Evidently when you vote for the right guy to be the new commissioner of baseball, you get leverage.
The Giants voted for Bud Selig’s guy, Rob Manfred, last Thursday and less than a week later, they become the first team in 28 years to win a protest over Tarpapalooza.
In the meantime, the A’s voted for Tom Werner, and lo and behold they not only are still in Oakland, they’ve lost five of their last six and are no longer in first place in the AL West. Evidently you screw with this Manfred character at your own peril.
But the Giants didn’t get all they wanted...
They also asked for a forfeit, the rights to the rest of the road trip, and Anthony Rizzo.
X X X
Who doesn’t love a good and completely fabricated conspiracy story? So here’s what we have from John Harbaugh’s midweek presser in which he speaks of the upcoming Baltimore-Washington practice game:
“Of course we love playing them, we love kind of the Beltway rivalry thing. We only play them once every four years in the regular season, but our players know their players. Our fans know their fans. Like I’ve said many times before, we would love for all the [Washington] fans to have their AFC team be the Ravens, have that kind of a regional kind of a feeling about one another. That would be the best thing, we think.”
So we take from this the following things:
1. He’s thrown over his brother for Jay Gruden and Jed York for Danny Snyder.
2. He’s sick to death of beating the 49ers because his team is getting too used to it.
3. He knows Jim is going to be coaching somewhere else next year.
4. He likes Washington fans more than he likes 49er fans.
Tinfoil hats in place? Now ready . . . steady . . . GO!
X X X
The 49ers are now worth $1.6 billion, or $100M more than the Baltimore Ravens. Sounds like a Harbaugh needs to get himself PAID.
X X X
Recently retired NFL referee and now CBS officiating analyst Mike Carey told Washington Post busybody Mike Wise that he declined to work Washington games for the last seven years of his career because he was offended by the team’s nickname.
“The league respectfully honored my request not to officiate Washington,” Carey told the Washington Post. “It happened sometime after I refereed their playoff game in 2006, I think . . . It just became clear to me that to be in the middle of the field, where something disrespectful is happening, was probably not the best thing for me.”
Carey went on to add, “Human beings take social stances, and if you’re respectful of all human beings, you have to decide what you’re going to do and why you’re going to do it.”
Now over to Mike Ditka and the ESPN-CBS spitting contest in three . . . two . . . one.
X X X
So the Sharks will enter their 24th training camp with no captain and no alternate captains. This is the new version of the neutral zone trap -– kicking a hard decision down the road until it takes care of itself one way or another. It’s also known in chess circles as the Commissioner's Defense.
But when you say that Joe Thornton was stripped of his captaincy, the Sharks want to play too clever by half by saying, as head coach Todd McLellan did, “You’d be wrong, because we’re just cleaning the slate.”
It’s also known as “erasure.” As in “stripping the dry-erase board of its written material.” So yes, “stripping” is exactly the right word.
X X X
It’s been quite the crap week for European newspapers so far, and since it’s only Wednesday even there, it can only get . . . well, worse, probably.
First, the Swedish paper Aftonbladet advanced the Malmo-Red Bull Salzburg Champions League match by saying that Red Bull was the most hated team in the world (which is quite a feat for a team remarkably few Europeans have ever heard of) and compared it to two other Austrian nightmares, Hitler and Josef Fritzl.
The good news: Red Bull won the match, 2-1.
Then the Dutch paper Volkstrant put out a breaking news alert that the country’s greatest player, Johan Cruyff was dead. The good news: Cruyff isn’t dead at all -– the paper was just testing some new online software that apparently can kill people with just the push of a button.
This puts a great deal of pressure to top those two beauties on Sportnachrichten (Germany), Extra Bladet (Denmark), Helsingen Sanomat (Finland) and whatever the Norwegian version of The Onion is –- though we’re not sure the Norwegians have an exact cultural translation for “Johnny Manziel Forced To Wear Cleveland Browns Jersey In Cruel Rookie Hazing Incident.”
X X X
And finally, Mo’ne Davis is a little young to be on the business end of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. I think the magazine should throw her a few bucks to make her feel better.
Oh, and to cover the fact that she’s already making money for ESPN too, the network should cough up too.