This is the worst time of year to be a baseball fan. The Red Sox replaced traitor Johnny Damon yesterday with a guy with comparable stats and a much better name, Coco Crisp. Outside of that, there's not much news out there. Oh, unless you count speculation that in 2007 the Devil Rays are changing their name to "Tarpons," or just to "Rays." My guess is that the focus groups will pick the safe bet, "Rays."
The Daily News was an amusing read this morning, for only one reason. Comparing Mike Lupica's column with guest columnist Charles Farrell's.
Here's an exerpt from Mike's:
Nobody is suggesting that a conversation about racism is necessarily racist, whether it is on the radio or in a bar. But Mets fans who actually worry about this, who worry that Minaya, a Dominican raised a few blocks from Shea Stadium, a splendid New York success story, is loading up on Latin players because he is Latin himself, need to take a look at themselves. Because what they are talking about is racial quotas. They are talking about that.
And here's Charles's:
Bravo to you (Bob Raissman, Minaya Talk is Cheap, Jan. 25) for taking your very sharp scribe's pen and jabbing it squarely in the eyes of the bigots - yes bigots - who are accusing Mets GM Omar Minaya of Latin bias because of the Hispanic players he is bringing to the team. Sometimes you think it is 2006 and then something happens that puts you in a time warp back to 1956.
Can we just get on with the season already?
By the way, I was on the anti-WBC bandwagon for awhile, feeling that it should be played in November, not March. I agreed with the critics who felt interrupting spring training for an exhibition where key players could get injured was a bad idea.
Then I found out that the WBC Tournament is eight games long. Eight. And that's only the two teams that make it to the Finals. Teams eliminated in the first round will have played just three games. I think the players can handle that. And as a fan, gee, which is better, watching All-Stars play to win the WBC or watching the B-squad of the Nationals play the B-squad of the Braves on TBS?