Today, I want to do some cleaning up of my clipboard. A while back, I ran across this item and neglected to note where I found it. I believe it comes from Bob Smizik’s blog on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website but I am not positive. In any event, Bobby Bonilla got the first installment of his deferred salary from the NY Mets this year. After the 1991 season, Bonilla signed a free agent contract with the Mets; one of the terms of that contract called for him to collect $1.2M per year from the Mets starting in 2011 and continuing for 25 years. Now that is what you call a pension plan…
Bob Molinaro had this item in a recent column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot and he is dead-on target with this observation:
“Futurewatch: With Major League Baseball leaning toward expanding its replays for the 2012 season to include trapped balls and fair/foul rulings, some are concerned that this will make a slow-moving game slower. But there’s a way to cut a few minutes off games without shortening commercial breaks or requiring hitters to remain in the batters box between pitches: Make umpires call chest-high strikes, the way God and Abner Doubleday intended.”
Dwight Perry had these two items in recent iterations of Sideline Chatter in the Seattle Times. Both are self-explanatory…
“Allen Iverson apologized for his 20-minute, obscenity-filled tirade during a traffic stop in Atlanta in which he said, ‘Police don’t have anything else (expletive) to do except (expletive) with me, do you know who I am?’
“Evidently his interactions with the cops could use a little, ahem, practice.”
“The minor-league Fort Myers (Fla.) Miracle is hosting ‘Salute to the Southeastern Conference Night’ on Aug. 24, with fake diplomas among the featured giveaways.
“Darn. I was hoping they’d be paying each fan $180,000 to attend.”
The Barry Bonds trial verdict continues to rattle around in my head. There will be a time in the near future when Bonds returns to court to learn what sentence the judge will impose regarding his obstruction of justice. At that sentencing “event”, Bonds’ attorneys will be able to call witnesses who will explain to the court why it should be lenient in its sentence. There will be an opportunity at that sentencing “event” for a demonstration of Olympic Class Chutzpah.
Just suppose that one of the persons who shows up to testify regarding leniency for Barry Bonds is his longtime friend – - – Greg Anderson. Remember, Anderson has probably spent at least a year or more in jail because he has refused to testify in any proceedings involving Bonds as the defendant in the actions that led to this conviction. For Anderson to show up now and take the stand would be “contempt of court squared”. I wonder what the judge would do in that circumstance…
Bonds’ lawyers have to be hoping that the judge does not impose a sentence equal to the number of years in jail as Bonds’ current hat size…
If the NBA ultimately approves the transfer of the Sacramento franchise to Anaheim, that will be the fourth franchise move for an NBA team in the last 10 years. The results for the last three franchise moves are a mixed bag at best:
The Oklahoma City Thunder are doing well at the gate – - better than the Seattle Sonics did in their last year in Seattle. Of course, the Thunder is an excellent young team poised to go deep in the playoffs this year. One could say that the Thunder is fortunate to have a “new home” plus the emergence of two young stars on the team. Nonetheless, that move has been a financial success so far.
The New Orleans Hornets had to leave Charlotte; the fans and the owner of the Hornets exhibited a ruptured relationship. Nevertheless, the Hornets are not thriving in New Orleans averaging only 14,700 fans per home game with a team that made the playoffs this year and has been a playoff contending team for several years. Even when David Stern was in his phase of nothing but rosy pronouncements about the NBA, he would not have called the move to New Orleans successful.
The Memphis Grizzlies made the playoffs this year and their attendance went up as should be expected. Despite the increase, the Grizzlies’ attendance stands below that of the New Orleans Hornets. It is not clear that the Grizzlies are better off in Memphis than they would have been staying in Vancouver.
The move of the Kings to Anaheim – - if it happens – - will put the team in a very large market that is already occupied by two teams. The Lakers played to 99.7% of capacity this year; the Clippers played to 93.1% of capacity this year. The Anaheim Kings have to hope there are about 17,000 NBA fans in that market who have been shut out by the current teams from getting acceptable tickets. It is not clear to me that is the case.
In any event, the Kings will – - as the #3 team in the LA market – - need to change their name. They will not be the “Kings of that Market” by any stretch of the imagination. Might I suggest that they ought to be – - if truth in advertising is to have any meaning at all – - the Anaheim Vassals…
Finally, let me close with one more item from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times:
“Police arrested Titans receiver Kenny Britt after a high-speed chase Tuesday, making him the 10th NFL player arrested in a month since labor talks collapsed.
“So, how soon before locked-in players outnumber the locked-out ones?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…