Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The NHL rejected the Devils/Kovalchuk contract, determining that it was an effort to navigate around the salary cap. A player's cap number is determined by their average salary over the life of the contract. So Kovalchuk's 17 year, $102 million deal would result in a $6 million hit for the Devils. Not bad for a guy with 338 goals and 642 points in 621 games.
The problem is, $98.5 million of that deal was frontloaded into the first 11 years ($8.9 million per season). The remaining 6 years paid $550,000 a season, and served only to lower the overall cap hit. The idea was that Kovalchuk probably wouldn't be playing for $550k at that point. He'd either sign a new deal with the Devils, or with someone else, maybe even in the KHL. But the Devils would get a decade of production from Kovalchuk, and take a $6 million hit instead of a $9 million.
I'm glad the NHL stepped up and negated this deal. I think the NHL cap is too inflexible, with no wiggle room or exemptions for homegrown talent to stay with their original team. But this is the right thing for the NHL to do.
AP via Yahoo Sports
Well you're not going to get much better than 6 innings and 3 runs out of Wakefield. But the Sox squandered that solid outing, as Ramon Ramirez took his 3rd loss of the season. Even though it was Bowden who yielded the walk-off single, it was Ramirez who put the guy on with 2 outs, then balked him into scoring position.
Ramirez has been subpar this season, with a 4.85 ERA to go along with his 0-3 record and 1.36 WHIP. He's getting $1.15 million to do that. Which for the Sox isn't a lot, but still: damn.
But it wasn't entirely his fault. If a guy like Okajima could go more than 0.1 inning, then maybe Ramirez doesn't even get into the game. If Ramirez has been subpar, Okajima has been nothing short of craptastic.
The A's are a .500 team, and nothing more. I know it's tough being on the West Coast, but the Sox simply need to do better against an average team like this. The Sox had chances, but didn't cash in after the 2nd. They left 12 men on base. They out-hit the A's 12 to 6, and drew the same number of walks. The Sox also hit 4 doubles compared to Oakland's 2. But the Sox couldn't do these things consecutively, or they did them all in the 2nd inning.
The Sox also lost a chance to gain ground in the AL East, as both New York and Tampa Bay lost.
Clay Buchholz makes his return this afternoon against 8-6 Gio Gonzalez.