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Friday, June 07, 2019

OT Soccer Thread - Baldrick Reports Live

Sum-sum-summertime thread.

June 7 (that’s today!) - Women’s World Cup.  BTF correspondent Baldrick is on the scene (link takes you to his preview of the tournament)
June 14 - Copa America begins (no Neymar)
June 15 - Gold Cup begins
June 18 - US first Gold Cup game
June 21 - Africa Cup of Nations begins
July 7 - Women’s World Cup Final/Copa America Final/Gold Cup Final - Can we get some discussion about the ridiculousness of the WWC being just one of a series of finals on the same day? Of note is that the Copa America final is the exact same time as the WWC final. 
July 19 - Africa Cup of Nations final

Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 07, 2019 at 12:22 PM | 1414 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1201. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 21, 2019 at 07:00 PM (#5863651)
flop
   1202. Mefisto Posted: July 21, 2019 at 08:05 PM (#5863658)
Nice job Chicago.
   1203. Baldrick Posted: July 21, 2019 at 08:07 PM (#5863659)
Really fun game. Great to see Chicago no longer playing like crap - as they had been for the past month. And it's generally good for the league for North Carolina to not run away with things, so I'm happy there, too.
   1204. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 22, 2019 at 08:27 AM (#5863687)
Speaking of Zidane v Bale

Real Madrid would be willing to let Gareth Bale leave this summer to China for free, as they look to unblock a tense situation at the Bernabeu, a source at the club has told ESPN FC.

Zinedine Zidane said it would "best for everyone" if the Wales international left "soon" on Sunday, to which the player's agent Jonathan Barnett responded by calling the Frenchman "a disgrace" -- adding: "If and when Gareth goes, it will be because it is in the best interest of Gareth and nothing to do with Zidane pushing."

To resolve the issue, Madrid are willing to tear up the remaining three years of Bale's contract if he moves to China as a last resort because no European team has made any offer to sign the 30-year-old this summer, the club source said.


ESPNFC
   1205. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 22, 2019 at 08:31 AM (#5863689)
I'm just back from another trip to London, this time with family. Not much soccer-based activity, of course, but it's nice to see Koscielny's refusal to travel with Arsenal as a lead story on tv sports and to see the new Spurs kit on sale in stores. It feels weird when you're in a place where the EPL isn't niche. The biggest sports thing I experienced was last Sunday when we were in a pub that had Federer-Djokavic on one tv and the cricket final between England and NZ on the other. After watching cricket for a while I finally started to understand the scoring and, once I had that understanding, I could tell right away that things were going to be tight. I figure the claims of "greatest match ever!" headlines is due to the Anglo-centrism of the coverage, but it was pretty cool to see. My wife and I got a kick that when the batter was "out" (or whatever they call it) they would retreat to what looked like Downton Abbey for some reason. Well, blast it, I've let my team down so time to appreciate some fine 17th century art in the manor house...
   1206. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 22, 2019 at 08:34 AM (#5863690)
It's a shame how it's ending for Bale at Real. I hope they still enjoy those 2 CL trophies he won for them. Selfishly, it would be a bummer if he goes to China. From my perspective, it would be like he doesn't exist anymore though I know that's a very occidental-centric view.

And, boy, Kane looks fit!

edit: Oh, and welcome back to your nightmare, Matthijs De Ligt!
   1207. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 22, 2019 at 09:00 AM (#5863696)
Catching up on the transfer news, a lot of which seems to be Spurs-centric today. Nabil Fekir has signed for Real Betis which means Lo Celso will probably be joining Tottenham. No idea what this means for Eriksen. No one has triggered Alderweireld's release clause which expires on Thursday. And Ryan Sessegnon is going to sign for 20 million with Spurs. Elsewhere, Man U are still chasing Bruno Fernandes. This feels like the kind of signing Man U would have handled with a minimum of fuss a few years ago. Barcelona are still chasing Neymar but are trying to use players they over-valued as if everyone else also over-values them as makeweights. I guess La Masia is dead? Anthony Knockaert has moved from Brighton to Fulham on loan which is a puzzler for me. He has his disciplinary problems, but Knockaert is their one player who can beat a man and create. Strange they could only find a 2nd division club to take him. I get the feeling something is up there behind the scenes.
   1208. Mefisto Posted: July 22, 2019 at 09:01 AM (#5863697)
That's very disappointing for de Ligt. I refuse to watch Serie A anyway, so I won't see him play, but … for Juve?
   1209. Mefisto Posted: July 22, 2019 at 09:02 AM (#5863699)
I think Fernandes will be a mistake. He gives the ball away too often and doesn't play much defense. That's the opposite of what United need in a midfielder.
   1210. KronicFatigue Posted: July 22, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5863739)
Is Bale a very good player who didn't live up to the hype for Madrid and whose wages are probably too high at this point? Is that his only crime? If Madrid is willing to let him go on a free, why do they care where he winds up? Is China the only option because they don't want him succeeding in a place where the media will keep track of their mistake?

What's stopping Bale from collecting a paycheck to train with Madrid? Personal pride? If I was Bale, I'd do that out of spite until I wound up at the destination of my choice.
   1211. spivey Posted: July 22, 2019 at 10:43 AM (#5863761)
What's stopping Bale from collecting a paycheck to train with Madrid? Personal pride? If I was Bale, I'd do that out of spite until I wound up at the destination of my choice.


Absolutely nothing, and that seems like exactly what he's planning from what I've seen of his quotes. His wages are insanely high, though, reports of near 600k/week. So Real are trying to do as much as they can to make him hate his life the next few years if he's going to stay and just collect wages.
   1212. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: July 22, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5863792)
What's stopping Bale from collecting a paycheck to train with Madrid? Personal pride? If I was Bale, I'd do that out of spite until I wound up at the destination of my choice.

