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mega apologies

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there's an update at the bottom of the post . . .

server outage for the 2d time in 3 days . . . . wow. sorry ev'yone, and thanks for your patience. i'm told the 1st outage was because the old server was gasping its last, and 2d outage (today's) was caused by moving over to a new, better server . . . .

anyway, you haven't missed a thing. burnett's still twiddling his thumbs. and both the jays and cards are getting fed up. scout.com's Inside the Dome reports this:

Ricciardi Frustrated with Burnett Saga

Just when you thought the A.J. Burnett sweepstakes were getting ready to end midnight Friday, agent Darek Braunecker threw in the curveball and decided to make the parties wait. The Cardinals have been serious about landing the right-hander since Wednesday evening, but are forced into the stalling tactics of the inexperienced agent. The Blue Jays? They are monitoring the situation from a safe distance, but refuse to enter Braunecker's target range and get shot in the foot.

from this one paragraph, i would surmise that
  • burnett was about to sign with st louis last night but then backed off, and
  • the agent is trying like crazy to get somebody to guarantee a fifth year, and nobody's biting
despite reports to the contrary, apparently nobody has offered a guaranteed 5th year yet --- not even toronto, which reportedly had offered 5 yrs and somewhere between $50m and $60m. turns out all they did was talk about those parameters with burnett's agent, but they never wrote out the offer sheet and sent it to burnett's people.

there's also word --- from both stl sources (via hawg wild) and toronto sources (via Inside the Dome) --- that the cards' original offer, tendered wednesday, had an expiraton date of friday at midnight. but on thursday burnett counteroffered, and the cardinals countercountered, so now the talk is there's a new expiration at midnight tonight.

i believe that to be a fairly accurate summary of the current state of things; at least, the people who are saying so have been accurate in everything they have said heretofore. so i trust it.

however it turns out, sounds like burnett's agent has made some enemies.

Update [2005-12-3 17:21:54 by lboros]: what a soap opera . . . but i can't pull myself away.

something posted at the Inside the Dome discussion board just caught my eye. the writer claims that when toronto asked: "if we offered 5 yrs / $60m, would that get it done," the answer was not a yes-or-no answer. ITD doesn't divulge what the answer was; i think it was: "depends on whether or not we can get 5/$60 from st louis." when, on thursday, burnett countered the cards' wednesday offer, the counteroffer was allegedly just that: 5 yrs / $60m. the cards then came back with a slightly sweetened 4-year offer, but nowhere near 5 yrs / $60m.

so what we're seeing here is a game of chicken. the cards are telling burnett's agent: you'll never get 5/$60m, because once our offer expires and we withdraw from the bidding, toronto has no competition from us and hence no incentive to offer 5/$60m.

and burnett's agent is probably saying back: give us 5 / $60m or we'll take our chances at the winter meetings.

if the agent weren't so green, he'd realize that jocketty isn't going to blink in this situation. unfortunately, the agent is green -- a young hot-shot looking to make a name. for which reason he may feel that he can't back down and swallow a 4-year deal ---- too much testosterone at stake.

i hope walt and the boys are using the down time here to work on Plan B . . . .