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Jordan Kobritz, Syndicated Columnist

Stories by Jordan

When is a “forever” contract not forever? We are about to find out, thanks to a lawsuit involving one of the most popular and recognizable sports mascots of all time.

The biggest mystery of the baseball season may soon be resolved.

MLB ballparks are about to become safer for fans.

NFL brass have made a proposal that will turn the league into a facsimile of the recently expired Alliance of American Football: short on talent and bereft of credibility.

To get what it wants, the NCAA resorts to threats and intimidation.

We have reached a new nadir in the era of political correctness. A number of NBA players insist that team owners no longer refer to themselves as “owners” because the word is racially insensitive and offends them.

Two stadiums in two countries, playing half a season in one and half in the other. Sound strange? Improbable? Impossible?

“There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best.” Joe DiMaggio.

Any time officials are the main topic of conversation after an athletic event, it’s not a good look for the sport. Unfortunately, that was the case throughout the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Major League Baseball instituted a reverse-order draft in 1965, severely limiting the negotiating leverage of amateur players. That may soon change.

Major League Baseball’s total revenue has been steadily rising since the strike year of 1994 and until three years ago, the same was true of the league’s attendance. That may no longer be the case.

Larry Nassar, the former doctor for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, is rotting in prison for sexually abusing over 300 girls and women during a 30-year period.

Mention college sports and people think of scholarships, intense recruiting, and professional opportunities. That’s certainly the norm for sports like football and basketball.

Every world class athlete has certain biological and physical advantages that sets them apart from “normal folks.” As examples, most basketball players are taller than average and most baseball pitchers have large hands.

On the opening night of the NFL draft, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray completed his stunning one-year transformation from little-known college backup planning a career in baseball to the No. 1 overall pick of the Arizona Cardinals.

It’s not a stretch to say home plate umpires have the most influence of anyone on the outcome of a baseball game. The man behind the plate – all 89 MLB umpires are male - makes a call on every pitch and each one is a judgment call.

When fans make plans to attend a sporting event, they rarely contemplate the risk to life and limb that lurks within stadiums and arenas. Jennifer Harughty was one such fan, until she attended a Houston Astros game at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2018.

Sometimes, rich people do things that don’t seem very smart. But one of the perks of being rich is you don’t always have to act in a financially responsible manner.

Storming the court might seem like a harmless “tradition,” a fun and exciting way to celebrate a victory. It isn’t.

If your favorite MLB team has recently signed a free agent or given a star player an extension, you may be concerned about the future price of tickets. Don’t be.

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Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal statute that limited state-sponsored sports betting to a handful of states. Since the ruling, seven states — Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia — have approved sports betting, with more to follow.

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The New York Mets’ hire of Brodie Van Wagenen as general manager last year was viewed as unconventional, an out-of-the-box move by a team desperate for change, on and off the field.

You can’t always get what you want,” said the Rolling Stones. Most people want money, but even when they get it, there’s no guarantee it will make them happy. Just ask NBA players.

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February is one of the best times of the year for baseball fans. Players report to spring training camps in Florida and Arizona and optimism abounds — our team will win the World Series!

Linda Goldbloom died tragically on Aug. 29, 2018, four days after she was hit by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium.

On the eve of Spring Training there are still more than a hundred MLB free agents searching for a team and the union and its members continue to lament the failure of MLB teams to open the vault for aging players.

Super Bowl LIII is in the books and the Patriots – ho-hum – won again. But the best news for the NFL is, unlike the league championship games, there wasn’t a single officiating controversy.

USC athletic director Lynn Swann has accomplished much in his life – Hall of Fame wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, TV broadcaster and game show host, candidate for Pennsylvania Governor, to name a few. He’s also made a few controversial statements and decisions, but perhaps none more so than one he made last fall.

For anyone who hasn’t been paying attention, this is the second winter in a row MLB free agents have found the thermostat turned down low. Instead of cashing in on long term contracts at big bucks, free agents have been waiting by the phone.

