Hopeless Joe Discusses the Jon Singleton Deal

So, Jon Singleton just guaranteed himself $10 million over the next five seasons— and a call-up to the majors– in exchange for giving the Astros an extra year before he hits free agency, and locking him into a team-friendly contract in the event he becomes a decent major league player.

And there are people trying to make the case he shouldn’t have taken the deal?

At the Hopeless Joe quality-of-life level, $10 million buys you 400 years of rent and expenses. Okay, maybe 200 years after taxes. Maybe 100 years after inflation is taken into account (although if you buy bulk at Costco to the extent I do, inflation really isn’t an issue… I have enough mayonnaise for the rest of my life… and don’t tell me you buy into the whole expiration date scam, because you know they’re only there to make you buy more mayonnaise every four years when there’s really nothing wrong with mayonnaise until it turns green… and even then, if you just scrape that top layer off… or just mix that top layer into onion dip at your next party and no one will notice… it’s not like I even like the people who come to my parties… anyone who comes to a party I invite them to clearly has no friends and something wrong with them… so they deserve whatever mayonnaise they get).

So assuming you’re not going to live well into the triple-digits — and who would even want to, given global warming and what’s happening in Syria and the impending final season of Parks & Recreation — it seems like the risk of injury, accident, loss of talent, bird flu, or career-ending mayonnaise poisoning would make this kind of deal a no-brainer for any player with enough sense to evaluate the probabilities.

And if baseball players are known for anything, it’s their ability to evaluate probabilities. That’s why no one ever dives into first base, only the fastest players in the league bother trying to steal bases, and if a manager ever even thinks to suggest that someone sacrifice bunt in the vast majority of circumstances, the entire team bashes his head in with a baseball bat. Of which there are many in the dugout, because they are playing a game of baseball.

How often do we see reasonably-touted prospects never earn anywhere close to $10 million? I’m looking at you, Nick Franklin. But you are not looking back at me, because apparently your eyes don’t work anymore and that’s why you can’t hit the ball. Well, at least not in Seattle. Because your eyes seemed to work great in Tacoma. What is wrong with you, Nick Franklin? I traded for you. The day before you got called back up! I was a genius. No, no, Hopeless Joe can never be a genius. Anyone Hopeless Joe trades for becomes hopeless too. It’s a curse.

Okay, so back to Mr. Singleton and his $10 million. It’s not even like he won’t get a chance at free agency soon enough, if he’s a major league-quality player. He will. And he’ll rake in the big bucks so instead of living in the living room of a one-bedroom apartment owned by an elderly married couple who makes him clean their dentures every night (this is how I save on rent!), he can buy an actual house — with granite counter tops and crown molding and central air and double sinks and all of the things that everyone on House Hunters loves and wants and needs and has to have — and even upgrade his cable subscription to include some of the premium channels, like C-SPAN and QVC.

If this is the kind of contract admitted drug addicts can get, why isn’t anyone lining up to give me the same deal? I can’t go a day without Klonopin. I have three Ativan tablets in the pocket of every pair of pants I own. (Which is one. I own one pair of pants. But it’s a nice pair of pants! And since I never spend time with other people, no one even knows it’s my only pair of pants! That’s the secret, folks– you don’t need a lot of clothing if you never leave your apartment! That and so much more advice in my upcoming e-book, Hopeless Joe’s Guide To Living Hopelessly. Free Xanax with every purchase. I don’t take the Xanax anymore — side effects! — so I figure I’ll just give it away.)

Drug addicts getting $10 million makes me so… emotionally neutral, but I think that may be the Klonopin. I played first base once. And then I balked and so my little league coach sent me back to left field. I didn’t even know a first baseman could balk, but somehow I figured out a way. That was me as a kid, always finding new ways to fail. So, clearly, I should be on the Astros too. And I would sign a contract for a lot less than $10 million. Jeff Luhnow, you know where to find me. (In the living room of that one-bedroom apartment with the elderly couple — but you’ll have to knock loudly because it’s hard to hear over their television set.)

Jon Singleton, if you need Prozac– $1 million a pill, and it’s yours.

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

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Mayo Clinic

Hopeless Joe, glad to see you can afford $2000 a month for rent and expenses.

We’ll send you the bill for all the mayo poisoning cases we’ve been seeing lately.

AC of DC

$25,000 a year for living expenses. That’s Poor People Money, right? Right? Those guys! Hold on, can’t talk now; I’m recording me driving my Prius through a picket line.