Mish-Mash …

Recall that ESPN fired – or did not renew contracts – with 20 of their on-air personalities about 2 weeks ago.  Most of the folks cut adrift by ESPN remain in that status but Steve Young has gotten himself a new job.  Young will be an assistant coach for a girls’ high school flag football team in California.  Young has two daughters on the flag football team at Menlo HS in California and his assistant coaching duties are expected to be on the “offensive side” of the game.  The head coach at Menlo HS for girls’ flag football is another former Niners’ QB, John Paye whose football career is sort of interesting.

Paye graduated from Menlo HS as a multi-sport athlete and was the QB at Stanford in the mid-1980s and he had the “honor” of following John Elway into that position.  When he graduated from Stanford, Paye was drafted by the Niners in the 10th round of the NFL Draft and spent two years with the Niners but never saw the field in a real game.  Two QBs ahead of Paye on the Niners’ roster at the time were Joe Montana and Steve Young.  John Paye was a QB – – but more importantly, he was around a bunch of really good QBs who kept him on the bench.

Next … Last winter in the MLB offseason, there was a bit of drama surrounding the free agency of Carlos Correa.  The Giants had him signed but then he failed their physical.  He had a lower leg injury several years ago and that seemed to bother the Giants’ medical folks, so Correa was a free agent again.  There was a similar flirtation with the Mets that did not stand up to scrutiny for very long.  In the end, Correa re-signed with the Twins where he had played in 2022.

Weep not for Carlos Correa; he is making $36M to play baseball this year for the Twins.  But at age 29 – – next month – – he should be at or near the peak of his career and this year’s offensive numbers belie that status:

  • Batting average = .228
  • On base percentage = .304
  • OPS = .705

Those are not “shameful numbers” except when they are juxtaposed with a salary of $36M for 2023 and he will also make $36M in 2024 and 2025.  I am too lazy to track down where his current salary ranks among the top earners in MLB, but I will guess that at $36M for 2023, Correa certainly ranks in the Top 20 earners and maybe in the Top 10.  So, the question now is:

  • Were those medical folks in SF and NY correct in having Correa “flunk a physical” – – OR – –
  • Is this just a down year for Correa whose career OPS is .119 higher than this year’s figure?

Moving on …  The owner of the Tottenham Hotspurs in the EPL is in a bit of hot water.  Joe Lewis – – neither the boxer nor the comedian, both of whom are dead – – has been charged with insider trading here in NY.  US Attorneys there have alleged that Lewis shared inside corporate information with “friends, associates and romantic partners” over a three- year period that overlapped COVID times.  Tottenham refused to make any comment on the matter, saying that none of this affected the club or the team as is likely the case for now.

However, the former owner of Chelsea in the EPL was ultimately forced to sell his club based on international sanctions related to the Chelsea owner’s “close ties” to Vladimir Putin.  When Chelsea was on the market, there was plenty of interest in acquiring the team which ultimately sold for $5.4B.  I don’t have any idea what the Tottenham club might command on the open market, but if the “Middle East Money Men” take a shine to the club, the price could be stratospheric.

Switching gears …  In news that is clearly less economically uplifting, I read a report that the XFL lost $60M in the course of its season.  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson acquired the XFL from Vince McMahon when the league folded for the second time during COVID.  The good news is that the league made it through to the end of its season without bouncing checks hither, thither and yon and that its TV deal with ESPN remains intact.

The XFL – – call this XFL 3.0 – – projects that it will take in $100M in revenue in the 2024 season which would be a great success for this twice-failed league.  The problem I have with the projection is that only 20% of that projection is going to come from the TV deal with ESPN.  Seeing how XFL 3.0 is going to make up $80M in things like live gate and local partnerships is not an easy thing for me to do.

Let me be clear … I hope that XFL 3.0 and USFL 2.0 both succeed and continue to provide pro football events for fan consumption on a continuous basis.  But that sort of revenue projection from XFL 3.0 requires some heavy lifting by the league.  At least they have a physical specimen like “The Rock” to help with that heavy lifting.

Switching gears … I mentioned earlier this week that Saquon Barkley had $900K of incentives added to what he would have earned by signing the franchise tag that the Giants put on him.  If I understand the reports on the details of those incentives that have been appended to the deal, here is what must happen for Barkley to earn the full $900K:

  • Rush for 1350 yards or more (80 yards per game)
  • Catch 65 passes (4 receptions per game)
  • Score 11 TDs – – AND – –
  • Giants make the playoffs.

Finally, let me close today with two observations by George Bernard Shaw that seem eerily appropriate in 2023:

“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.”

And …

“We all profess the deepest regard for liberty; but no sooner does anyone claim to exercise it than we declare with horror that we are in favor of liberty but not od license, and demand indignantly whether true freedom can ever mean freedom to do wrong, to preach sedition and immorality, to utter blasphemy.  Yet this is exactly what liberty does mean.”

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



One thought on “Mish-Mash …”

  1. Carlos Correa: when one is earning $36 million and batting .228, the only question to be asked is: What is the Minnesota Twins winning percentage? Since the team is in first place in a weak division….

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