EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday… I decided to just let the kids veg/vedge out on movies and try and get my article done in the afternoon for once. Makes no difference to you the reader but I am so much more well-rested. Anyway, here are the topics for today’s piece: Baseball’s Back, Mets Making Deals, Selection Sunday & EPL Team Owners.
Baseball Owners Must Read MTM
I was just saying last week how it was looking like Spring Training would be cancelled but the parties came to their senses after I published the article. Now Spring Training begins immediately and Opening Day will only start a week late. This is a big deal for baseball because it has fallen behind football and basketball as the top sports in America. Their players get paid well but its participation rates in youth sports has been dropping and attendance isn’t as strong as it used to be (maybe making it more affordable for a family of four would be a good move). As a result they have decided to tamper with the product. This means things like a pitch clock, so the game moves faster. Then there is the abomination that is Universal DH. Not even an option? More scoring is the hope? This will be the end of bunting. It seems that small ball will suffer too. What about pitchers that are good hitters like Jacob
DeGrom deGrom? I guess he can do both if the manager chooses, like Shohei Ohtani. And now there is something call the “Cohen Tax;” a super level for the luxury tax and is named after Mets owner Steve Cohen. He is apparently not bothered spending more than his contemporaries in the pursuit of World Series success.
I am glad baseball is back but maybe they needed to spend more time not tinkering with the game.
Mets Making Deals
With the season saved, Cohen and his Mets immediately got back to the business of baseball and improving the franchise. They traded two pitching prospects (one was one of their top-2 pitching prospects) for Oakland A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt. Bassitt has had late success after Tommy John surgery and was 12-4 last year. They also added Adam Ottavino to their bullpen. The Mets pitching staff has loads of potential but with guys coming off of injuries – like deGrom – it is important that they add arms beyond 2nd ace Max Scherzer and in the bullpen. We will see how this all shakes out… early days yet.
The brackets are set for both the Men’s and Women’s Brackets are complete. I have no idea what is going on. I don’t pay much attention to college sports anymore and didn’t go to a school that was good enough to regularly make the tournament. However, if any of you know a Bracket challenge and are having one at work or something please let me know. I am down to join and have seen my wife win one before. Knowledge of the teams is overrated.
EPL Team Owners
EPL is the English Premier League, the top soccer league in the world. One of the teams, Chelsea, is owned by Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch and friend of Vladimir Putin. After Putin invaded Ukraine the British Government pretended to care (as they were busy failing at many other things), so they sanctioned Chelsea. Here are the sanctions:
-Chelsea will be allowed to spend some money on staging matches at Stamford Bridge and in traveling to away matches.
-A spending limit of just £20,000, however, applies to travel to away games, and could cause issues with preparations for Champions League fixtures in particular.
-The club will also have to prove that such costs are ‘reasonable costs’.
-Chelsea are also barred from receiving any revenue from merchandising sales, but will be allowed to take revenue from broadcasting matches.
What bothers me is the rank hypocrisy. Newcastle United were just bought by a subsidiary of the Saudi Government. Saudi Arabia is committing war crimes in Yemen by killing civilians and have a blockade that is starving and killing children. Not to mention the fact that the nickname of Newcastle is now Bone Saw FC, as the Saudis also killed and chopped a journalist with a US Green Card using a bone saw. However, they buy their war weapons from the US and NATO nations, so that’s cool. What about the reigning champions, Manchester City, which went from Thailand’s human rights-abusing former PM to the UAE? They are known as Human Rights FC,as their human rights violations are too many to count. If governments are going to check the quality of team buyers then they need to do it from the start not when something bad happen.
Thanks for reading, comment below. Come back tomorrow for our Ben Whitney, who must admit I am right and that Tom Brady only came back after watching Cristiano Ronaldo score a hat trick and decided if that GOAT still has it, he can come back for one more year.