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Sunday, February 19, 2017
Jack Todd: Snakes who killed Expos to slither away with $1.6 billion
When I made the West Coast road trip with the Expos in May 2000, the Expos were on a roll. Rondell White was hot, Vladimir Guerrero was one of the dominant sluggers in the game, Carl Pavano was pitching well, Jose Vidro was doing a good job at second base and hitting a tonne.
The young Expos couldn’t know it at the time, but they had already received the fatal snake bite. It would just take a while for the venom to take effect. Five years later, the team would be defunct and I would be sitting in a press box in Philadelphia, covering the first regular-season series played by the ex-Expos, now known as the Washington Nationals, and mourning our lost baseball team.
The snakes who killed the Expos, of course, were Jeffrey Loria and his former stepson David Samson, a.k.a. Dad and ThanksDad and a whole lot of names that are too obscene for a family newspaper.
Snakes, weasels, skunks — pick your animals. When Forbes reported last week Loria had a deal in principle to sell the Florida Marlins for an astonishing $1.6 billion, Yahoo! baseball writer Jeff Passan went with the striped variety: “Over the past 18 years, as Jeffrey Loria sprayed the stench of his naked greed across baseball like the skunk he is …”
Yes, you read it right — $1.6 billion for an initial investment of essentially nothing. For killing one franchise and bleeding another white, the penalty is Loria and Samson will be forced to laugh all the way to the bank.