"Economic realities are economic realities," general manager Brian Cashman said at baseball's winter meetings. "Money is not unlimited and it's time for some harsh austerity around here. We would like to keep our payroll at just under $190 million. It will be tough, but we're committed to tightening our belts around here."
Baseball's luxury tax kicks in at $190 million. Even with a $189 million payroll in 2013, the Yankees will exceed any other team's payroll by approximately $20 million and will have more than double the payroll of 18 of baseball's 30 teams.
"People won't be able to talk about the big-spending Yankees anymore, that's for sure," said Cashman. "Did you know that just yesterday, I didn't offer a free agent a multi-year, eight-figure deal? I had never heard of the guy, it was some Dominican infielder or something, and I thought: 'You know what? Maybe don't give this guy all of the money. Maybe it could be spent better in other ways.' That's the first time I've ever done that. Usually if an agent calls, I double his client's best offer sight unseen."
"Tim is an important part of this team," said head coach Rex Ryan. "There's not another guy on this team I'd want to force our opponent to prepare for a little bit, only to not play in a game at all. In my opinion, he's the best player in the NFL when it comes to not playing."
As first-string decoy, Tebow will get to stand in front of all of the other Jets' bench players, right on the edge of the field. He will also wear his helmet at all times, as though he is about to enter the game at any moment.
"It's obviously nice when your coaches recognize your abilities," said Tebow. "I'm pretty excited to wear my helmet and it is my goal to be the best decoy in the National Football League. I hope to go the the Pro Bowl this year as the AFC's decoy."
"For decades we've been killing ourselves trying to come up with original look after original look for a functional item that is about 12 inches by four inches," said Charlie Denson, president of Nike Brand. "It's just not possible after a while."
Designers met earlier this week to plan the 2013 fall line and quickly made the decision.
"We were in the design meeting and realized that every new idea had already been done," said Denson. "Suddenly we all just kind of said: 'You know what? We've done everything that's possible. Everything. There is nothing else to do. Fk it. We're done.'"
Nike founder Phil Knight said he is "100-percent on board with the decision."
"You know, this has actually been a long time coming," said Knight. "You can only make a shoe so many ways. You can only add so many seams or zippers or color patches or straps or goddam air pockets. We've done it all. Every combination and permutation. We could sell some slightly modified crap and pretend it's new, but we would never do that here at Nike. That's now how we operate."
News Report: Michael Jordan Out $12.6 Million in Gambling Losses Thanks to Charlotte Bobcats' Surprising 7-7 Start
"Michael is really pissed off," said a Bobcats front office source. "Something really bad has to happen for him to show up at the office because he takes a I'll say a 'hands-off' approach to management. But he's been here all week demanding answers about why this team is winning games."
Jordan came to the team's office for the first time all season last week after the Bobcats went on a tear in which they won five of six to get to 6-4 a streak that saw their owner lose nearly $10 million and put off the purchase of a Ferrari. Since an office tirade and a closed-door meeting with this team, the Bobcats have lost three of four including a 45-point loss to Oklahoma City in which they trailed 82-29 at one point. The only victory came in overtime against the Wizards, a game the Bobcats tried desperately to lose for their owner, only to be out-failed by Washington. The return to normalcy has seen Jordan make back some money, allowing him to finalize the purchase of a new Ferrari with a custom denim paint job.
"Michael's big thing is that he will not accept mediocrity," said a team source. "Mainly because it is impossible to make money betting on a mediocre team. He wants us to either win all of our games or lose all of our games. Nothing in the middle."
"Boston College is again Big East territory," said Big East commissioner Mike Aresco, speaking on video after the attack was complete from the office of deposed Boston College athletics director Brad Bates, the commissioner covered in blood and residue from explosions. "Let this be a warning for those who continue to try to pillage our conference: we will fight back, we will not quit and we will be victorious."
The feed then went out after Aresco used a sword to cut off the head of Boston College mascot Baldwin the Eagle.
"You should have seen the shit-eating grin on Nick's face while he was making the call," said an Alabama staffer who witnessed the conversation. "The whole time he was rolling his eyes and making wanking motions with his free hand. I thought it was really rude to a conference that is going through a hard time, but I didn't want to say anything or I'd lose my job or worse."
Aresco was reportedly ecstatic to receive the call from the Alabama coach.
"Oh, wow. Are you serious, Mr. Saban? You really want to join the Big East? That would be outstanding!" Aresco said.
"Hell, yeah. I'm serious," Saban replied, faking sincerity and enthusiasm. "I really like the nationwide conference you guys are building there. You stretch from UConn down to South Florida over to Tulane up to Boise State and all the way out to San Diego State. No other conference has that kind of footprint."
"Exactly! That's what I've been telling everyone!" Aresco almost yelled. "Oh, man, Nick. It's so good to hear someone like you say that. I have to tell you, we've had some really terrible days and months here. It's been ugly. People are worried the conference is going to die, that they're going to lose their jobs. But getting you? Getting Alabama? We're going to be just fine. More than fine, in fact. Oh, praise Jesus."
"Tall and strong with enough girth around the middle to prove he doesn't take his appearance too seriously, Chicago's J'Marcus Webb has everything a girl could want in a sexy lineman," reads the article accompanying 34 pages of Webb photos. "And that face. Oh, that face. His bulging eyes look like they're peering into our soul. There is no way to resist him. We want to call a penalty on him for holding us all night long."
Recent People "Sexiest Lineman Alive" honorees include Nick Mangold of the New York Jets in 2011, Jermon Bushrod of the New Orleans Saints in 2010 and back-to-back winner Robert Gallery, then of the Oakland Raiders, in 2009 and 2008.
Webb says he was flattered to be named sexiest lineman.
"I never expected anything like this," he said. "Growing up I was always mocked for my looks. I guess I've really come into my own, at least compared to other linemen."
The towering tackle says he has a very simple daily beauty regimen.
"I basically wake up whenever I wake up and then I take a big dump," he said. "Then I go about my day. Some days I shower. That's it. I don't really do anything different than any other lineman. I guess I was just blessed with these superior looks."
"I know things may look bleak right now," Weis said while addressing his team from a Rascal Scooter, a half-eaten cheesesteak perched atop his bosom. "We're going to lose our last 11 games in a row and our only win came against an FCS team. But trust me, you guys are close if you keep working, stay confident and now this is the most crucial element the administration fires me and gets someone in here who knows what the hell he's doing. Believe."
Weis speaks from experience. Just three years after being canned by Notre Dame for seemingly driving the program into a ditch, the Fighting Irish are undefeated and have secured a spot in the BCS title game.
"I look at that team and have a sense of pride. I built that team," said Weis. "I recruited Manti Te'o and Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick and Tyler Eifert. That was me. Then someone else came in and taught them how to play football because, granted, I don't know a god damn thing about coaching up college players. But where Notre Dame is now? That's what Kansas has the opportunity to do."
"That incident still bothers me," said Suh. "A year later I still have nightmares about Dietrich-Smith getting up and walking away, still able to play, still able to walk, still able to live. I failed on national TV in front of the entire nation. I vowed to never let that happen again."
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Suh says he has worked tirelessly since last Thanksgiving to come up with a new finishing move.
"I don't want to give too much away, but it includes snapping a guy's femur and then using the sharp bone that's broken off to stab him through the heart," said Suh. "Well, I guess I gave it away. But you'll still want to tune in. There's a lot more blood than you probably even expect."
Suh has been fine-tuning the move in recent weeks, running through nearly a dozen Lion backups and practice squad players.
"Some lived, some died," said Suh. "But I've killed the last three in a row, so I think I'm ready."