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Nationals, Hood agree to terms

The Nationals came to terms today with their second-round pick, Destin Hood, a high school outfielder from Mobile, Ala. Hood is the first of Washington's top five picks to sign.

Before Hood signed late last night, he had been weighing the option to attend the University of Alabama, where he had been offered a football scholarship. But the Nationals, who had drafted Hood 55th overall in June, said all along that they believed Hood's first love to be baseball.

Hood, 18, will be assigned to the Nationals' Gulf Coast League affiliate in Viera, Fla.

The Nationals did not disclose Hood's signing bonus, but Hood had been seeking above-slot money comparable with somebody drafted in the first round.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 17, 2008; 2:28 PM ET
 
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Next: More on Hood

Comments

Good news, very good news.

Posted by: This is | July 17, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

One down, four to go.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | July 17, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

per Bill Ladson, it's $1.1M over 5 years. MLB allows teams to spread a larger bonus over multiple years in the cases of multi-sport athletes. IIRC, the Rays did the same thing in their deal with Tim Beckham

Posted by: Brian | July 17, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Brian,

Can you give us an idea of what other 2nd rounders got? How much above slot was this?

I'd post in your blog, but my computer has issues with it. Or your site has issues with my computer.
::shrug::

Posted by: Section 138 | July 17, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/draft/2008/bonuses/signing_bonuses_08.aspx

That's considerably above slot, if true.

No. 54 Cutter Dykstra (Brewers) $737K
No. 56 Jay Austin (Astros) $715K

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@S138 - Not sure what's the issue. I don't put comments in moderation. I'll make sure there is nothing wrong

Posted by: Brian | July 17, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

That's considerably above slot, if true.

No. 54 Cutter Dykstra (Brewers) $737K
No. 56 Jay Austin (Astros) $715K

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 2:49 PM

-----------------------

Maybe part of that is the multi-sport athlete thing?

Posted by: just a guess | July 17, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Cheeks-

This is nothing against you because I know you get some well deserved days off this week, but the problem with the Washington Post (I'm a subscriber and always will be), is when it comes to online content ... if the Redskins had just signed one of their draft picks ... someone one the WashingtonPost.com's website staff would make note. How come some editor can't log on and post the news for Nats?

Posted by: Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm is a funny dude | July 17, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see the first of our top 5 signed. This indicates Lerner's comments about being a slot team were just posturing.

Posted by: John | July 17, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Woah! 1.1 mil x 5 years = 5.5 mil...

One would think the MLB HQ will be livid over this. Maybe the 9,000 tv audience gave Jimbo and the Lerner's some leeway. No wonder they want to stick to slot with Crow.

Posted by: 756* | July 17, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Yay, some good news. Thanks Baseball Santa! Let's hope there are some more signed draft picks in our stockings.

@longterm, interesting point in the last post (basically, if they don't sign Crow then maybe they get two first rounders next year, including the overall #1, and can still sign a top-shelf FA this offseason without losing one of them).

But I'd rather see them sign Crow, keep all of next year's picks and see where we are at this time next year.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | July 17, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Or 200K per year?
Now that doesn't seem too high.

Posted by: 756* | July 17, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@756*- that's $1.1 million spread out over 5 yrs, not what Hood will receive each year.

Posted by: John | July 17, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

756* -

From Ladson:

"According to baseball sources outside the Nationals organization, Hood will make a total of $1.1 million in the next five years. The money is considered under the baseball slotting system when it comes to second-round picks."

That is -- a TOTAL of $1.1M in the next 5 years. Not $1.1M per year.

Over slot, but not silly.

