Congratulations to Patrick Willis—a superb linebacker who keeps his head down and his on-field-aggressiveness up—for his shiny new 50 million dollar contract. And congrats to the 49ers brass, who had the common sense to sign Willis to a contract that he has indeed earned.
Considering how he pouted his way out of Boston, it was really classy for Red Sox Nation to give Garciaparra a hero's sendoff last week. I guess alls well that ends well—I mean, the second they traded Nomar...the Sox started winning.
This article by Will Leitch about with Ryan Howard cost more than Mark Teixiera, makes some really good points about smaller market teams paying their stars a lot of money, but also contains the usual "The Yankees are rich evil monsters" points. Like this one:
The Yankees' financial advantages so dwarf every other team that trying to be the Yankees every decade or so, with one guy, plays right into their hands. The guy you mortgaged your whole future for, the one you were absolutely convinced that if you didn't sign him forever your fan base would abandon you? Yeah, the Yankees have five guys like that.First off, don't say Philly is a small market. It averages the most fans per home game in 2010 than any other team. The reason Philly spent the money for Ryan Howard was, yes in part to keep fans thinking that they are annual contenders, but also, because they are a better club with Howard than without. Once again, spending money begats success, which begats more money. Case in point, early in the 2000s, the Phillies were a middle of the pack team, payroll-wise. And they were riding a streak of no post-season appearances from 1993 until 2007. As a result of middling pay, and middling play, fan attendance was way down. In the late 2000's, however, payroll went up, play went up, and now the Phillies are the 1 fan-drawing team in baseball. Coincidence? I think not Mr. Leitch.
In the "Why hasn't this happened already?" news of the week, on-the-trading-block Jared Gathier
is being held out of practice due to 'unspecified injuries (he's being traded to Buffalo). Buffalo has dire need of a LT and Baltimore has dire need to get Gathier out of town and being a distraction. This should happen.
Can we let this idiotic "dust-up" die already?
In one of the most ridiculous football signings of all time, last offseason the Tampa Bay Bucs signed colossal bust, wide receiver Michael Clayton to a 5 year, 24 million dollar contract. After a nice rookie season, Clayton never had more than 38 receptions after 2004, yet the Bucs gave him the check with all the zeroes. Now, surprise! after another dismal season where Clayton caught just 16 passes, the Bucs are trying to get rid of him. But....wait for it....nobody else wants his fat contract either. So in a weird Catch-24 type situation, the only reason the Bucs won't cut Clayton, is because they are paying him too much.
I know he's been struggling a bit this season, but after watching a bit of the Dodgers-Rockies game yesterday, I'm going to come out and say, Clayton Kershaw has the best pure stuff of any young pitcher in the game. Wicked fastball, filthy curve. The kid has it all.
Unsigned Timberwolf No. 1 draft pick, Ricky Rubio did nothing to help the Timberwolves get value for when they eventually trade him. Sure he's a fancy Dan of a passer, but in the European Championships, Rubio averaged 6.5 pts, 4 assists and had a 34 percent shooting percentage. In effect, what these stats say is that yes, Rubio can run and pass with the best of them, but he still hasn't proven himself to be able to shoot and anywhere further than 5 1-2 feet.
And to the people who think it's excessive....that's ridiculous. They had not way of knowing what this kid was or wasn't capable of doing. To the New York Times Editorial Board in their offices, "he posed no evident threat." To the man doing the chasing...who knows what this crazy wackjob was capable of—knife, gun, karate kick to the face, bomb? I say taser the dude. He'll live. And hopefully, learn.
Does this bother anyone else? Soldier Field should not have Astroturf. There, I said it.
And finally, a video gem that has been circling the web a bit lately. But if you haven't seen it. Please, just watch it. The best depiction of a sport's fans anger and disappointment at his own team I've ever seen.