Quick, who did the Toronto Blue Jays give the Oakland Athletics in the Josh Donaldson trade?
Answer: Not nearly enough, by a factor of about six. But do be kind to Kendall Graveman and Brett Lawrie, because they didn’t ask to be traded for Donaldson. Just remember that when the list of Billy Beane’s worst/most misguided/least justifiable trades is made, this will be either 1 or 1A. And that would remain true even if Donaldson burned Beane’s summer house to the ground.
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Women’s soccer has never been on grander display than at the World Cup in Canada, but the organizers are so very FIFAtastic. The latest example: Germany and the United States, who play each other Tuesday in one semifinal, have been sharing the same hotel and bumping into each other with smiles that reeks of snarls.
“Two teams that are supposed to play against each other shouldn’t be sharing the same hotel,” German coach Sylvia Neid said. “But it’s not only the case in the semi-final. It has been like that for the whole tournament. It was difficult after having won against Sweden. The Swedish players were pretty sad, but we still had to share the elevator with them, and the same with France.”
As for the U.S., they had to share with Australia, which they beat in the group stage. “(Their) meal room was right next to ours. Is it ideal? You make it work.”
They shouldn’t have to, but FIFA did not apply its great organizational minds – the ones who run the men’s tournament – to this one. Maybe if the women were better at bribes.
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Pablo Sandoval grounded out in the second inning of Monday’s game in Toronto on a pitch by R.A. Dickey that was 5.1 feet above the ground – according to ESPN.com’s stats maniacs - the highest pitch put in play by any player in the last five years.
Funny, but I could swear he did better than that in San Francisco, and more than once.
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The next time you say an athlete is greedy, consider this: Cristiano Ronaldo just sold his face.
Not only that, he sold his face (well, his image rights, a hellish phrase in and of itself) to investment billionaire Peter Lim, who happens to own Valencia, one of Real Madrid’s rivals in La Liga.
Ronaldo’s decision is called a “strategic move” to help build the presence of the Real superstar’s personal brand in Asia. “I am very excited to announce my latest deal with Mint Media,” he press released. “(I am confident that the deal will) take the Cristiano Ronaldo brand to the next level, especially in Asia”.
You may now throw up with verve.
But maybe next season when Valencia play Real, Lim can rise up and say, “Ronaldo can play for Madrid, but his face plays for me.” Please O Athletic Perversity Deity, make it so.
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Maybe it would be easier to endure Ronaldo’s self-involvement if he’d saved a kidnapping victim the way his bête noire, Lionel Messi, apparently did. According to the the Argentinian newspaper Clarin (Via the Huffington Post), Santiago Lopez Menendez was kidnapped by Nigerian extortionists while working on an agricultural project in Nigeria. His captors, speaking no English, allegedly beat him and deprived him of food, water and rest, but when Menendez began to suspect that he was being treated badly because his captors thought he was American, he explained he was Argentinian in the only way he knew how, by shouting “Messi, Messi, Messi.” His captors apparently figured out that Menendez was an Argentine, improved his treatment in captivity and released him when his company came up with the properly lucrative ransom.
And Messi still owns his own face.
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According to John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Pelicans are expected to make “an assertive push to sign star power forward Anthony Davis to a five-year extension that exceeds $143 million starting on July 1.”
Let’s say, though, that that’s all he gets -- $29.6 million per year. That means he will only be worth $18.2 million more than Steph Curry -- and he didn’t even have to resort to a two-year-old to enhance his marketability.
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The Hockey Hall of Fame hasn’t had a lousy/unpopular inductee in years, so this year’s class is typical – Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov (Detroit), Phil Housley (Buffalo), U.S. Olympic star Angela Ruggiero and Chris Pronger, who is still technically an active player because he hasn’t retired even though his last game was November 19, 2011. He was a Philadelphia Flyer then; he is now officially a member of the Arizona Coyotes, who might not be so much lomnger unless their financial disas . . . err, situation is repaired.
But wait, there is a Hall of Famer who will not be greeted well. Peter Karmanos, owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, is being inducted as a builder, even though the only thing he really built was a plan to take the Hartford Whalers out of Connecticut, against the expressed instructions of, among others, expert comedian John Hodgman.
So never mind Pronger’s odd situation – you cross Hodgman, you deserve whatever opprobrium you get.
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And finally, for those people who are protesting the Warriors’ plans to build their new arena south of the Giants’ ballpark, here’s an idea. Find a tree.
The village council of Tonciu, Romania raised approximately $20,000 build a new soccer field, but the patch of land they chose featured a 150-year-old oak tree that local residents prevented from being felled. So they built the field anyway with the tree included. The mayor of the town said, “The field serves the 200 pupils of the local school in Tonciu, but anyone who wants to play football is welcome. We consider the oak tree pitch to be a unique and special one.”
The mayor is clearly a lunatic, but if the protestors can find a sacred tree, rock, brontosaurus femur or ossified politician, they may have a shot. In the meantime, the village’s council is trying to revisit the issue of felling the tree that made the short corner kick famous.