Absolutely nothing, and that seems like exactly what he's planning from what I've seen of his quotes. His wages are insanely high, though, reports of near 600k/week. So Real are trying to do as much as they can to make him hate his life the next few years if he's going to stay and just collect wages.

From watching the Sunderland documentary, I believe they call that "The Rodwell"
   1213. J. Sosa Posted: July 22, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5863795)
Re: Bale

When the story broke I wondered why he would go to China. He has made it abundantly clear he likes the Madrid lifestyle and will sit if necessary. There are rumors that FFP shenanigans might be afoot. If he moves don’t be surprised if he winds up on an Italian special loan from China to Inter. Never been to Madrid. Asking for a friend, which is nicer if you have millions, Milan or Madrid?

Re: Mefisto

Some LFC fan analysts seem to think his numbers are suspect. Maybe so maybe not. FWIW they agree with you, that he is the equivalent of a low efficiency volume chucker.

Re: Spurs

Eriksen has to be off right? I know Spurs famously sat out last summer, but Tanguy, Lo Celso, and Sessegnon is a huge outlay. If they keep Toby, use the money on Lo Celso and Sessegnon I think that makes for a more balanced, deeper team.

   1214. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 22, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5863798)
Is Bale a very good player who didn't live up to the hype for Madrid


Someone posted these stats in the "Bale to Spurs?" thread over at CFC


Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid:

:stadium: Games: 227
:soccer: Goals: 49
:dart: Assists: 66
:trophy: Trophies: 6

Gareth Bale at Real Madrid:

:stadium: Games: 231
:soccer: Goals: 102
:dart: Assists: 65
:trophy: Trophies: 13


   1215. spivey Posted: July 22, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5863801)
I'm not convinced Sess is ready. He didn't have a great year last year with Fulham. I love Eriksen, but in theory if we lost him, got Lo Celso, and maybe got another guy like Almo, then I do think we have a more balanced team, and one that much more easily fits into a 4-3-3.

That said, Eriksen is still the 2nd best player on the team, in my book, so I'm all for keeping him and figuring it out, if that's financially doable. Seems like Pogba to Real isn't gonna happen though, which means Eriksen could be leaving. I don't understand how Real is debating between Van de Beek and Eriksen. Granted I only saw Van de Beek a few games, but his track record is awfully short, and I didn't see near the technical skill that Eriksen has from him. He's younger, sure, but Eriksen's next contract you're still getting pretty much all prime years.
   1216. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 22, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5863803)
If Madrid is willing to let him go on a free, why do they care where he winds up? Is China the only option because they don't want him succeeding in a place where the media will keep track of their mistake?


As stated, his wages are ABSURD. Nobody in Europe wants to pay them, even on a free. But there are several Chinese teams that can, ESPECIALLY if it's a free, because there's a 100% tax on transfer fees for foreign players. No fee, no tax, 600,000 isn't impossible.

If Real find a Chinese team to take over the rest of Bale's contract, they'll save somewhere around 100,000,000, just in salary.
   1217. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 22, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5863810)
but Tanguy, Lo Celso, and Sessegnon is a huge outlay.


Not overly so, I don't think.

They banked everything from last year, this year Trippier is off, Vinny is off, Rose almost certainly off, that's 50 million (or so) right there.

Sessegnon is supposedly 20, but also supposedly Fulham are interested in Onamah and GNK, so some of that might be coming right back.

That leaves Lo Celso, which will cost, but is absorbable.

I don't think Eriksen will move, bar a very, very good offer.
   1218. Mefisto Posted: July 22, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5863855)
@1213: Madrid is much nicer IMO. Wasn't that impressed with Milan, though I was only there for a couple of days.
   1219. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 22, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5863897)
Milan has more models, right?

I think Fernandes will be a mistake. He gives the ball away too often and doesn't play much defense. That's the opposite of what United need in a midfielder.

He'll fit right in with Pogba and Fred. I still can't believe United is relying on Matic.

   1220. J. Sosa Posted: July 22, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5863898)
I wasn’t either but I’m not rich, into fashion, or married to someone who is.

I am the wrong guy to ask though, I would just be the backup keeper for Las Palmas.
   1221. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 22, 2019 at 02:24 PM (#5863908)
It looks like Bale is an asset that is worth less than the carrying cost to Real. The obvious economic solution, assuming Bale doesn't want to go to China (or would only go at a prohibitive premium), is to pay someone a portion of his salary to take him on a free. Is this whole public shaming thing merely an attempt to get Bale to take less money somewhere else, just so Real doesn't have to live up to their contract? If so, I hope it doesn't work.
   1222. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 22, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5863913)
Is this whole public shaming thing merely an attempt to get Bale to take less money somewhere else, just so Real doesn't have to live up to their contract?

I think it pretty clearly is. Maybe if Bale had played less golf and been more rapey they would like him better.
   1223. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 22, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5863928)
I think Bale could still easily be of use to RM, it's just that ZZ has decided that Bale is useless to the team. To what extent that's an honest assessment of the team's needs or some weird personal beef, I'm not sure anyone knows (though I lean heavily towards the latter).

RM seems such the tyre fire. Hope you're paying attention to that, Christian ...
   1224. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 22, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5863929)
#1221
Sunk.
Cost.
Getting something is better than getting nothing and paying for everything.
Ought to be a fascinating 3 weeks.
   1225. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 22, 2019 at 03:07 PM (#5863936)
Yea - offloading Bale's salary without having to pay any portion of it seems like win for Madrid. He did play a fair amount in Zidane's first stint. I don't know what soured the relationship so quickly.
   1226. J. Sosa Posted: July 22, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5863939)
Bale is a diva even by footballer standards. IIRC there are a few tales by teammates floating around. As for him and Zidane, Bale ignored Zidane’s instructions on the pitch and Zidane has written him off ever since. That said, Bale doesn’t have to move and the dude did help them to four European Cups. A little respect might be in order.