Posted by: WebberDC | July 17, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

After seeing no Nats coverage in today's paper and some of the posts above I thought it would be interesting to check out other papers' coverage today of their hometown teams who are also off until tomorrow. I only checked this online, so it is possible that some of these stories were run on Wednesday (when the Post also had no Nats features). I only counted stories that had some indication they ran today. In full disclosure, the only other paper that I checked that had no content about the home team was Houston. Also note that I didn't even check Boston, Philly, Chicago, LA, or NY (which would be a special case anyway in view of the AS game). Here goes, I think it speaks for itself (sorry for no urls, but the Post's filter was blocking this when I had links):

-- Kansas City Star:

Five questions for the Royals' second half


-- Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Twins' Morneau has eventful 27 hours

AL Central: Twins, White Sox confound predictions


-- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Trader from the Bronx

Working a swing shift
Fielder's struggles at plate continue to frustrate him


-- Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Cleveland Indians' poor first half a result of injuries, a weak bullpen and subpar individual performances

Cleveland Indians at the break: Midseason review of Tribe's prospects


-- Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Midseason Report: M's need change of who's in charge

Trade Ichiro? It's a bold but sensible proposition

Trades, cuts inevitable as M's look to '09

Analysis: Why A's always come before M's


-- SF Chronicle:

Waiting for the next move
Flawed, sub-.500 team still could win division

HIGHS AND LOWS

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 17, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

As John said, I read this as $220K/year.

Posted by: Section 138 | July 17, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Also, before anyone gets up in arms over Hood's money, Ladson's article says the following:

"According to baseball sources outside the Nationals organization, Hood will make a total of $1.1 million in the next five years. The money is considered under the baseball slotting system when it comes to second-round picks."

So it's not 1.1 million each year for five years, it's (apparently) 1.1 million over the first five years, probably, plus an as-yet-undisclosed bonus that may or may not be over slot.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | July 17, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Mobile, AL - same hometown as Willie Mays . . .

Posted by: Good2BOK | July 17, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

But still, $1.1MM vs. the slot ($720K) is another sign that the Lerners are willing to sign their draft picks.

Posted by: Section 138 | July 17, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Not to get too accounting nerdy, it's roughly slot when you consider the present value of that contract.

Posted by: Brian | July 17, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Ummm, yep, what everyone else said.

And, once again, coverage is lacking. Not even a brief item in the notebook on our own all-star Guzman. We know this isn't Chico's fault though. Hopefully tomorrow will make up for it.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | July 17, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Nice to hear the Lerners came to their senses. Perhaps they were able to get Hood to back down some from a demand, but it's great that they didn't let him get away. He was a steal in the 2nd rd. -- one only possible because of his football plans. Of course, if you parse Lerner's comment, it was directed at our first-round pick -- so, we;ll have to see how that develops.

If they're not going to sign free-agents, they damn well better sign their draft picks. This team as 2-3 years to put together a contender with more talent in the pipeline, before they blow the opportunity to weave this team into the fabric here -- to build a fan base.

Want evidence? Check out MLS. The NY-NJ franchise went into the same stadium that the Cosmos used to sell out. But, the MLS team has stunk almost ever year. They get crowds even smaller than the Nats' television audience. Contrast that with DC United, which has built a winning tradition, and a large, loyal following.

The fans are out there to be won. But, if the Nats become traditional sad sack cellar dwellars, the bloom will be off the rose -- and that won't ever come back. They have a limited amount of time, while the stadium is still a draw, to make baseball a habit here.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 17, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Any kid from Mobile who chooses the Nats over UA football must L-O-V-E baseball . . .

Posted by: Stringbean | July 17, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Any kid from Mobile who chooses the Nats over UA football must L-O-V-E baseball . . .

Posted by: Stringbean | July 17, 2008 3:11 PM
---------------------------------------------

He probably heard Dave Winfield last night on Costas Now -- saying baseball is the best career option for a professional athlete.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 17, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I guess I just assumed that he'd get more than 1.1 mil. Didn't McGeary get 2 mil?

Posted by: 756* | July 17, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

If his baseball career doesn't work out, he can always play football.

Pretty damning evidence, I think, CiL.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Did they say how much Bowden and Rojo received?

Posted by: ChrisC | July 17, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

McGeary got $1.8M. I do not believe that was spread over multiple years.

Posted by: Brian | July 17, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Good Work CiL and it speaks for itself.

I'll bet you if Zorn stubbed his toe out at Redskin Park there would be an above the fold article about it.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | July 17, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Really, I think we should all take some time here and now to give kudos to Bowden and Nats mgmt for getting this done. Other teams could've taken the risk, but they didn't. It looks like Jimbo read Hood like a book.

