sportsreporters

Mandel’s Musings: Mets Designate Eight-Time All Star Robinson Cano for Assignment As Steve Cohen Era Places Baseball Decisions Over Financial Considerations

By Scott Mandel

The Mets designated Robinson Canó for assignment today. That means they will be eating the remaining $39 million on his contract, unless he’s picked up by another team.

According to general manager Billy Eppler, he presented the baseball and financial ramifications to Mets owner Steve Cohen regarding the potential release of Cano, Cohen had one response. According to Eppler, Cohen said, “make the baseball decision.”

And that was the end of the conversation.

As for Cano, the eight-time All-Star with career numbers easily in the Hall of Fame discussion range, he wants to continue to play. According to his agent, Brodie Van Waggenen, who, as the former general manager of the Mets acquired Cano and that huge contract from the Seattle Mariners in 2018, Cano believes he can still swing the bat and help another major league team.

The Mets, now with an owner who can tolerate a significant financial hit, determined the current roster would be a better fit without the 39-year old Cano, who struggled in the early going of this season to seize a role on this team. Cano was batting only .195 in a small sample size of 44 at bats but, given his age and lack of position flexibility, he needed to hit early and hit well to be a factor on this win-now team.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 23: Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Mets attempts to turn a double play over David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field on April 23, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Cano wants to keep playing

The Mets previous owner, Fred Wilpon, did not have the financial capability to eat a contract of the enormity of Cano’s, Even if it was in the best interest of the team.

Times have changed around the New York Mets, who now have the best record in the National League.

Joey Gallo, Yankees Left Fielder, Needs A Change of Scenery While Michael Conforto Remains Available

By Scott Mandel

It appears the Joey Gallo era in New York City, under the hot, bright lights of Yankee Stadium may soon come to an end. Insiders tell sportsreporters.com the Yankees are hoping to showcase the troubled left fielder for the purpose of trading him.

That would be a terrific idea. The sooner, the better. And, who should replace Joey Gallo in the outfield? Someone who has proven he can perform at the highest levels in the big city, under the glare of the demanding media and fans alike, in pennant races and against tough right and left-handed pitching who can take full advantage of the short right-field porch in the big ballyard in the Bronx.

I give you, Michael Conforto.

The guess here is, Yankees fans would rather see Conforto run out to left field for the Yanks than Gallo, a guy who appears to be suffering with emotional stress and facial tics brought on by a condition nobody is talking about. But, whatever Gallo is sadly afflicted with, it appears playing in New York triggers his stress and his ability to perform on the field.

I feel for the kid but he needs a change of scenery.

This big, noisy stage of NYC is not everyone’s cup of tea. It can be a pressure cooker. That’s why I always remind my California pals who rave about the “great” Mike Trout that Trout, for all of his wondrous talent and gifts, has not performed under the blaring lights of Broadway nor has he battled under the pressure of a pennant race at any point in his career. Talent is talent but sometimes, the pressure cooker wins out.

Gallo, who has enormous power when he connects his bat with a pitched ball, has struggled to make that particular kind of contact since joining the Yankees last season. In 69 games in pinstripes, Gallo has 34 hits in 221 at bats, a batting average of .153. In his first 11 games this season, he is 4 for 33, a .121 average with ZERO homers and ZERO runs batted in. He has become a strikeout machine, having struck out 103 times in his 221 at bats, a rate that would have him striking out nearly 250 times over a full 500 at bat season. If he was hitting homers and driving in runs, his low average could almost be excused but the power display he always possessed seems gone, for now. Even if he goes on one of his streaky home run weeks, it seems his incompetence as an automatic out the rest of the time hamstrings the Yankees’ lineup on most nights.

Conforto, a left-handed power hitter and a starting outfielder for the Mets with an All-Star appearance, pennant race pressure, and a World Series on his resume is 29 years old and in the prime of his career. He remains unsigned for this season, having turned down the Mets last offer of $100 million for six years on the advice of his agent, Scott Boras. He has not played baseball nor has he gone through spring training so his season. is perilously close to being ruined, if not his career. I would say there is a mutual and pragmatic need on the part of the Yankees and Conforto to come to an agreement as soon as possible.

