As part of our “Beyond Seattle” section, we will be featuring weekly Individual Power Rankings that take the five most powerful people in sports over the past week and rank them accordingly (in descending order, starting with #5). Unlike team power rankings, the IPR’s will feature only individuals. Enjoy.
5. Antonio McDyess. Continuing a trend becoming more and more popular amongst old guys in the NBA, McDyess told the Denver Nuggets he didn’t want to play for them despite being traded to the team along with Chauncey Billups and Cheikh Samb in exchange for Allen Iverson. Rather than force McDyess, a one-time Nugget, to join the team, Denver instead released him, thus allowing him to sign with whomever he wants. Should NBA teams really be encouraging players to act as insubordinate employees? I mean, in what other profession do we see such disobedience rewarded? It’s an unfortunate circumstance that won’t stop until NBA front offices just say no.
4. Scott Boras. Major League Baseball’s free agency period began this week, which to a pimp like Scott Boras is essentially a window in which rampant prostitution is legalized. Yes, Boras will be out to collect on behalf of such clients as Manny Ramirez this offseason, but what about all the little people that help pay for Boras’ socks and underpants? Did you know that Willie Bloomquist is a Boras client? For every Manny, there are ten Willie’s out there not getting their proper due for putting gifts under the Boras family Christmas tree. Do you think Boras smacks all his little clients around and demands money from them? Probably. I feel sorry for Willie, he deserves better.
3. Matt Cassel. Cassel just bought himself at least two years of PT with his performance on Thursday night against the Jets. Forget the fact that the Patriots lost, Cassel proved clutch down the stretch, hooking up with Randy Moss to send the game to OT late in regulation. Oh yeah, he also threw for 400 FREAKING YARDS! Who knew he even had that in him. Now even if he reverts back to form and throws for 200 yards with a touch and a pick the rest of the year, GM’s around the league will only remember him for his 400-yard explosion in Week 10 and happily reward him with a starting job and a couple million. All this from a guy who hadn’t thrown a meaningful pass since high school entering the season. I think it’s safe to say he can put money down on a house now.
2. CC Sabathia. As soon as Sabathia donned a Brewers uniform for the first time, this day was coming. Sabathia, having elected free agency this past week, is about to get PAID. Rumors are already circulating that the Yankees have offered up the richest contract in history to a pitcher with a deal that trumps Johan Santana’s six-year, $137.5 million pact inked a year ago. Sabathia, for all the money he could bring in, could be the guy to turn down the Yanks. He’s building his dream home in Southern California and the Dodgers, undoubtedly preparing their offer as we speak, seem a more logical fit for the hefty lefty. And Sabathia, for what it’s worth, just doesn’t seem like a New York kind of guy: the baggy parachute pants, facial hair, and a diet straight out of Jenny Craig’s personal hell. All these traits would go by the wayside in the Bronx, where wins and losses take precedence over character and personality. Either way Sabathia will get a choice, and that’s saying something for a man about to be set for life.
1. Chris DeLuca. Who? Yeah, “who” is right. DeLuca is a sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, and likely a disciple of the Jay Mariotti School of Jackass Journalism. DeLuca earned the fifteen minutes of fame he must have been seeking this week when he became the lone journalist to leave National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum completely off his ballot. Voters were instructed to select a first-, second-, and third-place finisher for the award. DeLuca opted not to select Lincecum for any of the three slots, instead choosing Brandon Webb, Johan Santana, and Brad Lidge as his top trio. While DeLuca is entitled to his opinion and rightfully justified in his selections, it appears he may have a personal vendetta against the San Francisco ace and should warrant some scrutiny when asked to vote again next season.