Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Game 159 - Mets
Just In Case You Were Worried About Any Positive Momentum . . .

Braves 6, Mets 3
Record: 70-89

I'm "working at home" this afternoon, and I happened to notice the Mets/Braves game was being televised. Fortunately, I tuned in just in time to see the Mets give up four runs and go on to lose, 6-3. In doing so, they gave Bobby Cox his 2,000th victory. Awesome. If every one of the shots to the nuts the Mets have delivered to me this year were literal instead of figurative, I'd have gotten double-Kruk surgery months ago. Is it any wonder I alluded to abandoning this team?

I failed to mention the Mets' acquisition of former Expos exec Omar Minaya as president of baseball operations, squeezing him 'twixt the Wilpon Gang and Jim "What Exactly Is My Job Description?" Duquette. It remains to be seen whether this is either a step in the right direction and the Wilpons trust Minaya enough to turn all of the reins over to him or whether he'll just be another guy they survey among the scouts, players, radio show hosts, PA announcers, grounds crew, bleacher bums, and bloggers before arbitrarily making moves.

And I know I said I wouldn't talk about this Expos-to-DC business, but for some reason I feel no obligation to live up to claims I've made where MLB's executive office is concerned. I just need to underline the points Brer Russell made about the preposterous nature of the compensation MLB plans to provide Peter "There Is Currently No Expletive Vile Enough" Angelos. It's a dangerous, precedent-setting concession so they can avoid a confrontation they would have easily won. A couple of weeks ago, Thomas Boswell wrote an article in The Washington Post talking about how the deal was close to being done mainly because tough guy owner Jerry Reinsdorf was doing Bud's dirty job of standing up to Angelos. Now it's clear that this was the most misinformed 1,500 words since my outlook for the 2004 Mets.

The diminutive, surly Angelos has been likened to Napoleon throughout his tenure as Baltimore litigator and Orioles owner. Now Major League Baseball appears poised to complete the comparison with this coronation. Why not go the next step and guarantee the Orioles 75 wins a year and adjust the standings accordingly? Iron-clad guarantees are so ill-advised, and this will undoubtedly come back to bite baseball in the Bud. Rob is right about Angelos's track record of integrity, and it could be a very interesting few years in Baltimore. Leave it to Sneaky Pete to tank it for the next few seasons, blame the Senators, and make another mint. This is another shady deal to follow that initial purchase of the franchise by all of the owners. And as much as I'm thrilled baseball is coming here, this deal stinks.

How Bud Selig's popularity among the masses is at a "record high" is beyond me, but of course it's not the first approval ratings poll to stun me. Selig is a guy who, bless him, tries to please everyone but ends up bungling it every time. Bud, you can't make everybody happy, so figure out what's best for the sport and do it without feeling guilty, dammit. Washington, DC is best for baseball, though it may hurt the Orioles. So do it (two years ago). Compensate the Orioles, because fair is fair, but don't overdo it in an attempt to win back Angelos's love. Give him a few million dollars, maybe the clause about the sale price, and be done with it. Firm and fair. Instead, you've taken a win-scenario for your loss-loss-loss-loss-loss-loss track record and somehow, astoundingly, made it another loss. He's the anti-PR commissioner, saving embarrassment, criticism and ridicule from the jaws of public acclaim.

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