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As a teacher, I have often told my students to go with their first reaction, to “trust their gut”, as it were. Sometimes we know more than we think we do, and if we are not careful, we will just think ourselves out of being right. I’m not sure that logic applies to sports as well, but I’m going to apply it anyway to a variety of recent happenings just to see how it sounds.

ELLSBURY:

Who will regret this signing more, Boston or New York?. (Paul Sancya / AP)
Who will regret this signing more, Boston or New York?. (Paul Sancya / AP)

My first reaction to hearing that the Yankees had signed Jacoby Ellsbury was to detect a whiff of desperation on their part. It felt very much like they were becoming increasingly concerned that they were not going to sign Robinson Cano so they needed to make another newsworthy signing to keep their fans happy. I’m sure in the minds of the Yankees front office that not only have they helped themselves, but that they have also wounded the World Series Champion Red Sox (now that has a nice ring to it) by signing their lead off hitter. Depending upon how the Sox replace him, they line of reasoning may have some merit, but I can only assume that the huge gamble involved here will comeback to haunt the Yanks, and not the Sox. Paying a very good outfielder legendary money -$21.5 million a season for seven years- is truly risky business. He may give you four good years, but the catch is which four. In his seven years with Boston, he only put “complete” seasons back to back once, in 2008 when he played in 145 games, and 2009 with 153 games; essentially J.D. Drew numbers.

Furthermore, no one in Red Sox Nation, and I mean no one, expect him to return to the Hub. The fact that he ended up in New York was not that much of a shock as they represented one of the few teams that might be inclined to give him the money and years he and agent Scott Boras were seeking. Many a media type is trying to turn this into another Johnny Damon moment and I’m not really buying it. Damon was the very personification of that crazy 2004 bunch of “idiots” that came back against the Yankees to finally put an end to the “curse”, so when Theo let him leave it was a dark day in Boston indeed. There is no such emotional attachment to Ellsbury, so although people would have preferred Seattle, the fact he landed in the Bronx just doesn’t carry the same weight.

R-CANO:

In the end, it was the Mariners... go figure. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
In the end, it was the Mariners… go figure. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

My first reaction to hearing the that Cano had a Rapper for an agent was to assume that he would either stay in NYC or try to sign with LA. Apparently I was wrong, as there are reports coming out of Seattle as I write this stating that he has signed a ten year, $240 million deal with the Mariners. However, a few hours ago there was another report that talks had broken off because the M’s didn’t want to go past nine years, so I suppose things could still change. One way or another, it’ll be interesting to see who Jay-Z goes after next. I wonder if Scott Boras is worried?

ANTONIO SMITH:

I guess when you've lost 10 in a row, you need a laugh. (AP)
I guess when you’ve lost 10 in a row, you need a laugh. (AP)

My first reaction to watching the Houston defensive end in his post-game interview was essentially that this guy is coming off his team’s tenth straight loss of the season, and he’s making “jokes”? Seriously? I understand why it got traction in the Monday talk shows. It’s the Patriots, and people refuse to let go of the idea that back in 2007, they weren’t doing anything more than everybody else does in trying to steal signs. But why did no one confront him on his actions? Supposedly, he was inundated with tweets (or whatever) by angry Pats fans for his comments. I would have thought it would have been angry Houston fans telling him to shut up and play for 60 minutes. After all, wasn’t this the year the Texans were going to the Super Bowl?

REPLACEMENT REFS (PLEASE):

Maybe all the refs have something in their eyes this year. (Toronto Sun)
Maybe all the refs have something in their eyes this year. (Toronto Sun)

My first reaction when I saw all the blunders made by so many different official crews last weekend, was to be glad to see it happening to teams other than the Patriots. I get that over the course of the season calls should, in theory, even themselves out. But when the issue is officiating mistakes, the NFL has got to be concerned, especially if they effect the point spread. I mean, you don’t want to get Las Vegas mad, do you? Maybe those replacement ref weren’t so bad after all. At least they had an excuse…

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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