Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Bloody Horns Field Is Set!

Thanks to all you guys who stepped up. Here's the final field sheet, with foursome pairings and rules. Let's hope for good weather!

"Ohio State Tattoo Parlor, Meet Alabama's Suit Parlor"

Well, well... well.

This is going to be interesting.

Here we have one of the Mount Rushmore-caliber college football programs in the country, with a stuff-for-autographs scandal brewing that appears to be a carbon copy of the dynamics that brought down Jim Tressel at Ohio State.

Mind you, Nick Saban has yet to blatantly lie to the NCAA about this - yet - but who knows where it's headed.

We pick up the excellent legwork on the ground from Outkick The

As the T-Town Menswear story continues to grow, one of the most interesting aspects of the story has been the degree to which a middle-aged suit store owner ingratiated himself with the Alabama football program. As you've seen from our previous story hundreds of Alabama players have been pictured hanging out at his store. 
Including Julio Jones at the above picture, trying on a suit coat inside the store.
Why are so many players hanging out here? 
How many mall stores did you regularly hang out at while you were in college? 
The only real reason why so many Alabama players would be hanging out at this store is simple -- because they were getting hooked up in some way. Ohio State's tattoo parlor meet Alabama's suit parlor.
The basics are as follows.

Mall store owner has easily 100 or so Alabama players he is "friends" with. They sign stuff for him. He sells that signed stuff.

And we're supposed to believe that the players will do this for anybody - like say, the Dairy Queen down the road, not at the mall, and not with access to $1000 plus tailored suits.

Uh, sure.

Julio Jones - who proudly recounted how his single mother worked to raise him by working at fast food chicken joints - apparently wore up to 16 different suits while playing for Alabama and walking in from the team bus.

At 6-4, 220, he's not borrowing them, either.

The store manager won't talk.
The owner of the memorabilia company won't talk.
Alabama says there are no violations.

And yet, they are voluntarily "disassociating" with the guy for 3 years.

Hmm. Doesn't ESPN have a 15 year, $2 BILLION deal with that same conference.

Why, yes. Yes they do. Wonder if this story gets equal scrutiny as Ohio State.

Ahhh. Sure it will. Of course. Right?

Monday, July 25, 2011

If They Are Happy, Then I Am Happy....

.... with the lockout settlement.

I mean, I don't get it. But hey, it's their league. Their money. Their brains.

Not mine.

I stand by my lengthy, and well argued post from the weekend.

But that's over.

Let it rot on the digital scrapheap of the interwebs and the graveyard of cached pages on Google's search servers.

If I were the players...

I would have pushed for nothing less than the former revenue split of 53-47 in our favor.
I would have absolutely insisted on getting rid of franchise and transition "tags."
I would have certainly said: "A five year deal is enough. Let's see how it goes."

Given how panicked the league is to get in Week 1 of the pre-season, it would seem the players had excruciating leverage over the owners. What would a lockout that dragged into October have done?

We'll never know.

That said, happy, happy, happy.

Perhaps the best analogy is from the Sopranos. Episode 69: "The Fleshy Part of The Thigh."

Back home, Phil comes to Tony with Johnny Sack's final offer: T keeps his paycheck and W-2 for 10 years and 12 percent of the sale price – but no skim. Tony agrees. “Truth be told, there's enough garbage for everybody.”

Amen. Let the garbage trucks roll!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Most Comprehensive, Final Word On Just Where I Stand On The NFL Lockout

The NFL is the Deadliest Catch of sports.

Or at least it should be.

Here's how I see it, and I'll just cut to the chase: NFL players are badly UNDER-paid by comparison to their fellow professional athletes.

NFL players currently have...

a. The lowest average salary per player
b. The greatest % of players working for the league minimum (approx. 1000 of 1800)
c. The shortest average career length
d. The highest rate of injury

Additionally, NFL players play in the most collectively lucrative league, with a whopping $9 billion annual revenue pie.

The other leagues are well, not even in their league.

Yes, I know. Every other sport has smaller rosters, and longer seasons.

So what?

The only thing that matters, is TOTAL pie. The NFL players are about to take a step BACK in the only sport that is kicking ass in America, recession be damned.

NFL players may seem "expendable" or "replaceable" because they wear out so quickly. But it doesn't mean that they aren't unique and talented athletes.

While Michael Vick may be the guy who sells jerseys, the guys who chase after him like a pack of rabid dogs (sorry, too easy) to tackle him into dust, aren't just some guys off the street.

