Get over the interruption

by

It’s late July and baseball’s pennant races are heating up. With the exception of the two central division leaders, no team has more than a 3.5 game lead in their respective division or wild card races. MLB is flirting with its all-time attendance record. So… we’ve gotta talk about baseball today, right?

Not so fast, my friend!!! Late July is also famous for the beginning of NFL training camps. And with the beginning of training camps comes…. contract negotiations!

The T.O. Situation
The whole Terrell Owens/Philadelphia Eagles dispute has been brewing since the Super Bowl. T.O. is in a seven-year deal with the Eagles worth $49 million. His contract was front-loaded with most of the guaranteed money coming via his $10 million signing bonus and first year salary. The ins an outs of NFl contracts are tricky, and the full terms aren’t made available to the public, so reporting is all over the place as to exactly how much Owens made last year and is scheduled to make this year and in follow-on years of the contract. It suffices to say that Owens doesn’t think it is enough and wants to re-work the terms.

The gut reaction most of us have is to cry foul. But here’s the rub. NFL contracts aren’t fully guaranteed. What that means is that teams can cut players at anytime and avoid paying them the non-guaranteed portion of their contract. Some estimates say that less than 50% of the money currently in NFL player contracts is guaranteed money. So… why can’t TO try to rework his deal and get more of the money in his contract guaranteed? If the team doesn’t have to honor the contract all the way through, why should the player?

Should the NFL have fully guaranteed contracts? With the chance of injury so high, fully guaranteed, long-term contracts could easily drive owners into financial straits. On the other hand, a deal’s a deal, right?

Let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. Maurice Clarrett just signed a deal with most of the money tied up in incentives. Sounds good, right? You meet the incentive levels, you get paid more. The better you play, the more money you make. Why don’t more players go this route? Why don’t more teams force players to go this route? Again, the injury specter raises its head.

OK… a little baseball talk
What’s up with the Yankees picking up scraps all over the place? If you’ve been designated for assignment by another big league team, you may have a future with the Yanks. They signed Hideo Nomo (5-8, 7.24 ERA in 19 starts) after he was DFA’ed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Granted, they signed him to a minor league deal, but with their less than stellar pitching and Kevin Brown on the DL, do you think he’ll be in the minors for long before the Yanks roll the dice with him? His stay in the minors may be lengthened by the Yanks trade for Shawn Chacon (1-7, 4.09 ERA) from the Rockies. 4.09 ERA is a pretty decent number for pitching at Coors Field.

Rumors also have the Yankes being very interested in Jose’ Cruz, Jr., just recently DFA’ed by the Diamondbacks after he experienced “back problems” and hit only .213 in 202 at bats. Those 12 HRs look enticing, though.

This only reinforces my opinion that the Yankees are bottom feeders masquerading as high-level predators.

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13 Responses to “Get over the interruption”

  1. Joe Longhorn Says:

    😦 No one here to play with. Elton John’s “Empty Garden” keeps going through my head.

    “And I’ve been knocking but no one answers
    And I’ve been knocking most all the day
    Oh and I’ve been calling oh hey hey Johnny
    Can’t you come out to play?”

  2. whit Says:

    Well,
    I would come play with you, but I don’t know what you’re talking about!

    🙂

  3. DeJon Redd Says:

    Thx for filling in Joe! My thinking on the T.O holdout is right in line with your thoughts (as much as I’d like to disagree.) For example … Sammy Sosa will be make more than 17 million this year. At the current pace that is 1 million per home home run. (Has anyone ever been more overpaid!?) What is Sammy Sosa’s team to do? The Cubs found a sucker in the Orioles and traded him. If they had released him they would STILL have to pay him $17M! However, an NFL player in the same situation (highly overpaid) can get released and the team is free from the contract. They don’t owe a penny. (At least the scenario is close to that.)

    So T.O. has a point.

    But like most sports fans, I have no tolerance for him. And here’s why. Compare T.O. to Hines Ward and his self-centered ego shines.

    Hines Ward is entering the 5th year of a 5 year contract. He has out performed his contract in all 4 previous years and now makes far below the average salary for a top tier receiver. (You may say Ward isn’t as flashy as Moss or Owens or Harrison but when it comes to blocking they can’t hold a candle to him.) What’s more, its been reported the Steelers told Ward they would restructure his deal this off season. They didn’t. He’s holding out.

    This scenario versus T.O.

    T.O. just completed the first year of a seven-year deal. They went to the Super Bowl, but T.O. didn’t play in the crucial playoff games. And now he wants a new deal.

    He may be a great reciever, but his scenario is not the same as Ward’s.

    He makes me sick.

  4. Annie Says:

    You could have written about baseball and football any other week, but this week’s post should have been dedicated to Lance Armstrong and his amazing 7th Tour de France victory. Now there’s an example of an athlete who is motivated by nothing more than to be the best at his sport instead of getting as much money as possible. All football and baseball players are overpaid, if you ask me.

    I do hope this “Sports” column includes other sports besides baseball and football.

  5. DeJon Redd Says:

    Although I have intentions to disagree, I for one am glad that this smart, intelligent, attractive female poster stated her case. (Although I have to say those things about my wife.)

    I’ll first state that Lance Armstrong is an inspiration for humanity. He is the antithesis to the overpaid sports ego.

    He is also the best at his craft maybe ever.