Conforto will require 4-6 weeks of spring training and then he will need to go to the minor league for 2-4 weeks to play games and face live pitching. This is turning into a horrible scenario for this talented outfielder, who looks like he won’t be available until the All-Star break in July.

Conforto has not done well on the advice of Boras, whom he should probably fire. Coming off a down year during the Covid season of 2020 and having no at bats this year, he is no longer dealing from strength in any negotiations with major league teams. Any thoughts of getting the contract his agent guaranteed has turned into flights of fancy.

Sources tell me Conforto wants to make a deal for one or two years and regain his footing as a dangerous left-handed hitter. He knows his leverage is almost gone, while not playing baseball in 2022, with a dozen games already on the books, is hurting him.

Note to Brian Cashman: Cut bait with Gallo for a Double A flame-throwing pitcher and bring in Michael Conforto, a lefty bat who has performed beautifully in this town who would take aim at the short porch in right field. Put him in the five or six hole and away you go.

Mandel’s Musings: Cashman/Yankees Playing a Dangerous Game with Aaron Judge, Yankees Fans, and the 2022 Season

by Scott Mandel

The incompetent general manager of the New York Yankees, Brian Cashman, is playing a very dangerous negotiating game with Yankees fans, Aaron Judge’s career trajectory and marketability, and with his own career as Yankees G.M. when he publicly announced the Yankees offer to Aaron Judge.

Judge, the star outfielder and best player on the sports’ most famous franchise, is also one of the two or three faces of the sport across the country along with Mike Trout and I don’t know who else. Suffice to say, Aaron Judge has been a very popular guy and a great player.

Judge and his agent chose to reject the Yankees last offer which, according to Cashman was for $234.5 million over eight years. Broken down, the Yankees deal would’ve Included paying him the $21 million arbitration request he asked for instead of $18 million, then adding seven years and $213.5 million, an average annual value (AAV) of $30.5 million for the last seven. That contract would have taken Judge, who turns 30 later this month, to age 36, a number when most baseball players, especially sluggers, are past their prime (unless your name is Barry Bonds or Nelson Cruz, who may have their own little secrets to longevity and peak performance).

An excellent offer, on surface, isn’t it?

Except that Aaron Judge, one of the faces of the sport, is also one of the top five players in the game. Even if you want to debate it, there is nobody who would not put him in the top 10.

So, Aaron Judge turned it down. Unless the Yankees up the offer, he will become a free agent on the day this current season ends. He is gambling $213.5 million he will stay healthy and productive this season then go into free agency when 30 major league teams will have the opportunity to sign him. If Judge plays very well this year, there will be a bidding war amongst the Yankees and a handful of other wealthy clubs (sorry Kansas City and Oakland) for his services.

But, by sharing the Yankees offer to his most popular and best player with the public, Brian Cashman has not only disrespected Aaron Judge but has turned a large chunk of the Yankees fan base against Judge. Last night, the right fielder struck out with two men on base, late in the game. Instead of the typical booing, borne out of the frustration of not getting the runs in, there were thousands of additional “editorial” comments ringing through Yankee Stadium related to Judge turning down the big money deal.

“Come on, you bum. $30 million ain’t enough money for ya?”

The Bronx crowd was, all of a sudden, getting on their favorite son. Being booed is part of being an athlete, especially in NYC, but Aaron Judge has never been booed. He is just one of those guys who is likable (and marketable) in every way. And accessible.

Brian Cashman and Yankees management (we see you hiding behind Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner) is the reason. They are strategically instigating a fan reversal against their best player and asset in order to cover their own rear ends, which has not won a championship in 12 years. It’s going to backfire, significantly.

We are at game number four of the 2022 season. The Aaron Judge story has been the biggest and most constant one coming out of Yankee land. It’s going to be distracting for the team, distracting for the player, and distracting for the 50,000 fans who show up for the games. The manager, Aaron Boone, had to take questions from the press after the game last night. Not about the game but about Aaron Judge’s contract. This could turn into a season killer.

