Last week, Dan Dierdorf revealed that he will retire from the announcing booth at the end of this season. Dierdorf is 64 years old and has been behind the microphone for 30 years now. Before that, he had a 13-year career as a Hall of Fame offensive lineman for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1970s. In fact, he is one of only three players who are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame both as a player and as a broadcaster. The other two player/broadcaster inductees are:
[Aside: John Madden is also in the Hall of Fame in two places - one as a coach and the other as a broadcaster. Madden won a Super Bowl as coach of the Raiders but even though drafted into the NFL in the 50s, he never appeared in an NFL game as a player.]
The reasons given for Dierdorf’s retirement are health and mobility issues. Dierdorf has two artificial knees and two artificial hips. He must set the metal detectors off in airports when he gets out of the cab for curbside baggage checking. He needs a cane to walk and the effort to get to and from venues and broadcast booths has become a negative quantity in his “quality of life equation”.
I always enjoyed Dan Dierdorf as a color analyst. I thought he brought insight to the game.
Bonne chance, Dan Dierdorf.
There was another “retirement announcement” last week. St. Louis Cardinals’ starter, Chris Carpenter, will hang up the spikes after pitching in the major leagues since 1997. For all practical purposes, Carpenter missed 5 full seasons in the 16 years since then with serious injuries. After only three appearances in 2012 and missing the entirety of the 2013 season, Chris Carpenter announced his retirement at age 38. His career record is 144-94 with an ERA of 3.76; he won the Cy Young Award in 2005.
SI.com reported that the Cardinals will “identify a future role” for Carpenter within the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization. All I can say is that if Carpenter has a way to teach young players dedication and determination, he could have a “future role” in any organization in baseball.
The Lakers just gave Kobe Bryant a 2-year contract extension – starting at the end of this season – which will pay Kobe a total of $48.5M. Bryant is 35 years old and is not yet returned from Achilles tendon surgery from last Spring. The discussion topic of the moment on Sports Radio seems to be whether Bryant is worth that much money at this point in his career. Here is my assessment:
1. This extension represents a pay cut for Bryant. His salary this year is $30.45M. Next year it will be $23.5M. That is a 23% reduction in pay.
2. To some extent, this extension represents an acknowledgement by the Lakers that Bryant has been an integral part of earning the Lakers hundreds of millions of dollars over the period of time he has been with the team.
3. If the surgery is successful and his rehab is complete, Kobe Bryant can still play basketball at a very high level.
4. The risk for the Lakers is that the injury is one from which Bryant cannot adequately recover. If that is the case, then the Lakers are hamstrung in terms of salary cap maneuverability with regard to constructing a new competitive team.
Across the country, the Brooklyn Nets are a mess. The team has the highest team salary in the history of pro basketball with 6 players on the roster who have been in the NBA for more than a decade. As of this morning, the Nets stand in a tie for 15th place in the putrid Eastern Conference of the NBA with the NY Knicks. Both teams have 3-10 records.
The Nets are a team that is built to win – in 2010. The team is already in the mode of “managing the minutes” of a couple of their superannuated players. The bright spot for the Nets is the sorry-assed state of the Eastern Conference in the NBA where 8 teams have to make the playoffs and now with the injury to Derrick rose in Chicago, there are only 2 really good teams in that conference. If the playoffs were to begin this morning, the Eastern Conference would have these six teams as part of the “playoff mix”:
I am not sure you could construct a serious championship contending team from all six of those rosters…
Finally, here are two comments from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald on the general subject of memorabilia collecting:
“On eBay, you can buy authenticated Jim Palmer-signed underwear that he modeled for Jockey in the 1970s. I can think of no worse job in America than being in charge of authenticating 40-year-old underwear.”
“Red Sox champs David Ortiz and Shane Victorino are selling shaved clippings of their World Series beards for charity. I would pay big to not have another man’s beard hair in my house.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………