Though his sins were scarlet, they will be white as snow

They finally brought Cuauhtemoc "Cop-Killer" Blanco to justice this week, to the tune of seven and a half big and what amounts to permanent exile from the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. It's not the largest fine in MLS history, but it will surely be enough to drive Blanco into bankruptcy and homelessness. "We'd have hung him," said Commissioner Don Garber, "but he ain't got no neck."

What I really adored about the MLS action was that he misses no games. After all, Blanco sells a lot more tickets than Ricardo Clark or Dario Sala, love them though we do. And I doubt Chicago would want to do without him any longer than necessary. What I love about that is that less money + no time off = working for free. It probably works out, what with Cootie's salary, to about five minutes free or something, but I like the idea behind it.

Now we know the price the Fire had to pay for a proper forward partner - Barrett and a first round pick, plus "allocation money." I still think McBride is a mistake for the Olympics (watch him win the Golden Boot now), but this is an understandable price from Toronto. I don't like giving up the first round pick, because Chicago is one of those teams that tend to draft well. McBride for Barrett straight up would have been a better deal, but since league rules allowed TFC to hold Mac for ransom, them's the breaks.

The Fire think they're within striking distance of MLS Cup, and this year, who's to argue with them, so I can't argue against a short-term move like this. And the quality of first round picks have been pretty inconsistent over the years. If Chicago has handed Toronto the rights to the next Maurice Edu, though, then to balance that out the Fire need McBride lifting a trophy this November or next. McBride has done a lot for American soccer, but he's done nothing for the actual Chicago Fire, and I wonder whether the sentimentality of McBride coming home obscured some of that.

Did we ever actually figure out why Darren Huckerby was able to tell Toronto to go smoke some FieldTurf and sign with San Jose without this drama, while McBride was held in limbo?Towards the end there, I was sort of hoping to see Toronto get their monkey's paw wish, and have a partnership of McBride and Cunningham take the field against the Crew. Tell me THAT game wouldn't have ended up 13 on 9.