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Photo by Kathleen Greeson / Lee Greeson at the local 'stump hole' doing a little movie re-enactment.

From Henry H

After reading 5 @ 10 about Acuna, I started thinking about his next big contract, which will probably be close to $400M range? Are 5-tool baseball players and 12+ year franchise quarterbacks going to be inking $1B contracts in 30 years? 

Do owners not take a hard stance because it's not politically correct based on the players' "value"? What keeps owners of professional sports teams from getting together and saying, "Hey, these guys won't be making $30M doing anything else. Lets cap it at that?"

This may all be tied to contract language and players' unions but the skyrocketing contracts blow my mind.

HH—

Hard to know what the ultimate future of the payments will be, but the differences in leagues and salary structures of the big three are vast.

MLB contracts are guaranteed, and baseball's 'salary cap' is no more a cap than the speed limit is a cap on your car's engine. I think we could very well see Marcel Ozuna get five years and $150 million this offseason (and maybe more), which is staggering considering where he was as a player not three years ago.

And if Mahomes is getting half a billion now, why not close to $1 billion in 30 years. The only way that doesn't happen is if the revenue streams flatline at some point, and that likely will happen with MLB and NBA.

But as long as the TV networks are willing to pay for the one truly slump proof TV product out there that is not directly related to presidential elections and the NFL continues to mine revenue streams like on-site gambling and others, well, the contracts are only going up, because the players currently get 48 percent of the revenue, a number which will only go up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NFL_Collective_Bargaining_Agreement  



From TC

Jay:

In your reply to one of the mailbag questions regarding DeChambeau's length and next month's Masters, you alluded to Augusta's ability to "flex more than DeChambeau."

Intriguing statement. What exactly did you have in mind? I have recently read that they actually have the ability to relocate trees from an adjacent property to certain holes as a means of "bomber proofing " it.

I recall the trend to "Tiger proof " certain venues 20 years ago by adding length, but as Jack Nicklaus pointed out on "Press Row" recently, (in so many words), " you only have so much land or so much money" to "bomber proof" these courses.  He also mentioned that the "USGA needs to stop studying the distance the ball travels and do something about it".

So, with all that said, what changes would Jay make at Augusta? If any?

After all, statistically speaking, isn't it true that most of the time the typical winner of these major venues average less than 300 yds off the tee?

TC—

In terms of flexing, the Masters is the only tournament that has the power and the sway — both in its own financial security and in terms of player interest — to alienate sponsors, demand players do certain things and still have the exact field it wants.

So the Masters is the lone tournament that can put restrictions on equipment and not give two rips about ticking off Titleist or TaylorMade or Ping being peeved.

The PGA can't run the risk of losing those sponsorship dollars over the course of the schedule. The USGA too. The R&A could for a few years, but eventually the European Tour would be crushed without those sponsorship dollars.

The Masters? Heck, they could run on collared shirts sales and members dues for goodness knows how long and still pay $10 million to the field.

And the players would still show up because everyone wants int that club. That's what I meant about flexing.

As for the Tiger-proofing of any course, well you touched on the big picture flaw in it — there is only so much land around these great courses and expansion becomes detrimental and ever-more difficult.

Plus, the true flaw in Tiger-proofing anything is that the longer you make a golf course, the more edge you give to the longer hitters, so in truth, Tiger-proofing was only Tiger enabling, and in a lot of ways gave birth to this boom of baby bombers that are aiming for 4 bills of the tee and are happy to go about their business from the rough or the sand or wherever as long as they have a wedge for their second.

Masters changes? None.

It's perfect, because I am not sure there is another championship like that, in which the venue is as big — if not bigger — a star as the athletes themselves.



From PTS

As a baseball fan - and as a Dodgers fan - aren't totally (bleeped) off about these Braves and their showboating antics? Makes me not want to watch. I hope they lose it in 7.

Respect the game.

PTS—

Uh, no. 100 percent no.

Respect the game? OK. I'll counter with enjoy the game. If the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw and whomever 51 is do not want Marcel Ozuna taking a selfie with Ron Washington after round third after his second homer in a critical game 4 win, then don't let him leave the yard.

Twice. Make better pitches. Period.

I embrace the enthusiasm and energy these Braves bring, and in a lot of ways I believe it has served them as much as their stellar bullpen and surprisingly great starts from their ever-young rotation.

That energy and enthusiasm — especially compared to the stoic and pressure-rattled Dodgers — has allowed the Braves every chance to seize momentum and capitalize on almost every scoring chance.

The Dodgers? Every time they walk to the plate, it feels like there are already two strikes, and every time they need a big out, the pitchers look like they are going to a tax audit knowing they stashed three years of stock profits into a sneaky account called "Nothing to see here IRS man."  

Plus, bigger picture, I have for several years now implored the game and its Brian McCann-approved secret guardians to loose the standards of those God-forsaken unwritten rules.

And when I have written about it, I consistently have mentioned that Marcel Ozuna has never celebrated after grounding weakly to second. Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson don't do the "mix it up" thing at second after a two-base error or a fielder's choice. Ronald Acuña doesn't celebrate with his outfield mates after a loss.