It is a complicated deal having to do with taxes on Chinese soccer transfers and ownership groups that wink wink totally don’t do deals between clubs. Allegedly they are (were?) trying to hammer something out for everyone to get a piece that circumvents taxes and FFP.

   1227. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: July 22, 2019 at 09:40 PM (#5864048)
Sosa’s description of Bale in 1226 clicked something in me. Jose’s theory;

Gareth Bale=Manny Ramirez

Not a perfect comp obviously but in the way he is perceived. As great as he was with the Red Sox there was a not insignificant percentage of the fan base that just never quite bought him. There was something about him, his style, that rubbed people including teammates the wrong way. Between stuff I’ve read and heightened by Sosa’s comments I think Bale is seen much the same way. He has had some great moments and Real Madrid would not have achieved what they have without him but he just irks people.
   1228. spivey Posted: July 22, 2019 at 09:53 PM (#5864051)
Bale his last season with Tottenham was like a top 5 player in the world. He was billed as the heir apparent to Ronaldo, and he hasn't lived up to that. He's been very good, when healthy, but he's had injuries, Real broke their wage structure for him, which they normally don't do, and he's not justified it. He's never played 30 league matches in his 6 years there. Granted some years, like last, he wasn't a nailed in starter, but he was expected to be one each of these 6 years when he came.

His best season of his career you'd have to say was his last one at Tottenham. He scored more goals on a team where there were a lot less goals to come by. At that point he looked a top 5 player in the world, he had the largest transfer fee in the world right? To use a contemporary who moved to Barcelona at the same time, Suarez. Suarez has made a far bigger impact at Barcelona.

The expectations are going to be huge for someone in Bale's position.
   1229. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: July 22, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5864056)
[1228] All that rings very true, but I don't think it really explains why Zidane so openly and fervently hates him, and vice versa. Seems like a hell of a feud.

But maybe it really is just all business and Zidane et. al. are just doing what businesses everywhere occasionally do with overpaid employees that they'd rather not have to pay handsomely to leave: try everything they can to make the employee suffer until he takes the hint and quits.
   1230. Howie Menckel Posted: July 23, 2019 at 07:50 AM (#5864092)
Darren Rovell
‏Verified account @darrenrovell
18m18 minutes ago

Budweiser replaces Carling as official beer of @premierleague
   1231. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 23, 2019 at 07:51 AM (#5864093)
Bale is a diva even by footballer standards.

Not sure where this comes from. The next bad thing I hear about him while he was at Spurs will be the first. He worked hard, got along with teammates and coaches and was a sweetheart to the tea lady etc etc. I guess becoming a galactico might have ruined him but I don't follow Real closely enough to know. I can't imagine that he's any worse than Ronaldo or Marcelo or Ramos, etc are.

Re: Bale and Spurs...it just doesn't make sense for either party, I think as much as I would enjoy the initial rush of dopamine if it happened. Bayern seems like the best place for him (he could slot into the roles BOTH Ribery and Robben occupied) and I hope he ends up there but China seems the most likely destination.
   1232. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 23, 2019 at 07:52 AM (#5864094)
Budweiser replaces Carling as official beer of @premierleague

"beer"
   1233. J. Sosa Posted: July 23, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5864095)
From memory Defoe, Courtois, Marcelo, Zidane and others have had things to say. The perception is that he doesn’t train hard and is aloof. Given his injury problems it may well be that he believes he can’t, but when a player misses substantial time, plays the aforementioned golf rather than training hard during that time, and then demands to be the featured player and ignores the manager after that time, it is going to cause problems. The rest of it is that he has no interest in forming a relationship with teammates off the pitch. That part is more understandable.

That doesn’t mean he is the biggest diva on the team. Real collects them for sure. Ramos in particular has Arod centaurian levels of divashisness.
   1234. J. Sosa Posted: July 23, 2019 at 08:31 AM (#5864098)
Forgot to add: Ancelotti also couldn’t stand him because he wouldn’t listen to instructions on the pitch and believes Bale got him fired. On a team with that many egos that is impressive, especially given Ancelotti’s experience managing super talented teams like Milan. Zidane was promised Bale would be gone. That is quite a few CL wins for coaches that are on record of not being able to stand Bale. YMMV.
   1235. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 23, 2019 at 08:39 AM (#5864100)
It's very possible Bale has changed. Maybe becoming a "brand" ruined him and would explain his comments this summer about not enjoying the game anymore. Sounds like a shame for everyone involved. I tried to tell him he should stay at Spurs...
   1236. spivey Posted: July 23, 2019 at 08:59 AM (#5864104)
Bayern seems like the best place for him (he could slot into the roles BOTH Ribery and Robben occupied)

Bayern seem ruthless in their wage structure and their attitude of getting rid of a player a year early rather than a year late. Bale strikes me as the anti-Bayern, really, even on heavily subsidized wages.
   1237. The_Ex Posted: July 23, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5864107)
I assume the following:

Zidane wants Pogba

RM can't afford Pogba without players leaving

Zidane wants Bale to leave so he can get Pogba

Bale doesn't want to leave

Zidane decides to "encourage" Bale to leave

Bale can stay, not play, and possibly train with the B team. Or he can leave. Bale has been encouraged to leave before so will he now?
   1238. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 23, 2019 at 09:20 AM (#5864109)
Zidane pushing Real to pay 150 million for Pogba must make Perez really regret re-hiring him. Thank god Real are so fixated on Pogba they let Spurs have Ndombele for a third of the price. I wonder why Real and Barcelona are futzing around with overpriced primadonnas instead of going after Koulibaly from Napoli? Interesting that one of the 2 or 3 best defenders in the world isn't rumored to be going anywhere.
   1239. jmurph Posted: July 23, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5864112)
Of all of the giant money teams, Madrid seems like such a joyless mess. Churning through managers, churning through players, it's just boring.
   1240. J. Sosa Posted: July 23, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5864113)
Historically that has been true of Madrid, but they won three CLs in a row with essentially the same cast of characters. They have made some smart purchases.

