Have you ever heard the story of the 1938 radio broadcast The War of the Worlds? Supposedly, in October of that year, a young Orson Welles (before he became a legend for Citizen Kane) directed a radio adaptation of the H.G. Wells’ novel (before it became a legendary bad movie with Tom Cruise). But he had made the broadcast so realistic that some listeners were unaware that this was a fictional show. They really thought that they were listening to a news bulletin about aliens invading earth and supposedly ran around the streets in a panic. I learned about this fact/urban legend back in grade school and recall thinking at the time, “What dumbasses… Who’d believe a story like that? Aliens? Really?”
Flash forward to this past Friday, when I read via the Dominican sports news website Impacto Deportivo that the Chicago White Sox had signed Octavio Dotel to a two-year, $11m deal. I recall thinking at the time, “What dumbasses… Who’d believe a story like that? Dotel for 2-years and $11 million? Really?” My skepticism was such that I e-mailed the other UmpBump writers with the “news”:
From: Paul Moro
To: UmpBump Staff
I’m not sending this link along because I think it’s true. I’m sending this along because:
1. The advertisement makes it impossible to actually read the damned story
2. It’s funny to think that the White Sox would actually pay $11m for two years of perennially injured Octavio Dotel after signing Scott Linebrink to $19m/4
3. It actually ends the story with the word “Congratulations”. And that makes me smile.
Well, it appears I now have a ham and egg on my face. Thanks, Ken Rosenthal.
But in my defense, who actually thought that Octavio Dotel would get a guaranteed multi-year deal for that much money? This is a reliever who has pitched 56 innings combined in the last three seasons. Did you catch that? 56 innings. Total. Last three years. And you know what he did in those 56 innings? He compiled a 5.14 ERA thanks in large part to the fact that he walked 5.5 guys per nine innings pitched. Who gives a guy like him a two-year $11 million deal? Who does this?
Well, Kenny Williams, apparently. And even though I’ve been critical of him before, I’m still left wondering as to whether or not I over-estimated him, or under-estimated his level of delusion. Or maybe I over-under-estimated him.