They are dedicated athletic FREAKS, who have climbed a mountain of fellow players to reach the game at the highest level.

Just like how deckhands on crab boats may seem like easily replaceable, no-education, fisherman - so many quit, burnout, or, well, sorry, DIE. Yet, they are not paid as if there's an inexhaustible supply of them.

They are paid a premium.

I recently watched an episode where they said the crew of the Wizard netted $22,000 a man for a 5-week season of Opilio fishing.

Doing the quick back-of-the-envelope math on this - and it's always dangerous with me, but let me take a stab here - I estimate the average hourly wage of such a trip to be $26+ per day.

$22,000 deckhand share for Opi's
5 weeks (35 days)

If you can gut out four fishing "seasons" per year (say, King, Opie, and two others) at that rate, you can make almost 6-figures and still have 12 weeks off per year.

Pretty good work, if you don't mind how fucking insane and dangerous it is.

Kinda like professional tackle football.

Meanwhile, another job in Dutch Harbor Alaska that pays a lot less, but also requires little education - if any - is to work in a fish processing plant. By my research, you're looking at about $7/hour to flash cook and freeze the same crabs Keith and crew just went out and dragged from the Bering Sea.

The best pay, goes to the riskiest and most difficult job.

I contend that making an NFL roster and staying there, is about as hard as anything in pro sports.

Yet NFL players are seemingly willing to accept a "modest" cut of about 6% in total net pay this time around. Despite a league that is showing absolutely NO signs of financial distress.

There is no hard and fast rule, that NFL players can't make upwards of 55-60% of the league's overall revenue. They just haven't asked for it, and are seemingly unprepared to fight for it.
And it's their league, and their careers, but I say they are nuts.

Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock is looking at the same hand of poker I am. He writes...

The owners blinked.

All it took was the potential cancellation of the Hall of Fame Game to force Roger Goodell and NFL ownership to reveal their bluff Thursday.

It’s not 1987. They’re not dumb enough to sacrifice one of their 16 regular-season games to fix a non-existent problem. The NFL is far from broken. It’s one of the few products America still produces far better than the rest of the world.

The lockout has been one long, poorly executed bluff.

Seventeen days before the ceremonial Hall of Fame Game, the owners and Goodell hatched a Hail Mary public-relations ploy trying to bully the players into agreeing to a deal the players had yet to read. Goodell held a news conference proclaiming the lockout over.

My contention for the past year was there was no way NFL owners were going to derail the greatest reality TV show in the world (the NFL regular season). It took 30 years of rules-massaging to turn NFL quarterbacks into the biggest brands on the small screen. Charlie Sheen wishes he could drive the TV ratings Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Michael Vick generate week to week.

Goodell’s job is to ride Manning and Brady until their wheels fall off.
And those wheels fall off pretty quickly given the ferocity of the modern game. It's why the players should have no shame in stating plainly: "We're unique talents. We pay a helluva price physically for the rest of our lives. And we burn out quickly. That deserves premium compensation."

Go ahead and tell the owners to try a full season of UFL caliber players. See how that works out.

I went back to refresh my memory on how the MLB strike of 1994 went down. It's rather amazing by comparison. At the time, MLB players were well compensated. That wasn't the issue. It was the fact that the owners and Bud Selig - then, "acting" commissioner - were ready to try to RAM a salary cap down the union's throat.

One could easily argue the game needed one, given how widely the payroll gap had grown between the big markets and the smalls. You may not ensure yourself of making the playoffs with a big payroll, but it certainly WAS like starting with two face cards in your hand every year.

But the players had the balls to draw a line in the sand.

They said a salary cap was dead on arrival. They said they would walk with the season on the line. They weren't bluffing.

They walked. They stayed strong. And MLB had to take it's showcase event, the World Series, take it out back, and put a bullet in it's head.

The strike lasted all through the winter, and into spring. The owners went ahead with scabs. The players didn't flinch. I don't recall hearing people say "oh, these athletes will never be able to make their car payments" back then.

They were fucking GANGSTERS! It was literally, a fight to the death for the players' union.

And they won.

Sure, it helped that they got a favorable bounce from then circuit court Judge Sonya Sotomayor.

But the point is, that they were absolutely, all-in. All the way.

Years later, what's the lesson? Well, baseball is fine, and not a single team went under.

And the players make absolutely absurd bank.


Vernon Wells is making $26 million this season, to hit a pedestrian .222 for the Anaheim Angels.

