Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think these are my three opinions about Anquan Boldin likely changing his agent from firebrand Drew Rosenhaus to the less-confrontational Creative Artists Agency, with Tom Condon and Ben Dogra:
a. It matters only slightly. Rosenhaus is not responsible for teams not wanting to pay the freight -- a top 35 draft pick, plus an annual salary of $9 million a year -- for the best physical receiver in football, but a receiver who can't beat corners deep with consistency. That's not a criticism of Boldin. I love him as a player, and he'll be a great asset to whoever employs him. But I'm just telling you why he hasn't moved yet -- the asking price is big enough, and what Boldin will ask for in salary makes it a double hit. The change will basically mean Condon and Dogra will work quietly, without a Tweet every 10 minutes or so about what they're demanding.
b. I don't care. There's way, way too much time and energy in our business devoted to the agent a player has. At the end of the day, it rarely matters, and I don't think readers, viewers and listeners care at all who represents a player. I've never heard a fan call a radio show and say, "Hey, first-time caller. I've got a question about Drew Rosenhaus.''
c. Absolute gut feeling: Boldin stays in Arizona and gets a new deal done, quietly, around Halloween. Kurt Warner rejoices.
2. I think Gary Myers came up with a heck of a stat in a Sunday New York Daily News story: The Giants have gone through their entire 140,000-person waiting list and still haven't sold about 4,000 of the premium seats in their new stadium. There's time, obviously, with 15 months before opening day at the new Giants Stadium. But it's worrisome that the team with an eternally tough ticket has almost 4,000 of its choicest seats available. Puts quite some pressure on the 2009 Giants to be contenders, to build up the demand for the new stadium.
3. I think the Santa Clara deal makes so much sense for the 49ers, rather than waiting for the city of San Francisco to build a stadium. Just do it.
4. I think we've known all along the Rams are for sale; I've been saying it since last November. What Bernie Miklasz disclosed Sunday in his St. Louis Post-Dispatch column that was of interest to me was the the desire to sell is so strong now that the current owners won't force the new owner to keep the team in St. Louis. So it's open season on the Rams, and a billionaire could probably bring them to Los Angeles now.
Although I'm told the league really wants the Rams to stay in the Midwest, it wouldn't be a disaster if they moved back home to Los Angeles. This is one franchise that can be moved without upsetting any competitive applecart. The Rams in the NFC West always were a bit of a stretch. But a Seattle-San Francisco-L.A.-Arizona division makes much more sense than leaving the Rams in St. Louis.
5. I think I wouldn't be bothered so much by the news of Eric Mangini sending his rookie class on a 10-hour bus ride to Hartford to work at his weekend football camp for underprivileged kids -- if he and his coaches hadn't flown there. There's something about that that's just wrong. And though I hear he did take the bus back with the players late Saturday, it's clear that the rookies felt they had to do this. The bottom line, though, is a coach shouldn't enlist people who he barely knows to go work a camp for him, even if the camp is a tremendous idea, which it is.
6. I think I cannot believe -- and will refuse to believe until I see him stink it up in training camp, which won't happen -- that Byron Leftwich will not beat out Luke McCown for the Tampa Bay quarterback job. Leftwich is just better.
7. I think I have nothing new to report on your favorite newsmakers, Brett Favre and Michael Vick. Favre is flying very far under the radar and hasn't been heard from all week, and I hear the Vikings don't even know his plans, though they're anxious to find them out. And Vick ... well, all I know is don't believe that the Rams are interested. And I don't think the Saints are interested either. So if you've got "no one will sign him in 2009'' in the Vick pool, you might be in luck.
8. I think someone has to tell Reggie Bush that this thing with Kim Kardashian just might not be forever. Google the story about her engagement ring.
9. I think you'll all appreciate a long-overdue update about your favorite soldier. Army First Sgt. Mike McGuire says via e-mail: "We're back in Germany preparing for a 32-day leave/break, 32 days of leave, I cant imagine it. We are going to stay in Germany and travel to Italy and Denmark. At least that is the plan. Pretty excited. I just bought a 2009 white Mustang. It is sweet, sort of my welcome-home present. My son deploys in a couple months, so I'm gonna spend some time with him and my grandson. Yes, I am a grandpa.
