I’ll tell ya how to get the NFL players to sign an agreement. I’ll tell ya how to get the owners to lower our ticket prices. Luis Salazar, NFL player moving in with his parents, Red Sox, Knicks, Rangers, MSG and more in this edition of Rants and Raves.
Before I start, I want all our Gabbers to say a prayer for the people of Japan who have been racked by a devastating earthquake, Tsunami and damage from their Nuclear power plants.
Stick a pin in the New York Knicks and New York Rangers season ticket holders. Hold on to your hats ticket holders, as the Knicks tickets will rise 49% on average and the Rangers will rise 23%. This has to do with the $850 million refurbishing of the arena that is currently underway. It is said that Spike Lee's courtside seats will increase 20 percent from $3,000 this year to $3,600 next, but the seats a row just behind courtside will jump a whopping 173 percent at Knicks games and 198 percent for the Rangers.
Madison Square Garden’s ticket price increases
* 49% average increase for Knicks season tickets
* 23% average increase for Rangers season tickets
* $600 per-game increase for courtside seats to $3,600
* 173% to 198% increase for seats in row directly behind court or rinkside
* Best 100 seats get free food and non-alcoholic drinks at seats and in posh “1879” club
* Next best 800 seats get free food and drinks at seats and in the Delta Sky360 club
The New York Rangers ticket prices have risen the past 5-years, while the Knicks prices haven’t risen in awhile due to having a crappy team. I think the Knicks price increase has more to do with getting Anthony and Stoudemire.
Its seems to me that greed is overtaking common sense in the distribution of $9 billion dollars for the NFL owners and players.
I just don’t see where its the right of the players to ask to see what the teams have earned or lost. Its not like the owners want to see how the players are spending their millions, is it??
I have a sure way to get the players back. Each owner should send out new contracts to all their players. All contracts will be for 5-years. Established stars will receive no more than $500,000 per year, next tier players $250,000 per year and the rookies and fringe players $125,000 per year.
With that being said, to get the owners to lower ticket prices, how about teams season ticket holders writing or e-mailing their teams and letting them know if they don’t drop ticket prices by 25-30% we will not renew.
The Red Sox have a surplus of players. Rumors are circulating that Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, Mike Cameron, Marco Scutaro and Darnell McDonald are available if the price is right. A catcher is needed to provide depth for the Sox.
Several Los Angeles Clippers players paid $70,000 for former coach Kim Hughes surgery for prostate cancer. The cancer was diagnosed in September 2004 while he was still an assistant with the team. The clippers would not pick up the tab for the operation and he wasn’t covered under his insurance plan. The Clippers told Hughes’ agent that the reason they couldn't pay for the surgery is if they paid for mine, if anybody else had a problem -- head coach, secretary, assistant coach -- if they paid for mine, the onus would be on them for everybody else. It was coach Mike Dunleavy, then the coach of the team at the time, mentioned Kim’s problem to some players. It was then that Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Marko Jaric offered to help. That is when the players donated the money for Hughes operation. "Those guys saved my life," Hughes said, according to the Journal Times. "They paid the whole medical bill. It was like $70,000 or more. It wasn't cheap. "It showed you what classy people they are. They didn't want me talking about it; they didn't want the recognition because they simply felt it was the right thing to do." Maggette, who now plays for the Bucks, said that Hughes thanks him every time they see each other. "I've said to him, 'Kim, come on. You don't have to do that. You're good,'" Maggette said.
Luis Salazar, and Atlanta Braves minor league manager, had his left eye removed after being hit in the face by a liner off the bat of Braves catcher Brian McCann. Salazar, was standing in the dugout when he was hit. This was the third surgery for Salazar since he was hit. Salazar, who will manage the Braves' Class A team in Lynchburg, Va., fully intends to return to work. The 54-year-old Salazar will be away from camp for about a week and then return to get acquainted with the players he will manage this season.
New York Jets guard Matt Slauson, his wife Cami, and their 10-week old son are moving back in with Slauson’s parents. Matt was selected in the 6th round of the 2009 draft. He signed a four year, $1.8 million contract with the Jets. I guess money is tight for the family. Hopefully Slauson will tell his big $$$ teammates on the Jets, what its like to live the average fan. Eventually they will be moving in with Cami Slauson’s parents.
Pictures by: New York Knicks - michaeldoret.com/, New York Rangers - csh.rit.edu, Boston Red Sox Logo - minot43.homestead.com, NFL Logo - midwestsportsfans.com, Japanese earthquake - washingtonpost.com, Keith Hughes - latimesblogs.latimes.com, Luis Salazar - thebaseballworld.com/user files, Matt Slauson - cdn.bleacherreport.net
So it's Monday again...It always seems to get here too soon...Well, this week I'll start with a couple of sports highlights...