Now who is Rashun Dixon (pick #304)? He got a 600K signing bonus, drafted in the 10th round. Way over-slot. Again, the website, http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/draft/2008/bonuses/signing_bonuses_08.aspx

Posted by: 756* | July 17, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@756* - Dixon's another multi-sport guy. While I do not know for certain, there is a chance he could have received that bonus over multiple years

Posted by: Brian | July 17, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

On the issue of the team's budget:

It is interesting to look at teams that have gone from "cheap" reputations to freer spenders. Here are payroll summaries from 3 teams (I cribbed this from SoSH, and agree with the writer's conclusion):

Tigers
* 2003: $ 49,168,000
* 2004: $ 46,832,000
* 2005: $ 69,092,000
* 2006: $ 82,612,866
* 2007: $ 95,180,369
* 2008: $137,685,196

Brewers
* 2004: $ 27,528,500
* 2005: $ 39,934,833
* 2006: $ 57,568,333
* 2007: $ 70,986,500
* 2008: $ 80,937,499

White Sox
* 2003: $ 51,010,000
* 2004: $ 65,212,500
* 2005: $ 75,178,000
* 2006: $102,750,667
* 2007: $108,671,833
* 2008: $121,189,332

"'Low payroll teams' can become 'mid-to-high payroll teams' in a hurry, once they're good enough to make the inflated payroll worthwhile."
http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?showtopic=33996&st=0

W/R/T the Nats, I think we have good or high potential major league players under contract for next year to fill about 30+% of a 25 man roster, even before signing free agents. That's 8 players, and I think that is a fair description of Flores, RZ, Dukes, Milledge, Johnson, Bergmann, Lannan, and Rauch. Of course, health is an issue, and there is a bit of projection on a few of those guys, but I could also say I might be understating the quality of a few guys (AK, Young, Belliard, and Rivera).

If the Nats follow the path of these other teams, given where the Nats are in the development process, it would seem like natural payroll growth to have a payroll in the $70 million range, or roughly the '04 - '05 jump in the Tigers and ChiSox payroll. A move of Rauch, Guzman, Redding, or Perez could fill the 2 MI holes or perhaps the 3d OF hole. A bit of money probably can bring back Guzman, lock up Zimmerman, bring back one of the 30 year old starters, and leave money for a higher end free agent. Hopefully, there is no confederate money issue.

If we see them come in at $54 million again, I would begin to feel that there is merit to the LAC charge. It would start to look like an unwilingness to spend, rather than common sense development.

Posted by: PTBNL | July 17, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I agree with what PTBNL pasted, and I want to emphasize, "It would start to look like an unwilingness to spend, rather than common sense development."

To the discerning eye, I'm pretty sure they're still just acting on common sense.

Posted by: Lerners are smart | July 17, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The mind reels at the specificity of these regulations.

-----

"MLB allows teams to spread a larger bonus over multiple years in the cases of multi-sport athletes."

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 17, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with PTBNL. I think a lot of the Lerner's are cheeeeeeeap people are really just demanding that they spend more "to show they are trying" without looking at whether that spending would help us or hurt us long-term.

If we upped payroll to $80-90 now, that either means a bunch more one-year Lo Duca/Gagne-types or long-term deals on Soriano-types who will play well for bad teams for a few years but decline and potentially become Delgado/Sexson type albatrosses by the time our core of youth is getting ripe. The Lo Ducas and Gagnes I can live without and the Sexsons I think actually move us further away from The First Great Nationals Team.

The Lerners have spent on the things that fit within the strategy of developing a good core of young talent that will get good together a la the Rays and D'Backs now. The scouting budget, the investment in the DR academy, Smiley's bonus, McGeary's money, etc.--these things don't show up on the major league payroll.

If they don't sign Crow and blame the "slot," then I'll say they're cheap. But otherwise I'm not going to complain that they didn't sign Aaron Rowand, Alfonso Soriano or Eric Gagne or any of the other old, declining has beens who litter the FA market every year.

