The hottest topics for the week of August 21, 2011 …
Over-extended: The Kansas City Royals signed the offensively challenged Jeff Francoeur to an unlikely contract extension – sending a strong message to their fan base: Root for St. Louis.
More Francoeur: Jeff was delighted by the generous terms of the contract from the Royals since his last contract offer was for the league minimum, a parking spot labeled “the Jeffinator,” a case of pop tarts and a partial Sonics gift card.
Little people, big dreams: One team of youngsters will win the Little League World Series and celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. And hundreds of other kids will have their dreams shattered and be scarred for life on national television.
Double standards: St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguer Shelby Miller was suspended for an alcohol-related incident in accordance with the team’s very strict rules. Manager Tony LaRussa commented, “I’ll drink to that.”
General mismanagement: The Chicago Cubs finally fired general manager Jim Hendry after making a mess of the team. But it’s a little late. As they say: The horse is already out of the barn (and has pooped all over town).
El Duque: Even though he hasn’t pitched since 2007, Orlando Hernandez announced his retirement from baseball, which came as quite a surprise since pretty much everyone thought he passed away years ago.
Much ado: Like a Jennifer Aniston movie, the deadline to sign selectees from June’s draft came with over-hyped media coverage and went with a disappointing fizzle. And none of us will ever forgive Angelina.
Busted: Mike Jacobs of the Rockies became the first US athlete ever to test positive for HGH. This proves that not only is MLB serious about these offenses, but that HGH doesn’t make a player good.
More Jacobs: Mike insisted that it was a mix up and he was confused by all the medications in his possession and he was just trying to take the one that would enlarge his … um … biceps.
Addition by subtraction: The Minnesota Twins are still trying to get back into the playoff race, so they traded offensive and defensive liability Delmon Young to the division-leading Detroit Tigers.
Basketbrawl: The Georgetown basketball team got into a bench-clearing brawl during a “friendly” game with a team in China … They were hungry an hour later.
Miami Blues: A Miami University booster claims he supplied prostitutes to players. Since when do college football players have to pay for sex?
UFC TV Deal: Fox just closed a deal to televise UFC fights. This is great news for fans of fighting, blood and violence – when The Jersey Shore just isn’t enough.
Contributors: Zach Pennington, Ben Fiandaca, Jon Sumple, Justin Workman