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Mitch's Sports Report: Padres Break Petco Piggy Bank For Manny; Could Montreal Get Baseball Back?

OK, show of hands for everyone who guessed the San Diego Padres would be the team to pony up the largest contract ever, in any sport, to sign free agent third baseman Manny Machado.

Put your hand down, you did not.

The perennial small market Padres went through the couch cushions at Petco Park and found $300 Million in change they'll dole out to Machado over ten years, the most any athlete has ever been paid to play games in front of people, but the contract as reported by ESPN also includes an opt-out clause after five years and I'm using my time machine right now to jump five years into the future to tell you that Machado has decided to jump ship, as he'll get some other team to eat the rest of that giant pancake contract and the owners sell the syrup to the fans.

This is a gross overpayment by the Padres for one player who admits he doesn't even like to run out routine grounders, when that 300 Million could have been divvied up among a few others who do.

Machado is an excellent third baseman with a great bat but a bad attitude and he will make the Padres better. And yeah, the Padres do have some other stars like Eric Hosmer to help build a winner, but they've put a lot of eggs in that one Machado basket, and the Padres don't have the kind of prime time supporting cast the Yankees had when they won it all in 2009 after throwing all that money at A-Rod back in 2003.

The only cleat left to drop now is whether another team will see this deal as a green light to offer Bryce Harper even more.  

A happier baseball story would be bringing a team back to Montreal. The Expos packed their bags and moved to Washington, D.C. following the 2004 season. But since 2012, former Expos outfielder Warren Cromartie has been working to bring a major league franchise back to the city under the guise of the Montreal Baseball Project.

Cromartie has put together a group of potential owners. And he told Vermont Edition yesterday the group understands how much capital it would take to make the dream come true, and that's about one billion dollars.

Recent rumors out of Montreal indicate the group is leaning towards a new stadium in the Peel Basin area, but Cromartie insists no decision has been made yet.

He does say Montreal has a leg up on other cities trying to land an expansion or existing major league team, because they have already identified another place besides Olympic Stadium where the team would play.

This much is a lock: For the fifth straight season the Montreal Baseball Project will host a two-game Toronto Blue Jays exhibition series at Olympic Stadium. This year the Jays take on the Milwaukee Brewers March 25 and 26.

Big win yesterday for the St. Michael's Purple Knights women's hockey team, who defeated Post University 5-1 in the first round of the New England Women's Hockey Alliance Tournament.

Alissa Sullivan had a monster game for the Knights, the junior blue-liner scoring one goal and adding 3 assists to propel St. Mike's into the semi-finals Saturday against top-seeded Saint Anselm.

And in the final regular season game for both teams, number two Plattsburgh State defeated tenth ranked Middlebury 3-1 yesterday in division three action. The two teams met in last year's NCAA women's quarterfinals and could be headed for a playoff rematch this year.   

The Castleton University women's basketball team saw its season come to a close as the Spartans fell in the Little East Conference Tournament Quarterfinals to the University of Southern Maine 63-40.

Castleton wraps up its first season in the Little East with a 14-12 record, and make that 17 years in a row now the Spartans have finished the season with a winning mark. Brooke Raiche led the way for Castleton with 15 points in the losing effort.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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