$0.02: NHL Wonder Boy makes right move
Sidney Crosby is either the ultimate team player or he’s young, dumb and not as rich as he could be.I’m inclined to believe the former.Crosby signed a five-year, $43.5 million contract extension Tuesday, keeping him in Pittsburgh for at least the next six years, including the one year he has left on his rookie deal. The thing about his extension is he didn’t get as much money as he could’ve. Had he signed for the maximum allowable under the NHL collective bargaining agreement – and you can bet the Penguins would’ve paid whatever he wanted – he’d have gotten a little more than $10 million a season, instead of the $8.7 million he’ll make now.But Crosby made it clear he’s intent on winning the Stanley Cup, not making that extra $1.3 million a year. The fact that he won the league MVP award and the scoring title last season – at age 19 – didn’t sway his Tom Brady-esque point of view, which is simple: by leaving the Penguins more money to spend on other talent, he increases his chances of having his name engraved on the Cup. Most likely, there are players around the league who bristled at Crosby’s decision to take less, since it’ll be hard for them to argue they’re worth more than Boy Wonder. But if they know what’s good for their league, their profession, they’ll forget those feelings and focus on the most important theme – that Sidney Crosby is the best thing to happen to hockey since skate sharpeners. …I know he’s fragile and I know he’s within a steroid cycle of breaking Hammerin’ Hank’s dinger record, but it’s a shame Barry Bonds didn’t enter the Home Run Derby at his hometown park. Woulda made for a pretty entertaining evening.As it was, all those poor schmucks in their little kayaks sat there for hours, waiting for nothing. …Alex Rodriguez’s projected statistics for this season, should he continue to clobber the ball at the pace he’s going, are staggering. He’d hit .317 with 57 home runs, 164 RBIs and 151 runs, and his slugging percentage (.665) would be the best of his remarkable 14-year career. You don’t need stats robot Tim Kurkjian to tell you how historically rare such a season would be.(By the way, while looking up A-Rod’s 2007 stats, I came across his numbers from his first full season in the big leagues, 1996. Stunning stuff. In 146 games he hit .358 with 215 hits, 36 homers, 123 RBIs, 141 runs and a .631 slugging percentage. The slugging number remains the highest of his career.) …Sticking with the Yankees, you wonder how many times we’ll keep hearing that the Bombers’ season has been “lost” or “saved.” Feels like it happens on a daily basis, the equivalent of saying that every 10th pedal stroke of a Tour cyclist’s three-week output could win or lose the race. …In parting, is there anything cooler to witness than the sea of peleton riders splitting down the middle each time they ride past a roundabout? It looks magical and astoundingly natural all at once.That said, I’m still waiting for the first time a guy waits too long to bolt across to the other pack and barrels into the perfectly manicured flower beds at 50 kph. I’d wish him no harm, of course, but it’d be quite a sight.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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