop hard enough in '09 to save his job for 2010? He can't possibly care that much, he certainly seemed more cavalier about his potential employment options than he has about making desperate moves to save his job.
So please J.P., slow down. Fold a few, go throw some money in a slot machine. I bet they'd comp you at the noodle bar, go decompress for a few minutes. He can sign with other teams, I bet the Cardinals will pay if they have to. The optics in this situation, the real reason for drawing out this charade in the first place, stink. You are getting the wrong type of table image: one of a lunatic that's sending good money after bad.