Want them to stop. Stop them yourself.

Here's a big picture question that kind of overlaps in some of the discussions we had around this place.

I know — and like and love a lot of them — a whole bunch of people who are in the "Play the game the right way camp" and in truth used to be there. Now I see the fun of the fun and the innocence of the "mix it up" or whatever team idiosyncrasies and celebrations that are formed over day after day interaction with the same coworkers/teammates.

It's the mark of good teams that peak and great teams that are unstoppable. (Think of the teams that had a thing — or a theme — through the years, and how that linchpin served them exceedingly well, especially in the pressure-filled tough times of the postseason.)

But back to the big picture, is "playing the game the right way" not baseball code and wide-reaching comparison to the hot-button term being overly politically correct?

One side is offended; the other side pleads just trying to have a good time.

Thoughts?



From Mark

Jay you mentioned it this week and wow that Derrick Henry stiff-arm clip will be played for years and years. It got me thinking (like you that can be dangerous) about two questions that I would like your response to

What sports people are the victims of the most negative/embarrassing sports highlights and for young people, what do you think is the Rushmore of sports memes/gifs?

Thanks and love your column and the radio show. Enjoy the beach.

Mark—

If you have not watched or rewatched or re-rewatched Derrick Henry throwing Josh Norman off him like a rag doll, well, here you go. We'll wait. (Side note: Almost typed 'drag' doll there, which is an entirely different mental image; not that there is anything wrong with that.)

Which leads us to Mark's excellent question. And thanks Mark for playing along to the silliness and for the well wishes. As we wrap up a great stay on the panhandle, here's another great photo from the Mrs. 5-at-10 of the Not-so-Little 5-at-10 doing some Daniel-Son drills in the Stump Hole down the beach. Great times.

Wow, such a great question.

As far as the all-time victims in all-time sports highlights, well, we have to start with Craig Ehlo right? Ehlo of course was the Cavs player trying to guard HIs Airness and Ehlo stumbled on MJ's classic game winner.

Another basketball one was Michael Cooper trying to sprint back before jumping and then ducking when he realized that Dr. J was going to dunk on every breathing human on the planet in that moment in the 76ers-Lakers Finals in the 1980s

I'll add Dennis Eckersley hanging the slider to Gibson, 32 years ago yesterday too. He has to hate seeing that considering how truly great Eck was as a closer, especially in that season. Eck was 4-2 with 45 saves and a 2.35 ERA with 70 Ks in 72 innings. In the '88 ALCS, he was the MVP with four saves and six scoreless innings.

Then "I don't believe what I just saw" happened, and poof.

Another one I will add, and I know he hates it as much as Eck has to hate the one above, is Bill Bates getting TEEEEE-rucked by Herschel in 1980.

As for the NFL, it feels like a lot of the big-time collisions of the past have been downplayed through the years. Whether that's because of the more we know about head injuries or not, I'm not sure. But think back to all of the NFL highlights of our youth, and whether it was Christian Okoye running over Steve Atwater or the slew of Earl Campbell highlights or just about any of the others, those highlight reels have been kind of lost.

As for the Rushmore of greatest sports memes, well, again, we have to start with MJ, right? The crying MJ is up there with the Denzel head-shake, the Spiderman pointing at Spiderman and a few others as arguably the most used and recognized memes.

The Alonzo Mourning head-shake is almost here. Nick Young (aka Swaggy P) and his incredulous look is a contender. And for good measure, I'll offer Adam Gase and his googly eyes.

Feels like I may be forgetting a few.

As for this week's Rushmores, let's roll quickly, but before we do, you know the rules. Here's Hargis doing great-level Hargis things on the pressures of coaches in a season of uncertainty.

And here's Paschall, typing till his keys cry, with a look at UK's run first, run next, run always philosophy.



To the Rushmores

Rushmore of female directors: Penny Marshall, Kathryn Bigelow, Patty Jenkins, Amy Heckerling.

Rushmore of fictional detectives (Wow there really are a lot of these, we'll do books and TV, deal? Deal.): Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Kinsey Millhone (star of Sue Grafton's alphabet series that sold 12 billion books) and Poirot; the Scooby Doo gang, the She in 'Murder She Wrote,' Colombo and the Pink Panther (cartoon and non).

Rushmore of musical duos (and Ron was correct, these are recording duos, not people who had a duet or two together): Simon and Garfunkel, Steely Dan, Hall and Oats and The Judds. (Although Brooks and Dunn has a beef, and in terms of popularity, the Florida/Georgia Line goofballs have made more money than all the others. Cue Ron about the absence of the brothers groups he mentioned in 5, 4, 3, 2)  

Rushmore of movie fight scenes (another one that was tougher than I expected, and I took all the boxing movies and competitive sport fighting scenes out): As mentioned The Quiet Man is excellent, the bathroom fight scene in Bourne ultimatum is pretty excellent, Indiana Jones against that huge bald dude who meets the working end of an airplane propellor (spoiler alert), and the news team fight in Anchorman where Brick killed a guy.

Enjoy the weekend friends. NFL picks back around lunch, and we're back in the saddle next week.

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Jay Greeson
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