Greetings from Valley Stream, Long Island, where I'm visiting my wife's family for the holidays.
Valley Stream is the town where former Yankees (1952-54) and Kansas City A's (1955-59) pitcher Tom Gorman was from. He went to high school with my father-in-law. Ex-NBA center Connie Dierking is also from Valley Stream. He played in the league from 1958-71. Actor Steve Buscemi is also a Valley Stream product. And, of course, my wife Diane.
The big baseball news up here is the Mets' signing outfielder Jason Bay to a multi-year deal. Mets' GM Omar Minaya - who as Expos' GM made sure the Nationals' farm system was bled dry before the move to DC - had traded the former Montreal draft pick to the Mets for Lou Collier (Lou Collier!) in 2002. The Mets moved him to San Diego who then sent him to Pittsburgh where he became a regular.
It will be interesting to see how Mets fans react to Bay, since the word last month was that he wasn't interested in playing in Queens, but he found his options dwindling with the New Year approaching.
January should be a busy month, for the Nationals and for a lot of other clubs. The large number of free agents still on the market means a lot of guys are going to get a lot less money than they expected when they first saw their own free agency on the horizon. It's the best example of why the Players Association doesn't want unlimited free agency every year - it would be a total buyer's market.
On a fairly sad note, it's extremely unfortunate to see the Washington Times eliminate their sports staff. Quite frankly, that paper had little else going for it. The newspaper business is gradually fading away. I never thought I'd see that happen, though I couldn't have imagined the internet 25 years ago.
I'll be back home sometime tomorrow.