Sunday, February 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Questioning Rays' suspension of Sale

A troubling case

Let me start by saying I don't condone the behavior of Rays prospect Josh Sale, Tampa Bay's first-round draft pick in 2010. He's the clown coming off a 50-game suspension for taking a banned substance who seems to think Facebook and Twitter are good places to post goofy pictures and make wisecracks about strippers. He bragged on Facebook that he got kicked out of a strip club for throwing change at a stripper. That's just one of the embarrassing and demeaning things he has posted on the Internet.

He looks like a punk, and he acts like one.

The Rays decided to suspend Sale and send him home for conduct detrimental to the organization. Maybe they believe this is the best way to send a much-needed message.

The Rays aren't saying much, but this isn't a new problem. Sale has been acting like an idiot on social media for months. But the suspension didn't come until after deadspin.com wrote something and the story went national.

I'm just not sure sending the 21-year-old home and giving him nothing to do is the best course of action. It seems like he already has too much spare time on his hands. Giving him more seems like asking for trouble.

Maybe plenty more has happened behind the scenes that we don't know. Maybe the Rays already have had "see-the-light" meetings with Sale. Maybe nothing else has worked and tough love is the only option left.

But it just seems to me Sale is an immature kid who needs to grow up. He could use help doing so, and the Rays are best equipped to help him. Go ahead and suspend him, but don't abandon him.

Look, the Rays are in a tough spot here. I get that. They don't want to appear tolerant of Sale's behavior. Maybe they are just buying a little time until they can figure out a way to unload him.

But the harder choice is to stick with him and give him a hand. Maybe the Rays will soon do that and turn Sale into a decent person as well as a good ballplayer.

He said it

"We are literally sitting in the crowd here. These losers are leaving. They are flocking to the exits with their team down by three. This city does not only not deserve this team. They don't deserve any team."

Pacers radio play-by-play announcer Mark Boyle, talking about Heat fans leaving before the conclusion of Game 2 of the NBA's Eastern Conference final, a game won by the Pacers

The list

The NFL Network is in the process of airing a series that counts down the top 100 players in 2013. So far the network has unveiled Nos. 100 through 40. And so far the Bucs on the list are safety Dashon Goldson (No. 97), defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (92), cornerback Darrelle Revis (67), running back Doug Martin (57) and receiver Vincent Jackson (52). I'm starting to wonder if any other Bucs player will make it.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning is listed at No. 43, and you have to figure that means Bucs QB Josh Freeman did not make the list.

Media tidbits

• Wednesday's Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinal series between the Blackhawks and Red Wings averaged 3.354 million viewers, making it the most-watched NHL game ever on the NBC Sports Network/Versus.

• Let's see if there's a shakeup on the set of CBS's The NFL Today pregame show. CBS named Drew Kaliski as the new producer. He replaces Eric Mann, who had been in that position for 25 years.

• The Magic will not renew the contract of television analyst Matt Guokas, the 69-year-old former coach. Unless there is something the Magic isn't saying, this is a terrible move. Guokas remains a top-notch announcer and deserves to be calling games.

Three things that popped into my head

1. Maybe Ohio State president Gordon Gee should stop talking for a while. You know, sit out a couple of plays.

2. Game 1 of the Western Conference final between the Kings and Blackhawks was Saturday. Game 2 is today. I don't care about television or building availability or anything else. There's no way teams in the conference finals should be playing on back-to-back days. These games are too important.

3. John Tortorella took the fall for the Rangers failing this season. But isn't it about time general manager Glen Sather is asked a few questions? He has been the GM since 2000. Since then, the Rangers have won a total of five playoff series and made it as far as the conference final once.

tom jones' two cents

 
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