First, Sunday I got to sit around and be lazy, and watch the Rangers vs. Flyers game, with my little molls...She really digs the constant color movement of hockey games...
The Rangers beat the hell out of the Flyers, 7-0...Including a hat-trick from Ryan Callahan...Before the game Callahan had made a point of saying how he, and the team really needed to step up if they want to hold onto a playoff spot...Dude has tons of grit and gets it done in all aspects of the game...
And of course with Rangers, Flyers, you always get a bit of fighting...
Hopefully this is the spark that gets Rangers into a strong playoff spot...
Then I heard on the Radio that the Miami Heat have been struggling in big games...You know, against teams that are good, as opposed to rolling the Cavaliers...I don't follow basketball, by I do like any bad news about LeBron James...Word is he has been choking at crunch time, late in games...Yeah, we've seen that before! I guess Sunday was no different, and reports started flying around about a few Heat players crying after the game...No, really! Fucking crying!
Hey fellas, you don't see Charlie Sheen crying...You know why? Because he's WINNING!
Then, I came across this story...Girls High School Basketball coach, Amber Branson gave birth Friday night, after having contractions while coaching her team's state regional Tournament game...Less than 16 hours later, she was back on the sidelines coaching her team to a come from behind victory, that puts them in the State Tournament...
She has gotten great praise from her players, and from many others for her dedication to her team...Umm, I'm not going to praise her for that...Yeah, maybe it's impressive to deliver a baby and coach a basketball game 15 hours later, but know what would be more impressive...Being in that hospital with your newborn child...Those girls on the basketball team most likely would have understood the dedication it takes to be a parent, especially to a child that has only been alive for 15 hours...But after this example will they understand what type of dedication it takes to be a parent?
Coach Amber Branson, in my opinion, you've done more harm, than good by coaching that game...And if your dedication to basketball outshines your dedication to your children, well then your kids are fucked, because their mother is a morally, and emotionally bankrupt twat!
Okay, after that I need a laugh, and I can't get enough Charlie Sheen, and WINNING!
Fuck...I loved that game as a kid. Whaddaya mean his name is Condra, not Contra? Fuck it...I'll roll with it.
Tomorrow is trade deadline day for the NHL. After all the recent action, will there even be any monumental trades to talk about? Sports media channels up here in Canada are starting coverage at 7am and running constantly for the majority of the day. Over the past few years, we have all seen a drastic drop off in the amount of action on trade deadline day, and I am going to think that this year will not be any different. Lots of the big names that have been dominating trade talk have already been moved. Players like Kaberle, Kovalev and McCabe have all been moved, but really, how many players are left? Are there any big names? The biggest name that is being thrown around is Brad Richards. Niewendyk would be a fool to move Richards at this point as he has been one of the constants on the Stars this season. While the fire sale in Ottawa continues, we can all expect Chris Phillips to be moved tomorrow. After that, I have the feeling that it will be a fairly light day in terms of trading action.
With the addition of NIck Boynton off of waivers, the Philadelphia added to their depth on the blue line. Prior to this pickup, the Flyers arguably had the best d-core in the Eastern Conference. Boynton allows a little bit of wiggle room in the event one of their regular d-men goes down for a short period. Smart pickup for the Flyers, considering they didn't give up anything for him.
And then we have the trade for Bryan McCabe. I for one, didn't think this was going to happen. McCabe had a NTC, and I didn't really think he would waive it considering he and his wife are expecting their third child. He must've really wanted out of Florida if he left his pregnant wife behind. And yes, I'm pretty sure he is not uprooting his family at this point, seeing as how pregnant women can't fly in their last trimester. At least in Canada they can't. With this move, the Rangers didn't really have to give up very much, and there are no blue chip prospects going Floridas way. Florida now has in the area of 10 draft picks for this years draft. Granted, this draft year won't be very strong, but by no means will it contain the stank and dank that the 1999 draft had. Aside from the Sedin twins (taken 2nd and 3rd) and Ryan Miller (taken 5th round 138th overall), there were a whole lot of 3rd and 4th liners taken that year. Oh yeah...lets not forget about Zetterberg being taken in the 7th round, 210th overall. I betcha Ottawa is regretting taking Layne Ulmer in the 209th spot instead of Zetts.
But you couldn't expect Florida to obtain much for the services of McCabe. McCabe spoke out and said that he would only accept a trade to the Rangers. That left the Panthers holding the bag; do they let him walk next summer for free, or do they try to procure something for him right now? One thing though, if the Rangers are interested in the aforementioned Brad Richards, Slats is going to have some wheeling and dealing to do. Using CapGeek.com, the Rangers have about $3.8 million in cap space for this season. They are going to have to unload some salaries to get Richards playing for them.
