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Rants and Raves
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Texas Rangers Johnathan Taylor Houston Astro’s Buddy Lamothe Los Angeles Dodgers Bud Selig Venus Williams


 

Venus Williams, Two MLB teams do a good deed, is Bud Selig stupid. All this, and more, inside this edition of Rants and Raves.

 

The first rave is for the Texas Ranger’s selecting Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor with their 33rd pick in MLB 2011 draft. The problem is Taylor is partially paralyzed after an on-field collision with Zach Cone while playing with the Bulldogs three months ago. The Rangers also select Cone with the 37th pick. Taylor said "Right now my goal is to get better during the rehab and focus on trying to get my legs back under me again and start walking and running and get back on that field again, like I always wanted." Johnathan was paralyzed from the chest down after he broke his neck in a collision with Cone. Zach was knocked unconscious but he did make the catch before colliding with Taylor in a game against Florida State. Cone was playing left and Taylor center. An ambulance drove onto the field to take Taylor to the hospital, while Cone managed to walk off the field. Johnathan Taylor is undergoing outpatient treatment at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

Rangers senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller said the team has made a donation to the fund established for Taylor's rehabilitation.

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In another gesture, the Houston Astros selected Buddy Lamothe in the 40th round. Buddy was paralyzed in an rafting/water incident last month. He severely injured his spine when he dove in the water to retrieve his sunglasses. Lamothe was a relief pitcher for San Jacinto Junior College. He had pitched 21 innings, striking out 27 with a 0.86 era.

Buddy has been guaranteed a job with the Astro’s even if he never pitches again.

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Well Bud Selig can sure mess up a wet dream. Just when it looked like the McCourts were settling their divorce, Bud throws a wrench into it by vetoing the Dodgers new television deal which was reported to be worth $3 billion dollars. Frank McCourt was to receive $385 million upfront. This money was the backbone of the financial well-being of the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as part of the divorce settlement between Jamie and Frank McCourt. Bud Selig stated, "This decision was reached after a full and careful consideration of the terms of the proposed transaction and the club's current circumstances. It is my conclusion that this proposed transaction with FOX would not be in the best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, the game of Baseball and the millions of loyal fans of this historic club."

Terms of the settlement spelled out how the $385 million from Fox would be spent. Each party would receive $5 million for lawyers' fees. Each party would receive $5 million to use as they see fit. Approximately $235 million would be used for the Dodgers (including repayment to Frank McCourt money that was advanced to the team in 2011 but not exceeding $23.5 million). Another $80 million would be used to pay off indebtedness. And the remaining $50 million would be put in an account subject to the court's orders.

Frank McCourt had said all other issues in the divorce were settled, and a hearing set for last Wednesday where Jamie McCourt was expected to ask Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon to order the sale of the team was canceled.

The former couple's lavish lifestyle was exposed in court documents, where it was revealed that they took out more than $100 million in loans from Dodgers-related businesses. Their spending habits were likened to using the money from the team as though it were their personal ATM or credit card.

Wow, I got to buy me a sports team!!

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Is it me, or what?? Does Venus Williams seem to be not focused?? She looks like something is up?? Is she thinking about ScottJax??? I should only be so lucky!! 

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Glad to see the Pittsburgh Pirates playing well this deep into the season.

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Is everyone really interested in realignment?? 

Les Miles: “It must have been the shoes”; SEC teams in the CWS
Category: NCAA
Tags: College Football College Baseball LSU Florida Les Miles Alabama Vanderbilt South Carolina Oklahoma Mississippi St. Oklahoma St.

I’ll get to the shoes, but before that even came up again, I was planning to write about Les’ coverage by the Oklahoma St. media. After last season, I wrote this blog about Les Miles’ tenure at LSU so far as compared to previous coaches. I didn’t write anything about that other school where he was the head coach. (By the way, let me know if my links are not to your liking. I know some people like to know where they’re going before clicking on a link.)

I found this tribute by “News OK”/The Oklahoman interesting. Check out the video and the article.

Miles “only” went 2-2 against “Bedlam” rivals Oklahoma, including a 52-9 loss, but a few notes about that series that the Oklahoma St. media didn’t care to remind people about (and I don’t blame them). The Cowboys have only beaten the Sooners 16 times in 97 games. Only 7 of those Oklahoma teams had winning records (1917, 1930, 1944, 1966, 1976, 2001, and 2002), so the only two of those instances in the last 34 years were under Miles. 1976 was the only other time Oklahoma had what I would call an impressive record (9-2-1). The best Oklahoma record in the other seasons was 6-3-1. The Oklahoma teams that the Cowboys beat under Miles were 11-2 and 12-2, respectively. You would never hear Les call this a success, I’m sure, but the Cowboys only lost to the Sooners by three points in 2004, a year Oklahoma would finish 12-1 (the only loss being in the national championship game). The Sooners have won every game against the Cowboys since, and 4 of the 6 games were by 20 points or more.