"All my soldiers are back now, I extended in Germany for another three years so I could stay the First Sergeant for a long time. My heart is with every one of these soldiers. We are already scheduled to be in Afghanistan sometime in 2010. This is a heck of a deployment ride we are on right now, back to back to back. I could have left but it's hard to walk away and leave behind something as great as I have here. My company really is young and tough and now experienced. Most extended in Germany to make the rotation next year with me. So we begin to train up again later this year.
"I love the Army but will be glad when I retire in four years. I need the break. We have a memorial service and dedication later this week, this deployment we lost Sgt. McHale, SPC Bryant, Cpl. Alfoso, and Cpl. Connelly. Wounded severely were SPC Koulchar [lost both legs] SPC Chang [damage to legs] and SPC Lataham [hand]. It was a rough rotation. Take care. We'll be in touch, Mike.''
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. I think we probably shouldn't send LeBron James to the electric chair for walking off the court in anger and without class at the end of his season. It's not like he's a turd. Slap him around a bit, fine. But let's not make him a poster child for bush-league athletes.
b. You tell me the World Baseball Classic isn't kryptonite for Daisuke Matsuzaka. Since winning the WBC MVP, Matsuzaka has started four games for the Red Sox. Innings: 16.1. Hits: 29. Walks: 10. That's 2.4 baserunners per inning.
c. Mariano Rivera is not only the greatest relief pitcher of all time, but also one of the 10 best pitchers of all time. What an amazing specimen and competitor.
d. So Jason Varitek hit a ball into the right center-field upper deck, about six rows from the top of the Metrodome on Thursday. One of the longest balls I've ever seen hit. And the Twins came out and said it was a 427-foot homer. I said on Twitter, if it is, then I'm Bud Selig. So I get this link back from a home-run measuring site, Hit Tracker (yes, there is really a home-run measuring site, from the looks of it), with the real-deal measurement of 452 feet. I trust the math in here far more than I trust the Metrodome's measurers. Check it out.
e. Saturday was the third time in two weeks that a shaky play or error by the shortstop played a huge role in a Red Sox loss. Either Jed Lowrie is going to be ready in about 10 minutes, or they'd better trade a real prospect for Omar Vizquel.
f. Nothing personal, Rance. But Rance Mulliniks' middle name should be "Statingtheobvious.'' Mulliniks also informed the New England audience Sunday that Nick Green, one of the offending shortstops, was a "young rookie.'' This is Green's fifth year getting big-league at-bats, with his fifth team. NESN might want to make it mandatory that analysts it has subbing for the ailing Jerry Remy actually have heard of the players in the starting lineup.
g Coffeenerdness: Not to get all touchy-feely on you, but there is something about walking into a Peet's and just breathing the air. That's what espresso smells like in Italy.
h. Remember the neat Raffle idea former Patriot Je'Rod Cherry had last year, when he raffled a Patriots Super Bowl ring to raise money for an overseas children's charity? Now Vince Wilfork is doing the same thing to fight diabetes, raffling a pair of Patriots 2009 season tickets, a five-person barbeque with Wilfork and a Weber gas grill ($10 for five chances) at this online site: Wilfork's dad died of diabetes just before he entered the NFL, and as he wrote in an e-mail Sunday: "My mom died of a broken heart six months later.'' So he's trying to do what he can to eradicate diabetes. Give him a hand if you can.
i. You go, Daniel Schlereth. The son of ESPN's Mark Schlereth, the former Bronco and 'Skin guard, made his major-league debut as a lefty reliever for Arizona on Friday night in Phoenix, getting the Braves out 1-2-3 (Brian McCann, Garret Anderson, Casey Kotchman) Friday night with a very nervous dad in attendance, then followed it up with a second shutout inning Sunday. Careful, kid. You're going to give your father a heart attack.
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