Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Talleyrand Day

I feel like I've already established that Jim Bowden is a bad general manager, and if you're not convinced by now you won't be, but here's another log for the fire of my righteous indignation. Murray Chass of the New York Times wrote a piece (also run in the Examiner) suggesting an MLB conspiracy that denied Sammy Sosa to the Nationals and funneled him to the Orioles as a very special way of saying "I'm sorry" to Peter Angelos.
The Cubs, disenchanted with Sosa, will pay $12 million of the 2005 salary and the $3.5 million severance payment. When they were talking with the Nationals last week, they were prepared to pay even more of the total.
This busts a hole in my theory that all this Sosa chatter was just another way for Trader Jim to see his name in newsprint. I didn't think the Cubs would give Sammy up for as little as they did. But think about what this tells us about Bowden. He was actually about to give up somebody - maybe even Brad Wilkerson - for Sammy Sosa. The sooner we get some real owners in here the better.

Speaking of owners, local deity Cal Ripken is apparently angling for some kind of involvement with whatever lucky bastards buy the Nationals. I've weighed in on this before (I don't feel like digging through the archives, but trust me), and I remain steadfast that Ripken should not be entrusted with any kind of real authority without working his way up to it. I know Baltimoreans think he's the best ballplayer that ever lived and that his creepy ice-blue eyes can pierce one's very being, but he's still just an ex-player with a ghost-written book and couple minor league teams. More interesting was this bit:
Oakland GM Billy Beane, also a former player, also has interest in being a part of an ownership group.
I'm not one of those guys who has the special edition of Moneyball with all of Billy Beane's words printed in red, but I'd much rather have him in charge than Ripken. Imagine what you'd get with Beane in charge and a serious payroll. Or if you can't imagine it, ask a Red Sox fan.

Former Loudoun Cabal ringleader and perennial wannabe Bill Collins has entered a bid on the Nats, and Eric at Off Wing Opinion high-handedly instructs us to be nice to him.

I can't help but notice that a lot of Nats bloggers have grown fond of using the term (first coined by Ryan at Distinguished Senators), "Loudoun Cabal" to refer to Collins and his fellow investors.
Here's something I think you guys should remember -- long before there was any formal announcement that baseball was coming back to this area, the one name who has been connected to the effort since the late 1980s was Bill Collins.
Say what you will about the merits of the plan for a Loudoun ballpark (I thought it was a disaster too), or whether or not Collins would be the best owner for the team now (I think he's a longshot), but the fact of the matter remains that for many years he was the one public figure who kept working to keep the idea alive that baseball belonged back in Washington.
He deserves better.

While not getting a baseball team for 15 years is quite an accomplishment, Collins doesn't deserve anything from us. Here's something else you guys should remember:

"We've always looked south and west of the [Potomac]," Collins said. "Nothing has really changed there. In this area, you do not want to cross any bridges."

Collins was the guy who wanted to call the team the Virginia Grays. His strategy depended on selling out every baseball fan in Maryland and D.C. to Peter Angelos. Eric seems impressed that Collins almost managed to hijack the Astros in the mid-90s. I'm not, and all Collins "deserves" is to fail in this as he has in every other baseball endeavor.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen on Collins and amen on Ripken.

The Beeper King sold out half of the DC baseball market in a vain attempt to appease Havana Pete.

He deserved to lose, and he did.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the FURY!

Grays would be a great name, although Virginia Grays would take away the positive context.

chris

Ryan said...

Yep. I'm fully aware that it's Heritage not Hate and Pride not Prejudice and all that, but "Virginia Grays" has some connotations that are best avoided.