I don’t understand what he did in leaving to upset the Oklahoma St. fans, but maybe some of the resentment is because they miss him a little, at least during one game a year. Despite the one blowout, there had to be a better feeling going into Bedlam then than there is now or than there has been any time in memory. He told people goodbye? That seems like a nice thing to me. Maybe someone could explain to me what he did. It’s not like he pulled a Saban and started coaching another Big XII South team (the only ones comparable to Alabama would be Oklahoma or maybe Texas) a couple of years later.

Mike Gundy had his tirade ("I'm a man, I'm 40"), but I prefer a guy being funny because he doesn’t take himself too seriously rather than because he's prone to drama. It might have even been somewhat calculated too. He had to show he was just as committed-to-the-point-of-insanity (or at least a high level of eccentricity) to his program and his players to replace Miles in people’s eyes.

Continue reading...

Boston's Championship Run - What are the Odds?
Category: User Showcase

In the last decade, the four major sports franchises in Greater Boston have won a combined seven championships. In the last six-years, each team in their respective sport has won that sports' championship: Beginning with the Patriots in 2005, Red Sox in 2007, Celtics in 2008, and capped off with the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup Championship.

It had been 15 years since the Boston Celtics had won the 1986 NBA title when the Patriots 2001 season came to the most unlikeliest of conclusions in Super Bowl XXXVI. In the intervening time, the Red Sox had gone to the World Series, the Celtics had returned to the finals, the Bruins had gone to the Stanley Cup finals twice, and the Patriots having gone to the Super Bowl. 5-separate attempts at a championship in 15-years and failing each time. In the last ten years, however, the Patriots have gone to the Super Bowl 4-times, the Red Sox to the World Series twice, and the Celtics and Bruins each making an appearance in their finals. 8-trips to the championship in 10-years; 7-trophies to show for the effort.

With the Bruins' Stanley Cup, Boston becomes the city to gain the championship in the 4-major sports in the shortest span of time. To be fair, not all cities have a franchise in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, but of those that do, New York (with 2 baseball teams, 2 football teams, a basketball team, and 2 hockey teams) had held that honor with a championship in all four sports over an 11-year period. In all, there are but 12-such cities hosting franchises from the four major sports: Detroit went 34-years for all four to win it all, Chicago 24-years, and Philadelphia 20-years. The other cities host at least one team that has never won.

Consider what it means to host the champion of a given sport. There are 30 baseball teams, 32 football teams, 30 hockey teams and 30 basketball teams, and each sport holds a tiered playoff system of at least three rounds. For any two teams from a given city to reign as champion is a special feat. Becoming "Champion" involves skill and resolve, but also more than a little luck. Consider the infamous "tuck rule" game in the 2001 playoffs between the Patriots and Raiders or a Canadiens' shot bouncing off Zdano Chara's skate instead of into the net in the first round of the 2011 playoffs or Dave Roberts' steal of second base in game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. If those events change, the outcome of that years' and that sports' champion changes with it.

So what are the chances of a city hosting all four champions? As of this writing, Las Vegas has not begun prognosticating for hockey, but has for the other three sports. Bearing in mind the betting odds aren't representative of anything other than what gamblers are willing to wager, case in point: the odds at the beginning of the NHL season had the Bruins at 20/1 to win the Stanley Cup. The city with the best apparent betting-line odds for winning the World Series, Super Bowl and the NBA title: Boston. The Red Sox are currently pegged at 4/1 odds of winning the 2011 World Series, the Patriots are 5/1 favorites to win Super Bowl XLVI, and the Celtics are 8/1 favorites to win the NBA title in 2012. Of the 12 cities with all four sports, only the Phillies are the odds on favorites to win the World Series (5/2 odds), and Miami is the odds on favorite at winning the NBA in 2012. According to Vegas, though, Boston has the best chance at running the table. Of course, it's the city with a head start.

http://www.footballlocks.com/nfl_futures_odds.shtml

http://www.vegasinsider.com/mlb/odds/futures/

http://www.vegasinsider.com/nba/odds/futures/

http://www.businessinsider.com/smug-jerks-from-boston-they-have-every-right-2011-6

Wrestling Wednesday
Category: Wrestling
Tags: WWE TNA

CM Punk’s contract expiring an hour after Money in The Bank Championship match against John Cena. Do you really think the WWE will let Punk win?? CM has indicated he has been shafted by the WWE. Other talent (Shamus, Barrett, etc) have gotten pushes over Punk. I agree.. Punk is/was a great asset to the WWE.

Shawn Michaels will be on Monday Night Raw, this Monday.

I can’t stand John Cena. He always gets the shit kicked out of him, and then at the end, he gets all this energy to win the match. Another Hulk Hogan?? I hope not.

Does anyone watch TNA???

TNA is starting another wrestling organization. Wow something else not to watch.

According to Paul Heyman, he was close to signing with TNA.


 

Buzz from the Bleachers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

So, at the risk of stepping of Jeff's toes, I figure the biggest thing coming out in time for this posting is the few details of the possible NFL CBA that the press has been able to get. The plus side to this is that they could end up beating my pessimistic beliefs that we'd miss some games this season. Nice to see both sides on better terms.