Napoli’s owner is notoriously difficult to deal with and Koulibaly might not be good enough on the ball for what the Spanish teams want. Some of it might also be Koulibaly himself, he likes it there.

I don’t understand what Barca is doing, but what Real is doing makes a lot of sense. Probably will take more than one window to remake the team, but Zidane knows his stuff.
   1241. spivey Posted: July 23, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5864123)
When Man U started sniffing around Koulibaly, weren't they told he is not for sale for less than the full release clause (150 mill)? Now maybe he pushes for an exit more if it's Real/Barca, but he strikes me as someone that would be very difficult to get.

As for Pogba, I'm still not sure what to make of him. His technical skill is through the roof, but I don't think you can count on him to do the dirty work week in, week out. He needs someone to carry his water for him, Vidal at Juve, Kante on the national team. Of course, Pogba does play more within a system with the national team, but that's for short stints. I'm unsure if he'll flourish at a better team, or if we'll see the same ####.
   1242. Mefisto Posted: July 23, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5864136)
As for Pogba, I'm still not sure what to make of him. His technical skill is through the roof, but I don't think you can count on him to do the dirty work week in, week out. He needs someone to carry his water for him, Vidal at Juve, Kante on the national team.


This is exactly right. It's why United looked so much better with Herrera in the lineup -- that freed Pogba to do what he does best and minimized his weaknesses. But instead of replacing Herrera with someone similar (and younger), United seem to be going for Fernandes, the anti-Herrera.
   1243. spivey Posted: July 23, 2019 at 10:44 PM (#5864404)
Asensio looks like he's torn up his knee and will probably miss all year. That's such a gut punch when it happens for a young guy, especially one with the promise he had.

In real soccer news, it looks like FC Basel and PSV played an entertaining game game in CL qualifying with 3 goals in the last 15 minutes. Both teams, especially PSV, are legit CL quality so this is an exciting draw. I didn't watch it but may try to catch the return leg. Basel will be at home trailing 3-2 on aggregate, which isn't an awful spot to be.
   1244. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 24, 2019 at 03:56 AM (#5864477)
Budweiser replaces Carling as official beer of @premierleague

"beer"

Heh, the funny thing is that this could be directed at either one of those two, or both, and still be funny.
   1245. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 24, 2019 at 09:49 AM (#5864501)
I meant it at a dig at both as they are both terrible. In the States there's a Microscoft commercial featuring Carling and how they use AI to create new flavors of beer every few minutes in the lab. What they really mean is they use AI to figure out how to make their crappy beer with even cheaper ingredients. Mission Accomplished Carling!

More importantly, 40 million for Joelinton?
   1246. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 24, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5864507)
Meanwhile, Levy is doing Levy things over the Lo Celso transfer (from CFC)

Time marches on and after more hopeful updates earlier in the week we’re still stuck in limbo regarding Giovani Lo Celso’s transfer from Real Betis to Tottenham Hotspur. The latest update from Spain comes from Diario de Sevilla, and suggests that after Betis signed Nabil Fekir, pretty clearly Lo Celso’s direct replacement, Spurs are turning the screws and are now refusing to offer more than €50m for the Argentine midfielder.

Betis are holding firm on their €75m valuation, mostly because 20% of any transfer fee automatically goes to Paris Saint-Germain, Lo Celso’s previous club, and they want to maximize their profit. And that makes sense! But Spurs are still the only club with serious interest in Lo Celso, and Levy appears to be playing hardball now with the fee. Diario de Sevilla notes that earlier in the window Spurs were prepared to offer closer to €60m, but now think they have Betis somewhat over a barrel and are willing to wait them out to get a better deal.
   1247. Mefisto Posted: July 24, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5864510)
More importantly, 40 million for Joelinton?


His numbers in the Bundesliga were actually good, and he's 22. Seems like a decent buy. The other side is that it's Newcastle, who never do anything right.
   1248. spivey Posted: July 24, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5864513)
Lo Celso is good, but 75 million seems too much for him. Even in today's transfer market, it seems steep to me for a midfielder with 1 season of top football in him. If Tottenham looked away from Lo Celso, I wonder who we'd consider (I assume this is all posturing and there will be a deal reached around 55-60 mill plus some add ons).
   1249. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 24, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5864517)
I'm not saying go the full 75, but just find a fair price and get it over with. Now if Betis won't budge from an unfair price, then move on. Just get these deals done and the players into camp.
   1250. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 24, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5864526)
I'm not saying go the full 75, but just find a fair price and get it over with. Now if Betis won't budge from an unfair price, then move on. Just get these deals done and the players into camp.

At the risk of alienating the gaffer? Also, the problem with working down a list is you end up buying a player who isn't as good/isn't as good a fit. Arsenal have gone down that path and it just leads to a degradation of your squad. Better to do what Liverpool does now and identify the guy you want and then be patient and work to get it over the line.
   1251. Topher Posted: July 24, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5864532)
Betis are holding firm on their €75m valuation, mostly because 20% of any transfer fee automatically goes to Paris Saint-Germain, Lo Celso’s previous club, and they want to maximize their profit. And that makes sense!


