Big Ben Tuesday: Looking for Some Damn Respect for LeBron, Rays, Alex Smith

Ben Whitney, LeBron, Tampa Bay Rays, Manny Margot, Alex Smith, Meet_The_Matts

STAMFORD, CT – It was another gut-punch of a season-ender for the Yankees, with Aroldis Chapman looking Mark Teixiera-punchable. And another sport crowned a champion, with LeBron and the Lakers lifting the trophy. It was also good to see Alex Smith back on the field after nearly losing his leg. With that, I’m here to make sure the Rays, LeBron, and Smith get the RESPECT they deserve.

Ben Whitney, LeBron, Tampa Bay Rays, Manny Margot, Alex Smith, Meet_The_Matts
Mr.Smith Goes To Washington… Rodney, LeBron Auerbach, 50-Cent lookalike Manny Margot


Only the Marlins, Orioles, and Pirates had a lower payroll than the Rays. All but 11 guys on the roster make close to the league minimum. They took several guys off other teams scrap heaps and turned them into contributors. They used the larger roster more than other teams by using platoons and mastering matchups. They had a parade of relievers with WHIPs below one or close. They used unconventional strategies like four outfielders and bringing in their best reliever in the god damned second inning.

This team straight hacked the short season. Imagine if Moneyball were bitten by a radioactive spider, then got hit with some gamma rays, grew some metal claws and shot up some heavy anabolics.

I know they haven’t won anything yet. 2020 could definitely see the Astros win it all. But give the Rays some damn respect, they beat the system.


LeBron hated the bubble and he was not coming out without a ring. Jimmy Buckets and the Heat showed massive heart, but LeBron would not be denied.

Some people are triggered by James, which has a lot to do with his sucky “talents to South Beach” moment. I get it. But you can’t let a pretty minor moment of douchiness cloud your judgment in the Great Goat Debate. I’ve been an MJ guy, but the scale is getting lighter on this side.

In his awesome MVP speech, I believe LeBron was speaking to his detractors. Come on Team MJ, you can’t blow off this convo anymore. This was LeBron saying “I’m the mother effing goat.”

Give the man his damn respect.


It was good to see Alex Smith back behind center, though it seems like Riverboat Ron had a bit of a quick hook with Haskins. Kyle Allen ain’t the answer. Maybe you don’t love the Daniel Jones pick, but Haskins was the guy everyone said the Giants should have taken. Too bad this guy Herbert didn’t come out last year. Legit.

Smith was back to his dink and dunking ways, with 9 completions for 37 yards and a whopping 2.2 yards per pass. He should finish the year and tap out. He got a big contract and can be proud he made it back. Walk away.

With Smith back, the universe had to rebalance and Dak was the unlucky victim. I’ve never felt badly for a Cowboy before. It was like the time I saw my second cousin twerking at a wedding, nothing but weird emotions I had to push down with alcohol.

That’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for our riverboat gambling. dink and dunker, Angry Ward. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts

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About Ben Whitney 335 Articles
Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.