Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
The Rockies took the second step in the process of turning Jose Reyes into a free agent today, requesting formal release waivers on him. This is the followup to their designating him for assignment last week.
During that time he’s been off the roster and the Rockies could have, in theory, traded him. No one would give up anything for Reyes at this point, of course, let alone take on his salary. While Reyes is on waivers — which will last through Friday — someone can claim him for no talent in exchange, but would still have to pay him the tens of millions left on his contract. No one is gonna do that either. Once he clears waivers on Friday without anyone claiming him he’s a free agent who can be signed for the major league minimum salary with the Rockies on the hook for all of those millions on his deal.
There has been speculation that the Mets may look at him as an option for third base. Obviously, of course, Reyes’ recent domestic violence arrest will make him a much harder player to sign from an ethical and public relations perspective. The fact that he hasn’t played third and had a bad year last year may make him a harder sell baseball wise.
March and April are for optimism. May is for realism. June and July is when the harsh cold water of reality in the form of injuries, some soul-crushing, some merely cumulative, really starts to splash baseball fans in the face. Indeed, it seems like every day lately we’ve had a handful of dudes go down. The latest dude: Red Sox left fielder Chris Young.
Young hit a line drive off the Green Monster at Fenway Park a few minutes ago and rounded first. He realized he had best stay at first, however, and when he turned he collapsed to the ground. He made it back to first base but he had to crawl to do it. He left the field with a trainer, unable to put weight on his right leg. It seems clear that it’s a hamstring injury and seems clear he’s heading for the disabled list.
Young is hitting .271/.333/.504 with six homers and 15 RBI in 47 games for the Sox this year.
I’ll preface this by saying that what happened to baseball in Montreal totally sucked and that the Expos should rise again in the form of an expansion or relocated team with ownership that actually cares. I’ll likewise say that the 1994 strike sucked worse for the Expos than any other team because (a) they were clearly the best team in baseball at the time the season abruptly ended in August; and (b) the strike and its fallout led to the team being broken up and the promise that had been building there to totally be destroyed.
However, the extent to which “man, that was a bad break for the Expos” has turned into the “the Expos definitely would’ve won the 1994 World Series had it happened” over the years has always been strange to me. And it still manifests itself, most recently in the form of this cap you can buy:
I can see that a Montreal fan from that time might get some satisfaction over that cap and if they want one, hey, do what you want. But it’s certainly a cap that says more about the emotions of the owner than it says about what might’ve happened if the 1994 season had gone on.
We’ve had 21 postseasons since we’ve gone to the three-division, wild card setup, which would’ve been the setup in 1994 as well. In those seasons, the team with the best record in all of baseball has won its league’s pennant 8 out of a possible 21 times. The team with the best record in baseball has won the World Series 4 out of 21 times. The team with the best record in its own league has won the pennant 14 times out of 42 chances.
Not great odds. Great enough to inspire Expos fans to buy the cap? It would seem so, given that the last time I checked the link the cap was sold out. But I can’t help but think that, based on how the past 22 seasons of Wild Card ball has gone, that the 1994 Yankees, Braves, Indians, Reds, White Sox, Dodgers or any other number of teams might have just as much a claim to such a thing.