News you need to get through the day …
Some random thoughts for a summer Saturday morning …
Everyone knows about batting averages. But what’s the average average? As in, what is the Major League Baseball-wide average? Glad you asked. So far this season it’s .255. Which is a weirdly consistent number. In four of the past seven seasons (including this one) that’s been the league average, bang on.
In case you’re wondering, the highest it’s ever been is .309 in 1894. In the modern era, the high point was .271 in 1999. The lowest? In 1968 it dipped to a lousy .237.
Hamilton is Cashtown
Sixteen men who played their junior or minor-league hockey in Hamilton have signed NHL contracts since Jan. 1 for a staggering total of $142,725,000.
No, that’s not a typo. It really does say 142 million dollars plus. The five biggest of those packages? Carey Price — $84 million (Bulldogs) Scott Darling — $16.6 million (Bulldogs) Trevor Daley — $9.5 million (Bulldogs) Zach Hyman — $9 million (Red Wings) Mike Condon — $7.2 million (Bulldogs)
The impoverished millionaire
How crazy has the money become in pro sports? One of the big losers this off-season is former Raptor Patrick Patterson who had to settle for $16.4 million over three years from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Imagine being trash-talked because you’re only making $5.4 million.
McDavid or Gortat? Hmm …
One more on money. The greatest hockey player in the world — arguably — is Connor McDavid. He signed an eight-year contract this week that will pay him $100 million. That works out to $12.5 million a season.
Meanwhile, Toronto Raptor point guard Kyle Lowry, who is nowhere near the greatest basketball player on the planet, will get $33 million a season.
In fact, 76 NBA players (and counting) will make more than McDavid including such luminaries as Ian Mahinmi, Gorgui Dieng, Cody Zeller, Marcin Gortat and Kenneth Faried.
Speaking of Lowry, he announced his new contract in The Players’ Tribune, an online site favoured by athletes these days. So why exactly did he say he was staying in Toronto?
“I’m coming back to Toronto because my heart is telling me that it’s home — and because staying home, for me and my family, feels like the right thing to do. My heart is telling me that this is the best city in the world, with the best basketball fans in the world. It’s telling me that the Raptors can be a championship-level team sooner than later. And I’ll be honest (and don’t hate) — it’s telling me that I’ve still never had poutine.”
Just to be clear then, he’s not staying because the market for his services dried up? And he’s not staying because the Raptors offered him $100 million?
Didn’t lose much
New CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie played nine years in the league as an offensive lineman. So how did he do? In that time he only had one losing season (his rookie year) and ended with a lifetime regular-season record of 99-61.
There were many excellent details in Teri Pecoskie’s behind-the-scenes glimpse at the NHL Draft (you can still find it at thespec.com along with a terrific podcast that’s worth a listen) but one hilariously stood out. That being the fact that the limo bus Mackenzie Entwistle’s family used to get back and forth from the hotel to the arena was equipped with a stripper pole. Makes you wonder if … “No,” Pecoskie insists. “Nobody actually swung from the pole.”
Well, the team is flush with cash
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats get their first look at the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ new palace on Saturday night. The place is getting rave reviews for its luxuries and all the other improvements over the old place.
However, the design has been drawing some interesting comparisons. It has been described in various places as looking like a broken toilet seat (some are calling the place The Toilet Bowl) a bed pan and even — this one takes some creativity — an open-top ovum.
Looking for something fun to do today with the whole family? Gather the kids around and play a game of Let’s-Find-The-Places-Ahead-Of-Canada-On-The-World-Soccer-Rankings-On-A-Map. We jumped up to No. 100 this week so a few of the choices from past years have been eliminated. But go ahead and pull out the globe anyway, and see if you can find Tunisia (34), Burkina Faso (44), Montenegro (54), Mali (59), Guinea (66), Mauritania (81), Guinea-Bissau (88), Faroe Islands (90), Gabon (91) and Benin (93).
The Entwistle crowd on the party bus they rented to shuttle them to the NHL draft in Chicago.
Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore, left, and former world boxing champion Lennox Lewis.