Cashman and Steinbrenner, have they been doing for the last decade plus, have screwed up again.

Below is a graph of the top 20 highest paid players in baseball, on an AAV basis. Where would you place Aaron Judge on this list? Judge and his agents clearly put his AAV above that of the Yankees offer, which is $29.5 million per year for seven years.

Below is our list of the 20 largest contracts in MLB history by average annual value (AAV). Please note that if a player was already under contract and signed an extension, only the new money counts.  For our list of the 20 largest contracts in total dollars, click here.

1.  Max Scherzer, Mets: $43,333,333.33.  Free agent contract signed November 2021

t-2.  Mike Trout, Angels: $36,000,000.  Extension signed March 2019

t-2.  Gerrit Cole, Yankees: $36,000,000.  Free agent contract signed December 2019

4.  Carlos Correa, Twins: $35,100,000.  Free agent contract signed March 2022

t-5.  Stephen Strasburg, Nationals: $35,000,000.  Free agent contract signed December 2019

t-5.  Anthony Rendon, Angels: $35,000,000.  Free agent contract signed December 2019

7.  Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks: $34,416,667.  Free agent contract signed December 2015

8.  Francisco Lindor, Mets: $34.1MM.  Extension signed March 2021

9.  Trevor Bauer, Dodgers: $34,000,000.  Free agent contract signed February 2021

10.  Nolan Arenado, Rockies: $33,428,571.  Extension signed February 2019

11.  Justin Verlander, Astros: $33,000,000.  Extension signed March 2019

12.  Corey Seager, Rangers: $32,500,000.  Free agent contract signed November 2021

t-13.  Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: $31,000,000.  Extension signed March 2014

t-13.  David Price, Red Sox: $31,000,000.  Free agent contract signed December 2015

t-13.  Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: $31,000,000.  Extension signed November 2018

16.  Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: $30,714,286.  Extension signed January 2014

17.  Mookie Betts, Dodgers: $30,416,667.  Extension signed July 2020

18.  Jose Altuve, Astros: $30,200,000.  Extension signed March 2018

19.  Jacob deGrom, Mets: $30,125,000.  Extension signed March 2019

t-20.  Manny Machado, Padres: $30,000,000.  Free agent contract signed February 2019

t-20.  Max Scherzer, Nationals: $30,000,000.  Free agent contract signed January 2015

Yankees Early Season Roster Filled with Hope And Prayers for Health. Otherwise…..

By Scott Mandel

I like the 28-man 2022 Yankees roster:

The pitching staff is stuffed with arms, now counting at 16 pitchers, five starters, 11 relievers. That means, only three bench players/pinch hitters (including the backup catcher)

Let’s break it down.

Starters:

RHP Gerrit Cole; RHP Luis Severino; LHP Jordan Montgomery; RHP Jameson Taillon and LHP Nestor Cortes

Bullpen:

RHP Miguel Castro; LHP Aroldis Chapman; RHP Chad Green; RHP Clay Holmes; RHP Jonathan Loaisiga; LHP Lucas Luetge; RHP Michael King; RHP Ron Marinaccio; LHP Wandy Peralta; JP Sears and Clarke Schmidt.

Note: Schmidt and Michael King and Luis Gil will step in as starters in case of injury. All talented kids with upper 90s velocity.

Yankees' Luis Severino pitches four scoreless innings
Luis Severino has missed most of past three seasons

Infield:

1B Anthony Rizzo; 2B Gleyber Torres; SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa; 3B Josh Donaldson; INF DJ LeMahieu and Marwin Gonzalez.

Note: Need for a backup shortstop is still there, with Gleyber, below average shortstop defensively, the current option to move over from second base.

Outfield:

RF Aaron Judge; CF Aaron Hicks; LF Joey Gallo and OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton.

Note: Lots of strikeouts, home runs, and injury histories in this outfield. Big IFS but if they stay healthy, lots of run production

Catchers:

Kyle Higashioka and Jose Trevino.

Note: DEE-FENSE!!

