September 29, 2004
New Mets honcho
Omar Minaya:

From Expos exile to ..Mets mess? At least Minaya will get a decent budget to work with.
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The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Three ways the new D.C. Expos can succeed:

1. Buy some talent. An ownership group can't lobby for a team, then cheap it up (see: Nets, NJ). Go "Moneyball" crazy, but shade closer to the Red Sox than the A's on the spending spectrum.

2. Live in luxury. Create MLB's most unique stadium: 75 percent luxury boxes (for huge revenue from wealthy lobbies) and only 10,000 "regular" seats (to inflate demand among a fan base of still-TBD interest).

3. Change the name. There's still some cachet left in the "retro" movement, so MLB should pressure the Rangers to give up the rights to "Senators," the only name this team should consider.

(Wild) AL West
In baseball's lone remaining division race (sorry, Giants fans, but at least you've got the wild card), don't worry about paying attention until Friday.

Now that Anaheim and Oakland are tied for first, nothing that happens the next two days will do anything to change the weekend's playoff showdown series between them.

NL Wild Card
Ranking the contenders, now that SF is tied with Chicago for the lead, with Houston a half-game back:

1. Giants: Well, they better win the WC, because trailing L.A. by 3 with 5 to play means the NL West looks just barely out of reach, even with those 3 season-ending games vs. L.A.

2. Astros: With a legacy of postseason problems every bit as sorry as the Cubs -- but with none of the cachet -- Houston has beaten NL standard-bearing St. Louis two straight. Earning it; what's not to like about that?

Ichiro Watch: Tuesday: 2 hits; needs: 4; games to go: 5
Vlad Guerrero: 2 HRs, 5 RBI in big win over Rangers
"Monster House?": 49ers stadium name rights to audio co.
A.J. Feeley: Benched for Fiedler, but really will it matter?
Kellen Winslow II: Out for season; *now* here's sympathy
Detroit Shock: Defending WNBA champs bounced by N.Y.
3. Cubs: With every loss to a team they should be thumping, the Cubs make it harder to root for them. Chicago has the least mo' of the three WC contenders.

Kobe Tattles
Kobe may be playoff-clutch, but under police pressure, he squeals like an extra from "Deliverance."

According to an emerging story about his interview with cops after The Incident, he compared his situation -- favorably -- to Shaq, who Kobe accused of paying off women in "situations like this."

Shaq found out about this last September; still wondering why they seemed to hate each other last season?

NFL Trade Rumor
In a league where trades are as scarce as KC's defense, here's the latest: Bucs holdout WR Keenan McCardell to the Chiefs for doghouse RB Larry "Take the Diapers Off" Johnson. (Hold on: Does McCardell play D?)

Streak Ending!
447 consecutive days. Not counting weekends and a handful of national holidays, that's my Quickie-writing streak, as of Wednesday morning. Not exactly Ripken or Favre, but hey ...

Who would put up with that kind of deviant behavior? The early mornings? The TV addiction? The obsession with awk. abbrev.? That would be devoted Quickie reader Margery, who -- assuming the rally caps work -- I'll marry on Sunday.

So Thu, Fri and Mon, for the first time since -- well, ever -- I leave you in the capable hands of pinch-hitter David Schoenfield. As the Quickie editor, he's the counter-balance to my instant-histrionics. (He'll also guest-host the Morning Quickie, live from 9-10 a.m. ET on SportsNation.)

Next week, left typing ring finger a little heavier, look for the start of a new streak.

Milton Bradley:
Loses his temper, gets tossed, rips off jersey as he walks off the field. Will the Dodgers pull a "Guillen" and suspend him? (Don't count on it.)
Today on
Page 2: Simmons on the Red Sox
Morning Quickie!
Gammons: Final-week issues
Top Five All-Time Expos
Vlad Guerrero
Hit .300 all seven seasons
Pedro Martinez
Won Cy Young in '97
Gary Carter
Team's lone HOF'er
Tim Raines
Most underrated of '80s
Andre Dawson
5-tool player with 'Spos

Watch this decision: Francona says BoSox will use 4-man rotation (not 3) in ALDS, saving arms for the ALCS. Hope they get that far ...

Not that we're paying attention: The Red Sox are 2.5 GB New York for the AL East, with 5 to play. Said it before: Out of reach ...

Why Ron Artest rules: Switching to No. 91, both to honor Dennis Rodman (!) and continue quest to wear as many numbers as he can ...

Even if an arbitrator rules that Jose Guillen must be reinstated to the Angels, the team says they have no intention of playing him ...

50 years ago today: Willie Mays' transcendent World Series catch (what were they doing playing the W.S. in September?) ...

In Wednesday's Morning Quickie: MLB in DC, AL West, marital advice and more. *LIVE*, 9-10 ET or read the transcript. (See Q It Up.)

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