Flack Friday: Sticking it to the Man and the MLB is Too Quiet

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Photo Credit: Keith Allison https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/19002056273

For those of you who watched the Super Bowl last Sunday, I feel very confident that the game itself backed up last week’s Flack Friday column about the Patriots being the true underdogs. There was an obvious difference in the amount of preparation and execution. Enjoy that sixth ring, Mr. Brady.

Sticking it to the Man

If you’ve been following any NBA free agency over the last few days, you’d be very familiar with the ordeal over Anthony Davis which involves the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Back in December I wrote a column about how Davis and LeBron James were dropping hints that Davis would eventually end up a Laker.

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Fast forward to February, the Lakers offered the Pelicans a handful of players and draft picks for Davis. New Orleans toyed around with Los Angeles and in the end didn’t take their enormous offer. The Lakers looked way too desperate in their trade proposal.

The negotiations between New Orleans and Los Angeles were then reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN to be counted as revenge for what New Orleans claimed as tampering on the Lakers part. The Pelicans essentially stuck it to the man.

We’re talking about the Lakers here. A small-market Pelicans organization made one of the greatest sports franchises look foolish, desperate and left unfulfilled. I’ve never seen anything like it and yet I respect the Pelicans so much for doing it.

Put yourself in New Orleans’ shoes. They have lost their franchise star player, turned down young talent in Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and a slew of draft picks. This was a message not only about tampering, but about teaming up stars.

New Orleans deserves a standing ovation for sticking it to the man.

Mailbag Submission: The MLB is Too Quiet

This week, Ryne Grossnickle from Laramie, Wyoming sent in a few thoughts about the MLB offseason.

Ryne: “No one is talking about the sport (MLB). No one is talking about how their favorite team added a new player. I am a huge fan of baseball and I’m kinda over waiting for the “big fish” to sign. I think a slow offseason hurts baseball.”

Flack: Ryne, thanks for your thoughts and submission to the Flack Friday Mailbag.

In terms of the MLB and it’s slow offseason, I would say the term “slow” is an understatement. I also partially agree that the slow offseason definitely hurts the popularity of the sport which has been declining for years.

Certainly NBA free agency and Brady’s sixth Super Bowl ring have dominated the headlines across the country. And it’s likely that those headlines will continue to be dominated by the NBA’s second half of the season and the NFL draft.

Perhaps the slow offseason is a symbolic representation of the sport itself. I’m also a fan of baseball, however, I have a hard time sitting down for three or four hours to watch one of the 162 games on the schedule for my St. Louis Cardinals.

We live in a society that is fast paced, on the go and innovative. It appears to me that baseball as a whole finds itself in a bit of a messy transition. America’s favorite pastime has looked for consistency throughout the ages and has proven to upkeep the standards and values that are correlated with the sport.

In recent years the MLB introduced a few ways to “modernize” the game with ideas like instant replay, limited mound visits, a pitch clock and other attempts to speed up the game. In my eyes these rule changes only have mildly impacted the MLB. The changes have not had a significant impact like the NFL’s catch rule which was changed.

The quiet MLB offseason is nothing more than a sign to us all that the sport continues to struggle to find a way to keep up with transient leagues like the NBA and NFL.

But maybe baseball doesn’t need to change and compete with other leagues. Perhaps it is society that has changed too much. And sometimes change doesn’t need to take place. Baseball in it’s purest form may serve as a reminder of what the world used to be.

If a slow MLB offseason means the sport will continue to take the path less traveled by, then so be it. We can at least appreciate the conservative sport for what it is and what it strives to represent.

Don’t forget to send in your Flack Friday Mailbag submissions to brayden@sweetwaternow.com.


Brayden is a sports and community reporter for SweetwaterNOW. His column, Flack Friday, will be posted every Friday. You can submit comments, questions or ideas regarding the column to brayden@sweetwaternow.com.