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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Fire Sale Foul up!

The Sox can't even dump salary right!

Well the turnaround many were hoping for after the All-Star break never happened, and in fact the Sox got worse instead of better, so the fire sale began. Salary Dump 2002 got rid of Ray Durham, Sandy Alomar, Kenney Lofton, and Bob Howry, in return for six minor league pitchers, three of whom are likely to be minor league pitchers till they retire, and the other three, though showing some potential, have all had arm problems. The last thing any Sox fan wants to hear after the season this team had in 2001 is the term arm problems, or the word Labrum for that matter. Hell I didnít know a Labrum from a pile of bat guano before last season, now I am an expert. It is safe to say that the Sox did not get a whole lot in return for these four rent-a-players, but it was more the market than it was the GM, with a strike on the horizon no one spent a whole lot for the stretch run. Personally I am disappointed that there isnít one more name on the list of Sox players gone from this team, but unfortunately no takers were found for Royce Clayton and his sterling clubhouse presence. Had that happened I would call the whole salary dump a success of the highest order.

Don't Laugh--the Expos are better than us!

One team that was quite active in the trade deadline frenzy †brings up a point about conflicts of interest that I have mentioned in previous articles. The MLB owned Montreal Expos traded away almost every decent prospect in their system to acquire Bartolo Colon from the re-building Indians, and Cliff Floyd from the cash strapped Tampa Bay Devil dogs. This move is quite questionable for a team that Bud vows will not exist next year, and a team was not that much in the race for a playoff spot when the deals were made, I donít think anyone saw them catching the Braves or getting a wild card spot. What really puts the spots on the pig though is the fact that they turned around and dealt Floyd to a legit play-off contender, the Boston Red Sox, a week later, for less than half the talent they spent in acquiring him. Am I the only one that smells the skunk that died in the woodshed? This whole thing reeks of Bud and his normal behind the scenes† deal making, and the fact that Bud virtually hand picked the ownership group that bought the Red Sox, and arranged the sale of the Marlins to facilitate the acquisition sheds a poor shadow on Bud yet again. I have severe doubts about Bud being able to contract the league, if he ever really intended to do it in the first place, I think I see Bud, and the rest of the owners, lining their pockets when they unload the† lemon known as the Expos on some new owner that is buying a† car with a flashy paint job, but a hamster under the hood.

Bud in the soup again!

Speaking of my buddy BUD, he has been accused of tampering with the numbers on the sale of half of the Mets to one of the co-owners. Nelson Doubleday has accused Bud of using trumped numbers and invoking the 60/40 to devalue the team so as to cheat him out of his rightful 50%. The value of the team by an outside auditor used official MLB numbers and took into consideration the 60/40 rule that deems long term contracts to players debts instead of assets, but does not consider broadcasting revenue as an asset, as it is not a fixed number even if a long term contract is in place. I hope this little war between Wilpon and Doubleday gets to court and they subpoena Bud and his books, as well as those of the Mets , and the criteria used by Bob Starkey, the appraiser that MLB chose as an impartial evaluator. The kicker is Starkey is backing up the appraisal done by Dean Polenz, of the Arthur Anderson accounting firm, yes the same one that is guilty in the Enron mess. Doesnít the decision to give baseball its antitrust exception in the 1920ís state that baseball is a SPORT, not a business? Yet the major media wants to blame the MLBPA for the impending strike, this whole idea is becoming absurd.

The light at the end of the tunnel has been identified Sox fans, it is an oncoming train.

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 canít 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

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