Everybody knew the Tampa Bay Rays were going to clean some payroll out this off-season - largely because they said they would - but they're almost down half now that they've dealt Matt Garza. They started 2010 with a payroll of $71.9 million, and look like they're set for a $38.9 million payroll for this year. Get out of Tampa.
No EPL action today. Boo.
What do Neil Carr, Donn Lewin, Paul Morton, Hans Mortier, King Curtis Iaukea, Skip Young, Jack Laskin, El Hijo del Cien Caras, Kantaro Hoshino, Chris Long, Joe Higuchi, Taro Myaki, Mike Masarky, Edouard "Flying Frenchman" Carpentier, Gran Naniwa, Mike Porter, Jorge Gonzalez, Mike Shaw, La Fiera, Randy Morse, Jose Nieves, Herb Larson, Mickey Garagiola, Beverly Lehmer, J.C. Bailey, Kotetsu Yamamoto, Luna Vachon, El Espanto II, Anton Geesink, "Tough" Tony Borne, Skandor Akbar, "Nightmare" Ted Allen, Jeremy Wood, Lance Cade, Arpad Weber, Steve Stanlee, El Scorpio, Toni Adams, Cowboy Bob Bradley, Big Mikey, J.J. Jenkins, Chuck Etchels, Trent Acid, Grizzly Smith, Rocket Monroe, Rusher Kimura, Jet Monroe, El Supremo, Kinji Shibuya, Screamer, Peggy Ann Kawa-Baker, Gorgeous George Grant, Mr. Hito, Steve Stack, Gene Kiniski, Chris Kanyon, Tiny Tim/Little Brutus, Tom "The Butcher" Burton, Kenneth Laymon, Mikel Scicluna, Corsica Joe, Jerry Valiant, Sandy Scott, Angelo Poffo, Moose Mahoney, George "Red" Eakin, Ron Martinez, Gilbert Guerrero, Charles Baillargeon, Bryan Hart, Jack Brisco, Blackjack Hedden, Georgiann Makropoulos, Nick Pacchiano, Ida Mae Martinez, Katsuhisa Shibata, Ed Chuman, Ludvig Borga, and Jim White all have in common? Yes, they're former pro wrestlers. But they also all died in 2010. Crazy.
As a Yankee fan, it may seem a bit obvious to crack on Boston types as being especially sad souls, so I'll leave it to Boston's own Dan Shaughnessy to do the work for me by writing a ridiculous piece saying the NHL's Winter Classic doesn't belong in places like Pittsburgh because it isn't a place associated with hockey. Remind me again the last time the Bruins won the cup, DS? Speaking of "DS", the good people at Deadspin take apart Shaughnessy's take with awesome viciousness.
Maybe Tottenham is looking to sell some extra jersey's, but can't imagine how they figure David Beckham is going to add much to arguably the best midfield outside of Barcelona. Beckham could sign with Spurs in the next 24 hours.
Just to keep things rolling, am going to be picking each NFL playoff game as part of the Prime Time Picks for the season. When you're sitting above 70%, why wouldn't you? All logic says to take any home underdog at +10.5 but when that home dog is Seattle, and the New Orleans Saints are rolling in, even minus much of a rushing attack, I'm playing the Saints here. I'm fully expecting a total beatdown here. In the late one, the New York Jets visit Indianapolis, with the Colts favored by 2 points. Peyton Manning has willed his team into the playoff dance with a four game win streak, but I'm not buying it. Not when their rushing attack has been shoddy all year, not minus Dallas Clark, and not when Peyton looks terrified in the face of pressure, which the Jets should bring plenty of. Yes, I know that Manning owns Rex Ryan teams historically, but he also had a lot more to work with. If the Jets can get their running game going, they win this one outright. If they can't, and rely too heavily on banged up Mark Sanchez, then they're in trouble. A tight one, but am calling the Jets outright. Yep, two roadies. Crazy, but I like it.
Speaking of Rex Ryan, not sure why he felt the need to poke Tom Brady and say he doesn't work as hard as Peyton Manning does. Wasn't it Brady that shredded the Jets for 40+ a few weeks ago? Ryan would be wise to shut it there, as his Jets will be getting the Patriots should they win today and a pissed off Brady is a deadly one.
Back tomorrow with the other two NFL picks, but be sure to watch this fine Taiwanese piece on Brett Favre's antics. Freaking awesome, frankly.