Black Monday, the day following the last whistle of the 2018 NFL regular season, saw five head coaches walk the plank. With three in-season terminations, the firings left eight teams - one-quarter of the league – searching for a new coach.

This is the time of year when I usually do something I shouldn’t: make predictions! My crystal ball isn’t any more reliable than yours, but sports columnists are expected to go out on a limb and pretend they know something no one else does. It’s a hazard of the profession. But this year I’m determined to make it a risk - free exercise.

Major League Baseball (MLB) and the players’ union (MLBPA) have reached an agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation (CBF) that would legalize the transfer of baseball players from the Caribbean island to MLB.

A live mouse in your Cracker Jack. Mouse droppings in a bag of cookies. Cockroaches in food storage rooms. Welcome to Coors Field in Denver, home of the Colorado Rockies.

Cue the violins and pass the hankies, Lance Armstrong is unhappy with his life.

A second sports league has settled a concussion lawsuit brought by retired players, but that won’t end the litigation or the discussion of health- related issues associated with concussions.

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NASCAR wrapped up its 71st season last week and although series winner Joey Logano had reason to celebrate, the same can’t be said for the governing.

Bill James, often referred to as the father of analytics, has made significant contributions to baseball over a period of four decades. Now a senior advisor to the Boston Red Sox, James recently created a Twitter firestorm by saying, “If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them, the game would go on; in three years it would make no difference whatsoever. The players are NOT the game, any more than the beer vendors are.”

The United States Olympic Committee has finally responded to the most horrific sex abuse scandal – in terms of the sheer number of victims - in sports history.

Embarrassing. Disgraceful. Shameful. Dysfunctional. Pathetic. Those are the words that come to mind when describing the fiasco that unfolded at the University of Maryland last week.

The New York Mets have settled on Brodie Van Wagenen to fill their General Manager position, resurrecting a debate on whether it’s appropriate or ethical for a sports agent to go from representing players to being their boss.

Branch Rickey, one of the greatest pioneers in baseball history, famously said, “Luck is the residue of design,” the result of planning and hard work. While the benefits of hard work are undeniable, it doesn’t always lead to the result you desire. Sometimes, the only explanation for success is plain old luck, which often happens in sports.

The origin of the first sports mascot is a matter of debate but the genre may trace its roots to 19th century France. History suggests the word mascot derives from a French opera, “La Mascotte,” the story of an Italian farmer whose crops wouldn’t grow until he was visited by a virgin named Bettina. With her help, his fortunes turned around.

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ESPN recently surveyed fans of teams in the four Major League team sports to determine the most miserable fan base in professional sports.

Lost amid the excitement of September pennant races and the tabloid coverage of which NBA players slept with their teammate’s girlfriend, was an announcement that AB InBev (ABI), makers of Budweiser and other brands, had signed agreements to feature active MLB and NBA players in beer ads.

By Jordan Kobritz, Syndicated Columnist September 25, 2018

Mark Cuban recently said: “I think everyone who owns a top four professional sports team just basically saw the value of their team double.”

By Jordan Kobritz, Syndicated Columnist September 18, 2018

On Sept. 3, 2003, federal agents raided BALCO, the San Francisco Bay Area Laboratory that provided performance enhancing drugs to several athletes.

By Jordan Kobritz, Syndicated Columnist September 11, 2018

A pair of academics have proposed a radical change to save baseball which is guaranteed to make traditionalists apoplectic.

Headhunting in baseball is a euphemism to describe the actions of a pitcher who intentionally throws at a batter’s head. In any other setting we would simply describe the practice as assault.

What do Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers, Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals, Sean Newcomb of the Atlanta Braves, and Sonny Gray of the Yankees have in common?

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Brian France, CEO of NASCAR, announced he was taking an “indefinite” leave of absence to address his “problems” after he was arrested last weekend in Sag Harbor, New York, for aggravated DWI. He would be doing all of NASCAR Nation a great service if he made his leave permanent.

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