Posted by: firejimbowden.blogspot.com | July 17, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

HOORAY!
I think you must celebrate your victories where you find them. I choose to celebrate today.
Welcome to the Nats Mr. Hood.
Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | July 17, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

CiL, that's some good legwork on your part, and I agree that it speaks for itself. At least to a degree. I would add the following caveats:

1. Regarding draft signings, I think there is an inherent difference between the NBA & NFL and football & hockey. In the former two, fans will most likely see that player in uniform that season. In the latter two, the signing usually means the player is headed to the minors. I don't say this to diminish the importance or impact of the signing, and I'll add that the Hood contract is a positive sign of forward progress.

2. There is an obvious difference in quality between the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Washington Post. The Post is a national - if not international - newspaper. The Tribune is a local rag. Case in point, the front page, above-fold headline story in the Trib today was about how fans were expected to camp out to see the new Batman movie tonight. Seriously. There's a lot more room for Twins coverage in a paper of this caliber. Again, I don't say this to diminish the importance of expanding Nationals coverage in the Post, nor am I asserting that the Post doesn't have the room. I'm just saying.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 17, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Hood will help steal from the rich (Lerners) and give to the poor (Nats fans).

Posted by: Little John | July 17, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Holy horseradish Batman, was that really a post from SoCH that was rational, positive and did not involve any references to Bowden (well, other than the moniker)?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | July 17, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The Lerners have spent on the things that fit within the strategy of developing a good core of young talent that will get good together a la the Rays and D'Backs now. The scouting budget, the investment in the DR academy, Smiley's bonus, McGeary's money, etc.--these things don't show up on the major league payroll.

If they don't sign Crow and blame the "slot," then I'll say they're cheap. But otherwise I'm not going to complain that they didn't sign Aaron Rowand, Alfonso Soriano or Eric Gagne or any of the other old, declining has beens who litter the FA market every year.

Posted by: firejimbowden.blogspot.com | July 17, 2008 4:12 PM

I nominate this excerpt as the Post o' the Day.

Posted by: Gal Revels in Pee | July 17, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

i'll add to the chorus of agreeing w/SoCH.

Posted by: 231 | July 17, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, JiM, those are some fair caveats. To clarify, I wasn't commenting specifically on absence of any draft signing coverage in the paper--it's more the absence of any coverage at all, as opposed to papers in other cities.

Also, I take your point about the quality of the Star-Tribune vs. The Post. But I intentionally did not look at more "national" papers like Chicago, LA, NY (here I think it is possible that Kepner and Curry don't have anything on the Yanks today since they have been covering the AS Game full-time) since one could arguably respond that those papers are in baseball markets that DC does not compare to (to be clear, I don't believe that is a valid argument but that issue has already been discussed at length). I expect though that if you looked at those papers (with the exception of the NYT today) you would find similar coverage to the papers I did look at, as well as in the Boston Globe or Philly Inquirer.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 17, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Holy horseradish Batman, was that really a post from SoCH that was rational, positive and did not involve any references to Bowden (well, other than the moniker)?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | July 17, 2008 4:22 PM

------------------

I do believe it was. Well done and thanks, Steve.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Going on what John in Mpls said about local paper coverage vs national paper coverage: today's Sports section in the Post was small, all of 6 pages. That's stripped way down. Of course, I did notice there was a feature on the Os on the front page. We can all debate whether that should've gone to an article on the Nats or let the birds have a day to themselves. But, still, 6 pages is really small. In the New York Times Sunday Sports from last weekend, prior to the All-Star Game, there were 3 full pages devoted to baseball + 3/4 of that section's front page. That may sound like a lot, but that's been cut way back from even just a year ago. The newspapers are going through tough economic times, too. At least Chico gave us the news on the Hood signing.

Posted by: samantha7 | July 17, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

We, like many Nats fans, have a hard time fitting into the seats at Nats Park.

Posted by: Guinness' Fat Motorcycle Twins | July 17, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Wait! That's $220,000 a year for the next 5 years. That's a lot of loot! How can it be if the Lerners are cheap?

