Happy Sunday Morning y’all! Thanks to Justin for holding it down last week for Middle of Monday Musings. I was indeed off playing Dungeons and Dragons in Indianapolis, and yes it was awesome. As always, our musings are a roundup of the thoughts we have throughout the week that don’t quite make it to full articles. This week we have some pretty gnarly things popping up in the world of sports, and it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Right off the bat though, we have to talk about one very specific all-star:
Georges Laraque looks f**king good
At Montreal Pride, former NHL player Georges Laraque entered a celebrity drag contest. And guess what, he won. Not only did he win, he absolutely killed it on the runway. Let’s start with his look.
Yes. You. Better. Get. It. Laraque looks so damned good and is serving you looks. Just what I needed to wake up to this am. Oh and also? HE WON THE DAMN THING. Of course he did, because he’s been an advocate for social justice for years. He has used his voice for good in Canadian Politics, American Community Service, and bringing positive change to Haiti. Georges Laraque is amazing.
And if you’re wondering what he looked like on the runway? Wonder no more.
Also to be noted, he had a cameo role in the movie Goon, which is one of my absolute favorites sports films. This makes him my favorite former NHL player.
Chelsea F.C. bungled a situation they knew was coming
The August 9th trade window for the Premier League has come and gone. With it came a number of blockbuster trades and head-scratching decisions. The first surprise move was when Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois moved to Real Madrid for €35m. Yesterday his Agent gave an update to the situation that sheds a little more light on why the all-star player moved for such a cheap price.
There has been a misunderstanding that he wanted to get a move for the wrong reasons, but he was pushing to go out of Chelsea because of his children. If the family were in London it would have been totally different. He would have stayed, there is no reason to leave a club like Chelsea, he could have won trophies. Unfortunately his kids are living with the mother in Madrid.
He had the contract and it depended on Chelsea, but running close to the end of his contract, Chelsea had an interest to find a deal with Madrid, which they did. It is personal reasons so we have to respect this. Chelsea understood the situation and really helped to get the deal. They did a really quick and easy deal together, understanding the humanity of the situation. It is not doing something against their fans it is about getting the best of a situation that is not ideal.Christophe Henrotay
In the moments afterwards, Chelsea found themselves without a keeper, and shelled out £72m to Spanish Club Athletic Bilbao for Kepa Arrizabalaga. For those who don’t want to do the conversion, €35m is about £31m. In other words they spent a net of £41m to get a keeper I would argue is the less talented of the two. But Chelsea did Courtois a solid and that has to be acknowledged. Except……
Chelsea could have gotten Kepa for only £18m in January
That’s when Real Madrid passed on him mid-season, and he was sent back to his Spanish club. That club then changed the amount from £18m to £71m to purchase his contract and the rest is history. This Cortois situation was a long time coming, and easily for-seeable. If they were going to ship him to one of the best teams in the world for peanuts, they should have had their future waiting in the wings.
Andrew Wilhelm takes it one step farther.
Chelsea FC bought a keeper for around £72Mil, making him the most expensive keeper ever. They did this because their star keeper decided he wanted to go play for Real Madrid and forced his way out, leaving the team scrambling. There had been signs of this all summer and Chelsea actually had a chance to sign the Brazilian star Alisson but balked because the then-record price of around £65Mil was “too-high.”Andrew Wilhelm – The Turf
Tottenham Hotspur rolls the dice
While we’re on the subject of blockbuster trades, let’s look at the moves that the Tottenham Hotspurs have made.
Yep. None. Zilcho. Not a single move by the ‘Spurs. What does that mean? Not entirely clear. Spurs superfan Dave Bolton weighs in:
Tottenham are the only team in Europe’s top five leagues (EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and the French one) to not sign a single new player in the transfer window. This is either a sign of huge cojones or a clusterfuck waiting to happen. I am going for the former.Dave Bolton – The Turf
Dave is optimistic, but given the way his blood pressure charts correlate exactly to the trajectory of the ‘Spurs’ season, he may be a little biased. If Tottenham truly believes they have the team to take the league. Then good, don’t make moves. It shows a confidence in your players and builds team morale. They won their opener against Newcastle, so they’re off to a good start. But it’s a long season, and more than one pundit has outspokenly said they’ve made a mistake here.
For the sake of Dave’s blood pressure, I hope they’re wrong.
Felix Hernandez demoted
It was a quiet move, but one that could have huge implications on the future of this Mariners team. Felix Hernandez, staple of Seattle’s rotation for the last 12 years, was sent back to the bullpen after struggling. Hernandez vows to be back in the rotation before long, but there’s no doubt that the veteran isn’t throwing it like he used to. Turf writer Matteo had this to say:
Very weird to see that they just moved Felix Hernandez to the bullpen in Seattle. Though he’s been declining a bit for a few years, he’s more or less been their ace since 2006 and probably the most recognizable part of the franchise for the past 14 years other than Ichiro. It will be interesting to see if he can establish a spot for himself in a different role now or if he’s going to work to move back into the rotation.Matteo – The Turf
It should be noted, that this is the first time in his entire career that he hasn’t been part of the starting rotation. Hernandez has never once pitched a relief in the Major Leagues. It will be interesting to see how his arm recovers with less use, and whether he finds a new role as a closer moving forward.
The MLB Players’ Weekend nicknames are cringe-worthy
We’ll have more on this in a spinoff of Tip of the Cap (if you’re a baseball cap fan, you HAVE to check out this weekly column), however Ryan Matott said something that articulated exactly how I’ve felt for a while now.
does the nickname thing the MLB does feel condescending to anyone else? it’s like the old dude trying to be hip in the most cringy way possible. It’s like when the NHL tries to be hip by having a mediocre decade-too-late rapper preform before the All-Star game.Ryan Matott – The Turf
Yep. Absolutely this. The Players’ Weekend feels like the NFL All-Star Weekend, in that it’s useless. I don’t learn anything, it doesn’t seem that fun, and it pumps out merchandise that is just plain rough. I will say one thing though to come to the defense of one of my favorite players.
If your name is Mookie Betts, and someone asks you what your nickname is. You better say Mookie. Mookie is an awesome name, and nothing you come up with will be better. “The Mook” or “Mook” look weird as hell written out. The only thing that would be acceptable would be a nickname to acknowledge that he’s a better bowler than any of us. How do I know that? Because he’s a two-sport professional athlete.
Never change, Mookie. And wear that name on the back of your jersey proudly.