Marlins get Delgado
The biggest trading story of the week was the Marlins' winning bid for free agent Carlos Delgado, beating out the Orioles and the Mets. It would appear that the franchise owner, Mr. Loria, is trying to impress Miami city leaders that he is serious about building a top-rate team in order to get the funding for the new stadium his team so desperately needs.
Jays buy Skydome
So, what will the Blue Jays do without Delgado's bat? Well, they're going to purchase Skydome, for one thing, paying just C$25 million for a facility that cost over C$500 million to build. Something tells me taxpayers in Canada are getting hosed royally over the bargain-basement liquidation of this ill-conceived white elephant. They certainly didn't learn the lesson from Olympic Stadium. For this season the Blue Jays plan to spruce up Skydome, putting in a new scoreboard (Jumbotrons are obsolete) and replacing the old Astroturf with the "more natural" FieldTurf. It was the only major league field with Astroturf last year! Now why can't they put in real grass, like at all the other retractable-roof stadiums? Oddly, the CFL Toronto Argonauts plan to move out of Skydome into a smaller, football stadium of their own in the next few years. See mlb.com
Mets get ambitious
Although missing out on their main target, the Mets have definitely not been slouching in the off-season. After acquiring Carlos Beltran from the Astros and Pedro Martinez from the Red Sox, they just picked up another top player: Doug Mientkiewicz, also from Boston. Other than that strange controversy over possession of the game ball from the final out in the 2004 World Series, I don't know why the Red Sox would let him go. He was just traded from the Twins in midseason last year, and barely had time to get settled in to Beantown. Along with the Orioles, the Mets have been one of the biggest disappointments in recent years, in terms of payroll relative to win-loss record. Mike Piazza will be in the last year of his contract, and isn't sure whether he will retire after this year.
There are new diagrams on the Candlestick Park page. (3-Com? Monster??)