Let me try to explain why I focused my column specifically on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's memo and the players' reasons for protesting. I wanted to avoid appearing to go off on a soap box. I wanted to focus specifically on the NFL issues. I'm a sports columnist, not a metro or opinion page columnist, so I didn't want to veer far away from the subject at hand. I wanted to break down Goodell's memo and try to explain the fact that oppression is a serious concern for NFL players and their families.
My first instinct was to wonder what Anderson did wrong to free Oregon State from that contract. It was such a rare act in college sports I couldn't help but wonder if he had been caught doing something that violated his contract. I shouldn't think that way, though. Perhaps he just wanted out of Oregon State, where he clearly was struggling.
I have predicted that the Astros and Dodgers will face off in the World Series. So far I'm perfect on my picks this offseason. I picked the Yankees to win their wild card. I picked the Diamondbacks to win theirs. I picked the Astros over the Red Sox and the Dodgers over the Diamondbacks. I picked the Nationals over the Cubs and Indians over the Yankees, but those picks aren't looking very strong at the moment.
FIFA has a history of corruption. Never underestimate FIFA stomping on a minnow to get what it wants. Fox will lose lots of money on its U.S. English language soccer rights next summer.
First of all, you assume too much. Do you really think I spoke to only one person? Do you know how many sources I had? In June I was the only one who wrote about the first players-only meeting in Cincinnati. I had multiple players on the record on that one. In August, I was the first person to have a full breakdown on a players-only meeting. And in spring training I was the only one who wrote about the players-only meeting talking points before the first-full workout. I've taken pride on developing diverse sources in clubhouses throughout my whole career. The only thing I couldn't get anybody on the record, however, was the name of the player who was reprimanded for never even bothering to go in the dugout the day he beat the fans out of the parking lot. That wasn't a case of a guy exiting the clubhouse before the media got in. That was a case of a guy practically exiting the clubhouse before his teammates returned after the game. I declined to use that name because I didn't want to use it without somebody putting their name on that one. But, by all means, believe what you want to believe. Moreover, nobody ever said that Dexter was late to the park. I wrote that people complained because they thought he was always the last one in.
Thanks. That is a very good question about the pitching coach. I honestly must tell you that I haven't looked into that interview process. I need to check in with Mozeliak and Girsch and Matheny to see how that is going.
Baseball is an unfair business, especially in cities like Boston. Remember, however, that Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski didn't hire Farrell. When you're not the boss' hire it tends to cut your leash by quite a bit. Fortunately for Matheny, he has the full support of the only guy that really matters, Bill Dewitt Jr.
MLS has gotten better, but it's still a league that gets aging superstars to come cash in toward the end of their careers. But overall, the talent depth isn't as consistent as you'd find at top European leagues or even in Mexico.
I agree with you. As you probably noted, I purposefully avoided making my column about the first amendment rights. Your bosses have a right to tell you how they want you to behave. NFL contracts have clauses, and we could debate all day whether the players have the right to sit during the anthem or if the owners have a right to tell them to stand. Because of those considerations, I didn't want to add that ingredient into an already think stew for my readers to digest. I do believe that the kneeling and raised fist protests have worked in the sense that they've prompted America to have a serious discussion about social injustices and police brutality in America. In that regard, the protests have already worked.
Please understand that I fully take your comments to heart. I don't know if you've noticed, but I purposely stayed away from writing columns about social justice issues for several months. I realize and appreciate that many fans seek the sports section to avoid all the other news in the world. I hate to be a name dropper, but let me tell you about an important lunch I had with former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush. As Roy Oswalt and Billy Wagner can attest 14 years later, Mrs. Bush gave me the greatest compliment when she told me she loved my work and that she specifically asked for the Houston Chronicle to be delivered to her house with the sports section over every other section because she didn't want to read any stories about her son, President George W. Bush. So long story short, I learned 14 years ago that some readers go to the sports section to avoid the other news in the world. Please understand that I take that into consideration.
A blockbuster for Machado and Britton would be dangerous unless they had a guarantee that Machado would sign an extension. I wonder if they'll go the modest route and get Donaldson and try to re-sign him. That could be the safest bet.
Thank you. If there's one thing I've learned from covering professional sports, it's that sports owners tend to alter their rules based on the importance of the players. I bet you Jones wouldn't dare sit Prescott and Eliott if they protested, but he would ship their butts out of town as soon as they weren't stars.
Donaldson, Ozuna and Yelich are names that have been mentioned. Stanton is the biggest name that would fit the need, but the Cardinals don't seem willing to take on his contract.
That's a very good question. As a columnist, I'm paid to give my opinion. I try not to share political opinions, but I do comment on politics and social issues. A coach I respect told me in 2010 that twitter is a tool for tools. I try to remember that I shouldn't say anything on twitter that I would want my mom to hear me say.
I firmly believe that the Cardinals will be a better team next year. As I noted in spring training, 2017 was going to be rough but the future looked good in 2018 and beyond.
The Cubs tanked their way toward prominence. The Cardinals are consistently picking in the 19 range, which means they are among the better teams in baseball. I cannot express enough how Cardinals fans should appreciate that it's not that easy to win consistently in the majors. Mozeliak has not had a losing season as GM or president. The Cardinals are in good shape in the farm system. Mozeliak has a strong and vibrant farm system, and now he'll try to get them back in the playoffs.
You make very good points.
I don't remember Fowler costing the Cardinals a game in center field. I'm not saying he should stay in center. Actually, I've stated that the Cardinals should move him away from center next season. Don't know if you watched the Cardinals' press conference after the season, but I was the one who made sure to ask John Mozeliak if he had somehow promised Fowler that he would remain at center. No such promise was made last December, so now the Cardinals must make sure they put their best defensive outfield on the field next year.
I was stunned that Strasburg initially turned the ball down. You are right, the Cardinals have a bunch of gamers in that starting rotation.
I couldn't quantify that.
There are so many stats available for managers and pitching coaches to determine what the analytics consider the best time to pull a particular pitcher.
They improved on fundamentals after the All-Star break.
Thank you for reading the column.
The Wade Davis move proved to be a huge benefit to the Cubs. The Cardinals would have reached the playoffs if the Cardinals had acquired him instead of the Cubs.
Oh my, I have no idea. I don't think the NBA has ever come up with a reader.
Thanks for joining the chat this week. I have to run now. See you next week!