“I will make a decision in a short period of time as to what Nick Marshall‘s punishment will be.” – Gus Malzahn, Auburn Head Coach, on star QB Nick Marshall‘s citation for marijuana possession earlier this month.
EL BARIO, BRONX – The weekly Sports Bully Pulpit had to be moved up a day but there was no scrambling – like there was last week. Your Righteous Deacon Blaber will first examine some of the last few seasons’ MLB Mega-Contracts that now have teams stuck with deadwood that they can’t trade… We’ll then review some of the standout arrests of the NFL Criminal Season (aka the off-season), since pre-season is starting, and finally we’ll delve deeper into a topic we only covered slightly last week: Getting Kevin Love out of Minnesota.
MLB Mega-Contracts: Listen to this roll call of MLB stars, Ryan Howard, Alex Rodriguez, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Joe Mauer, Jonathan Papelbon and BJ Upton. The problem with that list is all these players are old or getting old. Some still resemble what they once were but are on the downside of what made them great players.
The problem is that their clubs signed them up for mega deals when they were in their prime. 100+ million dollars was all the rage… Scott Boras said he wants this much and your fans will say you don’t want to win if you don’t sign him… Ryan Howard was the NL MVP at one point, so of course he needed a big deal. But time catches up with everyone and the first thing to go is speed. Bat speed slows down and a .220 hitter strides to the plate, not a .320 hitter. Yet baseball has guaranteed contracts and no-trade clauses, making Howard tough to move. That means the $illies may end up having to pick up part of his salary and sell him to an AL team as a DH. Philly might be able to get rid of Papelbon on the cheap – but not Howard. And we haven’t even brought up Cliff Lee…
The Yankees and A-Rod scenario will be interesting, as there can’t be a lot of bidders for A-Rod… The Dodgers and their 3 headed monster of an outfield will have to move someone because they sold the farm for Yaisel Puig. Who they will move is anyone’s guess, as neither of the 3 and their contracts whet any appetites… The Twins and hometown hero Joe Mauer are in a pickle and the Braves will be looking for their receipt book on the BJ Upton contract. BJ sucks.
What does all this mean? It means we shouldn’t be surprised if the owners push to get rid of guaranteed contracts come the next CBA. Maybe Sandy Alderson is not so crazy after all.
Football Off-Season: The NFL pre-season is here, so lets look at the requisite newsworthy arrests and suspensions. Soon-to-be NFL star/convict, Auburn QB Nick Marshall, got done in for over-tinted car windows… and possession of marijuana. So far Marshall’s mom paid his $1,100.00 dollar fine and his coach hasn’t decided what to do with him. As it is his first offense, suspension is unlikely. That is enough proof that this kid already has pro material… The Weed Man made his rounds as Justin Blackmon, of indefinite NFL suspension for marijuana use, was busted again in Oklahmoa for making an illegal left turn and… you guessed it… weed possession… Josh Gordon, also had “5 on it” and is facing an indefinite suspension… Finally, there is Ray Rice. Rice has been suspended 2 weeks by the NFL. Just so you grasp the travesty of this suspension please note: Repeat offenders of the drug policy, Monsieurs Blackmon and Gordon for instance, were at first given four-game suspensions before they ended up with indefinite suspensions. A dangerous tackle, like leading with the crown of the helmet in a game, will draw a single game suspension. Selling your autograph while still in college, like Terrelle Pryor did, will get you five games off. However, cold-clock a woman? Your fiancée no less? You miss 2 games! There are not enough words to describe how sad of a statement that is.
Love Triangle: Since his last name is Love, there are all kinds of word games that can be played with Kevin Love‘s name. Love affair or Love triangle are cute but they hide the serious situation his trade talks are creating. As we mentioned last week, “Love is leaving Minnesota, even if he has to shoot his way out and take hostages.” The Timberwolves know this but they aren’t letting go for cheap. The owner doesn’t want to let go but management knows that now is the time because after the 2015/2016 season, he is gone and they will get bubkiss for him. However, Minnesota also knows that the Warriors, Cavs and other potential suitors need his talents to have any hope of playoff success. So they want the world and everything in it, in return. They are asking for two #1 picks (players or picks in the future) and the suitor’s best young player. They are patient and will wait out the trading deadline. So no one panic, Kevin Love will move sooner or later but it is all a huge poker game and Minnesota is holding all the cards. He will likely end up in Cleveland, though we’re not sure what the Cavs will end up giving up but LeBron wants him big-time, so the deal will happen.
That is it for now, hope you enjoyed the article and hope to hear from you below.
P.s… If you want to read more of my ramblings as a Rugby Guy, you can find them on RugbyWrapUp.com and our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp and @JunoirBlaber, respectively