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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Play the Kids!

A lot has happened since the last time I wrote a column, but time has been scarce lately, getting a new job does that to people. It surprises no one that the Sox show a burst of winning baseball, when it no longer means a damn thing come October, that is part of the penance for being a Sox fan, but some good things have come out of that spurt of good baseball, Joe Crede can play ball at this level, and do it well. I think it is safe to say that we have the Sox third baseman for the immediate future playing now, pending when he is due for free agency. Joe Borchard  was called up, and has shown me at least, that he deserves a long look in spring training as the starting center fielder for next season, is he one hundred percent ready for this level? No, but he has shown me that he can learn at this level and do it quickly, and the alternative is Aaron Rowand or Willie Harris, neither of whom have proven to me that they are a better alternative to Borchard. In my opinion let him start next season and sink or swim, it worked with Robin Ventura. 

Post Mortem on the Baseball's Labor Deal

The MLBPA avoided a strike by agreeing to a luxury tax and some other concessions, and gave the owners a first  in thirty years, a  marginal win in a labor battle, and guaranteed the fact that we will go through this whole mess again in four years. The owners “Luxury Tax” will do nothing to improve competitive balance throughout the league, because there is no language in the agreement to force that, owners like Carl Pohlad, Michael Glass, and Jeff Loria will still continue to be able to slash payroll and pocket their check from MLB at the end of the season, and there is nothing in writing to stop them. I will give Bud credit for one thing, he did a great job of selling the owners story to the media, and had the media play the 9-11 tilt to such a point that the MLBPA was forced to agree to a CBA that they found distasteful, but bearable, and they will fight the concessions back in the next go around, since this plan is destined to fail to make any difference. The fact that George Steinbrennar is considering suing Bud, and the rest of the MLB owners only adds to this farce, there is a reason that the vote went 29-1 in ratifying this agreement, and the fact that George has hired the top antitrust lawyer in the country adds to it. This one ain’t outta the woods yet folks.

What next for the Expos?

Speaking of MLB, how long are they going to continue to own the Montreal Expos in a clear conflict of interest? The league has already shown that they are capable of using that team to further the gains of Bud’s preferred list, the Cliff Floyd to the Expos to the Red Sox deal leaps immediately to mind, as does the law suit by the Expos minority owners accusing Bud of racketeering, when does it end? There has been some talk about allowing the one of the groups in Washington D.C. to buy the franchise and move it there, but who gets stuck with paying the one hundred million dollar tab that Peter Angelos wants to offset the losses he feels he will incur if another team is allowed into what he considers his market? That being said, if MLB continues to own the team next season, who decides what is done with the huge check that the team will collect from the old revenue sharing plan at the end of this season? This is a team that the owners allowed to trade away their farm system entirely to benefit a few other teams, so who pockets the money? Does anyone really think the Expos will be much of a player in the free agent market? This whole situation reeks of the stench that follows the MLB owners wherever they roam. 

At least I know I will see a World Series this year, and it will be four years till I have to worry about brushing up on my baseball labor knowledge, enjoy Sox fans!

Dave Schmitt is a life-long resident of the Joliet area, with the exception of two years spent being the only Sox fan in the hell hole known as Baytown Texas, where the trucks are large and the alligators are hungry.  Plumber by trade, hunter by choice, and fisherman 'cause you can’t hunt year round.  Married With Children, and four dogs that are confirmed Sox fans.  The kids have less sense.  You can send email to Daver at

More features from Dave Schmitt here!

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