The good, bad and ugly from 40 years of trying to replace Hall of Fame QBs
With the pressure off and their form staying strong, the Poland international centre-back says the Ligue 1 leaders can spring an upset
Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at the far-from-finished Marlins’ sale, Eric Thames responding to controversy, and Chris Coghlan flying.
Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though. We’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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Buying a Major League Baseball team is a complicated process. First, the current owner of a team has to agree to sell, and they don’t necessarily have to pick the highest bidder, either. Take Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush and their bid for the Marlins, which was reportedly approved by current owner Jeffrey Loria on Tuesday. While Loria is willing to sell to these two very famous people, Jeter and Jeb! would just be minority owners in the club: the reality is that they are short “hundreds of millions” in financing to reach the agreed-upon $1.3 billion sale price, according to the Wall Street Journal.
There are a few potential futures here. One sees Jeter and Bush failing to secure the necessary financing in their bid to become the public face and control person, respectively, for the Marlins, and their bid is rejected by MLB. Another future sees MLB slobbering all over itself to get Famous People into their ownership group and attention paid to the league and the Marlins, and so they sell the team to Jeter and Bush along with a whole lot of debt that they then need to pay off. MLB will allow Team Please Clap for RE2PECT up to $350 million in debt, which means they need to come up with about $1 billion between themselves and investors.
While that might sound ridiculous, when the Padres needed to sell due to a divorce last decade, MLB agent Jeff Moorad stepped in with a whole lot of money he didn’t have, and MLB approved that sale. The move crippled the Padres’ finances, as Moorad had money to pay off his debt for buying the team, but not to invest in the roster itself. It got to the point where fans were overjoyed when the payroll finally climbed back over $50 million: for some context, the Rays had a $63 million payroll the same season.
Last, and maybe — hopefully — the most likely, is that Jeter and Bush are considered legitimate enough faces for the Marlins that investors line up now that a deal has been pre-approved. That would be good for the Marlins, who can get out from under Loria without being put in another awful situation, and good for Baseball, who could avoid swapping out one kind of problem for another in their cadre of owners. We’ll just have to wait and see how desperate MLB is to move on from Loria, though.
- Chris Coghlan threw himself over the head of Yadier Molina on Tuesday to score a run, and succeeded both because of excellent form on his dive combined with Molina’s instinct to duck and cover when a man launched himself at him.
- Eric Thames hit another homer, and MLB decided he needed his second drug test in a week. Yeah, these are definitely random tests, we totally believe you.
- Thames had a fantastic response to this, saying that if MLB thinks he’s on something, then test him every day because “I have a lot of blood and urine.”
- The NFL Draft forced the Marlins to stay in Delaware for their series with the Phillies, because all the hotels in Philly were already booked. See, they need Ole Captain Jetes.
- Manager Don Mattingly and president of baseball operations Michael Hill are expected to be retained under new ownership of the Marlins.
- With Loria selling the Marlins, now is a good time to remember how MLB and Bud Selig forced all of this into being in the first place 15 years ago.
- Trea Turner hit for the cycle and drove in seven runs for the Nationals on Tuesday.
- Craig Goldstein has an intriguing theory up on how the goal to get the starter out of the game isn’t working quite like it used to.
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Luis Norton de Matos saw his India U17 team beaten yet again as failure to grasp and lock a lead becomes a sticky affair…
Both teams continue to battle for a top-four finish as they chase UEFA Champions League football for next season.
City manager Pep Guardiola watched his last chance of silverware this year evaporate as his side was eliminated in the last four of the FA Cup against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
United continue their pursuit of UEFA Europa League success after winning the EFL Cup in February, but their chances of overtaking Liverpool and City have been boosted by recent results.
Here is how you can watch one of world football’s most exciting derby games:
Date: Thursday, April 27
Time: 8 p.m. BST/ 3 p.m. ET
TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK only), NBC (U.S. only)
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has played down his long-term rivalry with Guardiola, saying his team are focussed on a positive result at the Etihad.
