Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Article excerpt

2 CENTS

The Yankees are seemingly the only business with money to spend right now. But in recent years, it's been proven that money doesn't buy victories -- it just makes them come a little easier. The Rays' success in 2008 proved that.

So if you're a Tampa Bay fan, don't fret that CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett are in pinstripes. And that Derek Lowe could be right behind him. Sabathia weighs 300 pounds and has thrown a lot of innings in recent years. Burnett hurts his arm every year and Lowe's best years are almost certainly behind him.

The Yankees are assembling what looks like a fantasy team, but real teams, ones that aren't collections of individuals, win championships.

BOWL SWAG

GIVING 'EM WHAT THEY WANT

The bowl gift list was printed by Sports Business Journal last week, and there's a trend developing that's blurring a line on what was already a very gray area.

College football players aren't paid, of course. (At least most of them, as far as we know.) Bowl games, however, are allowed to award $500 worth of gifts to 125 participants per school.

It's another bit of hypocrisy in a sport that's already sold out to the highest bidder, as college athletic programs collect millions while their "labor" gets an education, but no spending money.

There's a lot of the usual swag -- hats, duffel bags, watches -- but the newest developments are gift cards and a package UF players will receive at the BCS championship game. It's a Sony gift suite, where players can pick out $300 worth of Sony merchandise that will be shipped back to them.

Practically, it's a great idea. Most of these guys already have watches and Ipods and video game systems. But at this rate, why don't they just cut them a check and call it a day?

Anyhow, on to the swag rundown:

BEST

ORANGE BOWL AND BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Sony gifting suite, a Tourneau watch, a hat, Crocs and a duffel bag.

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL AND CAPITAL ONE BOWL: FSU players will get a $400 Best Buy shopping spree. …

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