A Coup In Fantasy Baseball Yesterday …

I do not play fantasy sports but I have a hunch that, if you had Scooter Gennett in your baseball lineup yesterday, you did pretty well.  Gennett tied an MLB record with 4 home runs in a single game becoming only the 17th player in baseball history to do that.  He also had a single to produce a stat line for the evening like this:

  • 5 for 5; 4 runs scored; 10 RBIs; 17 total bases

At the start of the game, Gennett had hit a total of 38 home runs in his career which began in 2013 and consisted of 502 games and 1637 at bats.  It is fair to say that he had a “career-game” last night.

The Seattle Seahawks put an end to the speculation that they would sign Colin Kaepernick as their backup QB earlier this week by signing Austin Davis to fill that role.  I wrote previously that I thought Seattle would be a logical landing spot for Kaepernick for the simple reason that the team had no viable backup on the roster but the rest of the roster indicated that the playoffs should be within reach.  Signing Austin Davis simply adds fuel to the concocted debate that has been out there ever since the Niners released Kaepernick regarding the motive(s) for his long-standing free agency.

Austin Davis was drafted by the Rams out of Southern Mississippi in the 2012 NFL Draft.  He did not see the field in his rookie; he did not see the field in 2013 and in the previous 2 seasons, he has appeared in 13 games – starting 10 of them.  He was with the Rams in 2014 and the Browns in 2015.  When Austin Davis is the starter, his team’s record is 3-7-0.  For his career, he has thrown 13 TDs and 12 INTs and he has completed 62.4% of his passes.

Meaning absolutely no disrespect to Austin Davis, those statistical entries on his résumé do not match those of Colin Kaepernick who did take a team to the Super Bowl.  Meaning absolutely no disrespect to Colin Kaepernick, that was at the end of the 2012 NFL season and a lot of water has gone over the dam since then.

I do not know why the Seahawks made the decision that they did; they worked out and interviewed both men; the folks who run the Seahawks are not stumblebums.  Rather than add to the cacophony surrounding this “debate”, I will simply say this:

  • When a player’s perceived talent level is sufficient, that perception is sufficient to override some dark stains on that player’s reputation – darker than Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest last year.

Let me stay with NFL news for a moment here …  If you have watched NFL games on TV for even a few moments, you realize that beer companies spend a lot of money buying advertising time on those games.  However, there have never been any ads there for hard liquor and the reason for that is that the NFL has “worked with its broadcast partners” to refrain from selling ad slots for those sorts of products.  That will change this season.

The NFL has eased up a bit here and will allow the networks to sell up to 4 ad slots (30 seconds each) to hard liquor products per game.  This is not a capitulation by the NFL to economic realities because there are still restrictions:

  • None of the ads can be “football focused”.  You are not going to see folks in their backyard pounding shots and playing touch football; you are not going to see a football team in the locker room after a game drinking highballs; you are not going to see an active player endorsing “hooch”.
  • Each ad must contain some sort of exhortation to use the product responsibly and not to do something dumb like drink-and-drive.  [Aside: Given the number of DUI incidents involving NFL players, any reference to the negative aspects of drinking and driving might be considered “football focused”.  Hmmm…]

Before you jump to the conclusion that the NFL is racing to get away from its stodginess, let me assure you that there are still products that will not be part of the ad mix on NFL games.  You can agree with it or not, but the NFL is not going to air commercials for condoms or sexual lubricants during its games.  Nor will you see ads for birth control drugs even though you will see plenty of ads for drugs that purport to combat erectile dysfunction.  I guess the NFL would try to argue that they would prefer to stay away from the “debates” that could arise from such advertising.  Whatever …

More interestingly, the NFL still will not allow energy drinks to be advertised nor can the makers or distributors of “supplements” purchase ad time.  I was surprised to see energy drinks on the “do not sell ad time to these guys list”; but given the problems that some players have had with drug tests that they blame on supplements, I can understand the league not wanting to muddy those waters any more than they are.

However, here is the case that I find particularly interesting.  The NFL will still prohibit any advertising by a gambling concern or for Las Vegas tourism.  The NFL is putting a team in Las Vegas; they are the beneficiaries of $750M in State of Nevada tax revenue to build a new stadium there.  The Las Vegas economy is not driven by heavy industry; Las Vegas lives and dies via tourism.  I can understand that it might take a while for the NFL to get itself to the point where it does not look upon places like The Mirage or Bellagio or The Westgate as facilities populated in the main by evil ne’er-do-wells, but I do not understand how it can simultaneously believe that it is OK to place a team in Las Vegas but not allow the city to advertise itself as a tourist destination.

Finally, consider this comment from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald.  I did not know this was part of the existing NFL/NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement:

“Ex-Husker Randy Gregory reportedly failed a drug test for the seventh time in the NFL. One more and he’s removed from the league permanently and becomes a member of the Grateful Dead.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “A Coup In Fantasy Baseball Yesterday …”

  1. My guess is Kaepernick wants to compete for a starting job and/or starter’s money and that’s not happening.

    1. dave:

      I am not surprised that Kaepernick wants to compete to be the starter; I would be surprised if that were not the case given that he has been a starter in a Super Bowl game. In fact, I think that he can be a starter for at least a dozen teams in the NFL if the coaches there chose to bring him to camp about now.

      My guess – – and I emphasize guess here – – is that he does want more than a league-minimum salary and playoff-contending teams already have plenty of players above the minimum putting pressure on the cap. Do they want to add to that “pressure” by paying a price for a backup QB? Quite possibly a sticking point…

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