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The Many Mysteries Of The Universe

The Big Bang. Stonehenge. Dark matter. The Nazca Lines. Time travel. The pitch meeting for Skating With Celebrities. Extraterrestrial life. God. And now we have this to add to the pile:

Last week, Burnitz agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract with the Orioles. But today he is scheduled to take a physical for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have guaranteed him $6.7 million for one year and have added a mutual option for a second year that would make the deal worth $12 million for two years.

So much for Burnitz being anyone's cheap solution. I'm not sure exactly what it is about the guy that provoked two different teams to offer him $6m a season, particularly two teams who play in parks much less friendly to left-handed hitters than Safeco Field, but sometimes you just have to accept the limitations of your own intellect and ask Robert Krulwich. I couldn't find Robert Krulwich's phone number, though, so I thought I'd make do with what I had at my disposal and ask my parakeet.

Me: "Chirpy, why were both the Orioles and Pirates willing to guarantee someone like Jeromy Burnitz $6m a season?"


He's not the only one who's confused. I suppose there's a little upside for Pittsburgh, in that Burnitz isn't the first known example of an existing black hole so dense that neither matter nor visible can escape its gravitational pull, and he'll probably get flipped for something shiny at the deadline, but "untradeable supergravity vortex" shouldn't be the benchmark of a solid addition to a ballclub, since that makes even the continued employment of Dewon Brazelton seem sensible.

The good news for the Mariners is that Burnitz's contract makes the Carl Everett deal look more reasonable. The bad news is that they're still stuck with Carl Everett, at least until they give his job to the guy Burnitz is replacing. But we don't need to get into that again.