Does this make sense?

1. So Betis would be totally cool not maximizing their profit otherwise? They'd be 100% on board letting him go for half the price otherwise ... it's just that pesky sell-on fee that is holding things up.

2. If you were to pretend that Betis wouldn't want to maximize profit, wouldn't the sell-on fee argue for being slightly less greedy? If you only get 80¢ on the dollar, aren't you slightly disincentivized to go chasing after that extra dollar?
   1252. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 24, 2019 at 11:03 AM (#5864535)
At the risk of alienating the gaffer? Also, the problem with working down a list is you end up buying a player who isn't as good/isn't as good a fit. Arsenal have gone down that path and it just leads to a degradation of your squad. Better to do what Liverpool does now and identify the guy you want and then be patient and work to get it over the line.


Hey now, I'm not saying just move on the first random Stambouli you find, I'm just saying I prefer the Cashman to the Levy. Look, if the two teams are really 25 million apart, well, there's not much that can be done. But if it's 5 million, that's a ####### rounding error. Figure out a compromise if it's still a fair deal with that 5 million added.

The art of the fair deal versus the art of the "best" deal ...
   1253. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 24, 2019 at 03:26 PM (#5864681)
It's weird that the Spurs would try to alienate teams by striking such a hard bargain. If you're Barcelona or Madrid, you have the prestige and money thing behind you, while PSG, Chelsea, United and City has a lot of money behind them. Spurs have money but that's more a result of being a very good team in a uber-rich league. I don't think many players consider them a dream destination, plus Spurs seem to have a reputation of not paying outrageous wages. It made sense to wrangle every extra million to the point of scorched earth when you are a 'scrappy' team on the periphery of Champions League, but with the talent level the Spurs are shopping for nowadays there is going to be some other rich team that could be brought in.

Which brings me to this thought - if Lo Celso is good enough (based solely on the price alone) to be breaking into the 1st team of Spurs, why is no one else in on him?
   1254. J. Sosa Posted: July 24, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5864689)
I assume the reason no one else is in on Lo Celso is that he wants to play for Poch.

Speaking from Liverpool experience, Levy needs to stop screwing around. The VVD situation was similar, VVD only wanted to play for Klopp, City and Chelsea dropped out of the bidding, and Liverpool tried to turn the screws with the leverage. Southampton got pissed, justifiably so. Spurs were already going to get Lo Celso for a reasonable price. Nickle and diming the Fekir and Lo Celso leverage is bush league.

The deal is right there, take it and get Poch the player he wants and in camp for once for crying out loud. I have gotten so aggravated with Levy the last few years. Poch is freaking lightning in a bottle for the club. This gets done Spurs have one of the very best elevens in the world. Lo Celso should have been doing a Spurs lean five minutes after the Fekir deal.
   1255. spivey Posted: July 24, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5864694)
Which brings me to this thought - if Lo Celso is good enough (based solely on the price alone) to be breaking into the 1st team of Spurs, why is no one else in on him?

That's a fair question. I don't know if I'm paying more attention to the rumors this year, but it does seem like a fair amount of rumors across the landscape are pretty targeted for individual teams. Just looking at the England teams:

- City are loaded and got a midfielder who is probably better
- Liverpool have spent a lot in recent years, including 2 high profile midfield signings last year, have a crowded midfield. They don't have F U money to just sign every good player that very incrementally improves the team
- Arsenal - apparently have a very limited transfer window budget
- Chelsea - transfer ban. in fact, this is probably why they kept Kovacic at a rather steep price
- Man U - hard to say what's going on here. In this case they're not necessarily wrong to not target Lo Celso, I think he has some bust potential. But in general I can't tell if they just don't know what they're doing in targeting players, or if players don't view it as a place you can win big right now. Probably both.
- PSG - he came from there, so even if he improves the team that ship has sailed, probably
- Juve - they've put a huge outlay of money out there recently. I think their midfield is again going to be their downfall in the CL this year, but it doesn't seem like they view getting another midfielder as a big need. Ramsey probably closely approximates the positions on the field that Lo Celso will be in.

There's still Barca, Real, and Bayern. And then that's probably it for the list of teams that are considered more desirable or as desirable as Spurs. Barca spent big on De Jong and wants Griezmann, and needs to unload some guys. Even for as rich as they are, it probably seems a bit unnecessary. I also have questions about if they're building a balanced team.

Real, I've seen some comments about are they so focused on Pogba that they've ignored guys like N'Dombele that could have done a shift there.

Bayern I'm sure sees this amount of money as an overpay. They seem to be the new Juve in that they're not very comfortable with the current transfer market costs. I guess when all of the good Germans want to play for you and will run out their contracts to do so, that can work.
   1256. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 24, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5864702)
I assume the reason no one else is in on Lo Celso is that he wants to play for Poch.


I think this is very much part of it.


Speaking from Liverpool experience, Levy needs to stop screwing around. The VVD situation was similar, VVD only wanted to play for Klopp, City and Chelsea dropped out of the bidding, and Liverpool tried to turn the screws with the leverage. Southampton got pissed, justifiably so. Spurs were already going to get Lo Celso for a reasonable price. Nickle and diming the Fekir and Lo Celso leverage is bush league.

The deal is right there, take it and get Poch the player he wants and in camp for once for crying out loud. I have gotten so aggravated with Levy the last few years. Poch is freaking lightning in a bottle for the club. This gets done Spurs have one of the very best elevens in the world. Lo Celso should have been doing a Spurs lean five minutes after the Fekir deal.


