Tag Archives: Cliff Lee

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By Josh Kramer The MLB trade deadline is always a hectic time.  It could be the difference between winning a World Series (see the Cardinals, 5 acquisitions at deadline in 2011) or coming up just short.  In the last four years, … Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer 119 wins.  Three All-Star Game appearances.  One Cy Young Award.  Those were the key numbers in Cliff Lee’s outstanding career heading into play yesterday.  Cliff Lee had appeared in 13 games heading into play on Independence Day.  … Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love.  Unfortunately, with no football or college hoops going on at the moment, there is not too much love in Philly these days. Things have gone from good, to bad, … Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-16-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rafael Nadal (pictured above) took home the title in Monaco last year. He hopes to repeat this week.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to mid-April.  NHL Playoff action is in full swing.  The NBA regular season is wrapping up.  And the MLB is part of the daily sports routine.  There is so much going on in the sporting world.  I hope you enjoyed the last week.  This week will be a good one in its own right though.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Let’s go to Monaco.  We all wish right?  Well the ATP is heading to Monaco for the 106th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.  And though this is a non-mandatory event for the tour’s top players, the majority of the world’s elite will be there.   This includes Rafael Nadal, who would love to defend his title in Monaco. Things in the tennis world are ready to heat up as players prep for the year’s second Grand Slam in Paris (French Open).  Make sure to keep an eye on this always highly competitive and entertaining event. Continue reading

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It’s almost April, and you know what that means.  The American pastime is ready to get under way.  The first pitch will be thrown in a little over 24 hours. Major League Baseball features a grueling 162 game journey over a … Continue reading

“If You Were a Professional Athlete”

Newly acquired Phillie's ace, Cliff Lee (pictured above), has helped demonstrate to me why the MLB would be the best professional sport to participated in.

Recently, I was involved in a discussion with some of  my fellow sports fanatics regarding professional sports, and which would be the best one to play.  Now obviously, none of us have a shot of being a professional athlete.  Those days are long gone.  But every guy can dream a little right?

So the discussion, which rapidly got very heated centered around the topic of, “If you were a professional athlete, which sport would you want it to be and why.”  Oddly enough, we all had differing opinions.  Is there no ideal professional sport to play?  Or is there..

The following is a G Rated version of the main points brought up in our recent discussion and my ultimate list in order of preference.

5. Professional soccer was immediately thrown out.  Does anybody really want to play in the MLS?  Sure, soccer is the world’s most popular sport.  But this is the United States my friends.  Soccer has been the next big thing for 30+ years now it seems.  Will it ever become the “current” big thing?  Plenty of players in the MLS make just $40,000 a year.  Then you have your Landon Donovan’s, who make a little over $2 million a year.  In actuality though, the League minimum is $33,000 a year.  The League average salary is $138,000.  Also, take note that this number is highly distorted due to players like David Beckham and Thierry Henry making far more than the rest of the League.  On average, players on the practice squads for NFL football teams make over $80,000 a year.  Next..

4.  A few of the guys in the room said golf.  They had no real tangible reason other than you get to travel the world and staying in peak shape is not essential.  Typical response of a lazy couch potato right? But I think my friends failed to realize a key factor on the PGA Tour.  There is no League minimum.  There is no minimum salary.  So if you sustain a major injury or a major funk, you could come out making piss poor money.  Maybe you get to travel the world, but on whose penny?

3. Then there was talk about the most popular League in American sports, the NFL.  The NFL looks great.  Who does not love to sit down on Sundays and watch the NFL?  And in this game, you only play one game a week.  This is where the numbers start getting better.  The League minimum for a rookie is $285,000.  For a second year player, it is $360,000.  By your 5th year, it is $595,000.  But I also realize that the average NFL career is only 3 years for a reason.  Guys like Ray Lewis, James Harrison, and Brian Urlacher are mainstays in this League.  Fear of injury and a lack of guarantees would sway my vote away from the NFL.  But if you remain healthy, the money is very good.

2.  Then you got the NBA.  As a rookie, the League minimum is right around $470,000 (wow).  By year 2, it has already skyrocketed to around $760,000.  Sorry, NFL, but this money is better.  And injuries are less prevalent.  Granted the average NBA roster carries only 12 active players a game (can have up to 15 guys on the roster).  In the NFL, 53 players can be on the roster, with 45 active guys on gameday.  So sure, this might be why NBA players rake in higher salaries at least from a minimum standpoint, because there are less of them.  The NBA gets my nod over the NFL without question.

1.  My winner though, by the slimmest of margins, is the MLB.  Did anybody just witness the recent Cliff Lee bonanza?  Guy turned down a $150 million dollar contract.  Alex Rodriguez was making $33 million in straight salary last year.  I mean give me a break.  Sure baseball is a grind nearly every day for over 6 months.  162 games is a lot of games.  Sure I have a bias in that baseball is my favorite sport out of all of these to play.  But lets take a look at some of the numbers and facts.  Number one, injuries are less frequent in the MLB, than the NFL or NBA.  Guarantees are much more secure regardless of injuries.  The average MLB career lasts 5.6 years.  An average NFL career is right around 3 seasons.  The average NBA career is just below 5 years.  So the MLB average career length is the longest of the big 3.  The league minimum in the MLB is $400,000.  Which is slightly less than the NBA league minimum for a rookie, but more than an NFL rookie.  But here is the most eye-popping stat, that separate the MLB and NBA from the rest of the pack.  The average MLB player makes $3 million dollars (average Yankee made $7.6 million this past year).  And in the NBA, the average salary is around $5 million.  So I guess my case is flawed in the straight money aspect.  But who ever said it was all about the money?

