The Montreal Expos have been a franchise in disarray for years now. One would think that the promise of permanent home and dedicated ownership would alleviate this state of affairs, but it's actually getting worse. Expos general manager Omar Minaya is gettin' while the gettin's good, accepting a job with the Mets. I'd wish him well, but the Mets are a divisional rival and a team I hated to begin with, so I hope he fails miserably. David Wright for Tony Batista straight up, Omar - you know you want to.
"Well, no big deal," you may be saying to yourself. "The owners will hire someone. Hey, maybe that Cal Ripken fella would be a good GM." If you are saying that to yourself, you could hardly be wronger. First, Cal Ripken: GM springs from the same logic that gave us John Thompson: radio personality and Madonna: Jewish mystic. Second, we're not going to have an owner. Jayson Stark has a useful overview of the impending chaos:
We surveyed several people familiar with team sales in general and this situation in particular. They estimated that MLB could be stuck with this club anywhere from another six months to (better grab the smelling salts) two years.If everything goes perfectly smoothly, we might have ownership in place around Opening Day. This means we miss out on a very interesting crop of free agents (it's not every year a power-hitting 3B comes on the market at age 25), and without some of those guys, the Washingtons aren't going to compete. What we have in the Expos is a good skeleton around which to build a team. The current squad is pretty cheap, pretty young, and possessed of reasonably good potential. It's not Cleveland or Texas, but it's not Arizona, either. The NL East is not the strongest division in the game, and there would be nothing to stop the current Expos + $40 million from competing, or at least whipping the hell out of the Mets. With MLB continuing to own the team, we can't expect any big name free agents or, perhaps worse, the reorganization and replenishment of the farm system. Even as I rejoice at our good fortune, I lament our lost opportunities.
The good news is that, new ownership or not, the team won't be the Expos next year. The safe choice is Senators, and I don't think Rangers owner Tom Hicks will make getting the name a problem. I'm glad to see some buzz buzzing around Grays. Michael Wilbon wrote a column about it, and Dan Patrick favors it as well, not to mention notorious badass Anthony Williams. It certainly has some advantages. I, for one, don't like that damn cursive W the City Council was sporting yesterday. It looks like the logo of a dude ranch. A team called the Senators would probably have to wear red, white, and blue, and scientists have determined that it's almost impossible to do that and not look stupid. I can't say that I prefer Grays, but that and Senators are the only names that don't annoy me. And after all, shouldn't that be the overriding consideration?
In other news, I've been hearing something about a presidential election going on. I can't believe they're doing this again already. It's like making a sequel to Resident Evil - wasn't the last one bad enough? I decided to take a look at the candidates and tell you who to vote for.
George W. Bush (R)
- Pros: a baseball guy. Used to own the Rangers. Threw out first pitch at Cards game.
- Cons: traded Sammy Sosa.
- Pros: looks just like Cleveland 3B Casey Blake. Red Sox fan.
- Cons: favorite Red Sox players? Manny Ortiz and Eddie Yost.