Like I said, the art of the fair deal versus the art of the "bestest" deal.

I tried to make more or less the same points over at CFC, but it seems most everybody, including the masthead, has drunk the Levy is a "12-dimensional Jedi Master, bend 'em over the barrel" kool-aid.

One mitigating factor that I cling to is Lo Celso is still said to be on vacation after Copa America, which would obviously complicate any signing to this point.
   1257. Topher Posted: July 24, 2019 at 06:02 PM (#5864726)
And then that's probably it for the list of teams that are considered more desirable or as desirable as Spurs.


Ignore desire. How many teams can afford to pay €50M? To the list that spivey made, you can add Dortmund although a move like that isn't really in their DNA. Probably Everton, Palace, Watford, and Leicester, although Leicester might need to first sell Maguire. I'm not sure if Atletico can pay that price after getting Felix. Inter likely would need to first sell Icardi.

I'm sure that there are other teams that could pay €50M, but after AC Milan got kicked out of Europe, I would be a bit worried about the FFP implications. (I can't believe I just typed a sentence about being concerned about FFP.)

Once you do factor in desire, there probably aren't more than 2 or 3 teams that are a rival to get Lo Celso. And maybe not even that many.

I think the VVD parallel is smart and Spurs are at risk of alienating some combo of Betis, Lo Celso, or Pochettino. But given what we know about Levy, this seems like a prime opportunity for him to really tighten the screws in negotiating.
   1258. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 24, 2019 at 06:43 PM (#5864731)
So I, uh, didn't see this one coming (even though it will likely lead nowhere)

Tottenham Hotspur have made contact with Juventus over a dramatic swoop for striker Paulo Dybala to form a formidable strike partnership with Harry Kane next season.

The 25-year-old is one of Europe's most feared forwards and football.london understands Spurs have been been in discussions with the Serie A side about an ambitious move for the £80m-rated Argentine, who is hugely admired by Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.


football.london
   1259. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: July 24, 2019 at 06:48 PM (#5864733)
Speaking from Liverpool experience, Levy needs to stop screwing around. The VVD situation was similar, VVD only wanted to play for Klopp, City and Chelsea dropped out of the bidding, and Liverpool tried to turn the screws with the leverage. Southampton got pissed, justifiably so. Spurs were already going to get Lo Celso for a reasonable price. Nickle and diming the Fekir and Lo Celso leverage is bush league.

The deal is right there, take it and get Poch the player he wants and in camp for once for crying out loud. I have gotten so aggravated with Levy the last few years. Poch is freaking lightning in a bottle for the club. This gets done Spurs have one of the very best elevens in the world. Lo Celso should have been doing a Spurs lean five minutes after the Fekir deal.


Not sure I'm as certain about Lo Celso as you are, but I agree with the rest of this. Especially the part where pissing off Pochettino over a few million bucks is a risk extremely not worth taking. Spurs are damn lucky to have that guy still managing their team, IMO.
   1260. Baldrick Posted: July 24, 2019 at 11:14 PM (#5864775)
Portland Thorns up 4-0 over Houston within 30 minutes. Portland have come out extremely hot in all their recent games, but have failed to convert their chances. Today, they've converted their chances. Absolutely brutal.

Houston got into a big internet fight with some of the indy media folks a week or two ago. They felt like they weren't getting enough respect. So this has really shown their critics.
   1261. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 25, 2019 at 08:19 AM (#5864803)
Tottenham are mostly terrible so far but, holy toledo, this Troy Parrot can play. Ireland fans should be very excited.
   1262. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 25, 2019 at 08:58 AM (#5864804)
God Matic is so slow and terrible.
   1263. Mefisto Posted: July 25, 2019 at 09:33 AM (#5864805)
At least United have aggressively pursued lots of midfielders this summer. /sarcasm
   1264. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 25, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5864863)
As I wrote over at CFC ... did any Spurs get injured in the match today? No? It was a good match.
   1265. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 25, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5864905)
Toby Alderweireld's 25 million release clause has expired.

Any deal for him now must pass through The Black Gates Daniel Levy's office door ...
   1266. aberg Posted: July 25, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5864921)
I didn't watch Juve as much last year after they moved to ESPN+, but I thought Dybala was tremendous the year before. He'd be such a good withdrawn forward behind Kane and he's so young. I imagine he's only available because he's a bit of an awkward fit with Ronaldo, so poaching him would seem opportunistic.
   1267. spivey Posted: July 25, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5864927)
I think Eriksen is better than Dybala. Better passer, better workrate. But Dybala would be a very good consolation prize if we were to lose Eriksen. Though the team would have a bit less balance - a starting XI with Kane, Son, and Dybala would be fairly top heavy.
   1268. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 25, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5864937)
Well, if Spurs lose Eriksen, that would likely cover Dybala, or close to it. And since it appears the Lo Celso isn't dependent on an Eriksen sale, the equation might be:
Dybala + Lo Celso - Eriksen.
   1269. J. Sosa Posted: July 25, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5864940)
The Dybala stuff is coming from credible people but I have a hard time buying it. He is very talented but he is essentially a support striker and limited in the ways he can be utilized. Juventus and the national team have had problems fitting him in.

He isn’t an attacking mid really, he can play there but doesn’t do enough defensively. Spurs already have two players better suited for the role he would likely have to play. Definitely not a like for like alternative to Lo Celso, who often played credibly out of position as a defensive mid at PSG. Or for Eriksen for that matter.

