Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend Hangover - Love/Hate


- Training Camp starts!! As much as I enjoy baseball, the boys of summer cannot compete with the grid iron in the fall. As camps start, there will be a ton of talk about position battles, who wants a new contract, what rookie is picking up the game quickly (once the rookies other than Dez Bryant finally start signing), and what aging veteran looks like he ran out of gas. Predictions will be made based on last season and hopes of a new season, and then finally in another month, real games will start to be played. And this morning the month-long heat and humidity in New York finally broke and the air had just the slightest chill to it…..almost like mother nature even decided to give a little head nod to football.

- The intriguing contract situation between Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Pats have always been ruthless in dealing with aging veterans, allowing players to walk or trading them instead of paying them large contracts. And yet, Brady has been the face of the franchise for the past decade and has been a great company man, taking below-market contracts to allow the team more flexibility to sign other players around him. Well, coming off some injuries and being likely in the second half of his career, Tommy had his Don Draper realization (great episode of Mad Men last night) that it’s time to own who he is and take what is rightfully his. There is almost no chance that Brady will hold out or cause any ripples because the guy loves to play football, but it will be interesting to see how the team handles the situation. Also keeping a close eye on the contract will be Peyton Manning, who can take the Brady contract to the Colts and say “This plus 10% is our starting point” next season.

- Loved seeing Andre Dawson get inducted to the Hall of Fame. The Hawk was among my favorite players growing up. Growing up a Brewers fan when the Brewers were in the AL, it made it okay to be a Cubs fan in the NL. And with almost every Cubs game on WGN – most during the day – it was easy to root for guys like Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Shawon Dunston and Lee Smith, even if they never did win. Dawson went in as an Expo, which is a good thing considering there are no other Expos in the Hall of Fame and with the franchise moved, there likely will never be another.


- Talk about the looming lockout in the NFL. We get it. The owners want lower salaries for the players. The players don’t. Of course they’re going to argue over it and threaten to have no football next season. In the end, they’ll work it out because both sides know their meal tickets get punched when the games are played on the field. Even if there is a lockout, we’ll survive. College football will still be there, and hell half the players in college are getting paid more than the league minimum anyway, so it’s barely even amateur sports.

- The Angels pretty much stole Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks, and it does not start the baseball trading season with a bang. The Angels are still 6 games behind Texas in the AL West and even with Haren are unlikely to make up the ground on the strong-pitching Rangers. Yet it was still a good trade for them, not giving up many prospects and trading a middle of the rotation guy for Haren who has the stuff to be a top of the rotation guy. The Diamondbacks just pulled a Betty Draper and managed to find a replacement, but one not nearly as interesting as the stud they originally were working with.

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