So I attended Virgin Fest yesterday and was shocked to find out there were bands playing all day. I must have misread the ad.
To fully grasp the significance of the Orioles reportedly exposing Miguel Tejada to waivers, and the White Sox putting in a claim, you must examine the intentions of both sides.
Teams routinely put players on waivers after the July 31 deadline to gauge interest in them and see if they happen to sneak through and therefore can be dealt. It's a common occurrence this time of year. I'm fairly certain the Orioles have done it with Tejada in the past. I'm also fairly certain Alex Rodriguez has hit the waiver wire. Don't read too much into it. Big names will be leaked to the press on a daily basis, even though it's supposed to be confidential.
The Orioles have absolutely nothing to lose by doing this. They can pull the player back, as they supposedly did with Tejada. And if nobody claims him, and the Orioles are overwhelmed with an offer, they can move him.
On the other side, the White Sox either hoped the Orioles would hand over Tejada, or they wanted to block a potential trade to a division rival.
It's hard to believe a team in fourth place and seven games below .500 would want to add Tejada, but the White Sox also could be looking beyond 2007. And they could be looking at how they just swept the Tigers and are heating up.
If they didn't mind the Orioles accepting their claim rather than pulling back Tejada – and that absolutely wasn't going to happen – they also had nothing to lose.
Tejada shouldn't take it personally, and the Orioles shouldn't be heavily scrutinized.
Every year at this time, I'm reminded of former Orioles closer Randy Myers – the poster child for risky claims.
The Blue Jays exposed Myers to waivers in 1998 and the Padres claimed him as a means of blocking the left-hander from going to the Braves. It was a sound plan that backfired when the Blue Jays let the Padres have him, gladly unloading a bad contract. It's widely regarded as one of the biggest waiver blunders in baseball history. It'd go a step further and say it's THE biggest.
Myers had two years left on his contract, but didn't pitch after 1998 because of rotator cuff surgery. He earned $6.9 million in 2000 while spending most of his free time in the Padres' training room. Overall, he had $12 million left on his contract when the Padres claimed him.
The lesson here: Don't claim a player unless you're prepared to keep him. Sort of like trying to get a raise from your boss by saying you have another job offer. Be prepared to leave.