Man, the waiver wire has been busy this week. We watched Marco Sturm get picked off waivers by the Capitals. Sturm to the Caps isn't a solution to their problems, but he will provide some much needed secondary scoring for them. However, the Caps need to do some wheeling and dealing of their own since they don't have enough cap space to cover the pickup of Sturm. Could someone be going on the Long Term Injured Reserve for the Caps? Possibly.
And now we have the New Jersey Devils. The Devils are arguably the hottest team going right now, with a record of 16-2-2 in their last 20 games. If they keep this frantic pace up, the playoffs may not be that far of a stretch. Granted, they are going to need some help from within their conference. They need teams like Carolina and Montreal to keep struggling, but as of today, they are only 11 points out. By no means mathematically eliminated. Speaking of hot teams, and I never thought I would say this, but the New York Islanders are 6-3-1 since the blowup with the Pens. No need to take them out in the wilderness for a team building exercise, they got that out of their system a couple of weeks ago. And no, I'm not talking playoffs for them. They only way I would make such a bold statement would be if I had a glue bag on my head for an extended period of time.
Who is Blake Geoffrion? Easy...Blake is the first fourth generation player to make the NHL. We have seen mulitple players whos fathers have played in the NHL get the call up. Players such as Philip McRae, Brock Beukeboom and Paul Statsny are just a few. However, with Blake Geoffrion, he comes from a long lineage of hockey players. His great grandfather is Howie Morenz, his grandfather is Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, and his father is Dan Geoffrion. Blake may only become a trivia answer one day, but here's to hoping he can eke out a living in the NHL.
Fight of the week
For this one, I am going with Koci vs Westgarth. Let me explain why. Both of these guys have been involved in tilts that basically saw their noses get rearranged. If you want to be a tough guy in the NHL, you have to be a tough guy all the time. Keep doing what got you to the dance, so to speak. Neither of these guys seem gunshy, which is a good thing. Coming back from a situation that they have both been involved in, and still willing to risk a big shot to the beak is pretty bold. What am I talking about? Watch the clips that follow.
“All my heroes have now become ghosts Sold their sorrow to the ones who paid the most”
- Shinedown - Heroes
In sports, the word loyalty often falls on deaf ears, drowned out instead by the sound of flapping dollar bills. Player loyalty can sway like the wind, like a Hessian soldier, selling their skills to the highest bidder. Jeff touched on it in this week’s edition of Deep Thoughts, noting how players no longer play for the glory, just the paycheck. But lost in the text of “Player X’s” blog was a simple notion.
Loyalty is a street traveled in two directions.
Take for example the curious case of Michael Young and the Texas Rangers. Over the course of 11 seasons, Young has done more than most players when it comes to accommodating the team. When he came into the league, he came up primarily as a second baseman with some occasional spot starts at shortstop. When the Rangers acquired Alfonso Soriano from the Yankees as part of the Alex Rodriguez trade, Young moved over to shortstop, both to accommodate Soriano at second and also to ease Texas’s burden when they lost Rodriguez. Young transformed himself from a player with limited range to a gold glove shortstop. Yet, the year after winning the gold glove, Young was again asked to move, this time to third base to allow for stud prospect Elvis Andrus to slide into the line-up. Again he made the move and made the most of it.
Now, just two years have passed and now the Rangers are telling their team-first, six-time all-star that he’s being replaced again, this time asking him to become a primary designated hitter/super-utility man. This time however, Young is balking at the move and asking for a trade. You can only be told that someone is better than you so many times and Young decided enough is enough.
And I tell you what; I don’t blame him one bit.
I could almost understand the argument if Young was a stopgap player, someone fit into a position in order to get by until a better solution arises. However, as stated above, this is a six-time all-star whose full season averages are .300, 199 hits, 17 HR, and 87 RBI over the course of an 11-year career. In other words, Young is far from a stopgap, he’s a guy most teams would love to have in their line-up. I’m sure the Blue Jays would take the trade back when they sent him to Texas for Estaban Loaiza in 2000.
It begs to ask why the Rangers would take this course of action. Yes, I realize that Texas opted for Adrian Beltre as a Plan-B to losing out on Cliff Lee, but why? Beltre doesn’t solve the obvious pitching deficit in Texas. Sure, he may get to a few more balls than Young, but he doesn’t help keep them on the ground in the thin Arlington air either. So Texas opted to spend money for the sake of doing something, and in the process, destroyed a relationship with their version of Derek Jeter.
In this day of athlete coming and going at the drop of a dime, a player like Michael Young only comes around once in a lifetime. If I can think of one player I would compare Young to, I would compliment him by comparing his to Hall-Of-Famer Robin Yount, another guy who changed positions in order to make his team better and still performed to his peak. Neither made noise or made a mockery of the game, but played it the way it was supposed to be played.
General Managers don’t ask a guy like Michael Young to wear the title of “Super-Utility Man.” They ask them to wear the title of team ambassador and “Captain.”