While Arian Foster, who led the league in rushing in 2010 with 1600+ yards and 16 touchdowns, is due to play for a mere $480,000 this coming season as a "exclusive rights" free agent.

A "free agent" who actually isn't free. Talk about an oxymoron!

This is not an argument that Foster should make $26 million dollars. And you can claim that I have cherry picked two convenient extremes to make my point.

I have, but that doesn't matter.

The Arian Fosters of the NFL don't have time to try to cut their way through the NFL's byzantine player contract rules so they can magically land on the ONE season where they will be TRUE free agents, and THEN hopefully have a statisically breakthrough year.

They are usually out of the league by then, or yesterday's news. Which is how the owners like it.

I don't blame the owners for trying to keep it that way, but if you are the players, this IS THE FIGHT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE to attempt to fix that in your favor.

If Foster weren't so restricted, there would be plenty of suitors for his talents. And while a team may make a poor investment in him (see Snyder, Daniel M.) at least it's up to the clubs to take that chance.

In any professional sport, the purchase of a player through free agency - star or otherwise - is almost always, on some level, a luxury purchase by the billionaire owner.

"I simply MUST have this guy! I will pay ANYTHING!"

How do you think Vernon Wells, even at the height of his Vernon Wellsian powers, got so grossly over-paid?

The only way for the NFLPA to get the kind of compensation I think they deserve, is to have the balls and fortitude to march all the way through the heart of the league, and burn their fucking house down.

Stay decertified, push through with your anti-trust litigation, let the season go up in flames, and watch Goodell and Company have to take the Super Bowl out back and shoot IT in the head with wailing tears in their eyes.

Take down the legality of the college draft. Take down the salary cap. Take down all the franchise tags and shit. And checkmate the commissioner from suspending you and stealing a third of your salary every time some drunken bimbo claims you grabbed her tits in a bar.

When the owners cry that you will "destroy" the league, and "ruin" the game, tell them in your best Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive voice: "I don't care.."

The players seem to like to look and talk like gangsters. Time to be one.

Will the fans hate your guts for it? Of course. We hated the baseball players. We stayed away for a few years. But we got over it. Baseball ain't dead, and football is an even tougher sonofabitch to kill.

You aren't doing this to be liked, you are doing it so guys don't have to perform like league stars for a mere 10% of free market value.

It may well push out some of the small market "mom-and-pop" owners like Wilson, Bidwell, Brown, and Richardson, among others.

To which I say: "Good!"

Bring in more Mikhail Prokhorofs. Dudes who can buy an NFL team for $800 million, run it as an annual loss-leader for nothing more than the celebrity pussy and global entertainment purposes, and not even blink.

You know, these football teams do not HAVE to be profitable on their own. I mean, they DO if it's your only business your family has ever run. But not if you are a billionaire.

As a players union, your mission should be to drive these old cranks out of the league at all costs. You can't say that publicly, but that's your mission. An owner who thinks as small mindedly as Mike Brown of the Bengals, deserves no sympathy from you. Anybody who is ready to run a still viable near-franchise QB out of the league, simply because he doesn't want to acquiesce to a trade, is god-damned insane!

So what did Major League Baseball owners do after the union fucked them up sideways back in 1994?

Well, you haven't heard more than a peep from them since about "taking their league back" like Jerry Richardson recently did, now have you?

Baseball decided there's just no way you can keep the Yankees from spending lots of money on a really good team, and it's probably bad business to even try. So they taxed the rich teams so steeply, they thought for sure it would "reel them in" a bit.

It didn't.

But it did make for a huge re-distributive windfall for the poor teams, who may still suck for the most part, but they aren't going bankrupt. And now, they seem to be finding out creative ways to compete with younger and cheaper players.

And when Vernon Wells somehow ends up making $26 million dollars, everyone can just write it off and shrug: "Oh well, seemed to make sense, at the time."

All this, in a sport where it's relatively easy to spot, pay, and then plug-in the best players at each position.

The NFL is a much more mysterious sport, where talent is hidden behind many layers of camoflage (scheme, injuries, teammates) and each player piece needs to fit more precisely and co-exist peacefully with their team.

Championship contending NFL teams are like summer thunderstorms, popping up and forming seemingly out of nowhere. A vast payroll disparity would have even less effect than it does in baseball.

Mind you, all of this that I have laid out, is not necessarily what I WANT to happen. I would rather have a peaceful 2011 season, and a reasonable revenue split. I'm just saying that if I was advising the players, this is exactly what I would tell them.