The Red Devils were defeated 2-1 at Old Trafford when the sides last met in the league in September, with the spotlight firmly focused on the former coaches of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Speaking to Sky Sports (h/t Alex Terrell of The Sun), Mourinho said:
I see it that now it is the correct approach and the previous one wasn‘t. This is about the clubs, this is about the teams, this is about the positions at the end of the season. This is not about myself and Guardiola, so now is the correct approach.
Fifth-placed United are only one point behind their neighbours in the league, and avoidance of defeat would be a great result for the Old Trafford giants.
Per the Metro, Mourinho could give a shock start to youngster Matthew Willock, in what would be the 20-year-old’s first-team debut.
Paul Pogba and Antonio Valencia are struggling to be fit for the derby, pushing the Special One to rotate his options. If neither is available, it will leave Mourinho with just 16 outfield players for the match, forcing United to look to their youth ranks.
Gabriel Jesus could be given his first start since returning from injury, as Guardiola attempts to exploit United’s injury-ravaged defence.
Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News reported City could pair the Brazil international with Sergio Aguero in a frightening attack.
Former Sky Blues forward Paul Dickov has advocated the use of the two talents together, per Brennan:
Pep did say that they can both play in the same team – Jesus has played in a withdrawn role, as a No. 10 for Brazil, and has played wide previously.
So it wouldn’t surprise me if they found a way because they are two top-class players, and you want to keep your best players.
It would scare a few people seeing Aguero and Jesus on the teamsheet.
This is a match neither side can afford to lose, but with United’s extensive injury list and forthcoming commitments in the UEFA Europa League, it is difficult to imagine them fielding a winning team at the Etihad.
The chips are falling in Guardiola‘s favour for this game, and with City’s silverware ambitions over for this season, a top-four finish is demanded and expected.
United have hovered outside of the UEFA Champions League places for most of the campaign, but a last-gasp dash for the line could see the Red Devils make an unlikely overtaking manoeuvre against both City and Liverpool in the home stretch.
These two teams have given us great, tight basketball.
It doesn’t feel like anything in the Jazz–Clippers series has gone according to plan. In the utopia version of this series, Blake Griffin wouldn’t have suffered a season-ending injury, Rudy Gobert wouldn’t have tweaked his knee just minutes into Game 1, and Gordon Hayward wouldn’t have suffered through food poisoning in Game 4. In a perfect world, the next round wouldn’t be the historically good Warriors, but would offer a more realistic path to a championship. And yet, five games into this anticipated series, and every game has thrilled us at every turn.
This has been our closest — and our best — series in the first round. Even with everyone that has gone wrong, who can dislike that?
Game 5 concluded with the Jazz taking a three-to-two lead in the series in a 96-92 win, and even the low scoring game wouldn’t conclude before Iso Joe Johnson had a dagger shot and Chris Paul hit a ridiculous three to keep things interesting anyway. Johnson has been a revelation in this series, the exact type of timely veteran scorer (and seven-time All-Star, have you heard!?) that the Jazz needed on a roster steeped with defense but sometimes lacking battle-hardened contributors on the other end.
With the series shifting back to Utah and Griffin out for good, this may conclude in just a couple days now. Through those five games, each team has scored 495 points. The Jazz, fortunately for them, have rationed those points out in a manner that puts them up 3-2, instead of 2-3. It does feel like anyone could have won this series, and if we could run this series back a few dozen more times, it might end in a similar sort of tie. These teams are incredibly evenly matched, and the actual product they’ve delivered onto the court has consistently been great, too.
Still, it also feels a tiny bit premature to count out Los Angeles — and more specifically, Chris Paul, whose absurd play is the only reason the Clippers have had a chance — without giving him Game 6 and potentially Game 7 to spur some improbable but not impossible comeback. We’ve seen him beat San Antonio in seven games on one leg. I’m sure he can do this same against a team without nearly the experience and pedigree, plus two fully functioning appendages. You’d be amazed how much that helps.
Both these teams are headed in somewhat different directions — the Jazz bringing their team together and hoping to rise up into the top of the Western Conference, while the Clippers are several years down that timeline and wondering if it’s even worth it to keep them together. But regardless who wins, we can both respect that they came together for some hellacious good basketball. That, always, is a good thing.
The playoffs are getting interesting