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Three Point Stance

by Dan Borrello
October 5, 2019

Isn’t it fascinating that only three of baseball’s ten highest-paid players are still playing in October?

Two of them are pitchers and one will have played fewer games this past season than your average starting NFL edge rusher. 

If you guessed Clayton Kershaw, the ageless Justin Verlander, and the useless Giancarlo Stanton, you’d be correct. 

That excludes Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado, as well as the albatross deals of Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes.

Whether it’s one of nine hitters in a lineup, or a guy throwing every fifth day, baseball has shown that nine-figure salaries don’t buy postseason appearances. 

The Chicago Cubs were supposed to become the NL’s curse-smashing Red Sox, using their once wunderkind GM to not only win the World Series for the first time in the television era (let alone, HD), but create a dynasty. 

Instead, manager Joe Maddon was shown the door, while the guy who put together the 2016 roster, Theo Epstein, saddled his skipper with enormous contracts of aged veterans before making him the scapegoat for missing the postseason. 

While Theo’s teams have won it all more often than his former rival, Brian Cashman, it seems the Yankee GM, who placed 30 different players on the injured list this season, seems to have found the magic formula for sustained success, and it doesn’t involve the Steinbrenner family checkbook. 

Theo could look back to his old stomping grounds, but last year’s champions look like a one-year fluke, as the Red Sox canned Dave Dombrowski, and are looking to shed payroll. 

Let that sink in: the Boston Red Sox wanna win on the cheap. 

Meanwhile, tanking has killed ratings and attendance, as has the shift, home run-or-strike out approaches, the emasculation of managers, local and national blackouts--even with MLB.TV purchases--and the rise of NFL ratings again, despite calls for Colin Kaepernick, and quarterbacks like Cam, Brees and Big Ben going bye-bye.

At least there’s the Yankees and Dodgers to save ratings, right?

* If Josh Allen is going to play like the Brett Favre who threw away two conference title games, he needs to stop making those mistakes so he can one day make it to those conference games. As of this week, Pro Football Focus ranked Allen 37th out of all players who attempted a pass this season. 

Yes, there are only 32 teams. 

Say what you will about PFF’s grades (Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott are ranked higher than Patrick Mahomes, raising ire and eyebrows), but Allen’s mistakes could have just as easily led the Bills to a 1-3 start. They’re a one-possession team with a helluva defense. But, we’ve heard that before. 

That being said, if it comes the team having to choose Allen’s development and the playoffs, sorry fans, but your quarterback is more important.

Even if it means they learn he’s another in a long line of false hopefuls. There are too many quarterbacks coming out in 2020 to wait to find out. 

* Another new rule to add from last week: if your fanbase fashions itself after a celebrated, but dark Italian-American subculture, gets off on YouTube videos of table jumping, lighting themselves aflame, blowing off fireworks in their own faces, falling off the upper deck, and drunken games of Dizzy Bat, they have no right to chirp and complain about two Bills fans getting married at halftime.

Welcome to 2020 folks. It’ll only get worse. 

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