Land-o-Links – 7/21/2006

I’m not happy with the performance of the White Sox lately at all. If this keeps up, we might be worrying a lot more about the AL wild card contenders behind us right now than Detroit. Well, at least there are some links to take away attention from the slumping Sox:

1) Making Money in Basketball (Blog Maverick) – Mark Cuban’s suggestion on how to build a successful minor league basketball franchise: pay off high school kids… seriously. While his “business plan” here starts with this unfathomable leap, he does make an excellent point as to how European basketball teams make their serious profits from the buyout clauses of the players that they develop that go on to the NBA and that there’s no reason that an American minor league club couldn’t do the same. The Wall Street Journal had an article a couple of weeks ago about how the reverse of this money flow occurs in the soccer world, where European soccer clubs will pay large “transfer rights” to Latin American clubs for the top players that they develop, which are completely separate from the actual playing contracts for those players (it’s a virtual stock market regarding the value of soccer players, which is why the Journal reported that hedge funds have been getting into the action). In the case of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United paid his old club in Portugal $19.2 million for his transfer rights. Something tells me that the Pistons paid a bit less for the rights to Darko Milicic (although I could be very wrong in that thought).

2) Scientists Plan to Rebuild Neanderthal Genome (New York Times) – They’re exclusively using DNA samples from Patrick Ewing and Bill Laimbeer.

3) Ex-Village People Singer Answers Charges (Los Angeles Times) – You knew it had to be the cop, right? By the way, it might be just me, but I always have an internal chuckle at every wedding that I attend where all of the grandmothers are whooping it up to “YMCA” since it’s obvious that they have absolutely no clue what that song is about.

4) Remini Held Suri Cruise During L.A. Visit (Washington Post) – There still hasn’t been any denial that this baby is an alien cyborg. Hmmmm….

5) Quite Frankly, Baker Bails Out (Chicago Tribune) – A number of Cubs bloggers received emails that appeared to come from the producers of Stephen A. Smith’s show on ESPN, urging them to join the studio audience during a Dusty Baker interview and boo him. Smith stated that he believed it was a hoax and then blamed Deadspin for all of this. Of course, Deadspin has a nice retort to Stephen A’s accusations.

And finally…

6) Pennsylvania Man, 80, Admits Dealing Crack for Sex (San Francisco Chronicle) – On that note, have a great weekend!