THE COUCH SLOUCH

Who is the worst owner in professional sports? A tale of the tape

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Just before the turn of the century, two monsters of a new millennium were unleashed on the unsuspecting sporting communities of New York and Washington. Twenty years later, two franchises – the NBA Knicks and the NFL R*dsk*ns – have fallen from proud to pathetic, laying in waste in a rubble-filled puddle of dysfunction and defeat.

Today we bring you an overdue comparison of the presumptive worst owners in professional sports, the Knicks' James Dolan and the R*dsk*ns' Daniel Snyder:

Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks/James Dolan

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How They Got There. To his credit, the 55-year-old Snyder, a college dropout, is a self-made billionaire (perhaps forever tainting the terms "self-made" and "billionaire"), parlaying his Snyder Communications marketing company into buying the Redskins in 1999 for $800 million. Dolan, 64, climbed the ranks the old-fashioned way – he is the son of Cablevision founder Charles Dolan, and his dad handed him control of the Knicks in 1999.

Team Records. Under Dolan, the Knicks have the worst record in the NBA in the 21st century, winning exactly one playoff series (2013) and missing the postseason the past six years. Under Snyder, the R*dsk*ns are 142-190-1, with a grand total of two playoff victories (1999, 2005 seasons).

Coaches. Dolan has had 13 head coaches in 20 seasons, including Herb Williams twice; he fired David Fizdale this month. Snyder has only had nine coaches in 20 seasons; he fired Jay Gruden in October, asking him to report to the R*dsk*ns facility at 5 a.m. to be told of his dismissal. (At least he beat traffic.)

Front Office Boo-Boos. Dolan hired Isiah Thomas as team president and subsequently hired him as head coach. Snyder first had Vinny Cerrato running the team, followed by Bruce Allen. If Thomas, Cerrato and Allen ran Bed Bath & Beyond, there would be no bath or beyond.

Business Hiccups. Dolan reportedly lost $250 million for Cablevision when he bought the failing Wiz electronics chain, which ended up in liquidation. Snyder seized control of Six Flags, taking it into bankruptcy four years later. Apparently, integrated circuitry and theme parks ain't in these guys' wheelhouse.

Customer Relations: After a fan yelled at Dolan to "sell the team" following a home loss in March, Dolan banned him from Madison Square Garden for life; he has attempted to bar individuals several times from Knicks games. Snyder once banned fan signs from FedEx Field (largely to eliminate embarrassing, critical messages), once disallowed pedestrian traffic into FedEx Field (largely to prevent fans from parking at a nearby mall to avoid stadium parking fees) and sued season-ticket holders who back out of long-term contracts (largely to extract more money from the serfs).

Media Relations. Both virtually never grant interviews. As part of a long-running feud, Dolan barred the New York Daily News from a post-draft press conference in June, incurring a $50,000 NBA fine. Snyder once sued the Washington City Paper and writer Dave McKenna for the greatest Snyder article ever penned, "The Cranky R*dsk*ns Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," before dropping the action in 2011.

Hobbies. Dolan is the frontman and guitarist for the blues-inspired rock band JD & The Straight Shot. Snyder is the owner of a $180 million superyacht that includes an IMAX theater, a basketball court and a helipad; it can accommodate several hundred passengers, coincidentally about the same number of people attending R*dsk*ns home games this season.

Temperament. They both have a bad temperament.

Conclusion: Who Is Worse? With cooperation from the Johns Hopkins Advanced Physics Laboratory and ESPN Stats & Info, we created a complex analytical model to deconstruct the two owners. And the results? Remarkably, the numbers indicate that, if Dolan and Snyder swapped franchises over the last two decades, the Knicks and the R*dsk*ns would still have the exact same records over that span.

Ask The Slouch

Q. Vanna White is currently pinch-hitting for the injured Pat Sajak. If you went on the D.L., who would peck away on the old Smith Corona? (Jack Drury; Cumberland, Md.)

A. Our one-month contingency calls for Toni to handle two columns, Shirley to handle one and Daisy – our 90-pound pit mix with a 25-word vocabulary – to handle the other.

Q. Does the Bureau of Engraving and Printing literally print money? (Dan Campos; Miami Beach, Fla.)

A. No. Scott Boras does.

Q. How can you explain the execrable Lane Kiffin getting his fifth head-coaching job? (Howard Freed; Mequon, Wis.)

A. I assume he interviews well.

Q. A la Le'Veon Bell, have you ever called in sick for work and then went bowling? (Tim Jones; Philadelphia)

A. No, but I opted to bowl on the second night of my second honeymoon, effectively ending the honeymoon.

Q. Are there any videos in the Patriots' "Do Your Job" series that AREN'T about cheating? (Mark Cohen; Gibsonia, Pa.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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Houston is back in the win column

McCullers Jr. spins a gem as Astros get a much-needed win over Giants

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After getting swept by the A's in Oakland to end a road trip with a five-game losing streak, the Astros returned to Houston to try and get back on track. To do so, they'd need a win against the Giants on Monday night. Here is a quick recap of the series opener:

Final Score: Astros 6, Giants 4.

Record: 7-9, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 6.10 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Logan Webb (1-1, 2.81 ERA).

Houston builds up an early lead

The early goings of Monday's game went very similar to the last time Lance McCullers Jr. took the mound. He would have a terrific first three innings while his offense gave him an early lead. The first run came in the bottom of the second, with Yuli Gurriel reaching base on a one-out double, moving to third on a wild pitch, then scoring on an RBI-single by Carlos Correa.

Correa would take part in a four-run inning in the third, as Houston would score two on a two-RBI ground-rule double by Michael Brantley, another on an error, then Correa's second RBI of the night, a groundout to bring in a run and make it 5-0. Unlike the last start in Arizona, where the roof opened and McCullers Jr. fell apart in the fourth, he was able to make quick work of his opponent for a 1-2-3 frame. As he kept recording scoreless innings, Martin Maldonado added another run to the lead with a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, making it 6-0.

McCullers Jr. takes a no-hitter into the seventh

While the Astros were building their lead, McCullers Jr. was spinning a gem on the mound. He allowed just one baserunner through the first six innings, which came on a hit-by-pitch. He entered the seventh with a no-hitter in progress, but the Giants would get their first hit of the night to end the no-hit bid.

Regardless, the start was precisely what McCullers Jr. needed to restore his confidence after the disastrous inning he had in his last appearance. He would go on to complete the seventh inning before Houston would go to the bullpen with the large lead in the eighth. His final line: 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K 0 HR, 1 HPB.

Houston gets back in the win column despite more struggles by Josh James

Josh James entered out of the bullpen for the top of the eighth but allowed the first run of the night for San Francisco via a solo home run with one out to make it 6-1. He would complete the inning and then return for the top of the ninth. He would have another rocky inning, issuing a leadoff walk before a single and double would make it a four-run game at 6-2, still with no outs in the inning and runners on second and third, prompting another call to the bullpen.

Dusty Baker would bring in his current closer, Ryan Pressly, to try and finish the game, now in a save situation. Pressly would retire the first two batters he faced before allowing a two-RBI single to make it 6-4, but would eventually get the final out to get Houston the much-needed win. With the victory, the Astros moved back into second place in the AL West standings.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Tuesday at 8:10 PM Central. The Giants, working with a fluid rotation, have not yet fully decided on their starter, while the Astros will get another start from Brandon Bielak (2-0, 0.87 ERA) who will look to repeat the success of his five-inning, no-run start in Arizona last week.

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