If you haven't found the article here's a bulleted list of details I got from ESPN.com: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6687485

• Players get 48 percent of "all revenue."

• Players' share will never dip below 46.5 percent, under new formula being negotiated.

This seems fair to me. I realize that the players generally aren't putting their money at risk, but they are putting their own health and well being on the line. Many have criticized the players for being greedy, but if the owners can certainly live off what they get from the team. Besides, as you will see later on down the list, the owners don't have to put up much of their own money on the stadium. They get that straight from the local tax base.

While they are playing, and even after, players should be able to benefit from the use of their names and images. Most people are rather shrewd about that and are seldom criticized as much for it.

Odd history note, Charles Darwin took considerable effort to point out that the theory of Social Darwinism had nothing to do with his theory of evolution through natural selection and was quick to point out that he in no way agreed with Social Darwinism.

• Teams required to spend close to 100 percent of the salary cap.

I imagine this is good news to fans of small market teams like Buffalo, but the owners of these clubs are probably sweating it out. It doesn't seem to allow much for future planning and I wonder if it may lead teams to overpay. I imagine most would eat the fine rather than the alternative. What makes it harder for lower bracket teams is that beyond spending close to the reported $120 million salary cap, they'd have to put more money forward in the form of benefits. This may bring about some changes in ownership and I wonder if it may lead to some relocation down the road as the gaps widen.

• Rookie wage scale part of deal but still being "tweaked."

Not sure of any further details here, but I agree with the veterans on this. It was a hard pill to swallow some years ago when Matt Stafford came into Detroit during the height of the recession making around $41.7 million before ever playing a down. A few years before Jamarcus Russell signed a then record $68 million deal with around $31 mill guaranteed. A number of vets, including player rep Kevin Mawae, decried these rich contracts for players that had never stepped onto the pro stage. It is indeed tough to swallow Russell making more than most proven NFL QBs. Should be interesting to see what they can agree to on this issue.

• Four years needed for unrestricted free-agent status. Certain tags will be retained, but still being discussed.

I am not sure what this really says, though I imagine it applies to any new deals and not to existing deals. I believe it calls for a four year minimum. I figure the players want to ditch the franchise tag, as few seem to be pleased when they are placed under it.

• 18-game regular season designated only as negotiable item and at no point is mandated in deal.

Shouldn't even be negotiable in my eyes. I think people should be satisfied with 16 games. Why risk further injuries and stretch rosters even thinner? I hear a lot of talk about shortening other seasons and I don't see why anyone wishes to lengthen the NFL season.

• Full 16-game Thursday night TV package beginning in 2014.

I dislike this as it only serves to pimp the NFL network and get more money out of fans. You get about a minimum of $40-50 even for a crappy seat and have huge contracts with ESPN, Fox, CBS, and NBC, why keep pushing money out of the fans by requiring them to buy your network?

• Owners still will get some expense credits that will allow funding for new stadiums.

The union estimated that revenue will double to $18 bil by 2016. How is that not enough to build your own stadiums? Keep on squeezing.

• Retirees to benefit from improved health care, pension benefits as revenue projected to double to $18 million by 2016.

This is my favorite item that the players are fighting for. More sports need to stand up for their past greats. I can't help but recall the story of George Mikan when I see this. Many hall of famers have recently joined a class action suit against the league. While in these current times, it may be hard to think of pro athletes getting a pension when most people have lost theirs, but these are guys who played before the money got so big. Good to see football recognizing the people who built the game to its current and projected level.

Odd piece of hockey news, as Jagre is reportedly interested in coming back to the NHL. He played the last few seasons in the KHL. The Wings were reportedly suitors, but that ship may have sailed. At 39, he's not exactly a hot prospect and the Wings are old enough as it is. Most folks here are looking for the team to get younger (other than Lindstrom coming back). Jagre is now calling on the Pens. Sounds like a nice use of their money and cap space to me.

The most interesting aspect I've seen about the NBA draft is the Spurs putting feelers out about trading Tony Parker. The Spurs are reportedly talking with The Kings and Raptors about trading up. Seems like breaking that group up was inevitable and Parker is probably the guy you can get rid of that would cause the least imediate impact. I can't help but wonder if the Spurs should have won more, but I fondly remember all they accomplished in the face of the NBA business and the Lakers.

I'd like to close by once again thanking Harvey and Lanz for their recommendation of The Teammates. The book was a great story about baseball and freinships and I couldn't help but agree with the suggestion that modern baseball seems to have taken the air out of teammate bonding anything close to what used to be common. Still, a great story told in a riveting style. I highly recommend it to any Gabbers that have not had a chance to read it and have the time. I imagine it would be even more compelling to all the Boston fans out there.

I leave you as always with the word of the week inspired by Fan82.

MTV affect, noun

When a themed channel goes off course, and ends up turning into nothing but pop culture and reality TV. Some channels that have suffered this are MTV, VH1, and G4.
 
Due to the MTV affect, Some channels now show endless marathons of reality TV shows, and nothing that has to do with games, music, or what ever the channel was supposed to be about.
 
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