Stop encouraging Favre


Stop encouraging Favre

By Adam Hart

Somehow he was declared out Saturday, only to be re-declared not all that out on game day. He started, tossing a touchdown and a pick, before being knocked from the game. It was described as a head injury. This is a pretty boring paragraph.

Okay, here's two regular guys serving on the MNF crew with your pick of any network's regular play-by-play guys. I chose Mike. Perhaps they'll finally tell Brett Favre the truth.

Mike: And -- surprise, surprise -- Brett Favre will start tonight against the Bears. It's his first outdoor home game in three years, playing this kids' game in the frigid Minnesota night. He woke up today and said, "I'mma give it a go." Trust me, I heard it on the baby monitor.

Franky: He can't play in a dome, but he's fine for a cement field? His nerdy teammate tweeted it the other day: that's asking for a concussion.

Mike: . . . Just adding to his legend here tonight.

Favre throws a screen pass to Percy Harvin, who uses his speed and elusiveness to score a touchdown.

Mike: Oh, what a play! Brett Favre completes a 23-yard touchdown pass to Percy Harvin. Some thought the touchdown he threw on November 14th would be his last. We'll see about that.

Hal: Huh? It's definitely not his last touchdown pass. We just witnessed something that cancels it out. What is wrong with you?

Favre throws an intended screen pass that's deflected into the hands of Julius Peppers for an interception.

Mike: And Favre's pass is deflected into the hands of Julius Peppers!

Franky: Geez, and I thought throwing the ball with no feet on the ground was great mechanics.

Favre, wrestled to the ground by Corey Wootton, rests motionless on the field until a teammate tells him the cameras are focused on him -- the process begins. He slowly rises to the familiar arms of the Vikings training staff. Favre is knocked from the game with what is described as a head injury.

Mike: Oh no.

Hal: That didn't even look like a bad hit. He was spun to the ground.

Franky: Don't be surprised, Hal. He's 41, nothing but a bag o' bones.

Mike: A bag of magnificent bones.

Mike: In case you missed it earlier, Brett Favre was sacked by Corey Wootton. It may be the play that ends his career.

Hal: Probably should be. Guy's old as . . . trees.

Franky: Seriously, I don't even let my dad stack wood, never mind get crushed by 300-pound dudes. That's not innuendo, by the way.

Hal: He can't even get out of his own way. I just hope somebody is smart enough to stop him from trying to play ever again.

Mike: I wouldn't put anything past him.

Franky: Squints Now you're just spewing lines Favre's said himself. Ruffles through Mike's notes. Shock engulfs his face. These are ALL things Favre's said, directives he's written.

Mike: . . . Okay, that's enough. Thank you gentlemen for joining me.

Hal: Wait a minute. When you said during that commercial break, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" you weren't just showing your love for The Wizard of Oz? You were trying to keep this charade going.

Mike: Really, that's enough.

Franky: No. It's not enough. If your senile father almost burned down the house trying to make waffles, would you still allow him in the kitchen?

Mike: . . . No.

Franky: Then why aren't you telling Favre the truth? He's old. He's injured. He can't protect himself. He might be bad, but you're appeasing him. That might be worse.

Mike: I guess you're right.

Hal: So what are you going to do?

Mike: Stop describing Brett Favre as great.

Franky: And when are you going to do it?

Mike: Now.

Wish this were true and not totally fabricated. But not every wish can be realized as a Christmas miracle.

Report: Bulls tell teams they won't trade Jimmy Butler

Report: Bulls tell teams they won't trade Jimmy Butler

The Bulls reportedly weren’t making Jimmy Butler available for a trade last month.

As the trade deadline approaches, it seems that hasn’t changed.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

The teams that talked to the Chicago Bulls today were told, “Just about everybody on our roster is available, but Jimmy Butler is not.”

The Bulls are not obliged to stand by that, and there’s no indication they’ve assured Butler anything. If they’re offered a package more valuable than Butler, they’ll trade him.

But that’s a lot of value.

Click here for the complete story.

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

PHOENIX - Major League Baseball intends to push forward with the process that could lead to possible rule changes involving the strike zone, installation of pitch clocks and limits on trips to the pitcher's mound. While baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope the ongoing process would lead to an agreement, he said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Union head Tony Clark said last weekend he did not foresee players agreeing to proposed changes for 2017. Under baseball's collective bargaining agreement, management can alter playing rules only with agreement from the union - unless it gives one year notice. With the one year of notice, management can make changes on its own.

"Unfortunately it now appears that there really won't be any meaningful change for the 2017 season due to a lack of cooperation from the MLBPA," Manfred said Tuesday during a news conference. "I've tried to be clear that our game is fundamentally sound, that it does not need to be fixed as some people have suggested, and I think last season was the kind of demonstration of the potential of our league to captivate the nation and of the game's unique place in American culture."

Yet, he also added: "I believe it's a mistake to stick our head in the sand and ignore the fact that our game has changed and continues to change."

Manfred said while he prefers an agreement, "I'm also not willing to walk away." He said he will send a letter to the union in the coming days and plans to continue dialogue with Clark and others in hopes of reaching agreement.

Clark met with Cactus League teams last week, five at a time over Thursday, Friday and Saturday, before departing Monday for Florida to visit each Grapefruit League club - and proposed rules changes were a topic.

"I have great respect for the labor relations process, and I have a pretty good track record for getting things done with the MLBPA," Manfred said. "I have to admit, however, that I am disappointed that we could not even get the MLBPA to agree to modest rule changes like limits on trips to the mound that have little effect on the competitive character of the game."

Clark saw talks differently.

"Unless your definition of `cooperation' is blanket approval, I don't agree that we've failed to cooperate with the commissioner's office on these issues," he wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. Last year we took a step backward in some ways, and this offseason we've been in regular contact with MLB and with our members to get a better handle on why that happened. I would be surprised if those discussions with MLB don't continue, notwithstanding today's comments about implementation. As I've said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open."

Clark added "my understanding is that MLB wants to continue with the replay changes (2-minute limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of game warning/fine adjustments."

Manfred said he didn't want to share specifics of his priorities for alterations.

"There's a variety of changes that can be undertaken," Manfred said. "I'm committed to the idea that we have a set of proposals out there and we continue to discuss those proposals in private."

MLB has studied whether to restore the lower edge of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level - at the top of the kneecap. Management would like to install 20-second pitch clocks in an attempt to speed the pace of play - they have been used at Triple-A and Double-A for the past two seasons.

Players also have been against limiting mound meetings. The least controversial change appears to be allowing a team to call for an intentional walk without the pitcher having to throw pitches. In addition, MLB likely can alter some video review rules without the union's agreement- such as shortening the time a manager has to call for a review.

"Most of this stuff that they were talking about I don't think it would have been a major adjustment for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Manfred said starting runners on second base in extra innings sounds unlikely to be implemented in the majors. The change will be experimented with during the World Baseball Classic and perhaps at some short-season Class A leagues. Manfred said it was a special-purpose rule "beneficial in developmental leagues."

Manfred also said Tuesday that a renovated Wrigley Field would be a great choice to host an All-Star Game and Las Vegas could be a "viable market for us."

"I don't think that the presence of legalized gambling in Las Vegas should necessarily disqualify that market as a potential major league city," Manfred said.