The Game Is To Be Sold

Every field has its own irritating jargon, but marketing folks in particular have a vocabulary that makes everything they talk about sound alien and dull. Asked about a data-mining initiative — sorry, “fan engagement program” — his team is launching, … More

Being a sports fan is increasingly like living inside a commercial. Faithful 49 is taking that development a step further. (USA TODAY Sports)

Being a sports fan is increasingly like living inside a commercial. Faithful 49 is taking that development a step further. (USA TODAY Sports)

A Matter of Perspective

CHICAGO — While most of the pay-for-play debate in college sports has taken place in courtrooms or through the media, perhaps what’s most fascinating has been the broad spectrum of opinions held by the athletes themselves — you know, the … More

Nebraska wideout Kenny Bell spoke Tuesday at Big Ten media days about his need to work in the summer to pay utility bills. (USA TODAY Sports)

Nebraska wideout Kenny Bell spoke Tuesday at Big Ten media days about his need to work in the summer to pay utility bills. (USA TODAY Sports)

Athletic Self-Care

Kevin Love recently withdrew himself from Team USA’s FIBA World Cup squad, citing that he might be traded soon and doesn’t want to pick up any sort of injury that might delay his exit from Minnesota. LaMarcus Aldridge has always … More

It's fine that stars like LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin don't want to play international hoops this summer. They've got grander ambitions. (USA TODAY Sports)

It's fine that stars like LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin don't want to play international hoops this summer. They've got grander ambitions. (USA TODAY Sports)

Trapped in Phoenix

We don’t want our favorite players to leave. One of the richer fan experiences is watching seasons and seasons worth of a player and becoming attuned to their idiosyncrasies and rhythms. Over the years, we familiarize ourselves with their characteristic … More

Eric Bledsoe is probably going to be a Sun for the foreseeable future, but he doesn't really have a say in the matter. (USA TODAY Sports)

Eric Bledsoe is probably going to be a Sun for the foreseeable future, but he doesn't really have a say in the matter. (USA TODAY Sports)

Dreaming Big

Two years after the Red Sox and Dodgers completed a blockbuster deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to L.A. and a package of prospects to Boston, it looks like the two teams might be a match … More

Matt Kemp has been displaced from a regular starting role in L.A., but could boost Boston's outfield. (USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Kemp has been displaced from a regular starting role in L.A., but could boost Boston's outfield. (USA TODAY Sports)

Ready to Pitch In

On Saturday morning, the San Francisco Giants traded pitching prospects Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree for veteran Red Sox starter Jake Peavy and money to cover some of the remaining value of his contract. Peavy — who’s making $14.5 million … More

Jake Peavy had a 4.72 ERA and 3 BB/9 ratio for the Red Sox this year, before getting traded to the Giants. (USA TODAY Sports)

Jake Peavy had a 4.72 ERA and 3 BB/9 ratio for the Red Sox this year, before getting traded to the Giants. (USA TODAY Sports)

Catch of the Day

No one at the beginning of the season expected Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki to be the hottest commodity at his position by the non-waiver trade deadline — but then, no one expected him to be an All-Star, either, let … More

Kurt Suzuki is having a career year at the plate, making him an excellent trade chip for the Twins. (USA TODAY Sports)

Kurt Suzuki is having a career year at the plate, making him an excellent trade chip for the Twins. (USA TODAY Sports)

Some Guys Have All The Luck

How did the Cardinals end up in a competitive balance draft lottery, anyway? There’s a boring procedural answer to that question — St. Louis is a relatively small media market — but regardless, the Cards don’t require any additional draft picks. … More

Do the Cardinals deserve help from a competitive balance lottery just because they play in St. Louis? (USA TODAY Sports)

Do the Cardinals deserve help from a competitive balance lottery just because they play in St. Louis? (USA TODAY Sports)