- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Yankees give CC Sabathia a $161 million contract, then turn around and hand A.J. Burnett an $82.5 million deal.

You know, maybe the carmakers should have gone to Hank Steinbrenner for a bailout.

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Sabathia’s contract, by the way, is for seven years or seven waist sizes, whichever comes first.

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Just to show you how crazy it’s gotten, Mike Mussina, the Yankees’ big free agent signing in 2000, earned $66 million in his first five years in New York. Burnett will make $16.5 million more - a 25 percent jump - over the same length of time, according to reports.

And when Mussina came to New York, let’s not forget, he had a 136-66 career record, had been picked for five All-Star teams and was still a week shy of his 31st birthday.

Burnett comes to the Big Apple with an 87-76 record, no All-Star selections and turns 32 next month.

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Trivia question: Other than pinstripes, what do Burnett and new teammates Mariano Rivera and Xavier Nady have in common? (Answer below.)

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If Alex Rodriguez, American-born, is going to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, then Kevin Youkilis should play for Greece.

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And Hideki O’Kajima should play for Ireland.

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Great story at Verizon Center on Friday night. The Capitals needed a backup goalie in a pinch because of an injury to Jose Theodore, so they suited up the team’s Web site producer, Brett Leonhardt, who had been a college netminder at the Division III level.

Leonhardt split his college career between Oswego State in New York and Neumann College in Pennsylvania. Neumann College. … Doesn’t that sound like one of those “Knowledge Is Good” kind of places?

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Here’s what’s really funny: Leonhardt has now worn a Caps uniform for only two fewer games than Alexander Volchkov, the fourth overall pick in the ‘96 draft.

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And something tells me he’d bring at least as much in a trade as Volchkov did (that is, future considerations).

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A Web site producer who can tend goal. George McPhee wasn’t kidding when he said this year’s club has a lot more depth.

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Great Moments in Brett Leonhardt History (from the Syracuse Post-Standard, Jan. 12, 2005):

“Oswego State’s Brett Leonhardt was named SUNY Athletic Conference goalie of the week after making 40 saves in a 2-2 tie at 12th-ranked Curry College in the team’s only game last week. It marked the second time this season the sophomore has won the award.”

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At Neumann, Leonhardt was No. 29 - Ken Dryden’s number. Friday night he was No. 80 - Desmond Howard’s number. (In fact, he was the first No. 80 the Capitals have ever had.)

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Maybe, 10 years from now, I’ll be able to buy a Brett Leonhardt throwback jersey.

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Scouting report on the Caps found left behind in the Ottawa locker room: “Web site producer has quick hands, but director of group sales isn’t much of a forechecker. Community relations coordinator would just as soon facewash you as look at you.”

ccc

Number of the Week: 33. (Points scored by the Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony in the third quarter against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, tying the NBA record for a quarter. Put it this way: The night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100, the most he got in any quarter was 31.)

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The two previous biggest quarters, 33 points by the Spurs’ George Gervin and 32 by the Nuggets’ David Thompson, both came on the last day of the 1978 regular season. Thompson and Gervin were competing for the scoring title and had huge final games - 73 for David and 63 for George - thanks to teammates who kept passing them the ball.

(Gervin ultimately prevailed with a 27.21 average to Thompson’s 27.15.)

Anyway, that makes Anthony’s 33 the Most Points Scored in a Quarter by a Player Who Didn’t Have an Ulterior Motive.

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Did you see John Daly lost his temper at the end of a bad round in the Australian Open and smashed a spectator’s camera?

Yeah, it was a tough day for John. He had three double bogeys, three bogeys and, from the sound of things, at least three margaritas.

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In other words, the camera might not have been the only thing that was smashed.

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I have this picture in my head of Daly and Sean Avery silently nodding to each other as they cross paths outside an anger management clinic.

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A question that will remain unanswered: Would John have been able to control his temper if the spectator had been Maria Sharapova, armed with her Canon Sure Shot?

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Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson) in “Anger Management”: “Now then, we need to go over some ground rules. You are to refrain from any acts of violence, including verbal assaults and vulgar hand gestures. You may not use rage-enhancing substances, such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, crack cocaine, slippy-flippies, jelly stingers, trick sticks, bing bangs or flying willards.”

Dave Buznik (Adam Sandler): “How ‘bout fiddle faddles?”

Rydell: “Under my supervision.”

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Answer to trivia question: Burnett, Rivera and Nady have all had Tommy John surgery.

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Florida’s Tim Tebow made off with the Maxwell Trophy on Thursday for the second straight year. Which got me thinking: Has any Maxwell winner had just a cup of coffee in the NFL?

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I just came up with one (not to bring back bad memories or anything): Gary Beban, who won the Maxwell - and Heisman - in ‘67 after quarterbacking UCLA to a No. 10 national ranking. Beban’s career stats for the Redskins: five games, one incomplete pass, 18 yards rushing, one reception for 12 yards.

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And finally …

Actually, that’s more like a sip of coffee.

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If not a drip.

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