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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Roster Trouble!

Well Sox fans, the injury bug hits again, and the debate over whether or not Joe Borchard will come north in April is over. Borchard was re-assigned to the minor league camp this week after breaking a bone in his foot with a foul ball and will be sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks. He will be sent to AAA Charlotte for rehab when the team breaks camp at the end of March, ending the speculation on whether he would make the team or not. Also being sent to minor league camp was Mario Valenzuela, OF, a player doing exactly what Sox management wanted him to do, produce well early in ST and showcasing his skills for a possible trade. Julio Ramirezís days in the Sox organization came to an abrupt end when he was released outright, mostly due to his inability to hit at the AAA level and because of the overabundance of outfielders in the Sox system already. The Sox are loaded with pitching and outfielders in the minors, but canít come up with an infielder outside of Tim Hummel that shows any promise. Anyone thinking that perhaps they need to draft an infielder or two with some of their high round picks this year? Or is it just me.

More fun on the labor front!

Bud, in his infinite wisdom, fired another round at the MLBPA by stating in a letter to team owners dated March 7th, that they have until June to be in compliance with the so-called 60/40 rule, a rule that was put in the books in the late Seventies and has never been enforced in the past. The rule is very simple, teams are not to have debt that is higher than 40% of its asset value, and debt will include long term player contracts, as well as loans against the team and Stadium debt. The teams will be valued at twice their 2001 revenue as a baseline to judge the numbers against, though it leaves the teams open to seek their own outside evaluation. Penalties to being above the rule can include withholding national TV revenue, and upwards to having the franchise placed in trusteeship. Why Bud would choose to bring this up now simply floors me, last time I checked you donít get far trying to douse a fire with gasoline, yet he is doing exactly that. The MLBPA has responded by rejecting, completely, the owners wish to a luxury tax and an increase in revenue sharing. The union countered with allowing teams to trade draft picks, and redistributing the 1st round picks of the top teams to the worst finishing teams, an asinine idea as far as Iím concerned. These teams canít, or wonít, pay for high priced talent now, so why give them high round draft picks that they wonít be able to sign because of signing bonuses and big money contract demands? Doesnít do much to help out the small market teams, but it does keep the big market teams holding a bidding war for the top FAís every year, which is exactly what the MLBPA wants. Union head Don Fehr had no comment on the 60/40 rule, other than to say that they would overlook the matter before a decision on filing a grievance would be made. A similar grievance was shot down in 1985 with the arbitrator finding it had no effect on player salary. I can see this whole negotiation process turning into a pissing match that ends up in court before all is said and done, and the possibility is there that everyone will be a loser, especially the fans.

††Prospect-for-life, Joe Crede

As of this writing, Joe Crede is doing what it takes to prove he doesnít want to go back to Charlotte, Joe is batting .484 and leads the AL in games played at third base. Robin Ventura has played in three less games and is batting .111, just to give a comparison. Does Joe have anything left to prove in the minors? No, but he is going to get forced back there yet again this year. Correct me if Iím wrong, but wasnít Joe one season away from being ready when Robin Ventura left four years ago? The Sox have managed to develop an infield prospect for the first time since they brought Ray Durham up, and are going to let him stagnate in the minors instead of making room for him on the major league roster. Of course this is not surprising from an organization that ruined a top prospect in Mike Caruso by rushing him to the major league roster long before he was ready, because Ron Schueler† felt he had to show immediate benefit from the white flag trade, instead of developing him in the minors. If this was a younger player, that did not have the minor league accolades that Joe has earned, I could agree with Kenny wanting a veteran out there, but that is not the case. Crede has earned his chance and the time is now.

†Thatís all for now Sox fans, I have reels to restring, fishing season approaches fast.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 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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