Today in the bag I'm going to touch on labor issues, set up conclusion of the first half for both the Sox and Rox, and briefly mention the final vote.
Click below for the bag...
Lockouts galore - Much like sausages and laws, no one really wants to think about what goes on behind the scenes to get their favorite teams onto the playing field. The ugly side of sports is that it is indeed a business, and, as if there was any doubt, this summer has painfully driven that point home. I don't buy that these actions will ever truly alienate fans, as essentially we need this shit, but it does piss me off to no end that they always wait till the end of a CBA to really address inherent problems.
Both the NFL and the NBA currently find themselves in the midst of painful labor lockouts. The NFL work stoppage has been going on for more than 100 days at this point as it slogs through the federal court system and tries the countries collective patience. The NBA has rather recently jumped onto the lockout bandwagon, as commissioner David Stern rather gleefully locked the players out seemingly seconds after the final pick of this years NBA draft.
The NBA lockout I can almost guarantee will end in a protracted work stoppage. The owners are claiming a ridiculous 22 of 30 teams lost money last season, to the tune of over $300 million, which is more than enough impetus to halt play until the league is reworked in favor of ownership. (I don't mean to come out and say that they're lying, but it's pretty easy to cook the books in order to inflame the numbers.) Barring the players caving early, I fully expect chunks of the 2011-12 NBA season to end up lost to this mess. The funny thing is, I don't necessarily blame the NBA for wanting to fix their business model. The off-season routinely brings massive guaranteed contracts to extremely average talent. Any system that nets Rashard Lewis $110 million over 6 years needs fixing.
With the NFL I've always had the sense that they're just posturing with no real intention of impacting the coming season. There's just too much money on the table for me to buy the fact that the regular season is in any real jeopardy. More to the point, the owners need the full slate of preseason games to maximize profitability in 2011. As the calendar has flipped closer to the mid-July cutoff for a full pre and regular season to be playable the two sides have continually found ways to meet outside of court. There's momentum towards a deal at this point, and I fully expect for there to be a resolution in the next 7-10 days. Expect a full season, including the stupid, yet profit-yielding, full preseason schedule, to play this fall.
The end of the first half - The biggest thing I took away from the Sox/Rox series last week is that they were two teams of comparable talent headed in opposite directions.
My Sox are seemingly headed in the right direction, and are at least no longer in their continuous drunken stupor. They are still incapable of scoring a runner from 3rd when they need to, but somehow are finding a way to win enough ball games to crawl back to .500. Despite the prospect of a first half ending sweep at the hands of the Twins being on tap for this weekend, I'm reasonably confident that my boys can fein respectability for at least one more month before collapsing all together in late August. The collective incompetence of the Indians and Tigers should keep the Sox in it for a while, at least. Considering the fact that I was comparing this club to an incapacitating disease not two months ago, this is an improvement.
|Oh, so this is what winning feels like. From: the trib|
|The Rox seem cursed at this point; injuries to Tulo, Cargo, and DLR certainly aren't helping. From: the Post|
Paulie and Todd in the All-Star Final Vote - Coincidentally, despite team-wide struggles in the first half, both of my favorite baseball teams have their respective first basemen in this year's All-Star final vote. Considering that Tulo could end up missing the game because of the injury he suffered last night in Atlanta, it may behoove Rockies Nation to get-to-clicking in order to avoid a Rock-less All-Star Game. Meanwhile, my fellow Sox fans and I have been busy in voting for our beloved Captain Paulie, as he currently leads the AL race. Both guys are plenty deserving, both for their current season performance, and for what they've meant to their teams over the past decade-plus.
|With your help both Captain Paulie and Toddy Franchise can head to Arizona.|