Last night, Keith Olbermann returned to ESPN2 – the network he started a bit more than 15 years ago. His first show was excellent.
He exposed the “Rex Ryan must be fired for being stupid and putting Mark Sanchez in a meaningless game where Sanchez got hurt” story for what it is. It is a NYC media manufactured story, which now has that NYC media championing Mark Sanchez as a victimized QB on the Jets instead of how they have portrayed him for the last year – as a worthless waste of skin.
His interview with Jason Whitlock was very interesting.
His narration of sports highlights – they call them Keith Lights and that really needs to stop – was entertaining.
He did his Worst Person In The World routine on the program but now it is the Worst Person In The Sports World.
The weak link in the program was the interview with Mark Cuban because it dealt with Cuban talking about baseball more than anything else. Why that was interesting enough for the opening show was not clear to me.
If Keith Olbermann can keep the program at the entertainment level it hit tonight, I will be watching ESPN2 at 11:00 PM ET far more often than I will be watching either ESPN or FS1.
Forbes reported that the Houston Astros will have an operating margin – that is not exactly a net profit but it is surely related to a net profit – of $99M this year and that is the highest such operating margin in the history of sports in the US. That margin is greater than the margins enjoyed by the last 5 World Series winning teams combined. Of course, the way the Astros have done that is to assemble a roster where the opening day payroll was only $26.1M. As expected, the Astros are awful and will lose 100+ games again this year. In 2012, they lost 108 games. So, what is going on in Houston?
The team is very young and minor league rating services say that the Astros have plenty of blue chip prospects in the minor leagues.
The plan seems to be to assemble a young roster and let them grow up together.
Before you leap to the conclusion that this plan might take forever and a day, consider that 10 years ago (2003), the Detroit Tigers lost 119 games after having lost 106 games the year before. Since then the Tigers have been a force in the AL with 3 trips to the ALCS and 2 visits to the World Series. It took the Tigers until 2006 to make the post-season; might the Astros be able to do the same by 2016?
Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald sees the current incarnation of the Astros through this prism:
“In the Little League World Series championship game, the U.S. lost a heart-breaker to Japan, 6-4. Fortunately, the U.S. kids got their confidence back later that evening after defeating the Houston Astros 7-2.”
Alex Rodriguez is closing in on Willie Mays career home run total. Mays hit 660 home runs; A-Rod has 649 at the moment. The Yankees have 31 games left this year; if A-rod plays in all of them, he might pass Mays on the list. And that possibility leads to today’s Quick Quiz. Do you feel:
A. Revulsion that an admitted PED cheater will pass Willie Mays in the record books – or –
B. Smug satisfaction that the Yankees will have to pay him an additional $6M as a bonus according to the ridiculous contract they gave A-rod.
Fifty words or less…
Here are A-Rod related comments from three writers around the country:
“Let’s see if we have this straight: Alex Rodriguez — who once let his cousin inject questionable substances into his buttocks — is complaining about his medical treatment from the Yankees?” [Dwight Perry, Seattle Times]
“Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi said if Ryan Dempster wasn’t punished severely for plunking Alex Rodriguez, it would be ‘open season’ on Alex. Man, I hope A-Rod isn’t using that deer-antler extract.” [Scott Ostler, SF Chronicle]
“Parting thought: I read there is a book the size of a ladybug (seriously) that can only be read with a microscope. I hear it contains all the names of people who still like A-Rod.” [Greg Cote, Miami Herald]
Howard Cosell used to say that he told it like it is. I found this item in Gregg Drinnan’s column last weekend in the Kamloops Daily News and if you do not know what it means to “tell it like it is”, then this should be your guidepost:
“Having watched quarterback Tim Tebow in two preseason games with the New England Patriots, Gerry Callahan of the Boston Herald observed: ‘Watching him play quarterback is like watching Jose Canseco pitch in a major league game. Watching him play quarterback after Tom Brady is like watching Canseco relieve Sandy Koufax.’ “
Jesse Ventura is suing someone for defamation; I do not know the particulars of his claim and really do not care much about the outcome of the suit. I read a report that in a deposition that Ventura gave as part of that legal proceeding, he said that he has a “standing offer” to go back to the WWE at any time as an announcer or as an in-ring wrestler. Jesse Ventura recently celebrated his 62nd birthday. Let me be clear, I understand that age discrimination is against the law and that age discrimination is not a good hiring/retention policy for an organization even were it not against the law. However, might we not have an exception within the framework of the law for professional ‘rasslers over the age of 60?
Finally, I heard one of the local TV sports guys interviewing a Redskins’ player last evening. I missed the beginning so I do not know which player it was, but about every 4th word out of his mouth was ‘y’know”. I found myself focusing on the “y’knows” and not on what he was saying – not as though that was going to be a great loss to my life. But that leads me to ask:
Should Las Vegas offer Over/Under betting lines on the number of “y’knows” in a postgame interview with modern day athletes?
There was a time – not all that long ago – when that sort of thinking would have been unnecessary.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………