Friday, December 17, 2004

Shut Up and Count Your Money

Subtitle: I Ain't Goin' Out Like No Punk, Bitch

Today brings the shocking news that Pedro Martinez is taking shots at his former employers on his way to Metville. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I'm a bit disappointed. Say whatever you want, Petey, but you weren't Schilling's equal last year. You weren't his equal during the regular season, you were clearly not his equal in guts and will during the post-season, and you weren't his equal in terms of standing up and facing your off-field responsibilities like a man.

Whit, enjoy the Pedro Experience over the next 4 years. You'll learn to love it even more than you hate it, but I promise you'll do both.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Nasty Case of the Spins

So many topics, so little time. The Hot Stove runneth amok here in MLC Land, with the good, the bad, and the putrid mingling in a winter brew more potent than anything cooked up by the good people at the Boston Brewing Co. Here's a stream-of-consciousness look at things from the upwind side of the MLC team:

Comings and Goings: Pedro's gone to the Mets in a whirlwind of chicanery and gamesmanship, despite Whitney's fervent pleadings. As much as I loved watching him, and remain enraptured by his electric talent, 4 years and $52 million is simply more than he's worth at this point in his career, and I wish him well and thank Theo for not getting sucked into Petey's emotional headgames. I truly hope that he pitches well for Whitney's 9, because everybody should get to experience Pedro at his best, but I think his best years are behind him.

As Petey closed one door on the Sox, David Wells opened another and waddled into Fenway as the Sox No. 3 starter (at least I hope he's No. 3, because if he's higher up in the rotation it could be a long season - not a Pittsburgh-long season, but a long season nonetheless.). I've always enjoyed Wells' persona, and he'd appear to be a good fit on the Idiots. It's a relatively low-risk signing, so I'm on board.

Finally, Edgar Renteria joins the Sox courtesy of a 4 year, $40 million deal. Part of me wonders why Orlando Cabrera for $2m a year less wouldn't be just as good, but I can live with Renteria - especially if his signing means that Hanley Ramirez winds up in a package that yields Tim Hudson or A.J. Burnett, as rumored.

Great Moments in Film History: I watched HBO's hastily revised (Reverse of the) Curse of the Bambino last night. For the first time in 18 years, I watched that ball go through Bill Buckner's legs with a smile on my face. Everything that happened before 2004 only served to make this feel so goddamn sweet. And once again, it got really dusty in my house during the ALCS and World Series footage.

And Finally: Whitney's already spent significant righteous anger on this topic, but Linda Cropp has exposed herself as the worst kind of opportunistic weathervane of a politician. She's also embarrassed a city with a stunning display of legislative duplicity. We could argue all day about the merits of public versus private financing for sports facilities, and I'd be inclined to agree that full public funding isn't necessarily the best plan. However, Ms. Cropp publicly endorsed the deal that the city had reached with Major League Baseball, whooping it up from the podium alongside Mayor Anthony Williams on the day the deal was announced, and for her to cut the legs out from under the deal at the very last moment is despicable. She seems to be both conniving and not very bright (or at least not very savvy about how things work in the real world), which is a dangerous combination - and a deadly mix for baseball in Washington.
An Open Letter to Linda Cropp

Dear Linda,
End the charade. By now it's obvious to anyone who's been following your preposterous actions since the first time you pulled the rug out from under us that your sole motivation for this rigmarole is to try to earn the mayor's seat the next time around. We know, we know. You want to be the one that saved D.C. from baseball's deadly deal, yet saved baseball from MLB's fickle fingers. Hey, baseball-naysayers: I never voted for baseball! Hey, baseball-people: I never voted against baseball! Here's what you're really doing: pissing everyone off. Just stop it.

Apparently it's eluded you that it took a supremely herculean effort, plus an inordinate amount of good luck, and oh yeah, this exact sweetheart deal to get Major League Baseball to agree to come here. By using the authority the citizens of D.C. entrusted you with to hold the council hostage to your whims is abominable, to use an appropriately seasonal term. Tinkering with the deal with but a couple of weeks remaining is playing with fire, and pretty moronic to boot. Your perennial presence two steps behind the rest of the integral players has illustrated your ineptitude in your current role. To carry on with this behavior is irresponsible; to do so in the name of protecting your city's people when selfish motivations lurk behind that thin veil is reprehensible. We'd rather see Mayor McCheese in power than you. We'd rather see . . . we'd almost rather see Marion Barry reclaim his office than you.

All along you have said you wouldn't stand in the way of baseball returning to the District. Hear my noise, woman, everything you've done thus far has gone a long way towards jeopardizing what other people have worked so hard for, and you are teetering on the brink of costing us all this baseball team. If you do so, you will have let down a city, and you will achieve more fame than you've ever dared to dream about -- the notoriety of being "the stupid lady that lost the Expos."

MLC Head Writer #1

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

An 11th Hour Plea

Perhaps I didn't write in a vehement enough manner. Maybe "pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease don't sign him" isn't clear enough. And just in case this site isn't in Omar Minaya's favorites file, here's hoping one of the other 10,000 websites bemoaning/criticizing/scoffing at the potential four years of guaranteed Pedro might make the Mets think twice. What a scenario that'd be -- at this point, the Sox have washed their hands of Pedro, and if the Mets back out, there'd be a tail between two legs in Pedro's house. Deep down the Sox are probably thrilled to be able to part ways with Pedro in a manner where they come out as the good guys. Martinez, with his back-and-forth playing the Mets and Sox off each other, has come off as utterly shady. "It's only business, nothing personal," Pedro Martinez and Sal Tessio commiserate. And if only -- if only -- Omar Minaya would back away at the 11th hour, we'd hear this exchange:

Pedro: "Can you get me off the hook, Theo? For old times' sake?"
Theo: "Can't do it, Petey."

And then Martinez gets forced into a black sedan and winds up in the baseball equivalent of sleeping with the fishes, sleeping with the Devil Rays.