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from the WWL: The failure dynasties

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by budcrew08, May 2, 2008.

  1. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member


    Good article. Hey, Moddy, I don't think Jonah likes your Nats.

    Length of streak: The longest playoff drought of any club in the four major pro team sports, 26 years
    Last winning season: 83-79, 2003
    General managers: Kevin Malone (1995), Jim Beattie (1996-2001), Omar Minaya (2002-2004), Jim Bowden (2005-)

    Five bad moves
    1. The post-strike fire sale. Greed and stubbornness by the owners and players wiped out the end of the 1994 season, the playoffs and the best-in-baseball Expos' chances for a World Series run. Rather than push forward with the best young core of talent in the game, ownership ordered GM Kevin Malone to dump as many star players as possible in a week's time. The end result was a disastrous series of moves that ripped apart a loaded team while also failing to replenish the farm system. Marquis Grissom, Ken Hill and John Wetteland were jettisoned for pennies on the dollar. The Expos let hugely popular Canadian star Larry Walker walk without even offering him arbitration, ensuring that the team received nothing in return.

    2. Trading Pedro Martinez for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. Of all the cheapskate moves engineered by Montreal's owners, the trade of Martinez to the Red Sox ripped out the hearts of Expos fans. Just 26 years old and coming off his first Cy Young Award, Pedro still had the best years of his Hall of Fame career in front of him. Instead, the team settled for Pavano and Armas, two talented young pitchers whose careers were derailed by constant injuries.

    3. Jeffrey Loria engineering a blackout. Early in the Expos' history, owner Charles Bronfman relinquished broadcast rights in southern Ontario to the fledgling Toronto Blue Jays, as a favor to Canada's newest team. The move would prove disastrous, giving the Jays the platform they'd need to become a large-market power while forever condemning the Expos to small-market purgatory.

    Heading into the 2000 season, owner Jeffrey Loria dealt a similarly cruel blow to the franchise's fortunes, though with far less honorable intentions. Loria supposedly shopped the team's TV and English radio rights around that year, but found no takers at his asking price. Rather than chalk up broadcasting rights as marketing costs, the Expos went dark in every medium except French radio that season, dealing a devastating blow to the team's already teetering fortunes. Given how conveniently Loria managed to bail on the Expos and reap huge rewards from the franchise sale, then extort the taxpayers of Florida into a lucrative taxpayer-funded stadium deal years later, it's easy to speculate that Loria sabotaged the Expos' final days in Montreal, with tacit approval from his accomplice Bud Selig.

    4. Trading Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips and Cliff Lee for Bartolo Colon. Before the 2002 season, the Expos were identified as a prime candidate for franchise contraction. When the team surprisingly stayed in contention for a few months, GM Omar Minaya made a what-the-heck trade, acquiring Colon from the Indians. The go-for-it deal was a rare, pleasant surprise for Montreal fans, used to seeing their team trade away established stars. But the bounty sent to Cleveland in return was considered a king's ransom at the time, a short-sighted trade made under duress, even for an ace like Colon. Six years later, Nationals fans can only fantasize about Sizemore and Phillips playing alongside Ryan Zimmerman, with Lee fronting the starting rotation.

    5. Failing to re-sign Vladimir Guerrero. Another future Hall of Famer, another unceremonious departure. The Expos supposedly offered Vlad a contract extension before he hit free agency, though the offer came in well below market value. The Angels snapped him up, getting a new franchise player in the process. OK, Nats fans, now imagine an outfield of Sizemore, Vlad and Lastings Milledge, with an infield anchored by Zimmerman and Phillips.

    Lowest moment: Maybe you can trace the franchise's downfall to 1991, when a 55-ton concrete beam crumbled off the façade of Olympic Stadium and crashed onto a walkway. The Expos played their last 13 home games on the road, failed to reach .500 for the first time in five years, failed to reach 1 million in attendance for the first time since the Big O opened and added another chapter to their ill-fated history.

    Favorite whipping boys: Bud Selig, Claude Brochu, Jeffrey Loria, Tom Runnells, Hideki Irabu, Brad Fullmer.

    Notable quotable: "This was a team that had to be moved. We knew it had to relocate. Baseball didn't want to own it anymore. This was a team owned by baseball that we were anxious to get rid of." --Commissioner Bud Selig on the Expos' move to Washington after the 2004 season.

    Hope for the future? Zimmerman and Milledge are 23-year-old twin building blocks for the offense, and top prospect Chris Marrero provides another potential impact bat down the road. But the pitching is thin both at the major league level and in the high minors. There's enough midlevel talent for the team to be respectable right now, but not nearly enough for the team to be really good for several years.

    ETA for next winning season: 2012.
  2. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Expos get hosed because they were a playoff shoo-in in 1994.
  3. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Expos were a World Series shoo-in that year IMO.
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    It was clear ownership was out to cut the franchise's throat from 1994 on.
  5. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    It's interesting that two of the franchises in the article were in first place when the strike hit.
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    It won't take until 2012.
    And most of that shit happened to the EXPOS.
  7. chester

    chester Member

    I know the Expos were, who was the other?
  8. lantaur

    lantaur Well-Known Member

    The guy who wrote this article lost all credibility with me when he said the Orioles have no future pitching. Uh, that would be their only strength (other than Matt Wieters) in the minors, not to mention some of these guys are doing OK for themselves in the majors.
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    The article points out correctly that the Pirates made a huge mistake giving Kendall (a non-impact player) a $60 million contract. Also mentions correctly that they lavished big money on mediocrities like Kevin Young and Pat Meares.

    Then he tries to claim they've done everything on the cheap.

    Can't have it both ways.
  10. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    If the Tigers can do it, your Nats can too.
  11. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

  12. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Kendall had a nice stretch where he was a threat for 20 homers and 20 steals, with a .320 average.

    Great fantasy catcher. Not a great investment in real life, since a catcher whose greatest asset is his legs was destined to hit the wall very, very soon.
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