Posted by: 6th and D | July 17, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Cil: What you forget, sometimes, is to define coverage. Sure NY has great Baseball coverage. Once more, I'll quote Sunday's NYPost headline: AROD
LOVE
NEST!

BTW, look for the coverage in the Chicago Tribune & Balto Sun to drop precipitously over the next few months (OK, maybe next Spring) as the buyouts take hold.

John in Min.: Your mind reals, but when you look at the regs, the are basically very simple: Whatever Bud the Dumb decides, when he wakes up in the morning.

Posted by: Catcher50 | July 17, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

That's a good point about markets, CiL, and I hadn't really thought about that. Perhaps Washington finds itself in a unique situation in that regard, coverage-wise. Like you, though, I'm not willing to concede the point that DC is not a major baseball market.

It is odd to see no Nats coverage today. I know that yesterday and today constitute two of the most boring days in the season, but there are certainly opportunities to take the kind of longview approach for which many of us have been clamoring.

The only justification, I think, is that they're trying to avoid burning Chico out. And I get that. Barry worked himself out of this beat. The Post can't keep hiring a new Nats beat writer every three years, can it? I think they're being very deliberating in easing him into - and through - the season. And I can't say I argue.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 17, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

What does he consider to be a two-sport athlete, anyway? Does the prospect have to have the ability to sign a contract or earn a scholarship in another sport? What if he just likes to play ultimate frisbee in the quad?

And exactly what qualifies as a sport? What if he's really good at poker, and is thinking about making a go of it in the World Series of Poker? I mean, it's on ESPN, right?

-----

John in Min.: Your mind reals, but when you look at the regs, the are basically very simple: Whatever Bud the Dumb decides, when he wakes up in the morning.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 17, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Y'all are sweet.

Of course, since I don't think Stan's the problem, and I'm not ready to hang the Lerners yet, and I'm a card-carrying Manny-lover, that leaves...

(I couldn't resist.)

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | July 17, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

In the old days he could have done better playing football at Alabama. Darn Auburn alums have screwed everythin up.

Posted by: UA Alum | July 17, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Catcher50, I've never used the NY tabloid papers as a basis for comparison, as that would not be fair to The Post given they are completely different types of newspapers. (If you did read the NY Post and the NY Daily News though, you would know that their coverage far surpasses The Post's Nats coverage--including having columnists who pretty much every day write about and opine on the local baseball teams.) The fact that those papers also cover the personal side of athletes in their "news" sections is really irrelevant to this debate.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 17, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

If his baseball career doesn't work out, he can always play football.

Pretty damning evidence, I think, CiL.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 3:34 PM
---------------------------------------------

Not bloody likely. By the time he has any idea if his baseball career will work out, he'll be 21, at least. He's not going to be able to join the NFL at that point, having taken a few years off from the game...and he'd be getting a little old to start a college football program.

If you look at the players who've tried one route, and then went to try the other, they almost invariably crap out. Michael Jordan, Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson standout as huge exceptions because they were phenomenal athletes, and because they succeeded in their first sport -- and none of them were the baseball players they might have been.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 17, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

If you can't go back to football, then why do I have a Hesiman Trophy on my mantle?

Posted by: NR Chris Weinke | July 17, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Good points, Fisch Fry, but I hope you know I was making a joke. A snooty, elitist, condescending joke.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Michael Jordan..............standout as huge exceptions because they were phenomenal athletes, and because they succeeded in their first sport -- and none of them were the baseball players they might have been.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 17, 2008 5:09 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You're kidding right? Jordan STUNK at baseball. Plus we all know the only reason he "switched" over to that was because he was really banned by the NBA for gambling.

Posted by: Reality | July 17, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Really?? This, I hadn't heard.
Everyone but me knows this?

***********
Plus we all know the only reason he "switched" over to that was because he was really banned by the NBA for gambling.

Posted by: Reality | July 17, 2008 5:25 PM

Posted by: CE | July 17, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Great that he signed and is on his way to the minor leagues.

Is this slot system seems strange to anyone? Is it really just a guideline?

I like the NBA system, although similar, for draft picks. The salary is what it is (in a certain range) for that pick and is not negotiable.

