Let’s play a game today. Let’s play “You Are The General Manager”. Suppose you are a GM in the NBA and you have decided that your team would really benefit by adding a veteran guard. Who is your choice here?
A. Allen Iverson: After all, AI is known as “The Answer” although there is some debate as to whether or not he understands what the question might be.
B. Stephon Marbury: After watching his behavior this off-season on the Internet, can your team afford the horde of guys named Freud and Jung it might take to convince Starbury that the four guys in the game with him wearing the same color shirts are not his enemies?
C. Mateen Cleaves: Hey, he is 32 years old and he won an NCAA championship – which neither of the other two has ever done – and he has been playing in the D-League where he averaged 13 points per game and 8 assists per game last season.
Switching sports, you are the GM of a team in MLB and you are asked to offer your opinion on which of these two teams is burdened with the worst quartet of contracts for 2009. Your anonymity is a certainty; and so, you choose to answer the question:
A. NY Mets: Beltran $19M, Delgado $12M, Perez $12M, K-Rod $10M
B. Chicago Cubs: Zambrano $19M, Bradley $10M, Soriano $22M, Fukodome $12M.
You make the call…
By the way, spending loads of money on player salaries in MLB is surely not a way to assure success on the field. The Mets rank 2nd in MLB in salaries paid out this year; the Cubbies rank 3rd. Neither team is very good. Joining these teams in the Top Ten teams in player payroll this year are the Mariners, Astros and White Sox. Those are three other flawed teams too.
HOW-EVAH, the teams that spend very little – - the ones at the bottom of the spending spectrum – - do tend to be really bad. Ranking form #30 in player payroll on up are the Pirates, Marlins, Padres, A’s, Orioles, Nationals and Indians. Can we agree that among that grouping, only the Marlins are interesting?
Sticking with baseball for a moment, loads of people take it as a given that Lou Piniella is a really good manager. I am beginning to wonder about that despite the successes he had in Cincinnati and in Seattle. This is his 22nd year in charge of a major league team and in that time, Piniella has a cumulative record (through 124 games this season) of 1764-1622. That is a .520 winning percentage which in a single season would be 85-77 (roughly). I guess 85-77 every year is better than taking an ice-water enema; but pardon me, if I do not fall all over myself drooling over Sweet Lou as one of the great managers in the history of the game. And by the way, this season the Cubbies really needed some leadership and focus to get some of their high-priced talent to play up to the level that the Cubs’ AAA players showed when they had to be up on the big team and in the line-up. Said leadership and focus seems not to have been present…
Yesterday I mentioned Brad Lidge in the context of the “closer problems” that the Phillies have experienced this year. Later yesterday, I read that Brett Myers was on a rehab assignment for the Phils and that could put Charlie Manuel in an interesting position in September. He might have Lidge, Myers and Ryan Madsen in the bullpen at the same time and it is not impossible to see any of them fitting the closer role. Closer-by-committee usually does not work but in this case, it might give Charlie Manuel a chance to see who has the “hot hand” and to go with him. We shall see…
They say that patience is a virtue – - and no one has ever accused me of being virtuous. Nevertheless, once in a while a morsel of delicious irony drops into your lap. The CEO of the SPCA in Richmond VA left her deaf and blind dog in a closed car and the animal went to visit the great fire hydrant in the sky. Let me be clear; I do not rejoice in the demise of this creature in any way; I have no animus toward dogs despite the fact that I do not own one. I can say with impunity that I have never been engaged in any activity that has resulted in the death of a dog – - and the CEO of the Richmond SPCA cannot make that statement any longer. The “dog-killer” here is not an athlete or an elected official or a person with obvious deranged tendencies; the “dog-killer” here is a certified do-gooder. How unseemly…
Animal activists preach to others about how others need to behave and conduct their lives; I wonder how this woman might react the next time she is pontificating and someone asks her why she is so high and mighty when her actions led to the death of her own dog. If the Mayor of Richmond’s dog had died in similar circumstances three weeks ago, I strongly suspect we would have heard less than positive things from this woman about Hizzoner. If you read the full account of this matter from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, you will note that she has no plans to resign her position. How convenient for her…
Let me go out on a limb here for a moment and make this prediction:
If you go to an Eagles’ game at Lincoln Financial Field this year, you are not going to hear the DJ play Who Let The Dogs Out?
However, if you go to see the Eagles play when they come to visit your town and your team, you will most certainly hear the DJ play, Who Let The Dogs Out? and How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? and You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog.
Finally, I got this in an e-mail from a long-term reader yesterday:
“People need to buy the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue so as to keep their sports intake Title IX compliant.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…