Archive for December 31, 2016
1199 for publication December 23, 2016
Before Santa pulls the rip-cord and begins delivering cellphones, X-boxes, and $300 hockey sticks to all those 10-11-and-12 year-olds desperate for something to do, I have to tie up some loose ends.
First, for EE the Bird-Walker, aka el-RBI, and the sorry state of affairs befalling our former hero, for those of you who have forgotten Edwin Encarnacion and his travelling soap opera, I have a question after listening to his agent, one Paul Kinzler. He’s the guy who blames everyone with the exception of Donald Trump, for Edwin not returning to the Jays.
Since we don’t have the luxury of dawn firing squads in Canada, I’m calling for the next best thing before asking Mr. Kinzler why he wasn’t summarily fired after turning down the Jays qualifying offer of 4-years for $80-million in October?
For Kinzler, that opening contract from the Jays was little more than an indicator as to how many more millions he could dig out of what he saw as an open pit. In other words, the Toronto offer was great, but that’s all it was, there had to be other clamouring customers lining up. Right? Well. right?
As Edwin and Paul were looking over the rich landscape we heard how much Edwin loved the Jays, his teammates, the city, the fans, the mayor, the country, and the universe. Yet when presented with that original credible offer, rather than touch-up details, sign up, and ensure he was there, happy and content on opening day of 2017, EE and Kinzler took the offer and waved it in the faces of every other team in Major League Baseball.
There were no publicly reported negotiations with the Jays which is the job of an agent.
Instead, a flag flew at half-mast over the Blue Jays headquarters, who took it for what it was, a rebuff, merely an out-of-date starting spot in the battle for EE’s services. The fact it was treated that way was counterproductive, and in the weeks that followed it necessitated the Jays cover their exposed backsides and they made “other arrangements,” started down another dark alley.
It was at this point that the firing of Mr. Kinzler should have occurred.
“Encarnacion loves Boston,” was next, “the Oakland A’s want EE,” followed. There were no shortage of interested parties, but that interest never matched 4 years at $80-million. Mark up another call to impeach Kinzler.
“Nobody is mad at anyone. It’s business,” Kinzler recently stated, “they (the Jays) saw an opportunity and pursued it,” he said, explaining away the newly signed bodies filling EE’s absence. Another chance for a firing blown.
It was in the early days after the original offer was made, that Kinzler conveniently forgot the Jays were pushed into their “opportunity” by Encarnacion and Kinzler taking their own sweet time perusing other offers. Come to think of it, it’s yet another valid reason for firing the agent.
Brushed aside in the wreckage that was the idea of Edwin ever being a Jay again, was a statement Kinzler made during this turmoil. “Edwin always considered Toronto as home.”
In my opinion that’s why the man who will lose the most in this train-wreck is Kinzler. Don’t worry about Encarnacion, or the bottom line. EE will get big bucks somewhere, and baseball will go on as usual.
On a happy note, it’s Christmas and the time for counting our blessings.
And, as a writer, I have much to be grateful for, the new book is out, and being an “indie” publisher I set goals for sales that would lead to the second book in the series. Even with a late October start, and after having a summer health setback, we surpassed those required numbers by mid-November.
For that early success I especially want to thank the Chronicle Journal family who supported me, publisher Clint Black, Managing Editor Greg Giddens, and the Thursday night sports desk who write those great headlines and have turned my column around every week for over two decades.
Thanks to all, and to all Merry Christmas.