Archive - February 2017
- Column: Knicks Most Valuable & Most Dysfunctional NBA TeamFebruary 23, 2017
The New York Knicks are the most valuable team in the NBA, worth $3.3 billion according to Forbes’ latest estimate. They’re also the most dysfunctional team in the league, if not all of professional sports. Most dysfunctional is a difficult low bar to reach, considering that the competition includes MLB’s Miami Marlins and the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. While other teams have given the Knicks a run for their dubious title over the years, New York has earned its reputation as the team at the bottom of the heap. The Knicks are a bumbling, incompetent franchise. They have gone nowhere for the better part of two decades – only one playoff series victory in 17 years – and are heading nowhere but down in the foreseeable future. The team lost 50 games last year and has a good chance of duplicating that inglorious record this year having lost 24 of their last 33 games prior to the All-Star Game.
- Column: MLB Serves Up... SoftballFebruary 16, 2017
As owner of the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics from 1960-80, Charles O. Finley had more creative ideas than all his fellow owners combined. He outfitted his teams in colorful uniforms and tried to convince his fellow owners to adopt orange baseballs and bases. Finley was roundly criticized by fans, media and players for confusing baseball with softball. Decades later, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is impersonating Finley. In an effort to speed up the game and save pitchers’ arms, MLB plans to test a rule change this season in the Minors that would place a runner on second base at the start of each extra inning. Different rules for extra innings are not without precedent. A similar rule has been used in international baseball for nearly a decade and will be implemented in the World Baseball Classic this spring. Putting a runner on second for extra innings has also been used in softball.
- Column: Cyber-attacks Exist In Sports TooFebruary 9, 2017
Cyber-attacks have become all too common in the United States. Millions of Americans have been victims of identity theft after their personal information was accessed. The most frequent targets of criminals are databases of financial institutions, hospitals and retail outlets, although Ashley Madison also comes to mind. Unfortunately, the sports world is not immune from such illegal activity. Last week MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a decision in a hacking case involving the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Astros. St. Louis was ordered to forfeit two second round draft picks in this year’s draft, numbers 56 and 75 overall and pay $2 million to the Astros.
- Column: NFL Parity Is A MythFebruary 2, 2017
The NFL loves to portray itself as the league with the most parity. On any given Sunday – which in reality is now Monday, Thursday and, depending on the time of the year, Saturday – any team can win. Of course, that’s true. Upsets in sports have existed as long sports itself which dates back to at least ancient Greece. But cream always rises to the top. In the NFL, that means the teams that end up in the playoffs year after year have familiar names: New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Green Bay Packers. Are there commonalities among the three teams that other teams should emulate? You bet there are.