Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson signing autographs on the putting...

No more car payments!

It’s been a good year for Bubba Watson.  Back in January, Watson bought the original General Lee from the Duke of Hazzard TV show for $110,000.  How to pay for such an expensive ride?  Well, Watson had been planning to sell his house … but after winning $1.44 million in prize money by gutting out a sudden death overtime at the Masters, there’s little chance that Bubba will end up homeless.  Watson hasn’t had a golf lesson since age ten, and doesn’t use a swing coach.  Does he remind you of Tin Cup, too? 

Phil Mickelson was a stroke back entering play on Sunday, but his chances to win the tourney were seriously dented with a triple bogey.  Tiger Woods had an awful weekend, making some wonder if the rumors of his resurgence were greatly exaggerated. 


Cow Palace, San Francisco

Wow. 21 million bucks.

Baseball owners continue to hand out money like it’s candy.  In the last two deals, teams dropped $96 million on three players. players.  Ian Kinsler, the oft-injured star second baseman for the Texas Rangers, signed a five year deal worth $75 million.  Moments ago, fellow second baseman Brandon Phillips of the Reds signed a six year deal worth $72.5 million.  These are two of the elite second basemen in the game today.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians signed catcher Carlos Santana  to a five year deal worth $21 million, with a club option for 2017.  There’s been an uptick in spending in recent years, much of it financed by big new regional sports television deals.  (Hey, MLB: know how to make the regional deals worth even more?  Get rid of crazy blackout situations like mine – where five teams are blacked out even after I pony up big bucks for MLB Extra Innings).

On the one hand, it’s easy to love these deals as a fan – teams are locking up core contributors for a long period of time.  On the flip side, there’s a lot of financial risk.  Unlike football, baseball contracts are guaranteed.  If Albert Pujols stinks it up this year, the Angels can’t wriggle out of his contract.  I’m definitely concerned about the amount of dead money some teams could have if a player takes a downturn.  My thought would be to have some sort of vesting option.  If a player reaches a certain threshold (125 IP or 350 plate appearances, for example), the next year automatically vests.  This would protect the team while still being better for the players than the “cut you at any time” model of the NFL.

NFL Draft

HOUSTON - DECEMBER 31:  Quarterback Ryan Tanne...

Teams are hoping that Ryan Tannehill isn't "all hat, no cowboy"

The NFL draft is now just a couple of weeks away.  With Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III sure to be off the board with the first two picks of the draft, attention turns to the third best QB in the draft – Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M.  Tannehill was a wide receiver for two years before getting a chance to player quarterback for the Aggies.  I can’t imagine there’s a long list of players who have accumulated 1500 receiving yards and 5000 passing yards in a career, but Tannehill’s on the list.

The Dolphins desperately want Tannehill, but everyone knows that.  The Dolphins have the eighth pick, so it’s conceivable that a team could trade up in the draft to leapfrog Miami, or that the Dolphins themselves could push higher as a preemptive strike.  Don’t be surprised if Tannehill is among the top six players off the board.

Bobby Petrino

Arkansas placed head coach Bobby Petrino on administrative leave following a motorcycle accident.  At issue is the fact that Petrino lied to his boss regarding the involvement of a second person.  The passenger on the motorcycle was a young woman who worked for Petrino – and with whom he was having an “inappropriate relationship” (his words).  On Tuesday, a crowd gathered to support Petrino.  This is going to get interesting before all is said and done.

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