Near the end of every season we look back with 20/20 hindsight at the bonehead moves made by teams and players during the previous off-season. This task is a little more challenging in March, but the following is a sneak preview of the decisions likely to be second-guessed in August:
Darryl Kile By moving from the Astros to the Rockies as a free agent, the righthanded Kile (left) voluntarily left the best pitcher's ballpark in baseball to go to the worst. It's an especially questionable decision for a pitcher who relies heavily on his curveball, a pitch that science tells us will break less in Colorado's thin air.
Braves/ Andres Galarraga Atlanta's signing of 36-year-old free-agent first baseman Galarraga to a three-year, $24.75 million contract was a misguided deal for both sides. While with the Rockies from 1993 through '97, Galarraga batted .350 with 100 homers and 355 RBIs at Mile High Stadium and Coors Field combined, and .261 with 72 homers and 224 RBIs on the road. He'll regret the day he left Denver. The Braves will, too.
Astros Houston's every-day lineup may consist entirely of righthanded hitters, a lack of variety that would earn them a steady diet of righthanded pitchers, against whom the Astros hit .262 last year.
Expos Montreal raised its ticket prices by a higher percentage (44%) than any other club in the National League, while lowering its payroll to about $10 million, most likely the lowest in the major leagues.