Gary Matthews Jr. Is Doing Just Great

March 31, 2009 – 12:14 am by McD

On the heels of our Andruw Jones update, we give you the sad tale of Gary Matthews Jr.

Gary Matthews Jr. is in the third year of a five year, $50 million contract with the Angels. That dollar amount sounds as crazy now as it did then. Fifty mil for a guy who has hit over .300 once and has a pedestrian .745 career OPS (just .646 last year). The Angels have gotten exactly 26 home runs and a VORP of -5.0 in 2008 out of Matthews as well.

And now, that $50 mil has given the Angels the most expensive fifth outfielder in baseball. You can imagine how well Matthews took the news.

As his teammates left camp to play the Rangers in Surprise, Ariz., on Sunday, Matthews asked for and received permission to take the day off.

“Just give me a day, guys, OK?” Matthews said when approached by reporters. “Thanks.”

Look, Angels, I’m not saying Matthews is a terrible player. He’s actually coming off knee surgery, which has to be a factor in his issues. But paying $50 million to a guy who’s a career .259 hitter with a .333 OBP is just asking for trouble.

Signing Matthews was a desperation move in 2006 because the Angels couldn’t hit the ball. Now it’s 2009 and the Angels still can’t hit the ball and lost Mark Texeira too.

I realize there are probably statistics that prove Matthews is a good player. But there is a hell of a lot more evidence that proves Matthews wasn’t even remotely worth his contract. It’s called his career.

It’s OK for the Yankees to pull shit like this. Hell, it’s funny when they overspend and get lackluster results. It’s the comedy that keeps baseball fresh and lets a ton of people make a very, very strong case for a hard salary cap in the league.

But when the Angels get exactly what they deserve for paying an overrated player, it’s just sad and pathetic. Sorry, Gary, you seem to be nothing more than a cautionary tale.

A cautionary tale who once made an utterly mind-blowing catch, but a cautionary tale nonetheless.

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  1. 7 Responses to “Gary Matthews Jr. Is Doing Just Great”

  2. At least he didn’t freak out and throw things. I think asking for the day off to cool his jets was probably the most mature/responsible thing he could have done… you know, short of just sucking it up and going about his business. I guess my expectations of athletes has been lowered.

    By Graig on Mar 31, 2009

  3. Maybe the Giants can swing a trade for him, he’ll hit out of his mind, and they can offer him a fat extension.

    By Santa Claustrophobia on Mar 31, 2009

  4. For the rest of the baseball community not in the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and some say Angels stratosphere, serves you right. As an Orioles fan, it is hard to compete with free agents because of these teams, everyone wants big money and everyone wants to go to perennial contenders. When irresponsible owners that have the loot, ink contracts like this one, the disparity grows. I don’t have dreams of the World Series as a fan, I just hope that my team can compete most of the time. It’s sad.

    By Good Riddance on Mar 31, 2009

  5. Wait, didn’t the Orioles give Albert Belle a giant free-agent deal??

    By Booter on Mar 31, 2009

  6. Just because the O’s cant make it to a WS is not because of other teams offering huge contracts. If that was the case, how did the Tampa Rays make it when Arod makes more than the entire roster? The Orioles can make that excuse all they want, and fans can buy it if they like, but its proven you dont have to spend the most to win the most. Just sayin…

    By SuperSonic420 on Apr 1, 2009

  7. Does this really surprise anyone? I remember GM Jr. most as a mediocre Cubs utility player. Then he went into obscurity and suddenly exploded for a couple great years with Texas. Then he was linked to PED’s and appeared in the Mitchell Report (albeit after signing with the Angels). Now he sucks again. Coincidence???

    By Cousin Charlie on Apr 1, 2009

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