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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Speaking of the Big Hurt

Well what do you know, Jerry Reinsdorf† saw fit to invoke Frank Thomasí diminished skills clause, making him a free agent for forty five days and deferring his pay should he NOT sign elsewhere. There are a lot of Sox fans that think this was a great idea, I have to disagree, when you get right down to it this is a player that holds a good number of your franchise records, as well as a few MLB records. I am not a Frank Thomas fan, I respect what he has accomplished as a player, but I also keep in mind what he has done off the field to add fuel to the fires that he is not a team player. His ban on giving interviews to the media late last season was probably the smartest thing he has ever done, because he has done nothing but feed the mediaís cannons for years with his quotes, some of which I can still get a laugh over, suffice it to say his own mouth buried him with the Chicago media. Like him or not, Frank Thomas has the ability and the talent to put up big numbers, he put up better numbers than his so called replacement Carlos Lee last year, and for those of you that want to bring age into the equation, Barry Bonds won an MVP this year, at the age of 39.†

Conflict of Interest in Montreal

The conflict of interest that is MLB owning the Montreal Expos continues, and has gone from ridiculous to down right ludicrous; Bud Selig has chosen to turn the Expos into a traveling roadshow by scheduling 22 home games in Puerto Rico. When you add to that the fact that the owners are going to peg their payroll at the same figure that it was last year, you can guarantee that Budís chosen few will get the first picks at what will be a sale of talent off the Expos roster, donít be surprised to see Bartolo Colon in a Red Sox uniform when the season starts, or in Yankee pinstripes. When will Bud learn that the fans are on to his gig and we all know that he has no interest in improving the game itself?

Free Agents!

The free agent market this year is abysmal, unless you are Jim Thome, and he may return to the Indians for less money than he could earn elsewhere, just to spare himself from playing in Philly. I knew the market would be bad, but I didnít picture it being this bad, guys like Maddux and Glavine are getting few offers, and most are coming from teams that have little chance of being competitive next year, though the Mets have an outside chance of turning things around. The fact that Thome asked for a meeting with the Cubs verifies that he wants to play in the Midwest, and leads me to believe he will end up back with the Indians, though I would be all for him switching to the National League. Money for money has become the way that teams work these days, the Rockies gave away a ton of payroll to gain† money for the future by shipping Mike Hampton to the Marlins, for little besides Charles Johnson in return, and watching Hampton get dealt for even less to the Braves, but the payroll numbers work out to the advantage of all but the Marlins, Jeff Loria knows how to lose money better than any other MLB owner. †

I donít have any answers, but I do have deer to clean, so off to work I go.††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† DAVER

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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