Random thoughts: Yay for the Rays saving money

by Gary Shelton on February 18, 2018 · 8 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays. They get to keep the lights on. The Rays made a pair of cost-trimming moves Saturday, swapping Jake Odorizzi for a minor leaguer and dumping last year's all-star Corey Dickerson and replacing him with a cheaper C.J. Cron. Maybe Rays fans should get t-shirts that say "yay for the budget!"

-- As soon as I found out who she is, I was greatly amused by Laura Ingraham's remark that LeBron James "should stick to bouncing a basketball." So only talking heads can be talking heads? Let's face it, if James had talked about what a bang-up job Donald Trump was doing, he'd be hailed as a public hero on Fox. So it isn't that he's an athlete; it's his opinion.

-- As Eagles' defensive end Chris Long points out, Fox has gone out of its way to invite celebrities such as Kid Rock, Clint Eastwood, Bob Knight and John Voight onto their programs to praise Trump. Guess what, Laura. They're entertainers, too.

-- Nick Foles said that when Eagles fans see him, they often break into tears. That often happens with the Tampa Bay Bucs quarterbacks, too.

-- Let's see. First, it was Rick Pitino. Then Tom Izzo. Now, it may be Roy Williams. When did college basketball coaches turn into the Sopranos? If Elliot Ness was still alive, he'd be after Adolph Rupp.

-- Would Arkansas State have rather played in a hurricane? The school is suing Miami over a canceled game which is, you know, stupid.

-- LaVar Ball, who thinks he's the general manager around here, says LeBron James will sign with the Lakers and be made into a better player by his kid Lonzo. Lonzo, averaging 10.2 points a game,  is having trouble making Lonzo better.

-- The Sporting News lists every team's worst post-season memory. With the Rays, it points to the three one-run losses in losing to the Phillies in 2008. Maybe it's just me, but I think that the last four seasons, with zero post-season games, was worse.

-- Rod "Toast" Jones called the Tampa Bay Lightning defense. He wants his nickname back.

-- Just wondering. When the Russian Olympic hockey team beat the United States, did anyone notice which side Trump was pulling for?

-- College football suffered its biggest drop-off in 34 years last year. Which means there were fewer fans for Jimbo Fisher to yell at.

-- Did you see that the U.S. Olympic hockey coach Tony Granato was irked that the the Russians sent out their top power play unit with a 4-0 lead? Oh, come on. If you're going to lose that badly, don't expect mercy.

-- With the release of Sebastian Janikowski by the Raiders, Tom Brady is now the only player from the 2000 draft still with his team. Guess he outlasted the Bucs' David Gibson, taken six pick higher, and Joe Hamilton, picked 35 picks afterward.

-- Right now, do you think David Gibson is bragging to his kids about going in front of Brady?

-- I see that Jimbo Fisher referred to FSU as "the other place" he coached. No names after all those years and all that money? I think Fisher is trying to catch Urban Meyer,after all.

-- Some say the Black Panther is the first black Superhero movie. Some say it was Blade. Some even say it was Steel. Me? I think it was Doug Williams' highlight film in the Super Bowl.

-- Jim McElwain is now the receivers coach at Michigan, which means the Wolverine receivers will hear a lot of lectures about "how cool this game is" and "what a wonderful crowd this is."

-- Charles Barkley won enough money on the Eagles in the Super Bowl, he says, to buy "a large condo in Alabama" or "a small guest house" in Los Angeles. Good to know old Chuck is taking it easy these days.

-- A story: The last time I covered the Daytona 500, it was 1996, another of those frustrating years in which Dale Earnhardt finished second. Before the race, old-time Atlanta Consistitution columnist Furman Bisher (who interviewed Joe Jackson) came up to me and said "you know, I never cared much for them before, but I was listening to these Beatles last night, and they're pretty good." I grinned and said "Wait til you hear the Rolling Stones. They'll blow you away."


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