Week of January 19, 2015

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Happy Birthday to the sometimes-editor of 1-2-3 Sports – my lovely, kind, and very competitive wife. Happy Birthday, Suze! -TOB


I’m In Love with the Polo

Possibly the greatest athlete in his sport’s long history is still dominating, at the age of 39, and I am almost certain that you have never heard of him. Adolfo Cambiasso plays polo. Not water polo. You know, the sport that is sort of like hockey, but on horses. Maybe you’ve seen Prince William play it. Well, you and I may not know Adolfo Cambiasso, but I think that’s ok with him. The guy is a multi-millionaire, and doesn’t even know it. He’s married to an Argentinean model. His kids are adorable. He does things in a polo match that people cannot believe, and he keeps winning, even at his age. Life is good for Adolfo Cambiasso. Friend of 1-2-3 Fernando Estrada submitted this story. We appreciate it, and welcome your suggestions, too. -TOB

Source: Argentina’s Polo Star Adolfo Cambiasso – the Greatest Sportsman You’ve Never Heard of?”, Harriet Alexander, The Daily Telegraph (12/08/14)


Storytime: NHL Dentists

A heartwarming, flowery piece about the athletes with the most messed up teeth, and the dentists who “fix” them. These dentists have seen some gnarly, gnarly stuff, and they share their best stories here. NHL players are very, very tough, and a bunch of oddballs to boot, which is why they are the coolest. Bonus: this article changed my mind about Jaromir Jagr. I always thought of him as a bit of a cake-eater. – PAL

Source: “Blood, Sweat, and Teeth: Wild Nights with an NHL Dentist”, Matt Crossman, Bleacher Report (1/20/15)

TOB: This article was equal parts cool and gross. As an aside, I only recently learned that “cake-eater” was not an inappropriate way to call someone a homosexual, but a very appropriate way to call someone wealthy/spoiled. Good to know!


Max Scherzer Helps Janet Yellen

Here’s an excellent story of how long-term sports contracts shed light on projected inflation rates. The Nationals signed Sherzer to a 14-year/$210 million contract. Because of the length of the contract, this essentially means Scherzer’s agent is in part betting on a low inflation rate increase, while The Nationals are betting on a higher inflation rate increase (it’s a little more complicated than that, but the article explains it really well). There’s an element of self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to inflation rate: “[W]hatever level of inflation that key actors in the economy expect to occur is then more likely to actually occur.” Max Scherzer will be very rich either way, but this accessible article looks at contracts from a fresh perspective. – PAL

Source: “The $210 Million Baseball Contract That Explains How Inflation Works”, Neil Irwin, The New York Times (1/21/15)

TOB: Since this article, and this equally excellent one by FanGraphs, was published, more details on the deal have emerged:

Scherzer gets a record $50 million signing bonus, of which $5 million is due this year and $15 million each in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The money is due in 12 equal semimonthly installments in those years from April through September.

He receives salaries of $10 million this year, $15 million in each of the next three seasons and $35 million in each of the final three years. That $105 million total due over the final three years will be deferred without interest and paid in $15 million installments each July 1 from 2022 through 2028.

I’d like to see the analysis done by NYT and FanGraphs to be re-run given this information. Nonetheless, pretty interesting. Another tidbit from that FanGraphs article is that, although the reported number of Scherzer’s total deal is $55M more than what the Cubs gave Jon Lester, in actual value the difference is only $10M. Yes, the Giants could have been in on Scherzer for just $10M more than they were offering Lester. Ugh.


Help Me, Help You

You may not know the name Leigh Steinberg, but you do know him. Steinberg was the first sports “superagent” and the inspiration for Jerry Maguire. Leigh was enormously successful and was more famous than many of his clients. But then in the early 2000’s, ego and alcoholism combined to lay waste to Steinberg’s empire, and his fortune. Now attempting to get back into the sports agent business, this is a fascinating read – it is not often that a profile is so openly skeptical of its subject, as the writer repeatedly questions whether Steinberg is engaging in the very same behaviors that once ruined him. -TOB

Source: Show Leigh Steinberg the Money (Again)”, James Vlahos, The New York Times (01/15/15)

PAL: Hold the goddamn phone. If Tom Cruise’s character was based off of Leigh Steinberg, then there should be a sequel in the works for Jerry Maguire. Let’s break this down. Cameron Crowe: needs a hit (We Bought a Zoo was a tremendous flop). Tom Cruise: wouldn’t hurt for him to reintroduce himself as a guy that sings to Tom Petty in the car. Bring glasses kid back, have him date Emma Stone – the intern with a shark mentality. Renee Zellweger can debut her new face, too, and Cuba is playing an effing horse farmer on Empire. Since when does Terrence Howard get the lead role over Cuba in a drama about a Hip Hop empire? This works on every level.


Swept Up In A Story: Robert Allenby 

Dear PGA Golfer Robert Allenby,

We’ve all been there, man. I mean, who among us hasn’t missed the cut at a PGA Tour event, drank away our sorrows at a wine bar in Honolulu, and ended up bloodied in a park 6 miles away from said wine bar (or 10 yards away from said wine bar)? We get it, buddy. We know the horror of patting down our pockets hoping our phone and wallet aren’t actually missing and instead in the cargo pocket of our shorts. And – yes – we’ve taken pictures of the scrapes and bruises to show the crew. The conclusion is the same for all of us: we must have been beaten, kidnapped, and in danger of being swept up by a street sweeper…Wait – what the hell? This story obviously isn’t meaningful on its own, but add it to the endlessly entertaining list of athletes hitting the panic button, making up a story to cover up a truth that’s either more embarrassing or incriminating, then backpedaling as facts or other accounts come to the fore. The latest witness claims Allenby was drunk at a strip club, which seems more logical, but not nearly enough to make up a kidnapping story in my opinion. There’s got to be more to this, and I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival. – PAL

Source: “Robert Allenby’s Kidnapping Story Challenged By Another Witness”, Kevin Draper, Deadspin (1/21/15)

TOB: What’s more bizarre? This story, or former Dolphins fullback Rob Konrad story about swimming 21 miles in the Atlantic Ocean to the safety of the shore after falling off his fishing boat? Crazy.


Update: Climbing the Dawn Wall

A couple weeks ago we brought you the story of the attempt by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson to free-climb the Dawn Wall on El Capitan, Yosemite. We are happy to report that they both made it safely. This quick video is incredible to watch (thanks for sharing, Jamie Morganstern).


Video of the Week

Give yourself a pat on the back if you could understand every word on the first viewing.


Bonus Gif of the Week:

This kid rules.

Like what you’ve read? Let us know by following this blog (on the right side, up near the top), or:

Email: 123sportslist@gmail.com

Twitter: @123sportsdigest


“I didn’t want to do this, but I’m afraid I’m gonna have to pull rank on you. I’m with the Mattress Police. There are no tags on these mattresses.”

– Fletch

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