    But his craft is boring. And while I know I’m not taking the high ground here, there is a whole list of stats and ratings of the Tour de France before Lance started winning that proves no one in America cares about cycling.

    The Tour qualifies as the “Liesure” section in Trivial Pursuit’s “Sports & Liesure.” I prefer to keep this the “Sports” portion of the blog. Chess, frisbee golf, sailing, club badmiton, and yes cycling must get their own day of the week on some other blog.

    I love Lance. I want to be a fighter and overcome great odds to achieve ever greater things. But he deserves as much a spot in a sports discussion as Jared, the Subway guy, who overcame a huge gut to be the worst commercial spokesperson of all time.

  6. Annie Says:

    I’m a little upset that you feel you “have” to say such pleasant things about your wife rather than that you “want” to say such things. Don’t feel obligated by any means.

    The big four – football, baseball, basketball, and hockey – are not the only activities that qualify as “sports.” ESPN, the quintessential sports network, broadcasts billiards and poker tournaments, two activities that require as much physical exertion as me sitting at this computer typing this comment. Cycling is more of a sport than golf, although I’m sure golf will find its way into this blog because most men dream of joining the PGA tour one day.

    By the way, let’s not even get into a conversation about women’s sports.

    All I’m saying is you should think about adding a little diversity to the blog. You don’t even have to make the entire article about cycling, the WNBA, marathons, soccer, gymnastics, track & field, etc. At least acknowledge that there are other athletes out there besides the overpaid and overjuiced baseball and football players.

    Thank you.

  7. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Alright! Now it’s heating up!!!

    Sandi brings up the marriage topic, Duane elaborates on it’s complexity, and Ann/DeJon give us a real-life illustration! This is why the Houseflies bring in the big bucks!!!

    Sounds like you’re requesting a refresher course on my definition of a “sport.” Okay, I don’t really have a definition, but it goes something like this: It must be an athletic event where there is an objective way to keep score.

    Games/Leisure can be objectively scored, but they aren’t really that athletic.

    Then there are the “arts” – supposed sports that are judged subjectively.

    SPORTS: Volleyball, football, track & field, cycling, baseball, basketball, swimming (races, that is), Olympic boxing, etc.

    GAMES/LEISURE: Trivial Pursuit, poker, billiards, horseshoes, skeet shooting, hunting, fishing, shuffleboard, NASCAR, etc.

    ARTS: Diving, figure skating, gymnastics…

    I can’t figure out where to put professional boxing. It would technically fall under “arts” in my personal glossary here, but it doesn’t seem too artistic. I probably need a new category called, “Stupid Things.”

    Now my friend Herman’s definition of a sport goes so far as to claim there must be a “ball” involved. He rules out hockey because, and I quote, “It can’t be a sport if you use a urinal cake in it.”

    I like my system of definition better, though…

  8. annie Says:

    Where would the annual Nathan’s hot-dog eating contest fall under? Stupid Things, I suppose.

  9. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Without a doubt…

    For me personally, it would be games/leisure – I’d take a couple with mustard and relish and some onion rings… But for the contestants, it most definitely seems to fall under “stupid things.”
    🙂

  10. DeJon Redd Says:

    After my virtual kick under the table, I think we should re-think the diversity of our sports discussion.

    That is a great idea!

  11. Al Sturgeon Says:

    🙂

    Diversity is good.

    To stir the pot a little more, however, now that I’ve defended Ann’s point that cycling is, in fact, a sport (from the way I see it), DeJon did bring up the matter of whether a sport is “boring” or not. That is another subject entirely…

    Here’s my quick Top 10 on sports that are exciting (in order):

    1. Basketball
    2. Volleyball
    3. Football
    4. Baseball
    5. Track & Field
    6. Tennis

    Okay, let’s go with Top 6…

    I’m not enthralled by cycling – and I also think that golf, NASCAR, soccer, and hockey are boring.

    I know there’s other sports out there – some I might count as exciting, I just can’t think of any others right now…

  12. Annie Says:

    Here are some other exciting sports:

    Water polo
    Horse racing (and other sports involving the equine)
    Lacrosse
    Badminton
    Fast pitch softball
    Sumo wrestling
    Speed skating
    Table tennis (but only the kind that was played in Forest Gump)
    Downhill skiing
    Luge
    Fencing
    Bobsledding

    Okay, so maybe the excite factor is up for debate.

  13. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Okay, I’m limiting myself to human sports, which takes equine sports out of the picture, and in some respects, Sumo wrestling.

    I’ll keep my top 6…
    1. Basketball
    2. Volleyball
    3. Football
    4. Baseball
    5. Track & Field
    6. Tennis

    Fast-pitch softball is awesome, but I’ll group it into the baseball category – and speed-skating to me goes w/track & field (just a slippery track).

    So I’ll round out my top 10 with…
    7. Table tennis
    8. Downhill skiing

    Okay, I’m sticking with 8 now…

    Lacrosse: Hardest thing I’ve ever tried, and closest to being #9, but its like mixing soccer and hockey, both of which I find boring.

    Water polo: I almost put this one in the list, but I don’t know if a combination of drowning and kicking people in private places – though exciting to be sure – deserves a spot in the top 10.

    Luge/bobsledding: Downhill skiing with a taxi. Not athletic enough for me.

    Badminton: An awesome and difficult sport. Almost too fast to really follow, though. Kind of like watching two actual houseflies play catch.

    Fencing: Never watched it. Looks funny.

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