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Monday, April 18, 2005


Some things that I have really wanted to post about the last few weeks, but either:

A) Was in no mental shape to do so at the time, or
B) Have somehow been too busy at work to do so.

Without further ado..

1. Baseball salaries. FoxSports.com just published (it was on the AP wire 5 days ago) updated payrolls for every team. I know that this conversation has been beaten to death over the last few years, but this is just shocking stuff. Do you realize that the Yankees have a payroll that is 6.89 times bigger than the Devil Rays (who they, laughably, have the same record as)? Are you serious??? For that matter, the Yanks have a payroll that is 2.37 times bigger than the Cubs! And the Cubs have the 5th highest payroll in the NL! Another interesting note is the New York Mets' payroll. They have the THIRD HIGHEST PAYROLL IN ALL OF MLB. Are they even going to make the playoffs? I don't think so. Another surprise (to me, at least) is the Phillies with the fourth highest payroll in all of baseball.

All of that stuff is suprising/shocking/offensive, whatever. But the absolute, most-disgusting, no-excuses thing on this list is the Kansas City Royals. In 2004, they had a payroll of $47.6 million. In 2005, they have opened the season with a payroll of $36.88 million. They are the ONLY TEAM IN BASEBALL since revenue sharing started a couple of years ago to actually have their payroll go down. And attendance has been up in Kansas City the last few years, including a record Opening Day attendance last week! Kansas City fans should do everything they can to get owner David Glass run out on a rail (side note: Glass is the former CEO of Wal-Mart--obviously, he probably could care less about the fan/winning side, as the guy is probably some sort of robot who only looks for lots and lots black ink on his balance sheets). It is bad enough having the Tribune Company run your favorite team--I can't imagine rooting for the Royals with this d-bag running the team (sorry, Delusional).

Oh, and Jose Macias makes $1 million from the Cubs this year. JOSE MACIAS.

2. The Nebraska quarterback situation. I guess most people aren't as fired up about this as I am. First of all, I am glad that Joe Dailey is not going to be our starting quarterback. I really hoped that he would come back this spring with a better grasp on things and show improvement. According to the spring game, he did not. He looked the exact same. All that aside, the way he has been treated by Bill "I still can't figure out the difference between the college game and the NFL" Callahan is a joke. Let me get this straight: you're going to use the kid the first year you get here, make him go out there for every down no matter how badly the game is going, make him a CAPTAIN, and basically blame him for everything that went wrong last year--then you're going to make him fourth-string THE FOLLOWING SPRING??? Wow, nice job of throwing a great kid under the bus. Yeah, he's not a good quarterback for the West Coast Offense. But you know what? This isn't the NFL, either. You can't just cut a kid like you can there. And Callahan essentially did so by releasing their spring game roster.

Again, I know he is not good. But throw the kid a bone--at least list him at number 2. When Harrison Beck comes to town in the fall, drop him to number 3--people will understand. But to treat a kid that went to war for you every Saturday last fall and played for a coach that REFUSED to work his system to Joe's strengths like this is terrible. The "family" that Callahan talked so much about coming back to watch the spring game (almost every NU player in the NFL was back, along with a lot of old players) is quickly eroding when you make moves like that. I want a National Championship-caliber team, for sure, but not at the expense of completely destroying everything that Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne built here. I guess it is probably a case of "you can't have your cake and eat it, too," but that doesn't mean I can't bitch about it, either.

3. Dusty Baker might be the worst in-game manager ever. OK, obviously he is not that bad, but the moves he makes are just unbelievable. This deserves its own post by itself, plus I know that NPGage has been wanting to write on this as well, so we'll discuss this at a later time.

4. Derek Lee is BLOWING UP! He is a lifetime .230 (or something like that) in April, and so what does he do this April? He only hits .364 with 2 home runs and 16 RBI! That's only the third-best RBI total in all of baseball. Great stuff--maybe he'll finally get himself in the All-Star game and solidify himself as one of the best 1st basemen in the game.

5. NBA Playoffs. Has there ever been a time where a tried and true mantra has been completely and totally shot down as much as the "if you have a superstar, you have a team that is a threat?" I mean, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and LeBron James are going to be watching this year's playoffs on their 100 foot plasma screens this year. Also, going back to team payrolls, I have reassessed some of the things I said at the beginning of the post after looking at NBA team/player salaries. I'll give you a guess who has the 1st and 3rd highest payrolls in all of the NBA. Need a hint? Their combined record this year is 58-102. Still nothing? OK, I'll give:

1. New York Knicks ($104,657,559)
3. Portland Trailblazers ($78,777,151)

How appropriate is it that these two teams have 2 of the 3 highest payrolls in the league? Seriously? And when does Isiah Thomas receive his "Kenneth Lay Lifetime Achievement" award? How does this guy keep getting jobs? And you know who gets $45,056,511 of the Knicks money? Allen Houston, Penny Hardaway, and Tim Thomas. Not only can I not believe that I just typed that, but that might be the funniest thing I have ever seen. I mean, I didn't know that for ONLY $45.1 million, you could buy 31.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.7 apg, and 4.1 turnovers p/g! Holy crap! OK, let's compare their combined line with a certain second-year player:

Fabulous 3: 31.4 ppg 7.0 rbg 5.7 apg 4.1 turnovers/pg
L. James: 27.1 ppg 7.3 rbg 7.1 apg 3.0 to/pg

So could LeBron go into contract negotiations with these numbers and demand $45 million/year? Of course not. How does 'Zeke get away with this? Sorry, Pete, but your team is going to be done for a while, my friend.

Finally, do you know who the highest-paid player is in the NBA? Shaq. Understandable. But it is who comes in at number 2 on the list that is just hilarious: DIKEMBE MUTOMBO. That's right, the same Cookie Monster center who has not averaged anywhere near a double-double since 2001, the same guy who is currently logging 10 minutes a game and contributing 4 ppg and 5.3 rpg, is making almost $19 MILLION DOLLARS THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

The lesson, as always, is the NBA is a joke.

Well, I have officially made this about 4 times longer than I planned, so I'll wrap it up. Peace.

GA, regarding the Royals, it's amazing that KC is one of only a few teams that has posted a profit over the last several years given their inability to field a quality team. Really, it just shows the depth of the KC fan base. Imagine if they spent about $15 million more per year and put together a competitive team. It's hard to believe that they would lose money given those circumstances.
At least Dike-Tumbo, while he was at Georgetown, once said "Who wants to sex Mutombo?" He did this with his arms extended to full length in the middle of a G-Town bar/club...needless to say he probably got laid anyway.
Yeah, it is really sad. They take advantage of you guys just like the Tribune took advantage of Cubs' fans in the 80's and 90's.

I hope that joke of an owner sells the Royals soon, but I doubt he will. Especially when he knows he can make money no matter what. Terrible.
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