I truly think Marcus Hayes hates white people. Or just Chase Utley. Or both.
In his column today, Hayes, who wrote in big-boy paragraphs for the first time in a while, ticked off all of the lousy contracts handed out by Philly GMs in recent years. It’s hard to disagree with most of Hayes’ words (which is a rarity), but, for some goofy reason, he decided to lump Chase Utley’s (club favorable) seven-year, $85 million deal that he signed in 2007 in with the contracts of Andrew Bynum, Nnamdi Asomugha, Ilya Bryzgalov and others:
When the Phillies signed Chase Utley to a 7-year, $85 million deal in January 2007, it seemed a value-laden deal for three seasons. It cost the Phils only about $25 million for the best-hitting second baseman in the National League.
It is costing them more than $60 million over the past four seasons, including this one, to watch Utley erode before their eyes – an erosion that, given Utley’s style of play, was not unforeseeable. Now, Utley has contributed, but for no more than half of his paychecks’ worth. Call him a $30 million loss.
Yeah, he just called Chase Utley a $30 million loss.
Sure, like you, I love Chase and am probably overly reflexive about defending him. But Chases’ contributions – a word Hayes uses as if he’s conceding the point that, yeah, Chase doesn’t suck – since signing his contract include: astronomical .900+ OPSssss in 2007-2009, All-Star Game appearances in 2007-2010, a World Fucking Championship in 2008, tying Reggie Jackson’s record for home runs in a World Series (5) in 2009, and, you know, being probably one of the all-time most beloved Philly athletes. Stuff like that.
When Chase signed his contract in 2007, he was shaping up to be a Hall of Famer. Recent injuries have derailed that train and caused him to play nowhere near the level of his backloaded contract ($15 million per since 2010). But in no way is Utley a loss. SABR folks will even point out that his WAR is still quite high. And I’m willing to bet that if you asked the Phillies if they would do it all over again – sign Utley, their star, to an $85 million deal to guarantee the five best seasons in team history – they wouldn’t hesitate for a second. Hayes probably isn’t smart enough to even consider this, but the $30 million that the Phillies have lost on Utley in the last four years was likely more than off-set by the millions Utley helped to generate from 2007-2011 (and yes, I know those timeframes overlap… because Hayes makes no sense).
Incredibly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Hayes just about glossed over Ryan Howard’s five-year, $125 million deal, which kicked in last year:
So, we’re up to $101.3 million in lost money . . . and we’re just getting to Ryan Howard, who, at 30, signed a 5-year, $125 million extension in 2010.
Foot, ankle, Achilles’ tendon and knee problems have cost Howard power and playing time this season and last, during which he will make $40 million. Worth it? Not close; but his very presence makes him valuable. Make it a $10 million loss . . . so far.
Howard’s presence makes him valuable… and Utley’s doesn’t (or didn’t)? What the hell kind of lazy sentence is that?
Hayes, who is both white and black (his words), has seemingly never liked Utley, I think because Utley is white. In 2010, Hayes claimed that Utley got a pass for that very reason.
Look, I’ve run this site for long enough to hear things about Utley that I’d rather not have heard– he’s far from a criminal, but he’s crusty, usually the opposite of friendly, and would probably rather play the game in a vacuum devoid of fans, media and Michael Martinez. But what he has contributed to the Phillies and the way that he plays the game are things that speak for themselves. For Hayes to call him a $30 million loss and, worse, to lump him in with Andrew Bynum, Nnamdi Asomugha and Ilya Bryzgalov… that does a great disservice to readers of Hayes’ dying newspaper. And it’s a vindictive swipe against a guy who probably blew Hayes’ fat ass off six years ago.