[2002 baseball season begins]
The first week of the 2002 baseball season has seen some pleasant surprises such as Barry Bonds knocking some early homers, as well as some nasty shocks: What in the world happened to Roger Clemens on his first outing? Or what about poor John Smoltz giving up eight runs to the Mets in the ninth inning last night??? Ouch! So far it looks like the Yankees and Braves have wasted their money on erstwhile sluggers Jason Giambi and Vinny Castilla. But let's be patient, sports fans...
Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder announced he is joining with Robert Johnson, one of the nation's most successful black businessmen, to create an ownership group that would bring a major league team to Washington next year. There are already two potential ownership groups, led by Fred Malek (in D.C.) and William Collins (in Northern Virginia). Let's hope all those fatcats manage to cooperate with each other in this important endeavor.
[Angelos settles with Maryland]
WARNING: POLITICAL CONTROVERSY As the result of a tentative settlement reached with Maryland state officials, Baltimore Orioles owner (and legal eagle extraordinnaire) Peter Angelos will "only" be collecting $150 million from the tobacco class action lawsuit, rather than the $1 billion in legal fees he was demanding from the state of Maryland, which expects to receive $4.4 billion from tobacco manufacturers. Hey, it's the standard lawyer's fee of 25%, what do you expect? (By the way, if you really think the other $850 million is actually going to help a significant number of victims of cigarette smoking, you are quite deluded. This tobacco law suit has been one of the greatest political scams in U.S. history, a massive windfall for pork barrel rogues in state legislatures.) The upshot is that Mr. Angelos just suffered a net loss of $850 million, so is it any wonder that he needs special protection for his Orioles' ball club, blocking any franchise from moving to Washington? Or perhaps this is just another indication of his limitless greed and shameless abuse of inside political connections. (He's a big pal of Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, and is a major contributor to the Democratic Party.) Perhaps it would help the chances of bringing baseball back to Washington if someone were to organize a charity drive to help out poor Peter Angelos. I'll bet Sting and Oprah and Whoopie Goldberg would be willing to lend their talents to this worthy cause...
[Expos' attendance drops]
Nearly 35,000 fans attended the Montreal Expos' opening day game this week, but on the next day less than 5,000 showed up. Their total attendance last year was only 642,748, nowhere close enough to break even. This year there are NO television or radio broadcasts of Expos games, except when TBS or WGN cover Braves and Cubs games in Montreal, that is. Given that no one believes the Expos will play there next year, this summer will be one long funeral dirge up in Olympic Stadium, which is a depressing enough place as it is. If that team manages to keep their collective chin up and even come close to a 500 win-loss record this season, they will deserve enormous credit.