Plus, the Yankees just re-acquired Greg Bird, once a star-to-be before injuries took over. He’ll start at Scranton. I suspect his lefty power bat will be an important part of this major league season for the Pinstripes. He’s a good kid, someone Aaron Judge once described as the best hitter in the Yankee organization.

Mandel’s Musings: Baseball Industry Thriving, Just for the Wealthiest Owners? Mets’ Alonso Avoids Arbitration with Steve Cohen’s Mets, Salary Increases from $676K to $7.4 Million

By SCOTT MANDEL

New York Mets first baseman, Pete Alonso’s salary last year was $676,775. He and the Mets went through arbitration a couple of days ago. Alonso’s new salary for the 2022 season is now $7.4 million.

In a couple of years, when Alonso is no longer under team control, he will be earning in the range of $25 million per year. Somebody will offer the 27-year old first baseman something in the range of $175-200 million for seven to eight years. Or maybe much more than that.

NY Mets: How Pete Alonso's “LFGM” tweet started a revolution in Queens
Alonso is one of the new faces of baseball

We keep hearing baseball, as an industry is shrinking. However the owners know the real deal and salaries continue to explode upward. Must be that TV money teams are getting. Or, perhaps, baseball is going to evolve into a game, a business, where the point of entry to owning a franchise will start at something approaching a net worth of Steve Cohen money. The new Mets owner is worth approximately $14 billion. Since taking over the Mets a little more than a year ago, he has increased the team’s payroll by more than $100 million dollars. The previous owners, The Wilpon and Katz families, ran the organization as if it were a small market club, with a not unsubstantial $140 million payroll. It placed the Mets at the same level of spending as mid and small market teams like the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins.

But, this is where baseball may find itself in a decade or less. It currently has 30 franchises. Of those teams, there are five or six which would have great difficulty surviving the financial requirements of a major league franchise without the millions of dollars each MLB team receives, equally, from television money. The cold, hard cash networks like Fox Sports and ESPN, and now, TBS pays Major League Baseball for the broadcasting rights to the games. From the financial side, television revenue will be split to give each team $60.1 million, annually. Combined with local tv deals that are worth at least $40 million each, every MLB club will make at least $100 million from television, alone. And, that’s before selling one ticket to a game, this season.

And that’s not all.

Along with the tv deals, MLB teams also receive extra money through revenue sharing. Each team pools 48% of the revenue they earn and the total amount is then split evenly (3.3% of the total) and given to each team. Teams receive more than $110 million through revenue sharing.

So, in the current model of ownership, major league baseball guarantees significantly more than $200 million, back to the franchise before a ticket or a hot dog has been sold. Suffice to say, the bottom feeders of baseball’s franchises, Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Oakland, and Miami would probably be unable to stay in business without MLB’s welfare system.

The reality is, the average team payrolls have declined every season since their previous high in 2017 despite revenue increasing in MLB every year, excluding 2020’s pandemic-shortened season.

But, what happens to these lower-echelon spenders when the tv money starts to dry up? If one looks at the landscape of the television industry, it would not be difficult to perceive shrinking revenues among the networks as fewer people watch television than ever before.

