Wendy Thurm, a reformed lawyer and part-time disturbatrix-for-hire (disturbatrix is a word I just made up for someone who rattles the odd cage), got all Doug Baldwin-y on Major League Baseball on Deadspin Tuesday.
She worked over baseball’s Cobra Clutch on the Oakland-to-San-Jose Athletics plans, and no matter what your opinion is (the A’s played this like rank amateurs, mostly), you should read it. Or she’ll strike you repeatedly with a concrete-reinforced Baseball Prospectus.
Which, by the way, you’ll totally have coming.
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Lance Armstrong is the new Pete Rose in that his word seems to be good for only as long as it needs to be good.
Thus, the news that he tried to get his girlfriend (at least for the moment) Anna Hansen to take the blame for him hitting two parked cars in Aspen, should come as exactly zero percent of surprise. He did to avoid all the publicity that he would get (and is now getting) after years of using publicity like his own personal ottoman.
I mean, it’s literally like the truth wouldn’t occur to him even if the only alternative was gargling with hot lead. Which, I submit, would be the choice I’d make for him.
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Arthur Blank scooped the NFL when he essentially admitted the Atlanta Falcons, which he owns, pumped in crowd noise for home games.
“It's not really a fine line,” Blank told The Associated Press. "I think what we've done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong. Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we're opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner. It's obviously embarrassing but beyond embarrassing it doesn't represent our culture and what we're about.”
That sound you hear is Bob Kraft on the phone whispering, “Will you shut up, Art? We’ve got the Ginger on the run, and we don’t need you admitting you guys worked the rulebook.”
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Yes! Yes, I say, to Diana Taurasi, who has figured out that she will make more not playing in the WNBA this year than playing for the WNBA this year, a choice that frankly isn’t tough at all. From the redoubtable Kate Fagan of ESPNW:
“The Phoenix Mercury star has played year-round since 2004 . . . in addition, there were those gold medal runs with Team USA in 2004, 2008 and 2012. But when Taurasi announced Tuesday that she has decided to sit out the 2015 WNBA season, it wasn't just about rest; it's also about money. That's where the club Taurasi plays for overseas, UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia), comes into play. The team has offered Taurasi a deal: more than her WNBA salary -- to not play at all this summer.
“For the 2014 WNBA season, the 33-year-old made just under the league maximum of $107,000. But she makes 15 times that -- approximately $1.5 million -- playing overseas. And now she'll make even more, as UMMC is essentially compensating Taurasi her WNBA salary, and then some, to not play in the WNBA at all.”
She is now the angel at the top of my next Christmas tree. Getting paid not to play for a low-ball outfit like that is the best revenge.
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It’s the stupid season for people saying things that other people react to as though they came from a judge at sentencing.
Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig said the Cardinals are more competition for the Dodgers than the Giants (and Mike Krukow responded with the old reverse-bulletin-board strategy). Then Zack Greinke dropped an opinion unrelated to Puig’s by saying when asked about his team’s whirlwind offseason, “In the playoffs last year, I thought our team was the best team in baseball. To say we’re better than that, I don’t know if you could say that, especially without seeing us play.”
But the winner today is Kevin Durant, who had the temporary last word in an ongoing
feud with freelancer Chris Palmer who tweeted that Nick Collison’s contract extension with Oklahoma City wasn’t that impressive an idea: “Dude who averages 3 pts & 3 rebs gets 2-year/$8M extension. No wonder they won't make the playoffs.”
Durant: “Means a lot coming from a dude who got fired for being a dumbass.”
The problem here comes with the realization that if ‘dumbass’ was something that could be considered a firing offense, then a lot of staff meetings across the country would need a lot fewer chairs.
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FIFA’s relentless attacks on idle-time gymnastic feats continues: Egyptian (Al Nasr) soccer player Ibrahima Toure was yellow-carded recently for killing a bit of time doing handstands before a corner kick in a game against Al Sharjah. An Al Sharjah player shoved Toure over, and the official, knowing a Gabby Douglas-esque provocation when he sees one, booked Toure for having his feet where his head would normally be.
Of course, this profoundly affects bicycle kicks, but FIFA is always available to take a bribe . . . er, make an exception where the betterment of the game is involved.
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It’s an old saying, but an occasionally apt one, so when Todd McLellan said the Sharks, who gave away a point to the hideous Edmontons Monday night, “didn’t have the piss and vinegar that it takes to win,” we elders knew to what he was referring.
That said, a lot of the team’s younger players were afraid just what kind of energy drinks they would be offered at Tuesday’s practice. So far, no bad reactions that we know of, but we’ll see how they handle the western Canada trip.
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And now, this important life lesson from Seahawks punter Jon Ryan: “Football has always been an escape from reality. Now I want to escape from football.”
Love it. Live it.
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And finally, this non-sports item, because you need to know where people’s hands have been: GOP Senator: Don't Force Employees To Wash Their Hands After Using Toilet.
Watch Senior insider Ray Ratto every Tuesday and Thursday on Yahoo! SportsTalk Live at 5 & 11 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area