Edit to add: To clarify even if Eriksen leaves I don’t see the fit unless Alli and Son are asked to play a different role. Seems like the money could be better used elsewhere.
   1270. jmurph Posted: July 25, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5864942)
Who is it that's supposed to be buying Eriksen, again? I'm not seeing it this summer unless a bunch of other things happen quickly.
   1271. J. Sosa Posted: July 25, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5864944)
I think the CW is Madrid since Pogba is staying put. I don’t think the United stuff is credible.
   1272. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 25, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5864955)
Folks, Dybala isn't going to Spurs. That's crazy talk. Spurs have moved up the food chain the last few years but let's not get crazy.

I'm really surprised Toby's release clause has lapsed. He must be looking for crazy wages or something. I'm a little nervous that it's getting more likely by the day he and Eriksen will leave on frees next summer. That's good in the short term but not so good overall.
   1273. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 25, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5864957)
I'm really surprised Toby's release clause has lapsed. He must be looking for crazy wages or something. I'm a little nervous that it's getting more likely by the day he and Eriksen will leave on frees next summer. That's good in the short term but not so good overall.


Everything that's come out suggests his wage demands aren't out of line. Levy just doesn't want to give him the years he wants. AFAIK, the only team to even inquire was Roma and they didn't want to even stump up the 25 million, so that went nowhere.

My gut on Dybala is that Levy is a) kicking the tires to see if there's a play there and b) playing mind games with Betis to get leverage in a Lo Celso deal.

   1274. Topher Posted: July 25, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5864961)
I imagine he's only available because he's a bit of an awkward fit with Ronaldo


I was fully expecting Dybala to leave Juventus this summer because he didn't seem to be a fit with Ronaldo and Allergri. Since Allegri mostly played 3-5-2, I was curious to see if Dybala would have similar troubles getting playing time with the switch to 4-3-3. Unless Sarri were to tell Dybala he's only a rotation option, I wouldn't think that Dybala leaves in this transfer window. But there is still the awkwardness of playing him along with Ronaldo so it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up leaving the club before Ronaldo does.
   1275. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 25, 2019 at 04:22 PM (#5864984)
There is apparently some noise that United are close to getting Milinkovic-Savic. I'm still waiting to hear about Maguire.
   1276. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 25, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5865031)
Mesut Özil And Sead Kolašinac Attacked By Knife-Wielding Thieves While Driving In London

On Thursday afternoon, Arsenal players Mesut Özil and Sead Kolašinac were driving through London when a pair of assailants wielding knives attempted to rob them. Video of the event shows Kolašinac outside the car trying to fight off the would-be robbers, while Özil drives off
   1277. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 26, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5865196)
I'm reading Michael Cox's new book and he makes reference to this play during a Juve-Inter game in 1998. Scenes!

Make sure to pay attention to the beginning when (fat) Ronaldo gets leveled to start the Juve counter.
   1278. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 26, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5865265)
From ESPNFC's transfer blog

TOP STORY: Tottenham ready £80m move for Dybala

Tottenham are leading the race for Juventus striker Paulo Dybala, with The Times reporting that they are ready to lay down £80m to make the deal happen.

Dybala, 25, looks set to depart the club this summer, while Spurs are starting to splash the cash in a bid to improve their hopes of winning the Premier League title. They have just announced a shirt sponsorship deal which is the joint second-biggest in the Premier League and will add £45m-a-year to their finances.

Tottenham have already spent £55m on Tanguy Ndombele and are also reportedly closing in on Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso for a similar fee.


This being Spurs, I have prepared myself for the reality of Levy not pushing the signings of Dybala, Lo Celso or Sessegnon through, but at least this transfer window has been interesting ...
   1279. spivey Posted: July 26, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5865267)
Dybala is good. I saw some recent rumor milling that PSG may be interested in him as well now.

I don't know that Dybala fits Spurs that well, unless Poch could talk him into putting in significantly more effort on the defensive end. Eriksen's activity is a key part of the press.
   1280. jmurph Posted: July 26, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5865268)
As a fan of not-Spurs, I really preferred their previous approach of leaving points on the table in favor of profits. Boooooooo new signings.
   1281. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 26, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5865273)
unless Poch could talk him into putting in significantly more effort on the defensive end


Supposedly Poch really wants him so I suppose he has an idea of how he'd fit him into a scheme. 80 million seems an awful lot to pay to fix something that doesn't seem broken.

If that kind of money really is rattling around Spurs' coffers, I'd much rather they re-signed Eriksen and Toby, finalized Lo Celso and Sessegnon and then went hunting for some quality fullbacks ...
   1282. Mefisto Posted: July 26, 2019 at 07:22 PM (#5865386)
Italy reports (Di Marzio) now saying that Juve have offered Dybala to United for Lukaku.

The rumors are starting to fly. My guess is that this one's invented in order to put pressure on Spurs.
   1283. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 26, 2019 at 07:32 PM (#5865390)
I hear they have quality golf courses in China ...

Gareth Bale's move to China looks set to be completed after all, with Jiangsu Suning finally able to come to an agreement with the Welshman, Marca reports.

The three-year deal will see Bale earn a staggering €22 million per season. Bale's wage demands had previously caused complications for the Chinese outfit in the deal, but it's thought that only small details need to be finalised.


ESPNFC
   1284. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: July 26, 2019 at 08:36 PM (#5865414)
Italy reports (Di Marzio) now saying that Juve have offered Dybala to United for Lukaku.


All well and good, but Dybala has go along with it, too. One might suspect it would take quite a wage premium to convince him to go play in the Europa League with even an entry in the 2021 CL far from assured.

I rather suspect if Dybala were to move it would more likely be to PSG.
   1285. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 26, 2019 at 08:40 PM (#5865415)
Supposedly the offer from Jiangsu Suning to Bale is "close to £1m per week" according to the Graun ...
   1286. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 26, 2019 at 08:59 PM (#5865423)
Huh ... 5-0 Athletico over Real at HT.