RANKTEAMWIN%ROSTER26-MAN PAYROLLINJURED RESERVERETAINEDBURIEDSUSPENDED2022 TOTAL PAYROLL
1Los Angeles Dodgers28$231,350,000$8,125,000$274,808,333
2New York Mets28$243,569,999$8,150,000$251,719,999
3New York Yankees28$223,350,714$15,750,000$239,100,714
4Philadelphia Phillies28$202,738,462$7,250,000$5,500,000$6,250,000$221,738,462
5San Diego Padres27$182,558,333$15,714,285$198,272,618
6Boston Red Sox28$151,425,000$27,025,000$16,000,000$194,450,000
7Chicago White Sox28$177,738,334$7,000,000$184,738,334
8Atlanta Braves28$152,400,000$18,800,000$1,025,000$172,225,000
9Los Angeles Angels28$168,588,094$168,588,094
10Houston Astros28$148,041,666$15,833,333$163,874,999
11Toronto Blue Jays28$155,222,022$5,383,333$160,605,355
12St. Louis Cardinals28$137,443,666$7,500,000$144,943,666
13San Francisco Giants28$138,112,500$5,200,000$143,312,500
LEAGUE AVERAGE$133,435,408
14Chicago Cubs28$127,600,000$2,510,000$130,110,000
15Texas Rangers28$100,460,000$5,250,000$19,583,333$3,600,000$128,893,333
16Colorado Rockies28$115,409,166$7,000,000$5,570,500$127,979,666
17Detroit Tigers28$117,075,000$1,750,000$118,825,000
18Milwaukee Brewers28$115,249,960$3,041,668$118,291,628
19Washington Nationals28$88,251,666$25,971,429$114,223,095
20Minnesota Twins28$110,059,524$800,000$110,859,524
21Cincinnati Reds28$98,330,000$1,250,000$99,580,000
22Seattle Mariners28$87,320,714$1,025,000$3,750,000$92,095,714
23Kansas City Royals28$77,410,000$1,000,000$78,410,000
24Tampa Bay Rays28$64,086,213$7,120,000$5,000,000$76,206,213
25Arizona Diamondbacks28$75,160,000$75,160,000
26Miami Marlins28$67,450,000$67,450,000
27Oakland Athletics29$38,148,334$2,800,000$40,948,334
28Pittsburgh Pirates28$24,875,000$3,000,000$37,875,000
29Cleveland Guardians28$36,210,000$1,200,000$37,410,000
30Baltimore Orioles28$24,700,000$17,000,000$30,366,666

spotrac.com, 2022

It says here, Major League Baseball will evolve away from smaller market teams and will be dominated by the wealthiest ownership groups or individuals, most of whom will be found in the largest revenue markets. Players salaries will flatten, if not reverse its trajectories. The realities of the mathematics in how teams can be successfully operated will change drastically. It won’t kill the sport. But, it will kill a handful of teams, unless those smaller market franchises discover ownerships with deeper pockets.

It will be a good reason young stars like the Mets’ Pete Alonso will choose to play in a major market like NYC for the sports’ wealthiest owner in Cohen. It’s also why we will continue to see the Yankees and Dodgers, not to mention the Red Sox, the Phillies and the White Sox continually vying for the most expensive stars of the game. Eventually, baseball will not be a business of “haves” and “have nots.”

It will just be the haves, having themselves a good time in the baseball business. As fans, we can enjoy watching behemoth bank accounts fighting it out amongst themselves.

Mandel’s Musings: Former “Can’t Miss” Pitcher, Manny Banuelos Getting Last Chance with Yankees

by SCOTT MANDEL

Nice to see Manny Banuelos pitching two scoreless today, with three strikeouts for the Yankees vs. the Phillies.

Who is Manny Banuelos?

The Yankees originally signed him as a 19-year old lefthanded pitcher from Mexico in 2010. He became one of the top 50 prospects in the sport, according to Baseball America, and, the Yankees fourth highest rated overall prospect in their system, by 2012.

Banuelos came along at the same time as the 6’8″ fireballing Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman, another 6’10” hard thrower from N.C. State. The three pitchers came to be known as the Killer B’s. Only one of them, Betances, became a star in the major leagues.

Yanks' Betances and Banuelos Still Just Prospects - The New York Times
Banuelos and Dellin Betances as young pitchers in Yankees spring training of 2012

Injuries to his shoulder and elbow followed Banuelos, then, surgeries and subsequent struggles on the field.

Mariano Rivera saw Banuelos pitch in spring training 12 years ago, calling him the best pitching prospect he’d ever seen. That observation encompasses many years and pitchers Rivera had observed.

In recent years. Banuelos has pitched in Korea and Japan, then, back to Mexico, a baseball nomad in search of his old “stuff.” The Yankees must see something in him or, perhaps feel badly for how his career has evolved but they signed him this past January. Today’s solid outing is a great start.

Mandel’s Musings: Hey Baseball Negotiators, Go *^)& Yourselves!! Don’t Ruin My Summer!!

