Cold, hard logic cannot explain why Nevin didn't warm up to O's


July 28, 2005|By PETER SCHMUCK

IT'S BEEN THREE days and I'm still scratching my head over Phil Nevin's decision to veto the deal that would have brought him to Baltimore.

Presented with the choice of being reduced to a role player with the San Diego Padres or moving into the everyday starting lineup with the Orioles, the veteran infielder rejected a trade that might have rejuvenated his career.

I guess not every Cal State-Fullerton alum is a brain surgeon like me.

Sure, his life is on the West Coast, but Nevin could have shipped the family out for a Mid-Atlantic sightseeing tour in August and only been away from the wife and kids for a few weeks at the end of the season.

He could certainly afford it, at least according to, which just rated him No. 8 on its list of the most overpaid players in the major leagues at $9.4 million this year. Sidney Ponson was No. 7, so it would have been a near-perfect match of inflated salaries.

Instead, the Orioles continue to shop Ponson, and Nevin showed up in the Padres lineup at catcher Tuesday night. He would have beefed up the Orioles lineup at a critical time - which is one of the reasons why I was very much in favor of the deal at first glance - but he probably did the Orioles a favor by nixing the deal if, in fact, he would have been leaving his heart in Southern California.

In a related development, it was 73 and breezy in San Diego yesterday for about the 63rd consecutive day.

In case you were wondering who is No. 1 on that dubious list of baseball's most overpaid players, it's the guy whose bobblehead doll was handed out last night at Camden Yards.

Contract talks between Larry Brown and the New York Knicks hit a snag yesterday when Brown asked for a clause in his five-year, $50 million deal guaranteeing him the use of a private jet to travel to meetings with other team owners after the second year.

OK, I made that up, but isn't this private jet thing getting a little ridiculous? The first time I really gave it any thought was at the news conference announcing that the Los Angeles Dodgers had signed right-hander Kevin Brown to a record $105 million contract.

The Dodgers included the use of a jet to carry Brown's family back and forth between Georgia and Southern California. Never mind that Brown could have bought and maintained his own private jet and still had about $100 million left over.

The New York Yankees now administer that contract, but word is they use the jet to transport Brown's medical records around the country.

The private jet issue came up in the negotiations that landed Al Michaels with ESPN. Michaels' new $4 million-per-year deal reportedly includes the use of a jet to transport him to his ESPN Monday Night Football telecasts. His new sidekick, Joe Theismann, didn't have quite as much juice, settling for a guaranteed "B" boarding pass on Southwest Airlines.

There has been speculation in New York that the Mets may make a deadline play for Texas Rangers second baseman Alfonso Soriano, who is poised to make big bucks in arbitration next winter.

It's probably wishful thinking - based on the presumption that Soriano might be too expensive for the Rangers to lock up long term - but you can't rule anything out with the Mets still very much alive in the National League playoff hunt and the Yankees looking very vulnerable on the other side of town.

Before anyone pops up with a Sidney for Soriano rumor, forget it. Soriano has resisted attempts to move him to the outfield and the Orioles are set at second base for the foreseeable future.

I've been out on the left coast for the past week or so, but that doesn't mean I haven't been paying attention.

Through the miracle of XM Satellite Radio, I was able to listen to Jimmy Hunter find the silver lining in several frustrating Orioles losses, which led me to this important decision.

The whole Jimmyville T-Shirt thing is on hold.

By the way, the Orioles were 0-4 during Steve Kline's suspension, so I guess it wasn't him.

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