What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
On the Seattle Times Mariners blog, beat writer Geoff Baker wrote about a recent interview Josh Hamilton gave on The Dan Patrick Show:
Towards the 10-minute, 30-second mark, he was asked by Patrick whether the Mariners had made "a strong play" for him.
"No, not really," Hamilton said. "I mean, they were just like some other teams. You hear about Seattle but other teams, you didn't hear about."
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik went on Sports Radio KJR this week and told host Mitch Levy that the team had been a serious player for Hamilton right up to the end.
"We went at him full bore and we put a very nice offer on the table," Zduriencik told Levy.
Zduriencik told radio host Levy that Hamilton's agent phoned last week and asked whether the Mariners were willing to go one year more than the winning bid wound up being — in other words, a six-year offer to trump that of the 89-win Angels. When Zduriencik — who didn't know it was the Angels he was bidding against — said he didn't think six years was possible, Hamilton took the Angels' offer.
The epilogue of this is that — $100 million guaranteed or not — Hamilton is saying he didn't consider this a serious enough offer to separate Seattle from other teams that were out there competing for his services.
So, either his agent, Michael Moye, didn't do a good enough job of relaying the seriousness of Seattle's intentions, or the offer just wasn't viewed as seriously by Hamilton as the Mariners say they thought it should have been. It appears, from his statements, there's a difference of opinion between what the Mariners viewed as a serious offer and what the player they were targetting did.
For all of Kobe Bryant's whining about having to play a basketball game on Christmas Day, you have what the Heat and Thunder produced Tuesday as a true present for NBA fans.
Wrote Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald: "Take this game, put it in a time capsule and unseal it in late June. Heat 103, Thunder 97 on Christmas Day was that good. It was beautiful, rugged basketball and every bit as intense as an NBA Finals."
Even Grinch Kobe, who recently voiced his dislike for the holiday game the Lakers seem to play each year, could find a silver lining on Tuesday as his team dispatched the Knicks 100-94 in one of the five NBA marquee matchups.
"I'm feeling a lot better than I have on Christmases past. It's a much, much better Christmas afternoon," Bryant said.
A victory and scoring 34 points on 14-for-24 shooting will do that.
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