They actually had the player's union on board because the veterans were sick of unproven rookies coming out of college and making more money than them.

Posted by: Expos Fan | July 17, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Really?? This, I hadn't heard.
Everyone but me knows this?

***********
Plus we all know the only reason he "switched" over to that was because he was really banned by the NBA for gambling.

Posted by: Reality | July 17, 2008 5:25 PM

Posted by: CE | July 17, 2008 5:31 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

That's kinda what is generally accepted by everyone.

Another "rumor" going around for some time, it may not be as strong as the previous one, is that MJ had some run-ins with the Mob (gambling wise) and that's why his father was rubbed out.

Posted by: Reality | July 17, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Really?? This, I hadn't heard.
Everyone but me knows this?

Posted by: CE | July 17, 2008 5:31 PM

***************

I found out recently, actually, but the person who told me seemed to think it was common knowledge.

Posted by: abc | July 17, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

i think the NFL may soon follow the NBA in that regard, expos fan. the fact that tom brady makes less money than matt ryan (who got a $72m contract as the 3rd pick in the draft) is ridiculous.

Posted by: 231 | July 17, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

A guide to 231's post:

Ridiculous = Hilarious

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 17, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, OK. I was afraid it was just some malicious unfounded Internet rumor.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
That's kinda what is generally accepted by everyone.

Another "rumor" going around for some time, it maOy not be as strong as the previous one, is that MJ had some run-ins with the Mob (gambling wise) and that's why his father was rubbed out.

Posted by: Reality | July 17, 2008 5:38 PM

Posted by: barin' von Munchhausen | July 17, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious.

********
it may not be as strong as the previous one ...
Posted by: Reality | July 17, 2008 5:38 PM

Posted by: ce | July 17, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

barber or cabbie?

**********
I found out recently, actually, but the person who told me seemed to think it was common knowledge.

Posted by: abc | July 17, 2008 5:42 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

pizza delivery guy, actually

Posted by: abc | July 17, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

the whole MJ was banned secretly thing has been out there for years, but it's gotta be one of the more ridiculous rumors.

Which seems more plausible to you: David Stern banishes by far his most bankable commodity for unproven allegations and no one in any of the national or local media is able to report it.

or

MJ is a gigantic egomaniac who really truly thought he could learn baseball because he'd never failed at anything athletic ever.

or

MJ is just a really rich dude who likes baseball, had nothing to lose really, and just did something kinda flaky, which superrich dudes do sometimes.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | July 17, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Which seems more plausible to you: David Stern banishes by far his most bankable commodity for unproven allegations and no one in any of the national or local media is able to report it.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | July 17, 2008 6:10 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Or it was all hush hush as if it got out there that MJ (one of the best ever) was constantly gambling and maybe even gambling on games (ala Pete Rose) just imagine what a mess that would cause.

Posted by: Flip Side | July 17, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

so hush-hush that it could be a rumor, but no major news organization would dare investigating and coming up with proof...

*shrug*

there's a conspiracy born every second...

Posted by: 231 | July 17, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

CiL, JiM: I too was astonished to see nary a word in the Post today about the Nats. In the middle of the season. . . Can you imagine a day without a 'skins article during their bye week? Of course, nary a word about the 'skins today either. That is a real shocker! And Wilbon actually watched a baseball game! Too much to expect him to go to one.

The Post is no longer the paper it was. I can't figure out what it is anymore, with 6 page sports sections, front page articles (in a dozen parts no less) about something that happened many years ago that nobody cares about anyway. They are certainly not an international paper anymore, not a local rag either. I think someday very soon, most coverage about the Nats and everything else will take the form of NJ or the wonderful Nationals Farm Authority.

Hard to believe the Nats won't be able to sign Crow. Harder still to believe they will sign him before August 14 and more likely will do so sometime on the 15th.

SoCH: I was quite pleased to see that you actually like Manny and have no problems with Stan or the Lerners. That hasn't come through clearly in the past. Makes it easier to read some of your postings knowing this.

Posted by: Ira | July 17, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

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