By Scott Mandel

I have a short but sweet message for baseball’s negotiators.

Go fuck yourselves.

Your combination of incompetence and planned delay of the 2022 baseball season is preventing me from watching Max Scherzer pitch for his latest team, the Mets.

I want to see how the 21-year old outfielder, Jared Kelenic, purportedly the next Mike Trout, does in year two with Seattle.

This snarky commissioner, Rob Manfred, was seen practicing his golf swing seconds before shutting down negotiations and announcing baseball season would not start on time.

I’m curious whether the Giants can repeat their unbelievable 2021 season.

‘I need to see if Mike Trout will get injured again, railroading a Hall of Fame career, or will Trout get back after another injury-dominated 2021 season to play the game as if he was born to play baseball.

I don’t know where free agent shortstop Carlos Correa will end up but I’d like to find out.

I can’t wait to see If there is a courageous manager/pitching coach who will train his starters to go 6 2/3, every night. C’mon Buck, I know that’s you.

I want baseball to dispense with the stupid analytics-based shift and let legitimate base hits go through to the outfield.

I’m tired of the best players in the game hitting .240 with 38 home runs and 190 strikeouts in 400 at bats.

I want to see if corner outfield arms become legitimate throwing arms again because they’ve sucked for years. It’s embarrassing to watch major league left fielders, playing shallow, barely reach home plate trying to nail the runner tagging up at third or scoring from second base on a bloop single.

I want to see speed and small ball come back to the game. You’ve got kids out there who can hit the ball 500 miles and steal 40 bases. Let them steal bases and go 1st to 3rd.

We liked watching Rickey Henderson play baseball. There’s a couple a dozen bigger, faster, stronger Rickey’s out there, now, with that skill-set. Let the talent flow. This is not a game of specialization.

And, most important of all, stop making the game so mechanical and unattractive to young fans, I mean, very young fans, like I was when I first started watching baseball at age 5 with my old man. Make 5-year olds love the game, instead of their video games. Make it fun for them to get outside with their little baseball gloves and wiffle ball bats and learn about baseball.

Otherwise, you may think you are negotiating to save your own bank account but you are actually ruining the game’s popularity with the very folks who pay your exorbitant salaries. The FANS. And their PARENTS. Talk about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Short-term thinking.

So baseball negotiators, if this upcoming 2022 season doesn’t give me 162 games, go fuck yourselves. I mean it, go fuck yourselves and while you’re at it, fire that snarky asshole of a commissioner with the horrible golf swing.

Sincerely,

Your Struggling to Remain a Fan but Still Passionate About It

Mandel’s Musings: NFL Is In Big Trouble As Al Sharpton Enters the Fray. Billions of Dollars At Stake for the League and its Owners

by Scott Mandel

Al Sharpton is getting involved with Brian Flores’ NFL lawsuit. The NFL should be afraid, very afraid.

Especially the owners.

Al Sharpton - Personal Life, Age & Facts - Biography
Al Sharpton will be assisting Brian Flores in his case against the NFL

Sharpton and other top civil rights leaders have requested a meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a class-action suit against the league alleging racial discrimination.

“In light of the recent lawsuit filed by Brian Flores, it has brought this attention back to the forefront of our community, and it is important that you have an immediate open dialogue with Civil Rights leadership,” the letter read. “We are being asked to do everything within our power, including direct action at next week’s Super Bowl, as well as appealing to local municipalities that underwrite and give special considerations to stadiums to pressure the NFL and its owners to get more serious about enforcing the ruling law.”

Also, if it can be proven Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, indeed encouraged Flores, his head coach to “tank” the season to gain a higher draft pick for the Dolphins by offering Flores $100,000 in cold hard cash for each loss they suffer, Ross will be removed from the sport.

I’m just not sure how Brian Flores can prove all of these accusations or racism in the NFL’s hiring practices and tanking a season. Evidently, there’s nothing in writing.

The latest news today comes after Ross had more than 24 hours to think about it, Ross issued a fiery response to the claims made against him by Flores.

