Nice to see the Cincinnati Reds are continuing their proud tradition of charming, sociable ownership. Marge Schott's canine-themed insanity and Nazi fetish were one thing, though; Carl Lindner's funding of terrorist paramilitaries in violation of US law is entirely another. Yes, I understand that paying off the local strongman can be perceived as simply the price of doing business, but all things considered, it still doesn't exactly look good.
As loathsome as it is to see carpetbagging Clay Bennett and his deeply unpleasant cohorts write a check to avoid their legal obligations - and let's face it, that's what just happened - I can't help but think that the city probably got the better end of the deal. $45M straight up versus two lame-duck years of a franchise Bennett would have no interest in promoting or maintaining in Seattle; I'll take the check, please. Now the next step is making sure the city doesn't spend it on "stadium improvements" for the "right" to have someone pay the NBA $300M to plunk down a vat-grown Sonics replacement. At which point, of course, they will immediately start lobbying for a new arena.
Hmm. Baron Davis opts out on Monday, agrees to a complicated new deal on Tuesday. Clearly there was no tampering involved. Memo to David Stern: if you want to move your league's image away from the sort of hanky-panky represented by Tim Donaghy, this is not the way to go about it.
So Bill Simmons compared the feeling of having the C's and Red Sox be champions in the same year to a Lionel Richie song? Seriously? Can we stop even pretending this guy is anything other than what he is: a dork? And I say this as a man who actually owns a Lionel Richie album, on vinyl.