- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TAKE YOUR PICK: SHOULD BASEBALL CHANGE ITS DRAFT RULES?

Yes - People wonder why athletes “go bad.” You can’t blame them when they’re making millions of dollars in their teens. Baseball’s No. 1 pick this year, Stephen Strasburg, and his agent, Scott Boras, wanted the most money ever given a first-year player. But why offer a kid more than $10 million based on nothing but potential?

No - If an athlete is good, he’s good. So why hold him back? Most coaches will agree it’s better to have a kid in your system and learning the game than going to college. And how do coaches get them in the system without paying big money - whatever the age?

Our take - Two words: money cap. If an athlete is good, he’ll have a chance to get paid more down the line. Strasburg has the stats to back up his demands, but giving him double-digit millions paves the way for future players to demand more - and then fall flat.

TWT FIVE STRANGEST PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES TO SHOW UP ON REALITY TV THIS YEAR

1. Chuck Liddell - You’ve got to hand it to “Dancing With The Stars” producers for trying to turn “The Iceman” into a twinkle toes. Him and Tom DeLay.

2. Shaq - Now he’s on ABC trying to one-up the world’s best athletes, including Michael Phelps and Albert Pujols. “Shaq Vs.” debuts Tuesday.

3. Hank Baskett - He’s married to one of Hugh Hefner’s old girlfriends, but he’s on a show where she goes to a Playboy party and leaves him home with the dogs.

4. Octomom - Nadya Suleman makes her debut in a documentary about her life. The woman had eight kids; that makes her an athlete, right?

5. Peyton Manning - He has hosted “Saturday Night Live.” He will be on “The Simpsons.” He’s in commercials for Mastercard, Sprint, Oreo and DirecTV. You can’t escape him.

HE SAID WHAT?

“Football don’t even matter. I deserved to lose that. … Why would a guy who was making $130 million but on the flip side killing dogs or doing the wrong things… you don’t deserve it.” - Michael Vick

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