What else to make of the Orioles trading for a washed-up clubhouse cancer who will never hit 60 home runs again without the aid of cork or pills?
Well, theory #1 comes from P.T. Barnum -- there's a sucker born every minute -- and MSNBC's Mike Celizic is in that camp:
The answer is, "Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan."
The question is, "Who are the dunderheads running the Baltimore Orioles?"
The word is these two co-general manager geniuses have been smitten by the bold idea of trading with the Cubs for Sammy Sosa. When this deal becomes official, it will go down as the worst acquisition of a formerly potent superstar since the Mets signed George Foster.
And that's just the opening salvo from Celizic's can of whoop-ass.
But let's look at the details. The Cubs are eating $10m of Sosa's salary, leaving the Orioles on the hook for one year at $7m. Assuming the O's gave up little on the talent shipped the other way, this looks like a classic case of pure gains from trade.
The Cubs are rid of their clubhouse cancer, and can get their minds focused on competing against the super-tough Cards and potentially tough Astros (whose outfield looks like a disaster, but with starting pitching to die for). Check.
What's in it for the Orioles? Well, he'll be in a contract year if the trade goes through. Having signed on to the deal, it looks like Sammy is planning on doing some image-polishing this year. Regardless, whether it's home runs or tantrums, the Orioles are sure to get publicity from Sosa. Now that the O's are in a dogfight for the DC market, publicity is golden. That's my take, and that of Thomas Boswell too, who gets one right for a change 😉
I'm guessing that my fellow saber-heads will join the Celizic camp, but remember, the bottom line encompasses more than this year's won/lost record. Expect more outbursts from Angelos on just about any topic, for this very reason. Angelos wants column inches in the Washington Post and air-time on the local newscasts, and he'll pay or say most anything to get it. Even if it means writing a check to Sammy Sosa.