Wednesday Dregs

Baseball info is up on the Baseball Page for tonight’s 8 games, along with potential lineup combinations.  I like Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn tonight as the pitchers to go with and believe that Baltimore could have a big night against Ivan Nova.

e are about 4 weeks away from debuting our new website, just in time for Football Season.  Believe me now when i tell you that it is AWESOME.  It is simple, clean and concise, that’s chock full of intelligent information to help you in your Fantasy Empire.  It is an Engine of Fantasy Justice, so get ready to buy the ticket and take the ride to some extra lettuce, cash that is.

As for a post today, you know what my thoughts have been about Hizzoner (Roger Goodell) and Chris Korman of USA Today Sports wrote an excellent article, regarding his idiocy – the man needs to go – ENJOY!

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he is taking his time deciding what to do about Tom Brady because he wants to make sure the process is “fair and open.”

The words “fair” and “open” are uncomplicated ones, and yet here we sit waiting for a leader who has never shown much interest in the actual meaning of either.

Goodell will surely cut Brady’s four-game suspension. It was a wild over-reaction in the first place to a minor offense the league had rarely been checking for, anyway. Brady and Peyton Manning asked for the ability to manipulate footballs prior to games back in 2006 and the NFL acquiesced without bothering to put in a strict protocol for making sure those balls stayed legal. Refs generally gave them a cursory look, then handed them back.

If the league actually cares about ensuring fairness, it should provide and watch over all of the game balls, the way Major League Baseball does. If it wants its star QBs to be able to rub lucky mud or whatever over each game ball, then fine. Understand that they will do anything and everything they can to gain an advantage.

In some ways, allowing the offseason discussion to be dominated by something so menial has worked out for Goodell. Remember how, this time last year, he’d not done anything at all about Ray Rice, who slugged a woman in an elevator?

Goodell eventually came up with a two-game suspension for Rice, until he saw (for the first time?) video of the Ravens’ running back knocking his soon-to-be wife unconscious when it leaked two weeks into the season.

So a nice faux controversy generated by a team whose success and past indiscretions make it an easy target is, in comparison, light and breezy stuff.

What makes it all so bothersome, though, is that this all feels too orchestrated. Bob Kraft, the Patriots’ owner and an avowed Goodell supporter, has at times appeared to be incensed by the league’s actions. Other times he has hung with Goodell on a quiet sofa, then hugged him. The Patriots released a 20,000-word rebuttal of the NFL report indicting them, but aren’t bothering to fight the penalties handed down.

You can just smell the scotch and cologne and money and back-room dealing. Much like Goodell’s reaction to the league’s domestic violence problem, the way “Deflategate” has unfolded feels more like a public relations campaign than it does the urgent business of the country’s most popular league being dealt with fairly and openly.

Does the NFL believe the Patriots committed an egregious act of cheating? Does it believe one of the best QBs of all time is a deliberate cheater deserving a suspension equal to taking steroids? It will be hard to know once Goodell has finished obscuring this.

Kraft can pay his lawyers to create a sprawling document proving the team’s innocence but gives in to league punishment anyway because, in the end, this is all beside the point.

Goodell’s job is safe, and Kraft is ultimately happy: The NFL disbursed $7.2 billion to its teams this year, an increase of 20 percent and more than double what it was five years ago. That’s $226 million per team, more than enough to cover player salaries. Goodell also has no qualms using the vacancy in Los Angeles to extort money from current NFL cities, exploiting politicians all too eager to guide tax dollars to billionaires instead of schools.

He does the important part of his job well.

So now Goodell must make good with the player’s association and one of the game’s biggest stars, which is all happening, of course, through negotiations. And when the final announcement comes, the whole thing will be buttoned up, everyone will have learned something from the experience, the league will emerge both stronger and more humble, Patriots fans will feel some sense of minor victory and the focus will return to football. It won’t feel right or clean, but we’ll move on.

That’s a testament to the power of the game and the players. Goodell couldn’t have bungled these last few months any worse than he has. He is a walking gaffe who happens be peddling a product so appealing that it doesn’t much matter either to his bosses, the owners, or the people who make the league work, the fans.

As long as Goodell continues to find shrewd ways to get money from the latter, the former clearly won’t care that he’s taken a once-respected league office and, through misaligned priorities and mishandled decisions, turned it into a melodramatic sideshow.