Didn't see that coming ...
   1287. Mefisto Posted: July 26, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5865454)
I think the rumor about Dybala to United is total bullshit, probably coming from a United/Juve source. The rumor puts pressure on Inter to complete the long-rumored deal for Lukaku, while at the same time pressuring Spurs to pay more for Dybala.
   1288. J. Sosa Posted: July 27, 2019 at 07:05 AM (#5865497)
Arsenal got Pepe. I don’t think he is quite as good in context as last season’s numbers would suggest, but I think he is a better player than Zaha. Arsenal has desperately needed a wide player for years. Not quite sure what Emery is planning, looks like maybe PEA on the left Pepe on the right. Pepe is very much an inverted winger. They desperately need Bellerin to stay healthy this year.

Saliba, Ceballos, Pepe. High end talent. They are going to concede a ton though. Be interesting to see if Tierney gets done.
   1289. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 27, 2019 at 08:18 AM (#5865503)
Supposedly the offer from Jiangsu Suning to Bale is "close to £1m per week" according to the Graun ...

Makes sense. He is supposedly already making 600k a week, and was never going to China without a substantial pay bump.
   1290. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 27, 2019 at 09:56 AM (#5865510)
Be interesting to see if Tierney gets done.


I'm going to go out on a limb and say no.

Arsenal's bids for Tierney have been very light on money up front, going for installments instead, mainly because they've been crying poor over their transfer allowance this year.

I have a feeling Celtic will be none to happy to find that the Arse have managed to find 80 million under some couch cushions for Pepe, but not 25 for Tierney.
   1291. spivey Posted: July 27, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5865532)
I think the Pepe deal is rumored to be paid in installments in a way Celtic don’t want. If Rose were to leave, I would like Tottenham to consider swooping here. 25 mill ain’t that much and Tierney is supposed to be good.
   1292. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 27, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5865536)
He's likely a better bet at LB than Sessegnon is at this point ...
   1293. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 28, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5865686)
According to the BBC, Real have cancelled Bale's move to China and he'll stay with the club.

LOL.
   1294. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 28, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5865704)
According to the BBC, Real have cancelled Bale's move to China and he'll stay with the club.

Interesting. Like I said above, the only way it really made sense for Bale, was if it came along with a significant rise in salary. I was a little surprised that a Chinese team would want to pay that much, but once they supposedly were...

Now I kinda wonder how much of the reporting was 'fake news' trying to put pressure on Bale to agree to a move. With the actual offer well short of what was reported. Especially with Real Madrid supposedly being the ones to call it off. If they could move Bale without having to pay any remaining salary, or paying in some other way, you would have to consider that a huge win for them at this point.
   1295. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 28, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5865710)
Gareth Bale's proposed transfer to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning has been called off by Real Madrid after the Wales international's family opted against making the move, according to ESPN FC sources.

News the deal had collapsed was first reported by the BBC, and sources have told ESPN FC another reason for the breakdown was that Jiangsu would only agree to a free transfer, while Madrid were looking a fee for the 30-year-old.


-ESPNFC
   1296. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 28, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5865711)
With the caveat that we don't really know what goes on with these transfers, it's useful to note that the folks who own the Chinese club trying to sign Bale also control Inter Milan. This whole thing could be an attempt by Inter to circumvent FFP so maybe Real doesn't want to get involved in any shenanigans.

Also, when talking about soccer wages, I think it's funny that Bale's wages are held up as some extortionate amount when he makes about what D'Angelo Russell makes for the Warriors. Heh.
   1297. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 28, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5865715)
Also, when talking about soccer wages, I think it's funny that Bale's wages are held up as some extortionate amount when he makes about what D'Angelo Russell makes for the Warriors. Heh.

Yeah, but there are two factors to consider there.

1. Transfer fees drive down wages.
2. Football players get paid from the moment they are good. Often from age 18-19. The draft and rookie wage scale in US sports drives down the wages for about half of the players on the court, and obviously inflates those of free agents.
   1298. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: July 28, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5865722)
I don't believe for a second that Real really think anyone is going to pay them a fee to take Bale off their hands. Especially since Bale has made it clear he's not going anywhere without a hefty raise on top of what he already makes. It makes zero-point-zero sense that Real wouldn't be happy to clear many millions (even assuming they'd be picking up some of Bale's remaining wages) off their wage bill for a player their freshly re-hired manager has very publicly made it clear he does not intend to use.

I can't see any angle in Real pretending it was their decision if Bale in fact nixed the transfer, or failed a physical or something. Either Jiangsu got cold feet, or Zidane is going to be gone within like a month (which seems astronomically unlikely), or there is something really strange going on behind the scenes, such as what Shooty suggested.

e: Or come to think of it, it's probably just misreporting as a transfer fee being the issue when it's really about how much of Bale's wages Real is going to retain.
   1299. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 28, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5865724)
I don't believe for a second that Real really think anyone is going to pay them a fee to take Bale off their hands. Especially since Bale has made it clear he's not going anywhere without a hefty raise on top of what he already makes. It makes zero-point-zero sense that Real wouldn't be happy to clear many millions (even assuming they'd be picking up some of Bale's remaining wages) off their wage bill for a player their freshly re-hired manager has very publicly made it clear he does not intend to use.


I saw a figure quoted (I referenced it above) that even without receiving ANY transfer fee for Bale, just clearing his contract off their books would save Real around 100 million in wages, bonuses and add-ons.

You would think that would grab the board's attention, but, this being Real, it sounds like pride goeth before the fall ...

   1300. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 28, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5865730)
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