So far, I think the owners, fans, and media have underestimated these current players. Waiting and waiting for them to fold, we're suddenly crossing off significant chunks of the 2011 season.

If the players cave this weekend, and sign the owners' arrogant deal they tossed at them out the window of their learjets on Thursday night, then that's on them.

I sure wouldn't do it. But it's their league. Their careers. And their moment.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Abby Wombach Night, Not Featuring, Abby Wombach

So after taking her media "victory lap" with her teammates - minus, the um, victory part - golden girl and MegaHeader Abby Wombach returned to her $20,000 a year part-time pro job playing women's soccer for her team named after an "As-Seen-On-TV" gimmick product.

And she was too "tired" to play.

Perfect. It's like the Onion is writing this stuff for me.

So you've got all these yenta-journalists like Christine Brennan and Sally Jenkins browbeating us heathens to actually watch more women's soccer outside of just the World Cup, you have a packed crowd of 15,000 people in Wambach's hometown to see her play, and she's too tired to jog around for at least one HALF of action?

Derek Jeter, you sir, are off the hook. You ain't got nothing on this gal.


As a last add, I was amused to see Hope Solo rattle off what sure sounded like a politico's list of "talking points" in an interview with ESPN's Sarah Walsh. Sure we didn't win, but boy wasn't that comeback against Brazil great? And the ever laughable "winning silver isn't failure."

Yeah, well if you had said going into the tournament: "I dunno, gold, silver, whatever. We're not picky" then I could excuse it after the fact. This sounds alot like the Miami Heat claiming they had a "successful" season, when you consider everything, minus the ghastly choke, up 2-1 in the Finals.

We are becoming a sporting universe where you hold your championship parades before a single ball is bounced, and you do media/celebrity circuit appearances win, lose, or draw.

While I agree that the biggest "thing" in sports is indeed, HOW you play the game (i.e. win with class, lose with class) it seems like somebody has to constantly remind athletes that the POINT of whatever game you play, is to WIN.


And while you can lose the game and still be classy, you can't just gloss over the losing part like it was somehow irrelevant or doesn't bother you.

I mean, you CAN do that, but not everybody is going to let you get away with it.


Okay, last, last, last add on women's soccer for the next four years, I swear!

Everybody has their "favorite" on this team. For some, it's the model-esque Heather Mitts (can't play a lick). For me, it's Hope Solo. For Scott Linn it's Alex Morgan.

But maybe the biggest "sleeper" in terms of looks is the dynamic Ali Krieger.

Yes, sir.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

He Feels Your Pain

From Business, Las Vegas hotel titan Steve Wynn unloads on Obama - not personally, mind you - but rather on his crippling economic policies.

And Steve Wynn, is a Democrat!
And I'm saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime. And I can prove it and I could spend the next 3 hours giving you examples of all of us in this market place that are frightened to death about all the new regulations, our healthcare costs escalate, regulations coming from left and right. 
They'll say, God, don't be attacking Obama. Well, this is Obama's deal and it's Obama that's responsible for this fear in America. 
The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don't invest, their holding too much money. We haven't heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody's afraid of the government and there's no need soft peddling it, it's the truth. It is the truth. And that's true of Democratic businessman and Republican businessman, and I am a Democratic businessman and I support Harry Reid. I support Democrats and Republicans. And I'm telling you that the business community in this company is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he's gone, everybody's going to be sitting on their thumbs.
Policy. Not personal.

Dismiss it if you like. But it's the truest thing I've heard anybody in big business say these days. There is so much money, and so many companies just sitting on the sidelines right now because of Obama, it's why there IS NO recovery. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Not until he is peacefully voted out of office, and his elementary and distorted view of economics utterly repudiated.

Until then, the economic beatings shall continue.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All Former Redskin Scrub Jerseys Must Go!

I was all ready to go and splurge for at least 3 or 4 of these "novelty" unis, especially considering they are on an 80% discount! But then somebody informed me the "shipping" on each one was more than the actual $9.95 cost!

Meanwhile.. dare I read anything into the fact that ol' #5 is not on a similar reduced price rack?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

..and There Was Great Sadness

But I'm here to cheer you up, okay? Because all of the wonderful, feel good, never-give-up, resilient, family, team, rah-rah-RAH, stuff you read and heard about the American team after they beat Brazil?

Well, just cross out United States and put "Japan" and the story gets even better.

