A Bit Of Everything today …

I did not express myself clearly yesterday when I said that Aaron Judge and Clayton Kershaw were the only MLB free agents who had re-signed with their previous teams.  I meant to say “top-shelf free agents” but did not say so.  The “reader in Houston” provided me with free agents who “re-upped” with their previous teams; let me include them here for completeness:

  • Edwin Diaz – – Mets
  • Rafael Montero – – Astros
  • Joc Pederson – – Giants
  • Martin Perez – – Rangers
  • Anthony Rizzo – – Yankees
  • Robert Suarez – – Padres

My bad …

Leaving the world of errata – hopefully – here are three things I KNOW:

  1. The Baltimore Ravens need to invest some draft capital and/or free agent money to acquire some pass-catchers on the outside.  The team is built around a strong running game but is having trouble running the ball consistently because of defenses deploying seven-man and eight-man boxes all too frequently.  The Ravens need to add some WR threats simply to spread defenses out.
  2. Matt Ryan is not the long-term answer for the Indianapolis Colts at QB simply because of his age; he is 37 years old.  Neither is Nick Foles the long-term answer for the Colts at QB.  So, maybe they actually do need to play Sam Ehlinger this year even though it would appear as if the Colts were tanking and that is something owner Jim Irsay declared was verboten in the Colts’ organization.  The Colts are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but with a 4-8-1 record as of this morning, let us just leave it that their chances are not good for playing beyond Week 18.
  3. There was TMI included in the recent announcement that the people who run Wimbledon every summer were going to relax the stricture that women participants must wear only white uniforms.  All that would have been necessary would have been to say that women wearing “all-whites” was a thing of the past and that Wimbledon was now going to permit female competitors to wear other colored undergarments.  See?  You have a piece of information; it is no big deal; you can move forward just as the good folks at Wimbledon can move forward.  Except, we also had to be made aware that the reason for this change is that women were worried that blood might be visible on white undergarments when the competitors were menstruating.  Too Much Information…

And here are four things I THINK:

  1. The Denver Broncos’ braintrust must be starting to regret that trade for Russell Wilson.  To acquire Wilson, the Broncos gave the Seahawks two first round picks, two second round picks, Noah Fant, Drew Lock and Shelby Harris.  This was done to “solve the Broncos’ offensive woes that had persisted over the last several years”.  How’s that working out?  Not well at all.  Consider this.  The Broncos’ defense has held opponents to 17 points or fewer 8 times this year.  The Broncos’ record in those 8 games is 3-5.  The Broncos’ offense stinks; they do not have draft picks to remedy that malodorous situation.
  2. It is time for the Atlanta Falcons to take a look at Desmond Ridder as their QB simply so they can assess his potential future role with the team.  The Falcons spent a third-round pick on him back in April; he has not seen regular season activity so far.  The fact is that Marcus Mariota is not excelling at the QB position and the Falcons’ playoff hopes are dimming week by week.  The Falcons have their BYE Week this week; it may be time for them to look at Ridder in real game action as a future investment.
  3. MLB and the MLBPA must figure out how to get teams that refuse to spend money on payroll to change their behavior.  This issue has existed for quite a while now and it leads to sufficient competitive imbalance that it diminishes interest in the games.  Teams can count on enough guaranteed revenue these days from local and national media rights contracts that there’s no excuse for them to not spend on players’ salaries that would improve the team performance.  And yet, here we are…  I continue to maintain that this problem is solvable if both the owners and the players’ union will each swallow a pill that neither wants to swallow.  There needs to be a salary floor for all MLB teams (owners would rather have three root canals each than accept this) along with a salary cap (the players would rather sell their progeny into slavery than accept this).  Nevertheless, without something to drive certain teams to spend to create competitive balance, there will be no progress here.
  4. The Boston Celtics’ hot start in the NBA regular season – – the team has won 20 of its first 25 games – – takes some of the luster off Ime Udoka’s reputation as a great young coach.  The Celtics were very good under Udoka last year making it to the NBA Finals, but they seem to be just as good under Joe Mazzulla this year; and until this year started, the name “Joe Mazzulla” would only have evinced a response of “Who’s he?

Here are two things I FEEL:

  1. Cody Bellinger’s career is at a crossroads; one road leads to a continued MLB career and the other leads to some team wishing him well in his future endeavors.  In 2019, Bellinger was the NL MVP posting a season-long OPS of 1.035.  In the three seasons since then, his OPS has ranged from .542 to .789.  Will the real Cody Bellinger please stand up?  He was a free agent this year and only got a 1-year contract – – at $17.5M – – from the Cubs.  The 2023 season seems to me like do or die for his career.
  2. If Michigan wins the CFP National Championship Game, Jim Harbaugh will return to the NFL to try to win a Super Bowl.  He came close to making that jump last year when he engaged in a flirtation with the Vikes.  If he wins the National Championship this year, there are no loftier goals for him at the collegiate level.  So maybe off to the NFL with the Colts? Cards? Broncos? Chargers? Panthers? Saints?

And here is What’s Next:

  • Brittney Griner is coming home from her prison/labor camp in Russia; a prisoner swap has been negotiated; President Biden has said she is on a plane headed home.  While that can only be interpreted as good news, I fear some will say that Griner got special attention because she is a professional basketball player with celebrity/athletic status and that her release means the continued incarceration of other US citizens jailed abroad.  For some folks, a silver lining is never sufficient; they insist on building a cloud around it.

Finally, regarding some MLB owners’ unwillingness to spend money on player salaries to improve the team, I think those owners are taking one of Henry Ford’s pronouncements too literally:

“You don’t get rich by what you earn; you get rich by what you don’t spend.”

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



2 thoughts on “A Bit Of Everything today …”

  1. Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson ran against New Orleans (11); Carolina (11); and Jacksonville (14). Where is Mr. Jackson now? Name one running quarterback since Steve Young (1995) that has led a team to a Super Bowl win.

    Brittney Griner got special attention because she is a black woman–and black women helped elect candidate Joe Biden to the presidency. This is how politics works.

    1. TenaciousP – – and others:

      I really don’t want to make this into a political forum. I will happily engage in sports “debates” here or just exchanges of views on sports and sports personalities. There are hundreds of political sites where you can have those sorts of exchanges; please take such things there.


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