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Newz Forum: OTHER: Nomar Garciparra, Matt Jones, Red McCombs, Chris Canty, Soccer plus more...

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posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 02:13 PM
I don't know who said this first, but I've heard it many times. The definition of "minor groin surgery" is surgery done on someone else. Keeping that definition in mind, had a headline yesterday reading, "Garciaparra Opts For Groin Surgery"

In the papers today, the surgery was described as taking half an hour and involving a ruptured tendon and the reattachment of the abdominal and groin musculature. I'm not a doctor; I don't play a doctor on TV; I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night; nevertheless, that sounds more than minor to me even though it was done on someone else. So, given today's description and the headline from a couple of days, I wonder what else he considered when he opted for this surgery? Decapitation?

Here is something about Garciaparra that I know. Last year, the Red Sox offered him a four-year contract for $60M; he turned it down to play out the year and then become a free agent. For whatever reasons, his value in this round of free agency was very limited and he signed a one-year deal for $8M. So, in order to "break even" on the deal he turned down, he'll need to get a three-year offer worth $52M this year. Raise your hand if you think that's going to happen. He rolled the dice last year and it came up snake eyes.

There's something I don't understand about the NFL Draft. How can we have the situation where a quarterback (Matt Jones from Arkansas) is drafted and is going to be made into a wide receiver or a tight end or maybe into a "slash-type player" and there is no outrage about the team changing his position? Interesting...

The conventional wisdom had it that the Vikings would trade down in the draft from the #7 position to avoid paying the big signing bonus to the draftee if owner Red McCombs thought that the deal to see the team to Reggie Fowler was going to fall through. When they kept the pick and took Troy Williamson at #7, lots of folks figure the deal with Fowler is all but closed. Maybe so, but if what I read in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press is correct, the sale need not be certain. According to that paper, Fowler - and his associates - have put up $20M in earnest money that is not refundable if the deal can't close. So, if that is the case, McCombs would have that $20M to pay to Williamson and Erasmus James (taken at #18). Just a guess, but $15 - 17M ought to cover both signing bonuses plus the first year salary for both picks pretty comfortably leaving McCombs with an extra $3 - 5M in his pocket and a team still up for sale in a league that just signed a new and increased TV deal. McCombs may be portrayed as less than a big-spending-owner, but he will not be in any breadlines any time soon.

The Cowboys drafted a defensive end from Virginia - Chris Canty - in the fourth round. Canty had been highly regarded as a prospect but injuries caused him to fall in the draft. Canty is listed at 6' 7” and weighs 280 lbs and his claim to fame was his pass rushing ability which had some of the draft gurus thinking he might go in the first round. He was supposedly recovering nicely from a knee injury but suffered an eye injury in January when he got hit with a beer bottle in a bar fight. Obviously, if he recovers from both injuries and regains his form, he might be a real steal for the Cowboys as a fourth round pick. However, I wonder why no one thought to draft whomever it was that went up to some guy who is 6' 7" tall and weighs 280 lbs in the midst of a bar fight and whacked him with a beer bottle. You have to think there might have been someone smaller to pick on in that melee. Maybe the assailant here is the guy you want to run down the field on kickoffs and be the wedge-buster...

A woman in Wisconsin has been convicted of embezzling $3,000 from a company. She claimed that she did it because her family was in dire financial straits; evidently, that plus the rest of her defense did not carry the day in court. The judge in the case has given her a choice of 90 days in jail OR she can donate the four Packers' season tickets that she and her family have to charity. Several commentators have noted that if she goes to jail now, she'll be out in time for the pre-season games. I have a different question:

How dire could the family's financial condition have been if they found a way to pay for four Packers' season tickets?

From the world of soccer come two stories about what can happen when teams don't win. In Denmark, the Odense team had a record of 9-8-7 and hadn't won a game for a month. So the fans hired a stripper/exotic dancer to go to an Odense practice and perform for the team as a means of motivating them. Now there is a devoted fan-base. In some other places, fans might have hired a "hit squad" to visit the practice field and perform their act on the team...

In Romania, another soccer team with a poor record has encountered a completely different reaction. According to, Dinel Staicu owns the Universitatea Craiova team and it has not been doing well. In fact, it was just relegated down from whatever league it had been in to a lower level league. Staicu gave the team to the local town council; he sent them the ownership papers signed over to the town council. That's bad. However, it gets worse. The town council refused to take the team saying they didn't have the money to run the team which is interesting because they offered to buy the team from Staicu about a year ago prior to the team being relegated. So, at the moment, the town council considers the team worth less than a purchase price of zero. What is Staicu going to do now? He said, "The only thing I can think of doing now is putting it on e-bay and seeing if I can find someone to take it over." If you go and find this on e-bay, be careful what you bid because you might just find yourself owning a Romanian soccer team...

Finally, Sir Charles Barkley was interviewed by Tim Russert on CNBC. Russert asked Barkley why he has not followed through on his statement that he would run for governor of Alabama. In typical Barkley candor, his response was:

"I saw what the governor makes. That's like four hands of blackjack."

But don't get me wrong, I love sports...

Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon

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