Okay, so it is a toss-up between the NBA and MLB I guess.  My nod goes to the MLB because I enjoy playing baseball more, but it is very close.  Also my apologies for the lack of mention of the NHL.  If forced to choose though, I would place it in 4th behind the NFL.  The average salary is much better than in the MLS or on the PGA Tour, but the injuries are just far too prevalent.  Plus, does hockey’s popularity in the US compare to that of baseball, basketball or football?

What are your thoughts?  If you were a professional athlete, what sport would you want it to be?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Food for Thought 12-14-10”

 

New York Jets Strength Coach, Sal Alosi (pictured above), has been making headlines all over the country for a tripping incident in Sunday's game vs the Dolphins. Should the man be fired?

What a Tuesday afternoon it is.  Talk about a wild past 24 hours in the sporting world.  You got major free agent signings.  The end of the “streak.”  A thriller in Texas where the Texans once again broke Houston’s heart.  And I could go on.

Here is a look at some of today’s main headlines.

Sorry New York

So Cliff Lee will be a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, again.  Rumors of the 5 year, 120 million dollar deal circulated like wild-fire last evening over the internet and Twitter world.  Even amid this wild and major news, Sportscenter still managed to have their first 20+ minutes pertain to Brett Favre and the infamous “Streak.”  Sorry, but I felt that the Cliff Lee deal was bigger news in my eyes.  Anyways though,  I will admit that I was at first surprised that the outstanding hurler did not decide to take his talents to the Big Apple.  After missing out on Lebron this summer, surely the city that never sleeps would at least land Lee right?..WRONG! 

 The Yankees hurt themselves on this one.  They even had Lee’s good friend CC Sabathia on the staff to help them out.  This time it was not the organization’s ineptitude.  It was the loud mouth Yankee fans who ruined it this time.  Mistreat a man’s wife, as the Yankee fans did during the playoffs, good luck getting a guy to come play for you.  Men listen to their wives for some reason which still baffles my mind.  Do you think Lee’s wife wanted him to play in New York to a place where fans heckled her?  Not a chance.  Treat people the way you want to be treated.  One of the ultimate rules in life.

Thank God it is over

The streak has finally come to a close.  Finally there is no longer a reason for ESPN to center all of its attention on Number 4 (until he retires/comes back again).  Ironically, during his press conference, Favre wore a #4 hat rather than a Viking’s hat to address the media.  So the real question is, how does this streak of 297 compare to Ripken’s 2,632? Obviously, they are both mythical streaks, but my edge goes to the 2,632.  Sure injuries are much more prevalent in the NFL.  But the MLB does not have a week between games.  These guys play nearly every day for 6 months.  Days off are common for players.  Not for Cal though.  In my eyes #8 is greater than #4.  Sure there may be a bias.  But Cal’s streak in my eyes was more of a difficult streak.  That is why he is called the “Iron Man.”  Brett should be called “The Flip Flopper.”

Houston Heartbroken Again

The Ravens were absolutely steamrolling the Texans last night in front of a sold out Reliant Stadium crowd.  Baltimore sure did not look like a team playing on the road.  Then Andre Johnson scored just before the half, and the Texans caught fire.  Following an amazing 21 point comeback though, the Texans as usual, came up just short.  This has become a growing trend for this Houston team.  They are extremely talented on both sides of the ball, but especially on offense.  How is a team that has Matt Schaub at QB, Andre Johnson, Jacoby Jones, and Kevin Walter at receivers, plus Arian Foster at RB not going to the make the playoffs.  Ask Gary Kubiak.  After winning 8 games 2 consecutive years and then 9 last year, this was supposed to be the year where this team got over the hump and finally made the playoffs.  Sadly, this will not be the year.  I am beginning to think the Texans are the NFL’s version of the Atlanta Hawks.  A team that is very entertaining to watch with a bundle of talent, but just can’t quite get over the hump.  Now sure Atlanta has made the playoffs, but making the playoffs in the NBA is equivalent to going 8 and 8 and just missing the postseason in the NFL.  Which of these two franchises will take the next step first?  I truly have no idea.

Maybe I took some Roids before the game..

Jets Strength Coach, Sal Alosi had to have been on steroids.  There had to be something off.  I have never heard of a coach doing something so blatantly dumb and getting caught.  In a year where player safety has been something that has been at the forefront of the entire NFL front office, this guy goes out of his way to trip an on the field player while on the sidelines?  Sure $25,000 is a decent size fine for a guy whose salary cannot possibly be much more than $50,000.  But tell me the Jets are going to fire this guy?  Integrity and character are keys to any job.  Or at least they should be.  This guy was lacking the moral fiber on Sunday.  I hope this was just a one time action.  Could it have been roid rage?  Either way, guy should be fired without question.

NBA Catches Fire

So the Maverick’s winning streak finally came to an end at 12.  The Knicks have still won 8 in a row.  The Heat have won 9.  And the Celtics have won 10.  Which of these teams are going to fall first?  Well I do know that both Miami and Boston travel to MSG this week.  The C’s come Wednesday to the Big Apple and the Heat come on Friday.  So somebody is bound to lose.  I do know though that all 3 of these teams have looked outstanding as of late.  The Celtics look to be the team to beat in the East.  While the Heat are finally figuring out how to play together.  And the Knicks are probably playing above their actual abilities, but are doing a great job in getting the city excited and making themselves much more marketable to the Melo’s and CP3’s of the world. 

So there you have a look into some of the main topics going on in the Wide World of Sports on this Tuesday afternoon.  Seize the day and watch some sports.

Let me hear your “Food for Thought.”

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze