January 17, 2003


EXPOS DEEZ PLAQUES: The Baseball Hall of Fame has decreed that Gary Carter, despite winning his only World Series and playing much of his career with the New York Mets, will be sporting a Montreal Expos cap on his plaque when he was inducted this August. Carter will be the first Expo enshrined in the Hall of Fame and, unless '84 Expo Pete Rose should decide to don the old "ME" for his still-unlikely induction, probably the last.
Only the second most nonsensical decision made by organized baseball this week (after the ridiculous new All-Star Game/World Series deal), this decision is primarly the fault of three people: Bud Selig, Dave Winfield, and Ja Rule.
Selig, because he's the boss and the buck (the Bud?) stops with him. Winfield, because prior to his induction in 2001, players entering the Hall were allowed to choose which cap they wanted. But that was before Winfield played several of his former teams against one another, making clear that he would wear the cap of which ever team gave the most sizable donation to his foundation (the Padres won out). And while it was heartening that George Steinbrenner lost out on that particular bidding war, the Hall's governing committee took note and decreed that from then on it was their call on which cap players would wear. They messed up on Carter, yes, but at least this new rule will prevent such disgraceful future events as Wade Boggs' professed desire to be inducted as a Tampa Bay Devil Ray.
Speaking of Rules, Ja Rule spent one of his videos last year clad in the winning (?) red-white-and-blue combo of a '70s Expos hat and a '70s Washington Bullets jersey. And since rap videos are for black men what "Sex and the City" is for white women, throwback uniforms soon became all the rage, with nothing gaining more appeal than the classic Expos cap (last week I had to fight the urge to purchase a Minneapolis Lakers hat). Gary Carter in all probability has never heard of Ja Rule, but don't tell me there's no connection between that fad and the Hall committee's decision.
In the meantime, I very much look forward to the day when Vladimir Guerrero is enshrined in Cooperstown as the first-ever inductee of the Washington Expos.

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 17, 2003 12:56 PM
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