Some Head-Scratchers Today…

A news report this morning says that Geno Smith will start in the Seattle Seahawks’ first exhibition game over Paxton Lynch.  The two of them are battling it out in the Seahawks’ training camp to see which one will hold the clipboard for Russell Wilson this year.  Lest anyone doubt that Russell Wilson’s job is in no danger, Wilson will not play at all in that first meaningless exhibition game.  This “news item” is interesting to me only because I read a report about a week ago where Geno Smith told one of the reporters covering the Seahawks camp that his goal is to be a starting QB in the NFL and that this camp is about him proving that he can do that.

Taken at face value, that must mean that he expects coaches/scouts from other teams to attend Seahawks’ training camp sessions because the reality is that he will only replace Russell Wilson if Wilson is in a coma.  If his goal is to be a starting QB in the NFL, I wonder why he chose to sign with the Seahawks as opposed to some other team where the starter is not as solidly encamped.  I don’t know if his bold statement about showing he can be a starter in the NFL is braggadocio or self-delusion – – or – – if he is simply recognizing the simple fact that the injury bug is always lurking around NFL locker rooms.  We shall see…

  • My best guess is that Geno Smith will get a real chance to be a starting QB for one of the XFL 2.0 teams if/when that new league launches.
  • If that happens, then maybe Geno Smith can be “The Tommy Maddox of XFL 2.0”.

Last night, the Yankees beat the Orioles 14-2 to run their record at Camden Yards to 10-0 this season.  The outcome of the game is not important nor is the fact that it was a blow-out.  What was unusual is that Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde and high-priced lawn ornament, Chris Davis got into a kerfuffle in the dugout and players had to restrain Davis from going after Hyde.  Of course, after the game the official line is that this was just a misunderstanding and that it has all been smoothed over and it will all be “kept in house”.  Here are some data that overhang this situation:

  • Davis is 3.5 years into a 7-year contract worth a total of $161M.  The deal calls for him to get $23M preseason for the duration of the deal.
  • When the deal was done just prior to the 2016 season, it looked like a good move for the Orioles.  Davis had hit 47 home runs and driven in 117 runs the year before and in 2013 he had hit 53 home runs and drove in 138 runs.
  • In 2016, the first year of the deal, he hit .221 and struck out 219 times.
  • In 2017, he hit .215 and struck out 195 times
  • In 2018, he hit .168 and struck out 192 times
  • So far in 2019, he is hitting .183 and has struck out 110 times.

On Opening Day this year, the Orioles total payroll for their 25-man roster was $67.4M according to this analysis.  Chris Davis accounted for 34.1% of the team’s salary.  To say that he has been a disappointment for the last 3.5 years would be a monumental understatement – – sort of like saying LaVar Ball is an extrovert.  Davis was removed from the game after this dugout scene last night; it will be interesting to see if he is in the lineup when the Astros visit Baltimore tomorrow night…

Speaking of things that are coming apart at the seams in MLB, the Boston Red Sox are in meltdown mode.  They have lost 9 of their last 10 games and they are 6 games out of the second wild card slot as of this morning.  Last year the Red Sox lost a total of 54 games; here we are in early August with 8 weeks left in the regular season and the Sox have already lost 56 games.

It seems to me that the explanation for this collapse is the pitching staff.  Chris Sale is the Sox ace and he has not been “ace-like” for most of the 2019 season.  In addition, the Sox have not been successful in finding a closer to replace Craig Kimbrell who left in free agency.  I don’t men to hang all the blame there, because the rest of the Sox pitchers have not stepped up to take over when these two large holes appeared from the beginning of the season.

One more baseball note today.  Next year, the Yankees will play the White Sox in the Field of Dreams movie site in Iowa.  They will construct a temporary stadium there to seat 8000 people.  This seems to expand on the idea that MLB will schedule a game in Williamsport PA around the time of the Little League World Series and will send teams to the UK to play there.  The tag line from the film Field of Dreams is:

“If you build it, they will come.”

All I can say is that MLB is not expecting too many folks “will come” if the seating is limited to 8000.  After all, the population of Dyersville, IA is just over 4000 and one would expect that many of the townsfolk might be interested in securing a ticket for the spectacle.

Finally, having mentioned the Chris Davis contract in conjunction with last night’s dugout unpleasantness, consider this comment from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times:

“Californians carry the country’s highest mortgage debt — an average of $347,000.

“’Cry me a river,’ say the Baltimore Orioles. ‘We still owe Chris Davis $100 million!’”

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