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J ust great, guys. You did something. You're still a bunch of schmucks.

And good for you too, Mr. Commissioner, if I can call you that, you got your little victory. Kinda. You turned the tide in the owners' favor for the first time in 30 years. Sorta.

Congratulations all around, ole BS you. Instead of being the only commissioner to preside over the cancellation of two World Series, you're just the only commissioner to lead baseball to the cancellation of one World Series.
Put that at the top of a resume, why don't ya.

In the end, nothing negotiated will make a difference. You know, things in motion stay in motion, things at rest stay at rest. Something like that.

The Yankees will still succeed. It may take them a year or two to figure it out, but they'll be fine. George will make do with $117 million next year, and $120 the year after, God bless him. $136.5 should be a breeze by 2006.

The A's will continue to win, with whatever money they decide to invest. Atlanta will still be a regular season power while stinking up the post season, starting any minute now. On the other hand, if they can't replace Maddux and Glavine, or keep them winning, they may just stink up the whole year by 2003.

The Milwaukee Brewers will suck as bad as anyone, no matter how much money you throw at them, the Cubs will always be the Cubs, the Boston Red Sox will keep the curse-talk alive indefinitely, and left-handed relievers will still make millions more than they're worth.

There will still be mind-boggling contracts for fourth outfielders and fifth infielders, and the Texas Rangers will still be a total mess for a really good chunk of Alex Rodriguez' sentence there. That's fine though. Whatever.

Competitive balance? Please. Remember what we used to call "the second division?" The term may be dated, but it applies here. There's always gonna be a bunch of teams who are out of it by May, and you'll find that the badly run clubs will pretty much be the same, year in and year out.

As always, there will still be surprises to keep things interesting, like the Twins of the last two years, and the Chisox and Reds of a couple years ago, and of course, the Padres, once every 10 or 12 years.

It just won't be because of what you guys "accomplished" in collective bargaining. Baseball takes care of itself, if you just get out of the way.

Oh, and you booted the contraction thing thoroughly.

Now, where's my apology? With the possible exception of Paul Lo Duca, there hasn't been a whole lot of humility expressed from anyone involved. You owe us, big-time. A few baseballs tossed into the stands doesn't cut it anymore. I want to see some good, old-fashioned groveling...

A word on Fay Vincent. Los Angeles Times' baseball writer Ross Newhan had this to say recently:

"It's his own distinguished career that former commissioner Fay Vincent has tended to demean with his ongoing harangues and criticisms of Bud Selig....Vincent was forced from office in 1992 by a coalition of hard-line owners led by Selig, and it's as if he can't let go?"

Uh, hello? It's a nice use of the word "harangues," and Newhan gets it right most of the time, but is fanning here. Can't let go? No, actually, Vincent is simply accommodating the writers who seek him out, which is completely appropriate for them to do, since he's intelligent, available, candid, and was the last true commish. What he has to say is generally right on.

Haranguing? Nah, there's no haranguing in baseball.

Newhan also quotes baseball's senior vp or pr, Rich Levin, as saying "I was very close to Fay, but I'm disgusted. He was outsmarted by Bud 10 years ago and it's still bothering him."

Actually, no. That's not even remotely what happened, and it's Levin who can't let go. Bud Selig never outsmarted anyone in his entire life. A chess-master Bud Selig is not.

Vincent wasn't outsmarted, he was out-muscled and out-maneuvered, and tossed aside by a man who cared more about himself than the game, and who had all the leverage he could want and all the cards, right in the palm of his hand.

I knew Fay Vincent. Fay Vincent was a friend of mine. And you, Rich Levin, are no Fay Vincent...

How 'bout those Mets, huh? Hey, I told you so (2002 Predictions). And yes, sure I'm self-serving. Who else would I serve? I also had a great line about the New York managers, which I can't believe no one got. See if you can pick up on this a second time. It's not that subtle:

"Bobby Valentine will do everything in his power to distinguish himself from Joe Torre, and will succeed..."

Angels? I'm trying, but I just don't care...

I can't believe I'm older than Julio Franco...

Remember, glove conquers all....

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