Look, I wanted our gals to win. I wanted Abby Wambach to retire to that comfortable 20k per gig speaking engagement lifestyle that a GOLD-medal winning World Cup champion would have surely earned. I wanted about 20 more TV appearances by lovelies Ali Krieger and Hope Solo and Alex Morgan.

But give it up to Japan, okay?

Here's your key stat, to keep it all in perspective.
Japan reportedly has only 25,000 registered female youth soccer players, compared to more than 1 million in the U.S. The Japanese never had advanced beyond the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals. Several members of the current side personally were affected by the March earthquake and tsunami, including defender Aya Sameshima, who worked part time at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and played professionally for the team sponsored by the company

I mean, suck on that for a while and tell me how it tastes?

WE had a grumpy goalie four years ago to "overcome" this time. THEY had a tsunami that rose up and swallowed about a dozen cities.

It's not even in the same league.

I know that those Japanese chicks are so homely they would have a hard time getting work in a local rub-n-tug joint here in our country, but don't hold that against them, okay? The Japanese goalie looks like a troll doll giveaway from McDonald's.

Hope Solo is awesome to look at! She's like the athletic love child of Hines Ward and Gweneth Paltrow. It pissed me off that I won't get to see her do Letterman, Leno, Today Show, PTI, SportsCenter, Dancing With the Stars, and a million other things.

Because we don't do losers in this country. As Ricky Bobby said: "You're either first, or last."

We're last.

We blew it. We suck. Oh well, tip your cap to Japan. And just re-write all that stuff about US, and make it about THEM. They deserve it.

/insert Stewie voice
"Soooooo.... how's that nuclear meltdown thing going, eh? Got it all, mopped up, yet?"

This Is Wrong. Very, Very, Wrong.


Oh my....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

British Open Eye Candy

Call me a sap, call me a golfing romantic, call me a nerd. I don't care. You give me this gauzy, poetic introductions from ESPN's image department and the brilliant voice and inflection of Ian McShane (Al Swearengen) and I will eat it up - all, day, long.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Play the UK Open!

Beer tubes! Get your Beer Tubes!

Jump in with my majors contest and root for your guy like a MANIAC this weekend at the Open Championship.

My pick: consistent Tour ATM Steve Marino from nearby Fairfax, VA! Guy has made $8.7 million on Tour, and has never lifted a trophy!

But, two second places THIS YEAR, and the guy is ready to break through, random winner Ben Curtis style this week!

Book it!

Good luck, and enjoy the free contest, you ingrates!


Oh.... snap....

Yep... this is EXACTLY what the NFL Lockout needs RIGHT at this moment. James Harrison, posing with guns, and calling the Commissioner "the devil."

Please return to your seats, and fasten your seatbelts and stow your tray tables....

Monday, July 11, 2011

This Was Not The Subject of Tiger's Big Non-Announcement

But hey, don't say the old Japanese "ouch cream" deals don't pay some sweet cash!

This courtesy Shane Bacon at Yahoo Sports' Devil Ball blog:

That's thanks to his latest endorsement deal for the Antiphlogistic Analgetic Vantelin Kowa series, a pain relief cream that, as the ad shows us, helps heal backs really, really fast. 
Honest question: Wouldn't it have made a little more sense to have Tiger rub this stuff on his knee? I mean, that's the part of him that's broken. I'd at least have him rub it on his knee and then do a lap or two on the track.

I want to know how today's dramatic "He's going to make an announcement!" story broke loose, and then had to be reeled in by his boy Steiney. You can say, it was just a "bad report" by one outlet. But then again, as his AGENT, don't you make SURE to let people know: here's EXACTLY what is happening?

Doesn't seem that hard to me, unless you somehow want to make the media look stupid. Or maybe somebody just jumped the gun.

Too bad, because I was hoping the "announcement" was going to be that Tiger is the next subject on "The Haney Project."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Over-rated, My Ass...

Get ready for this one on Monday from certain bloviating sports radio hosts.

"Derek Jeter is over-rated."


"Derek Jeter is the MOST OVER-RATED shortstop in history!"

The host will yell, the host will pull out stats, the host will cut-off dissenting opinions.

The host will turn off the mic, and pat himself on the back for stirring things up, and not just following the crowd.

The host will be an idiot.

Derek Jeter might be slightly over-HYPED, sure. He plays for the f'ing Yankees. The east coast media bias is real, and I get it.

But over-RATED?

Get out of here.

The guy has played shortstop for 17 straight years - un-interrupted! - for a team that can purchase any player they want. He did so in the biggest media market in the country. He did it with not one, but two back-page tabloids just waiting to tear him apart, drag him down, or hound his ass out of town.

