Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Death, Taxes & MLB Players Being Stupid; NHL Hits Jackpot With Rangers Lottery Win; Suns Rising

Illustration for article titled Death, Taxes  MLB Players Being Stupid; NHL Hits Jackpot With Rangers Lottery Win; Suns Rising
Graphic: Photo: Getty

It was yet another banner day for MLB, which seems to be having them one after another. They’ve sat next to the cooler at the casino, by choice, except that they’ll still walk out of the casino with most of their chips. After all, it’s not their chips they’re playing with. And if the players continue to be the same chuds they were in high school who got the nerds to do their homework while getting handies from the cheerleaders underneath the bleachers that they’ve always been, MLB won’t even get the blame.

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It came out last night that Mike Clevinger, another pitcher with Cleveland, not only was out with Zach Plesac — you might remember him from such episodes as being sent home from Chicago for going out with friends instead of remaining in the hotel like he was told — but also sat in a team meeting while the team was told about Plesac’s ejection and then took the team plane back with the rest of the team. Clevinger earned a quarantine himself for the next few days, and we’d say it would give him time to think about what he did. But thinking in any fashion more stressful than base urges would cause most players to end up looking like Schwarzeneger at the end of Total Recall. And you can best believe it was base urges that pushed Clevinger and Plesac out of the hotel with their meathead friends. Yes, it’s an assumption their friends were meatheads, but it’s also the chalk pick.

On the same day, the St., Louis Cardinals — who have been on pause for nearly two weeks now because they themselves couldn’t bother to follow rather basic instructions, matching much of their fanbase who likely can’t read them — lost another two games into the ether as their doubleheader on Thursday was postponed. That leaves the Cards with 55 games to play in just 45 days, which clearly isn’t possible.

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This all caused MLB to start considering a plan to put the postseason in a bubble, or two, or three, or four, because all this is about is getting to the postseason and all its promised cash. Baseball’s stature as the nation’s pastime has been up for debate for some time, but the callous and simply obscene pursuit of cash, no matter the damage it causes along the way, couldn’t be any more American.

- The NHL took a pause, scheduled though, before its first round begins this afternoon. In the void, they held the last phase of their draft lottery, being the eight teams who lost in the play-in round having a crack at the No. 1 overall pick. The New York Rangers were the lucky ones, meaning they can add Alex Lafreniere to their stable of wingers. It’s not often a team gets to take the No. 2 pick one year and the top pick the next, but perhaps whatever curse the Knicks have been under for a decade-and-a-half evens itself out with their roommates to maintain balance in the universe.

The NHL almost certainly is delighted that perhaps its next star will end up in its biggest market, instead of wastelands like Minnesota or Edmonton or Winnipeg, where if his name ever got mentioned again it would only be as a cautionary tale. Lafreniere put up over two points per game this past season in the QMJHL, though in that league you get 100 points for showing up at training camp, much like getting the reward you get on the SAT for signing your name correctly. Still, the Rangers don’t need Lafreniere to be a star, just a solid contributor to continue their rebuild.

Illustration for article titled Death, Taxes  MLB Players Being Stupid; NHL Hits Jackpot With Rangers Lottery Win; Suns Rising
Photo: Getty
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- The Phoenix Suns won their sixth-straight game in NBA’s bubble. They’ll still need Portland to lose one of their last two to get into a play-in disco for the 8th seed while clearing off their last two games, or watch Memphis lose to both Milwaukee and Boston to allow them both in. It’s going to be a mess, but that’s probably what the NBA wanted when they hatched this whole thing. But then again, they could be baseball, right?

- You won’t believe it, but Manchester United got yet another penalty decision, this time in extra time, to finally get past FC Copenhagen and move on to the Europa League semifinal. United set a record for penalties received in the Premier League this season, and their good fortune has apparently spread to Europe now. It’s really heartening to see the little guy finally get a break. Or 21 of them.

Have you ever looked at a dollar bill, man?

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