The Brandon Poulson story really does look at first glance like an exquisite fraud, but for one thing.
Yes, the elements of a prank are all there – 24 years old, 6-6, 240, throws 100 mph but unscouted, undrafted and unseen until he gave up football, stopped working at his father’s construction company (John’s Excavating, if you to dig up any buried treasure or old corpses), gave baseball one more try and was found by the Minnesota Twins through stints with the Academy of Art in San Francisco and the Healdsburg Prune Packers of the Wine League (managed by Joey Gomes, brother of Boston red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes).
But then there’s this: The Twins are going to sign him to a $250,000 contract when he reports to their Appalachian League club in Elizabethtown, Tennessee.
Now that’s amazing. The Twins spending $250,000. Will wonders never cease?
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The Philadelphia 76ers are objecting to the immediate implantation of the NBA’s new no-tanking rules (which haven’t been adapted yet and in any event will never work because all you’re really doing is sliding the line where the tanking happens) because they’re in the middle of a multi-season rebuild that requires at least one more high lottery pick, which means at least one more year of massive awfulness and don’t think they should be punished for playing by the old rules.
But let’s ignore the pointlessness of anti-tanking rules because tanking will always happen, no matter what Adam Silver says when he’s huffing glue and praising the honor and dignity of his 30 constituent bosses. Let’s ignore the fact that the 76ers lost 26 consecutive games AND STILL COULDN’T FINISH WITH THE WORST RECORD IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE.
Indeed, let’s get to the point and say this: If the 76ers mean business, they can only prove it by breaking the 41-year-old record for having the worst record in NBA history – 9-73, set by their own bad selves in 1973. None of this starting 4-2, or winning their last two. Lose on Day 1, lose on day 178, and lose every other chance you get. Go-For-Oh, fellas, and then we’ll know you’re really serious about this.
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One other thing, though. Not even Adam Silver, fresh off his (read: his bosses’) triumph over a crazed lunatic in Los Angeles, can legislate against brains, or for morons. Having high picks don’t make them good high picks, and not coaching them well or watching them get hurt has nothing to do with tanking. But you go anyway, Adam, because tanking is for sure the worst of your stupid problems.
Second, of course, is the way the owners are going to tank negotiations and lead the league into a new lockout in two years. But that’s not tanking – that’s just doing bidness.
Which, in its way, is a lot like the Sixers’ plan now, isn’t it?
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Colleague/miscreant/neo-Stalinist weasel Joe Posnanski just sent up the Philadelphia Phillies for a raft of loyalty contracts that have crippled the team for approximately forever, which reminds us here of what local operation?
You may provide your own answers, depending on your own particular sport of interest and intellectual bent, but I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t the Raiders.
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Josh Gordon’s attempt to use the always-popular secondhand smoke defense is both admirable and preposterous, mostly because the NFL has never lost an appeal based on secondhand smoke (which is part of the fun of controlling the appeal process), and is probably already pot-committed to giving him what the Turks gave Constantinople in the famous old (1953) swing song.
In other words, eight times as many games as . . . well, you know.
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Michael Hunnicutt is the placekicker for Oklahoma. All Oklahoma players get iPads with their playbooks downloaded onto them. This is Michael Hunnicutt’s playbook, courtesy The Big lead.
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[RELATED: Practice 6: 49ers reserve CBs amp up competition]
And finally, Jim Harbaugh is back to being un-cuddly, which can’t be considered a surprise. Here is the transcript from his post-practice presser, with the topic being the whereabouts of Aldon Smith, who was in Los Angeles for a court date:
Is LB Aldon Smith here today?
He’s in Los Angeles?
He’s in Los Angeles for his meeting there?
“He’s not here today.”
You can’t say where he is?
“No. Is that my responsibility to tell you where he is?”
You’re the head coach of the football team.
“Yeah, OK. Well you seem to already know. He’s going through a process.”
Then there’s a couple of places he could be. New York being one of them, Los Angeles being the other. He’s in the latter.
“OK. I don’t know if that was a question or a statement?”
It was neither, Jim. It was code for the Russian trawlers off the coast who are getting ready to invade and colonize Levi’s Stadium, and you kept them from figuring out the coordinates. Well done, soldier.