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And How Did the New CBA Help?

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

In principle, the luxury tax system makes perfect sense. NBA teams who overspend are forced to pay the price for their extravagance. Except, NBA owners don’t conduct themselves like normal people. To Mark Cuban, Mikhail Prokhorov and others, a few millions of dollars isn’t that much; therefore, they disregard the luxury tax and spend wildly to put a championship-caliber team on the floor.

The new CBA, which was negotiated prior to this past season, tried to further penalize the Mark Cubans of the world. NBA Commissioner David Stern urged not only for greater revenue sharing to allow smaller markets to spend more money but also for restrictions on the financially reckless owners. In particular, the new CBA stipulates that teams, who repeatedly pay the luxury tax and/or exceed the tax line, will be “punished” and thus, forced to pay an even greater luxury tax. These teams, moreover, will face restrictions on signing free agents and making trades because of the luxury tax.

The only problem is that Stern’s sweeping changes don’t come into effect until 2012-2013; as a result, the usual free-spending teams are allowed to run up their check books and extort the old system. The large markets, then, continue to follow the Heat’s blueprint of 2010, scrapping under-achieving rosters and paying boatloads to assemble a group of superstars. For example, the Lakers added Steve Nash this off-season. The Nets, meanwhile, have re-tooled their entire roster based on two max-contract players. Brooklyn, furthermore, could be adding Dwight Howard, another max-contract guy, in the next few days.

On a grander scale, the Miami Heat have started a trend that doesn’t reward player development or clever salary-cap maneuvering. The NBA, at least for now, is a complete autocracy, where only the rich and ruthless can survive.

Oklahoma City is the only exception; Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant’s combined greatness defies the trend. Otherwise, the NBA has become a first cousin of baseball, in which the Yankees and Red Sox outspend their competitors. The new CBA, hopefully, will usher in change.

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College Football Countdown: The Heisman

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

To kick off our preview of the 2011-2012 college football season, John and Daniel take their picks for  which player will bring home the nation’s most prestigious award: the Heisman Trophy. Along with picking the outright winner [1], the guys from NextGen will choose a player who may be under the radar as of right now, but could very well end up in New York City for the Heisman ceremony next January.

John’s Heisman Winner: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The rising junior from Pensacola, Florida may be the most physically gifted as well as the most NFL-ready running back in the country. With the departure of 2009 Heisman winner, Mark Ingram, to the pros, Richardson looks primed to take over the starting tailback job at Alabama. Also, because of the losses of starting quarterback Greg McElroy and star wideout Julio Jones, coach Nick Saban will look to the run game now more than ever. Richardson, at 5′10″/225 lbs, has a relatively low center of gravity which allows him to run with great power, but he still possesses sprinter speed and excellent explosiveness. Alabama should start next season as a top 3 team, and as history has shown, the Heisman usually goes to the best performer on one of the nation’s premier teams. Richardson was a blue chip recruit coming out of high school, and though he has shown flashes of greatness in limited playing time his first two seasons, 2011 will be the year when he fulfills all expectations. Read More→

One Heck of a Catch

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Forget the bevy of relievers, mediocre starting pitchers and middle infielders that will be swapped by the end of July. We’re only 9 days into a month often consumed by the trade deadline, and the best mid-season acquisition has already been made, I can guarantee you. The Angels’ decision to call up outfield prospect Mike Trout should solidify any center field questions in Anaheim following the injuries to Peter Bourjos and give a much-needed shot in the arm to one of baseball’s least productive offenses.

Well, who is Mike Trout?
The 25th overall pick out of high school in 2009, Trout immediately burst onto the scene with the Angels’ organization. In his first season of professional baseball, he hit .352 at age 17. The next season, Trout batted .341. By the start of 2011, he sat atop many lists of the best prospects in the game; even ahead of Bryce Harper.

Why is he so highly touted?
Mike Trout is insanely fast. Consider: Ichiro, at 5 feet 11 inches and 170 pounds, runs from the batter’s box to first base in roughly 3.85 seconds. Trout has been timed as fast as 3.75 seconds,[1] and he is 6 feet 2 inches and 220 pounds. Read More→

And A Podcast It Is

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Daniel stops by Justin Silberman’s Mets Talk Live to discuss the value of Jose Reyes, the 2nd half in Major League Baseball and the All-Star Game. Have a listen right here on

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MLB Awards: At the Half

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

This is Jose Reyes's world, we're just living in it.

Unbelievably enough, we find ourselves half way through another professional baseball season. Though we lack the amount of no hitters and perfect games we had in the first half of the 2010 season, I think its safe to say that 2011 has been the real “year of the pitcher”. Runs are currently at an all time low, and an unprecedented 24 pitchers have ERA’s under 3. Even though the lack of offense in the first half has been an anomaly, the teams dominating baseball have most definitely not been. Traditional powers like the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, and Braves still stand on top of the baseball world. Without further ado, lets give out some All Star break awards.

American League MVP: Adrian Gonzalez
No one in baseball has benefited from an offseason change of scenery more than Gonzalez, who has escaped the hitter’s wasteland which is Petco Park in San Diego and moved onto greener pastures in Boston. The All Star first baseman has been giving the Fenway Faithful a reason to cheer all season, while giving headaches to opposing managers. Gonzalez leads the American League in batting average (.349), RBI’s, and hits; and is near the top of almost every other offensive category. Read More→