Midweek musings: Agent Scott Boras is never one to bore us. So it is hardly surprising to hear him speak out on behalf of one of his clients, Chicago Cubs star-of-the-future (if not sooner) Kris Bryant.
“Cubs ownership has a choice,” Boras told Fox Sports on Tuesday. “Are they going to present to their market that they are trying to win? [Cubs owner] Tom Ricketts said they were all about winning. When someone says it’s the system, no, it’s a choice — the choice of winning.”
All the sound and fury concerns leaving Bryant in the minor leagues for a few weeks before calling him up so that the team can control Bryant’s contract for an additional season.
Cubs president Theo Epstein: “Kris Bryant’s development path has absolutely nothing to do with ownership, period. As with all our baseball decisions, I will determine where Kris begins the 2015 season after consulting with members of our baseball operations staff. Comments from agents, media members and anybody outside our organization will be ignored.”
Yes, Boras is concerned about winning — at the negotiating table (or wherever he works his magic for his clients). If you’re wondering whether Boras would be willing to give up a year of free agency (as if that even was an option) to have Bryant on the Opening Day roster, I think you probably know the answer to that.
In the grand scheme of things (or at least the history of the Chicago Bulls), Jack Haley may be a mere footnote — if that much. That said, he played an important role on the 1995-96 team that went a record 72-10. Haley was Dennis Rodman’s buddy away from the basketball court. Meaning he was perceived in some circles as being Rodman’s baby-sitter (a description that Haley bristled at, preferring to think of himself as a basketball player).
Haley died Monday in California of a heart ailment. He was 51. The former UCLA center played nine seasons in the NBA. He and Rodman were teammates on the San Antonio Spurs, the team that the Bulls acquired Rodman from. Haley’s playing time on the Bulls’ record-setting team was seven minutes in the final game of the regular season. His biggest contribution (other than being partly responsible for keeping Rodman out of trouble) was providing enthusiasm on the bench. it seems reasonable to say Haley stood tall in both capacities — literally and figuratively.
On Facebook, Rodman posted: It’s with a very heavy heart that I must bid farewell to one of my Best Friends, Teammate, Wingman….Jack Haley. He fought against his ailment just as hard as he fought on and off the court.
There are some people that come into our lives that just can’t be replaced. Jack Haley is that dude. I Love you, Bro. I’ll never forget you, my brother.
“The Chicago Bulls family was saddened to hear of the passing of former Bull Jack Haley,” Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said in a statement. “Jack was always a supportive and enthusiastic teammate and a valued member of the 1995-96 championship team that went 72-10. He always brought energy and enthusiasm to our organization and we send our condolences to Jack’s family.”
There undoubtedly will be a moment of silence before Wednesday night’s Bulls-Indiana Pacers game at the United Center for a man whose contributions did not show up on a stat sheet. Not a bad legacy, even if it did come far too soon.
* If it’s Wednesday (chances are excellent that it is because yesterday was Tuesday — provided that it’s March 18, 2015, or a subsequent Thursday for those of you reading an archived version of today’s effort), then it’s almost time for that Thursday treat of another edition of “Sports & Torts” co-hosted by David Spada and Elliott Harris at noon Central time on Talkzone.com. This week’s guest is Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer who spent his 19-season big-league career with the Baltimore Orioles. Podcast of the show will be available at www.Talkzone.com later Thursday (and presumably close to forever).
Here is where to go for a daily dose of non-gratuitous video (thanks to the eye-opening efforts of the editorial and video departments at ElliottHarris.com):
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