Scapegoats

Steve Davis talks expansion (among other stuff, but Carlos Ruiz being hard to figure is neither news, sports, nor weather):

So it looks like I was wrong about calling Chivas USA "Future Relocated Franchise." Instead, it looks like instead they'll be Future Dispersal Draft.

Shame, really. I would have thought a nice reward for the city to get its act together first would be a decent team more or less intact. Imagine what that team would do with actual fans. We might not find out, though. Guzan, Bornstein and maybe Kljestan will go abroad, the superannuated Mexicans will go home, and years from now Chivas USA will be remembered fondly as the Toronto Metros-Croatia of MLS.

In fact, why are they even bothering to put them on the schedule this year?

Oh. As long as they pretend Bizarro Chivas is a viable franchise, they can justify a $10 million difference. Well, that's about $20 million more than Chivas USA will make in its existence, so I can't really blame the league for pretending.

And this probably explains why Cue and Hunter don't just up and move. If they did, they would cost the league forty million donuts. In the words of Edward II, ouch. I assume the Major Soccer League charter has a "Don't do anything that will cost us forty million dollars" clause. The Al Davis route is closed, because unlike the NFL, MLS is a single entity, Chivas USA is not an independent property, and the team isn't really theirs to move.

The only way that team will make money is getting its own stadium somewhere, but they would apparently have to do it in Los Angeles. The existing stadiums aren't options. The Rose Bowl would be pointless, even the Raiders couldn't make money in the Coliseum, and we've seen how the Home Depot Center has worked out for them.

And, since Los Angeles simply will not put public money towards a stadium, Cue and Hunter (boy, things sure haven't been the same since Jorge Vergara died) now get to decide whether it's worth something like $100 million to build a stadium for a fanbase consisting of Galaxy spillover. The phrase "good money after bad" storms into mind. And the time to start on such a project would have been 2004. At the very latest, in 2005, specifically about a half hour after their inaugural game at the Home Depot Center failed to sell out.

Instead, the Galaxy got Donovan, got Beckham, and got rich, while Bizarro Chivas built a better team. In other words, the Miami Fusion Path To Success.

The bottom line is, the correct answer to "Philadelphia or St. Louis?" is "Both," and the only reason that isn't happening is because of Bizarro Chivas. That minor obstacle disappears as soon as Don Garber utters the magic words, "With the first pick in the 2008 Dispersal Draft, the Seattle Sounders take forward Maykel Galindo."