“With regards to the allegations being made by Brian Flores, I am a man of honor and integrity and cannot let them stand without responding,” Ross wrote. “I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks, and the truth must be known. His allegations are false, malicious and defamatory.

“We understand that there are media reports stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully. I welcome that investigation and I am eager to defend my personal integrity, and the integrity and values of the entire Miami Dolphins organization from these baseless, unfair and disparaging claims.”

Flores was fired in January after three seasons, the last two of which produced winning records. He claims that the team conducted a smear campaign in media and in league circles after his dismissal in an effort to paint him as “an angry Black man.”

The NFL. The “Not For Long” league, but, only if you get caught. Maybe the league should be re-named, DGCL. The Don’t Get Caught League.

Brady Belongs in a Different Hall of Fame, A New HOF For Only the Mount Olympus of Sports

By Scott Mandel

I posted this several hours ago, related to the subject of Halls of Fame:

If one truly believes in the importance of idolization of athletes by building permanent fixtures in big buildings in cities no one would otherwise visit, like Akron, Cooperstown, and Springfield, Massachusetts (unless your cousins live there), there should be a “real” HOF for the gods and goddesses of all sports, under one roof.

Visit the football floor, where only Tom Brady, Lawrence Taylor, Dick Butkus, Deacon Jones, Jim Brown, and O.J. Simpson (morality has no role in this HOF) and a handful of others are honored. No statistical compilers allowed, because they aren’t gods.

Go upstairs to the basketball department, where Michael Jordan and LeBron James, along with Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Oscar Robertson will lead a small group of gods of hoops.

Let’s continue our journey to the upper floor where Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Barry Bonds, and Pete Rose (remember, we don’t care about a lack of moral terpitude) will lead a small group of baseball players. You won’t be able to find Bill Mazeroski, Ozzie Smith, or Barry Larkin in this wing. After all, we’re talking gods, not .260 hitters with good gloves.

The lower floors will include the gods and goddesses of golf, tennis, hockey, NCAA men’s and women’s sports, and, the WBL, as soon as that catches up as a real professional league. Boxing will get half a wing, as a dying sport. But only because some of its champions, like Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, and even poor Max Schmeling did tons of social/political good outside of the barbaric nature of boxing. MMA will not have a wing, since it’s a terrible travesty of an event and does no discernible good.

The Museum of Natural History, under one edifice, can show us cromagnons, dinosaurs, and space exploration, under the aegis of science and societal development. The Louvre contains art from different genres and centuries. There’s no reason why there can’t be a one-stop shop of greatness in all things sports, which is an art form of its own.

Welcome to the International Sports Hall of Elites. The only question is, where do we get an american oligarch to pay for it and build it?

Mandel’s Musings: As Tom Brady Decides to Retire From the NFL, Is it Even Debatable Who the Greatest Quarterback of All Time Is?

By Scott Mandel

In the sports business, fans and media alike often get into debates about which team or player is the greatest of all time or, certainly, of a particular era. It’s a viable debate, unlike a discussion of the greatest scientist or politician of all time. Too many variables in those areas!!

But, in sports, other than it being difficult to compare eras, mostly because of advancements in training conditions, the human body, coaching techniques, etc., it’s easy to compare players and teams, intra-era.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a shoe room for his 180 pairs
Is Mahomes the heir apparent to Brady as the NFL’s best QB?

That’s why the statement, “Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of his era, and possibly, of all time” is as real and accurate as “Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of his generation, or other generations.”

Or, “Thurman Munson was better than Johnny Bench.” Or, “the New York football Giants suck.”

All of these statements have more than a degree of truth. The fun part of these debates begins when you compare the greatest players or teams from other eras:

Who was better? The ’27 Yankees or the 1976 Big Red Machine? That would take us through a steak dinner and dessert, at least.

Don’t get me started on the greatest presidents. I can just imagine someone in a bar, after way too many imbibed alcoholic beverages saying, “Trump would have wiped out the Cold War before it even started. That Truman dude didn’t have a clue!! Get me another beer!!”