Sorry for the long delay, but health issues made it hard for me to sit at my computer for more than 5 minutes at a time. Hopefully, I'm on the mend and can resume blogging on a regular basis very soon.
As for the other wake-up call:
The MLB Players association and the owners have come to a new agreement and I love one of the things that changed. The All-Star game is again just an exhibition. It will have no bearing on the home field advantage in the World Series. The owners didn't develop their personal fortunes by being slow on the uptake, yet they let this bit of lunacy continue for 14 long years. Now, the home field advantage will go to the pennant winner with the better regular-season record. I can live with this but I still think the best way to determine it should go the league with the best overall record in inter-league play. We're not there yet, but it's getting closer. There are more changes and I'll comment when I see them detailed.
**The Yanks released Nathan Eovaldi this week. The man has a world of potential but the move makes a lot of sense. Eovaldi wouldn't be able to play at all this year while he recuperates from surgery and will be a free agent at the end of the year, so why tie up a roster spot for someone who can't help the team? They can always try to resign him at some point.
**It's the Silly Season again, and the rumors are flying. The experts say the free-agent field is very weak, so the press has gone into high gear with trade possibilities. Because the Yanks are loaded with minor league, high-end prospects, and some cash available, they are mentioned as a potential landing place for every big name out there. I believe that GM Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenners have learned that shelling out big money, long-term contracts to fading stars just doesn't work. Cashman is talking about making only "responsible" deals, whatever that means, but he does like to sneak up on the field with a big deal late in the signing period. The one signing that does appear eminent is Aroldis Chapman. The Yanks want him back and reports are that Chapman is anxious to return.
What I don't under stand is all the interest in southpaw Rich Hill. What's the allure of a soon-to-be 37 year-old with a total of 38 wins in a 13 year career? At least six teams are in the mix including the Red Sox, Dodgers and, of course, the Yanks.
Speaking of the Dodgers, if they don't cut a significant portion of their salaries, they could pay a luxury tax of 92%, Right now their salary level is around $270 million. At that rate, their luxury tax could approach $250 million next year. That's enough to make George Steinbrenner roll over in his grave.
From Brad Dickson's Bottom Ten
1. Fresno State (1-11) Fresno State may have lost local support. I’m basing that on the city dogcatcher hauling away the team mascot, some guy dressed in a bulldog suit.
5. Buffalo (2-10) The Bulls gave up a record number of rushing yards this season. Betty White could have averaged 6 yards per carry against them.
9. Kent State (3-9) Kent State’s fan is bitterly disappointed.
Courtesy of RJ Currie
"Three highlights from the European curling championships sponsored by Gruyère cheese: 3. The shot curd round the world; 2. The Brie-guard zone. 1. It came down to the last Roquefort."
[Sorry about the puns. I thought ir might help cure RJ if he saw them in print - CP]
***THEY SAID IT***
"Aretha Franklin’s national anthem in the Minnesota-Detroit game took almost five minutes. Had the Niners been playing, Colin Kaepernick's knees would have gone to sleep." -- RJ Currie
"A 108-year-old Chicago Cubs fan died happy after seeing her team win the World Series. Someone suggested now she begin rooting for the Cleveland Browns and she said, “I’m outta here.”" -- Brad Dickson
"Aretha Franklin’s National Anthem at the Detroit Minnesota game today took 4min 35sec. The song took so long that Colin Kaepernick who was watching at home, started by standing, then kneeling, then toppling over." -- Tony Chong
"From the Sometimes These Items Just Write Themselves file comes word that Baylor associate athletic director Heath Nielsen — whose job description includes the phrase “responsible for management of the public image of the program” — was arrested and charged with assault for allegedly choking a reporter on the field after a 62-22 football loss to TCU." -- Dwight Perry
"In anticipation of moving to their new home next year, the Atlanta Braves have acquired 43-year old pitchers Bartolo Colon and 42-year old RA Dickey. What is the name of their new place? Jurrasic Park?" -- Marc Ragovin
"In men’s college basketball, Bryant freshman Ikenna Ndugba got the ball with 4 seconds to play and dribbled out the clock to preserve his team’s win against Brown. Only problem, Bryant was losing 91-90. Who says college athletes don’t need to know math?" -- Janice Hough