NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerds Around Town: The fall of the AAF, David Ortiz update and ghosts

Art by Jesus Rodriguez

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Hey Nerds!

It's Thursday and the weekend is coming, are you ready or what?!

Good deed of the day

AICF and Mark Clayton Scholarship Golf Tournament, it's a golf tournament to benefit a scholarship fund and help kids get to college and better their lives. It's awesome. #NerdsUnite

The fall of the AAF

ESPN did an interesting piece about the fall of the AAF. It's an interesting story and obviously everyone is trying to spin things in their favor because there are still lawsuits going on and also there's a PR war going on for "who is to blame" but there's some real meat in this story. It paints Dundon in a better light than I had viewed him in, he transforms a little bit from corporate raider to guy who sees a failing business and is looking to get out. Ebersol does take a big hit in the credibility department, it looks like his first funding partner Fowler was an absolute criminal and is in fact facing federal indictments unrelated to the AAF.

Another issue is Ebersol grossly undervalued the costs associated with running a league. He should have put together about $400 million dollars, instead he thought he needed $300 million and sold a third of the league to Fowler for about $120 million. That's not enough. For his part Polian didn't seem to be realistic about costs associated with the players involved and honestly, Dundon for his part should have done a better job of getting players home and paying vendors, but all of that will get taken care of in terms of legal issues. Great read though.

Sounding suspicious

In one of the weirdest stories in pop culture and sports is David Ortiz being shot in his home country of The Dominican Republic last week. He is now resting comfortably in the United States and all the people directly involved in the overt act appear to have been apprehended. There's a lot of weird stuff to this story, a criminal called The Surgeon and another criminal called Red are involved and now the AG of the Dominican are saying there's someone in the states that's involved in this and that it might be a case of mistaken identity. One of the most famous Dominicans on the island was shot accidentally and was mistaken for someone else? I don't think that sounds very believable. I'm not "Crisis Actor" guy and I'm not trying to go way down the rabbit hole, but seriously a mistaken identity over David Ortiz? Ok.

Why are we listening to these guys?

So one thing that I always think is crazy is that the sports networks always hire former front office guys and head coaches and that gives credibility to the networks. Except when you start thinking about it, how the heck does that happen? Rex Ryan for example was a terrible head coach, but he for sure knows football and is a great defensive mind.

But why should we listen to him talk about running a franchise or making personnel decisions when the Jets were awful under him? Same with guys like Mike Tannenbaum. They know football it's been their whole lives, I agree whole heartedly with that but when they put his resume up on the screen, I'm always like "but why should we listen to him?" It's a weird thing, if they were better at their jobs they'd still be in the league. They aren't semi-retired like Bill Polian, they're on the back half of so-so careers. It's weird, right?

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

So apparently they're working on another Paranormal Activity movie, and before anyone says "why?" do this math, they spent about $15,000 and made over $190 million dollars. They'll be thinking about making these movies forever. If they do in fact make this movie, it'll be the seventh movie in what has become a bizarre and complicated franchise. They got less and less scary and got more and more ridiculous over time and by the end they were a complete joke. It's an intriguing idea to bring the franchise back, even if you do only a little ok and spend $30 million and make $150 million, it's still a great day.

I'm going to jump out and wish you guys a great Thursday and remind everyone to be kind to each other and try a little harder to have a great day! I'm coming back Friday and we'll be bringing more good times your way.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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Accountability seems to be lacking. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Did you catch exiled Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, starting his "Redemption Tour 2020," doing his best imitation of Sgt. Schultz from the classic sitcom Hogan's Heroes?

"I see nothing. I hear nothing."

Luhnow sat for 37 minutes (the extended director's cut on click2houston.com) with Channel 2 sports reporter Vanessa Richardson and insisted that he played no part in the Astros 2017-18 illegal sign-stealing operation, and didn't deserve to be suspended for one year by baseball, and ultimately fired by Astros owner Jim Crane.

"I didn't know."

"I wasn't aware."

"I wasn't involved."

"Had I known about it, I would have stopped it."

"I was punished for something I didn't do."

Remember, Luhnow wasn't just the Astros general manager, he also held the title of President of Baseball Operations, responsible for every action that took place at Minute Maid Park, on the field, in the dugout, clubhouse, bullpen and boardroom.

Everybody else seemed to know, including field manager A.J. Hinch, who admitted that he knew the Astros were cheating, tried to stop it, but couldn't.

That's some leadership that Astros had in 2017-18. A manager who couldn't get his players to stop cheating, and a general manager who claims he didn't know. The inmates truly were running the asylum.

If Luhnow is telling the truth, that makes him one monkey who saw no evil, heard no evil and spoke no evil.

On one hand, Luhnow takes credit for building a supremely gifted Astros team that has made four consecutive American League Championship Series, won two American League pennants, and captured Houston's first World Series title in 2017.

One commercial break later, he's swearing that he didn't have a clue that his team was committing baseball's crime of the century – which ultimately cost the Astros their manager, general manager, a $5 million fine, and four draft picks.

Which is it, was Luhnow a detached genius, incredibly naïve or unfortunate scapegoat?

Luhnow claimed that an honest investigation by MLB would have determined that he was merely an innocent bystander to the scandal. He told baseball commissioner Rob Manfred that he was willing to take a lie detector test to prove it, but Manfred declined his offer.

OK, Manfred said a lie detector test wasn't necessary. Why didn't Luhnow do it anyway? It might have helped mitigate some of his sentence.

Put it this way, I work at Gow Media World Headquarters in Houston. If the boss brought me into his office and said he was firing me because I was stealing equipment, or missing deadlines or harassing other employees … and I was innocent, I holler to the high heavens that I was fired unjustly. I'd hire Jim Adler, the Tough Texas Lawyer, to sue everybody who ever touched a baseball for wrongful termination, defamation of character and a hundred other things. I wouldn't take a called third strike and wait 10 months to speak up.

Right now, Luhnow's once-brilliant reputation is sullied. He's on the outside of baseball looking in. Luhnow's protestation of innocence reminds me of Jose Canseco's book, Juiced, in 2005, where the slugger claimed that steroid use was rampant in the big leagues. And he named names.

Accused players bleated that they were innocent, that Canseco was a bad apple who made up stories to cover his own use of banned drugs.

Here's when I knew that Canseco, while a rat, was right – when the accused steroid users screamed bloody murder, but didn't sue Canseco. If somebody accused you of a crime that you didn't commit, a crime that cost you your job and legacy, a crime that might keep you out of the Hall of Fame of your profession, would you stay silent for almost a year and take the punishment lying down?

We may never know if Luhnow knew or didn't know that his Astros were cheating. It's possible that he's telling the truth now. His teary-eyed interview was convincing in parts. But accepting punishment for something you didn't do, and not fighting back – it's not a good look.

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