Baseball Wiseguys

Friday, November 05, 2004

Nationals Pastime

No Mo' Expos
Heard on the radio this morning (980 AM) that the Expos will be renamed the Nationals when they begin play in DC. Didn't see a link on either the Post or NESN2 websites, so just take my word for it. Not sure how I feel about this choice of names, but I understand the hesitation to ring up the Senators again for a third go-round. I liked the idea of the Grays. Aside from those three possibilities, there's really nothing good out there, those 'hilarious' columnist suggestions of Pork Barrels, Wonks, or Crooked Politicos notwithstanding. And we all remember the fiasco that ensued last time the good people of the DC area were allowed to name a team...

Team colors will continue to be red, white, and blue, though one would imagine the blue will be changed to more of a navy than the current royal. The script 'W' hat probably won't make a return, nixed in favor of something more contemporary. I'd have really liked the name Grays, along with a simple Gray, White, and Navy Blue scheme. At any rate, let's hope they can come up with something that manages to be both traditional, and original.

The Boogiedown Rumor Mill
Latest Yankee news is that Mel Stottlemyre, after hinting at retirement, is now planning to come back, and wants a raise. A raise for what?!?! Making Vazquez horrible? If he must come back, George should give him a higher salary than this year, but include a series of reverse bonuses that dock his pay for every negative influence he has:
  • $750,000 base salary
  • ($10,000) for every 0.01 above 4.25 for the team ERA.
  • ($25,000) for every time a Yankee pitcher is sent to Tampa to work out his problems.
  • ($5,000) for every home run Vazquez gives up on an 0-2 count.
  • etc etc etc

I had really hoped that the Yanks would have had a 2 year deal done for Lieber by now, at slightly less per year than the $8 million option for 2005 they are about to decline. Nothing's official yet, but with such a weak FA crop of starters, the Yanks can ill afford to let him even think about leaving. The guy eats innings and pitches on an even keel, quickly, and hardly ever gets blasted like the Browns and Loaizas of the world.

Jersey Shore native Al Leiter may be about to hit the FA market as well. He could be a great fit with the Yanks, providing the lefty arm they so badly want. I could see it happening too, since Leiter's a local guy with family roots here. Also, any connection he can make/keep in the New York area will only help his budding announcer hopes once he retires. And with Big Stein having so much airtime to fill, likable Yankees aren't retiring in big enough numbers to keep him satisfied.

Overpaid for a Decade
Scott Boras claims Carlos Beltran is seeking a 10 year contract, worth about $18 million a year. I'm sorry, but the only way this is happening is if Boras invests some of his commission from the A-Rod deal to buy a time machine and turn the clock back to 2000. I am praying the Yankees don't attempt to sign him to anything longer than a 5 year deal, at no more than $14M/yr max; Beltran's an above average player, but he's no superhero.


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