This whole Ronald Belisario situation reminds me of the greatest board game of all time, Monopoly.
- Belisario has a burgeoning reputation as a talented player on the field and a bit of a head case off the field, so it's only fitting that Monopoly is a game made by Milton Bradley.
- The Dodgers rolled the dice and took a Chance on Belisario last offseason, and he paid immediate dividends, with a 2.04 ERA and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings in his first major league season.
- Belisario showed up to camp 35 days late, so he missed out on Free Parking, five dollars cheaper than last spring at Camelback Ranch.
- Belisario said this morning he would be ready to pitch on opening day, but manager Joe Torre has already said the reliever wouldn't make the trip to Pennsylvania (Avenue) to play the Pirates.
- The biggest marginal jump in rent in Monopoly comes with the third house; in baseball the big paydays don't come until the fourth year. As a second year player, Belisario has a salary of $412,500 this season (per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com). By being placed on the restricted list Friday, Belisario can miss up to 21 days of the regular season (April 4-24). The major league season is 183 days, so Belisario stands to lose roughly $47,336, or 11.5% of his salary.
Perhaps most importantly, you can't build houses in Monopoly unless you actually have a monopoly, all three (or two) deeds working together at once. Belisario is finally in camp, and in the same country as his agent, Paul Kinzer, but it doesn't sound like the two are together at all. From Dylan Hernandez in today's LA Times:
Belisario's agent, Paul Kinzer, acknowledged that his client was at fault, saying Belisario missed appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. That further compounded legal issues faced by the pitcher, who last year was charged with driving under the influence and recently pleaded to a lesser charge.
Contrast that with Belisario's own words this morning. Hernandez reported:
Belisario denies that he missed any visa appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela; said he did every possible to get here on time.
Belisario's agent said yesterday that Belisario missed appointments at the embassy. Colletti said the same. Belisario says they're wrong and thinks the organization will no longer be upset with him when he offers his explanation.
Call me crazy, but since Belisario had nothing but time on his hands this spring I don't think it would have been difficult for he and Kinzer to at least get their stories straight. The Belisario camp going forward needs a monopoly of information, not an oligopoly. Otherwise, Belisario will never be worth much more than Electric Company. The lights are now on; is anybody home?