The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill
Tom Brady and the fourth-down fiasco: from GOAT to goat?
The Rays’ road to the World Series runs through the Houston Astros. We all know Houston’s “cheater” back story. But this time they were helped—not by prohibited video-taping—but by the coronavirus. MLB’s truncated season was reduced from 162 to 60 games. Houston lost 31 of them. How does a team play its way into a possible World Series with a regular-season losing record? Only with the ironic help of a pandemic.
For the record, the New York Yankees have a pandemic-impacted 2020 payroll of $109million, the highest in the major leagues. That’s about four times more than the Rays’ payroll of $28 million, which is 28th out of 30 teams. It’s what helped make the Rays’ elimination of the Yankees so sweet—in addition to that karmic home run hit by Mike Brousseau against Aroldis Chapman, the one who had thrown a 101 mph fastball at his head last month.
Nice schadenfreudian touch after the Rays clinching game five against the Yankees in San Diego. Some Rays players lingered long on the field still celebrating with cigar smoking and dancing when the Petco Park sound system cranked out “New York, New York.” Frank Sinatra never sounded better.
“Success is REVENGE.”—A shout-out tweet from San Diego outfielder Tommy Pham, who was with the Rays last year.
Admirable that the NBA and its player association are behind a societal get-out-and-vote campaign. High-profile advocacy can help influence others. Ironic, however, that an estimated 20 percent of NBA players voted in 2016.
“I’ve never voted before in my life.”—Retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal’s admission after recently sending in an absentee ballot.