You know the phrase: "He must be doing something right..."?

Furthermore, the guy deserves All-Universe status for having the brains to not put a big fat ring on some bimbo who would have schemed to take half his money already.

Here's Jeter's career dating list: and these are just the FAMOUS hot pieces of ass we KNOW about, not the many others we don't know, and will never know.

Mariah Carey
Lara Dutta (Miss Universe from India)
Jordana Brewster
Adriana Lima
Vanessa Minillo
Jessica Alba
Vida Guerra (FHM/Playboy model)
Jessica Biel
Minka Kelly

The guy has zero arrests, zero DUI's, zero gun incidents, zero moments where you just rolled your eyes at something he said and thought: "Oh god, just shut the fuck UP already, Derek!"

No mention of him in the Mitchell Report, no obscure spikes in his numbers to hint at something.

None of that.

Perfect. Clean. Untouched.


Don't hate the dude for that.

The biggest testament to Jeter is not the 3,000 plus hits, not the 5 championships, and not the amazing trail of supermodel ass that has been through his bedroom.

The biggest testament to Jeter is that he absorbed having to accomodate, and play next to his exact opposite - Alex Rodriquez - while not once coming across as petty or classless.

In other words: there ain't no painting of himself as a centaur above his pillow.

Big ups, #2. You are a stud.

If I live long enough to see somebody else lay waste to a milestone day with a 5 for 5, bomb-launching, game-winning-hit lacing performance, then I'm pretty sure I'll be well over a hundred.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Contractual Albatross

Jason Werth is the new Juwon Howard.

The minute the news hit the wires on Jason Werth's bank breaking $126 million deal with the Nationals, I said to anybody who would listen: "They'll regret this contract until the day the payment coupons finally run out."

He's a decent player, currently struggling, who will likely bounce back for a few years, and then gently decline into being virtually unplayable by the final two years.

But my god, the money. The f'ing money.

Thomas Boswell tries to implore Nats fans to basically forget about the cash, and focus on the fact they have a pretty good outfielder who is a pretty good guy.

And he does so by referencing a former National who is currently serving as a salary anchor around the Cubs neck. AlfQuonso Soriano.
The Cubs paid a career-year price for Soriano after he had 46 homers, a best-ever .911 OPS and 22 outfield assists as a Nat. Washington wouldn’t touch the $75 million that was considered market price in summer of 2006. Nobody imagined $136 million for Soriano any more than $126 million seemed sane for Werth. But that’s what the Cubs paid him. 
Last winter, the Nats became the Cubs: They wanted to make a splash, prove to future free agents and their fans that they would compete. They “had to have” Werth and thus overbid, just as the Cubs had to have Soriano and were willing to overpay. 
Like the Cubs, the Nats paid for a player that did not exist — or existed for only one season: In 2010, Werth’s slash line was .296/.388/.532. 
In reality, Werth, in his 15th year as a pro, is a .266/.362/.470 hitter. That’s him. He strikes out, draws walks, fights off tons of pitches and hits it two miles to all fields when he runs into one. Werth also has 20-steal speed and is a better-than-average right fielder. And he had a great pedigree: a stunning .989 OPS in 10 postseason series as well as a grandfather and uncle who were big-leaguers.
Again, if you have to rationalize this much about a player, the bottom line is that he's just not worth it. And no matter how you try to say "why do you care about the money? It's not coming out of your pocket" I can say with confidence that the money will REMAIN an issue.

It remains an issue with fans, because modern salaries are so obscene, and so out of touch, you simply CAN'T separate that from the guy you are told to root for on a daily basis.

This same dynamic happened to Howard as a Wizard. He was no stiff, he was dependable night in and night out, he didn't make trouble.

And the fans hated him.


It wasn't fair. It wasn't his fault. And we would have taken the money just the same.

But it never went away.
Get ready for the sequel.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Bloody Horns Open I

For everybody who got shut out of the Bob and Brian Open, here's your chance to meet me, play a great course, and have a chance to win 2-nights, and 2-rounds of golf at next spring's CzabeVegas trip to Sin City.

So what if you and your partner will probably shoot a million?

It's gonna be a blast. Besides, at $99 bucks a head, including post-round grub, I'm practically losing money on every entry! That's over $35 off the regular weekend rate!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Greetings from vacation with the family.

Where you don't have to be on the beach until noon, and you can knock off for the day by four without anybody complaining.

Good work, if you can get it.