Is there are riff between the NFL players?? Booster wants money back?? Texas takes shot at Yankees?? What’s going on here?? All this, in this weeks edition of Rants and Raves.
New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie spoke his mind about the contract talks between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. "To me, you need to stop bitching about it, and if you wanna say you're gonna get into a room and meet and greet, and say you're gonna do what you need to do, then do it. Don't just talk about it." Antonio will be a free agent at the end of the season and cannot sign a new deal until the Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated. The CBA expires on March 4th. Cromartie also stated "Especially when you don't get no information about nothing from the union or the owners, so to tell you the truth they need to get their damn minds together and get this [expletive] done. Stop bitching about money. Money ain't nothing. Money can be here and gone. Us players, we want to go out and play football. It's something we've been doing and we love it and enjoy it. It's our livelihood."
Now, after Antonio Cromartie said what he had to say about the NFL and the NFL Players Association, several NFL players came out against the New York Jet. Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis and Arizona Cardinal Darnell Dockett say that Cromartie does not speak for all the players. Darnell said "We have leaders, we know what is fair and the players are behind our leadership." Lewis stated that he supports DeMaurice Smith, the union's executive director. "Great leaders are servants first," Lewis said. "That is who our leaders are. Players are not going to turn on each other. We are blessed with what we have and it is on all of us to keep it fair. I'm resolved to do that." Lewis and Dockett are not player representatives for their teams but still felt like speaking out on the issue.
Of course Cromartie had to respond to Lewis and Dockett. "I don't give a who about Ray Lewis or Darnell Dockett talking about what I said. There's 10's of thousand people who will lose jobs. They taking our healthcare away and for players that have surgery can't even get rehab once March 3rd gets here."
Now the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that if there's a lockout, he will reduce his salary to $1. In which the President of the NFL Player’s Association DeMaurice Smith countered that if they can get a deal done by the Super Bowl, he'll take a pay cut to 68 cents.
I can’t believe that a booster wants his $3 million dollars back because he doesn’t like the choice of football coach the college signed. But, it did happen, and it happened to the University of Connecticut and supporter Robert G. Burton. Mr. Burton wants his donation of $3 million and his name removed from University’s football team’s training facility. This all happened because the school hired former Syracuse football coach Paul Pasqualoni, and Burton had no say in the matter. I guess he is sore because Burton did have a say in the hiring of former Husky coach Randy Edsall. It looks like the school has no intention of giving him his money back. I don’t blame the school. I would hope they would take the Burton name down from the facility. That would keep Burton from opening his mouth in the future.
The GM wants to stay and the team wants him back. That’s the love fest called the Cashman - Yankees affair. The Yankees General Manager has a year left on his contract and Hal Steinbrenner say he absolutely want Cashman to return. But if the Yankees GM is true to his heart, as he was with Rivera, Jeter, Posada and other Yankee players, he will wait until the end of the season to negotiate his contract. Of course Hal can override Cashman, as he did with the Soriano signing, and sign Brian during the season. Brian Cashman has done an outstanding job in restocking the minor league system. The Yankees have outstanding catchers and pitchers ready to produce.
Wow, are the Texas Rangers getting cocky or what? They make it to their first World Series and all of a sudden they are flexing the mouths with a war of words with the New York Yankees. Texas Owner Chuck Greenberg commented that the Rangers kept the chase for Cliff Lee going long enough for the Philles to sneak in and take Lee from the clutches of the Yankees. In response, Yankees President Randy Levine fired back that Greenberg was “delusional” and mind your own business and keep your team off “welfare.” "I think Chuck is delusional," Levine told ESPNewYork.com. "He has been running the Rangers for a few minutes and seems to believe he's mastered what everyone else is thinking. I think he should let Cliff Lee speak for himself. I'll be impressed when he demonstrates he can keep the Rangers off welfare. What I mean is make them not be a revenue-sharing recipient for three years in a row, without taking financing from baseball or advance money from television networks. Then I'll be impressed."
Here is a clip of my cousin and his son having a great time driving in the snow, singing along:
This just goes to show you America does have talent!!!
Sea Lawyer: Old Navy, a person who is forever arguing about everything and anything aboard the ship, with a view of getting out of work. Today’s Navy a Sea Lawyer is one who thinks they know everything and parts that information on the less knowledgeable.
Pictures by: Antonio Cromartie-cbschicago.files.wordpress.com, Roger Goodell - usavored.com, DeMaurice Smith - static.businessinsider.com, Ray Lewis - unlockedsports.com, Darnell Dockett - billvolhein.com, Robert G. Burton - ctnews.com, UCONN Logo with dog - posters.ws/image, Brian Cashman - siboundsthe4.mlblogs.com, Texas Rangers - arclubs.org, New York Yankees - frontrowking.com, Hal Steinbrenner - nymag.com