Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Vast Right-Field Conspiracy

Sosa was officially unveiled yesterday.

The Baltimore Sun provides a full anatomy and time-line of the deal, which might be an attempt to quash the conspiracy theories floating around.

In a similar vein, the Post has a parallel story, told from the Nats perspective.
How close did the Washington Nationals come to getting Sammy Sosa from the Chicago Cubs, before the Baltimore Orioles ultimately did? Close enough that the Cubs made it clear they would have sent him to Washington for less money than the Orioles ultimately paid. Close enough that the Nationals concluded they could have fit Sosa into their 2005 payroll budget. Close enough that Sosa told close friends he had a choice between Washington and Baltimore.

"He was pretty close" to coming to Washington, said Nationals right fielder Jose Guillen, a close friend who has spoken to Sosa frequently in recent weeks. "It just came down to his decision, Baltimore or Washington. We almost got him, but he just decided to go over there." ...

A source familiar with the trade discussions between the Cubs and Nationals -- which began at December's winter meetings -- said the Cubs offered to eat more of Sosa's contract, in order to allow the Nationals to squeeze him into their MLB-mandated payroll, if the Nationals would part with better talent than the Orioles' gave up.

The proposed deal, Tavares said, "wouldn't have caused a problem" for the team, in terms of finances.

But more importanly:

Under this conspiracy theory, MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig supposedly steered Sosa to the Orioles as a way to placate Angelos -- something officials from the Orioles, Nationals and the commissioner's office have denied categorically.

"It's total bull," Tavares said. "I don't know where [people are] coming up with this."

Bob DuPuy, baseball's president and chief operating officer, called it "palpable nonsense." DuPuy said he was informed at one point by Tavares that "the Nationals weren't interested in the Sosa deal."

But if it really were a conspiracy, would they admit to it? (Insert Creepy Music)

I work in a building that housed the Warren Commission. I know a thing or two about conspiracies. You're not fooling me, Dupuy!


  • Why on earth would the Nats have done that? Ok, I know, publicity, obviously. But we've already got about six major-league ready outfielders (not counting Endy), all of whom are worth more than Hairston, including J.J. Davis. And, as Ryan suggests, if Bowden was even thinking about giving up a starter, he should be fired right now.

    I like the Tavares quote in the Post article -- "We are focused on making this team good now and getting better and better and better," Tavares said. "So giving up young players for what could be a one-year phenomenon doesn't make a lot of sense to us." -- but if he really believed that, how did things even get to the point where they were seriously talking money? Unless he was talking about trading Chavez, I don't want to hear it.

    Even for free, Sosa would be a bad deal for this team. It's an ok deal for the Orioles, since their OF is terrible and they seem to think they can be competitive this year (perhaps a stronger 3rd place finish than last year). But for a team with no hope of contending and a full plate of good and/or developing OFs, it would have been idiotic.

    By Blogger Randolph, at 2/03/2005 8:34 AM  

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