f you're one of those who thinks we've seen the end of the Pro Bowl, forget about it. As Len Berman of ThatsSports.com points out, the Jan. 27 game "did an overnight rating of 7.7. The 2012 World Series had an average rating of 7.6. Case closed." . . . Major League Baseball has moved closer to yet another milestone. With the Seattle Mariners having agreed to pay starter Felix Hernandez $175 million over the next seven seasons, you now may start to wonder: Who will be the first $200-million pitcher in MLB history? That conversation likely begins and ends with Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. . . . As a point of reference, Sandy Koufax's highest-paying contract paid him $125,000, which apparently is equal to about $800,000 today. . . .
You know things are serious when Dustin Johnson invites Wayne Gretzky to play at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am this week. Serious? Well, Johnson has been dating Gretzky's daughter, Paulina. She was in Hawaii with Johnson last month. . . . But if Gretzky doesn't like what he's hearing, does he summon Dave Semenko? . . . If you're interested in owning a piece of a WHL team, the Swift Current Broncos are selling shares at $2,000 a pop. . . . Hey, what could be better to give the love of your life on Valentine's Day than a piece of a WHL team? . . .
"Randy Moss says he's the NFL's best receiver of all time," notes Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot. "That must explain why he's played for five teams." . . . "Oprah? Katie Couric? Bob Costas?" Molinaro ponders. "Just wondering who Alex Rodriguez might want to select for his eventual interview and/or confession." . . . "Once we thought A-Rod was going to get to 800 home runs," writes Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News. "Now you wonder if he even makes it back inside Yankee Stadium without a ticket." . . .
After Thursday's deal in which the Boston Bruins sent Tim Thomas to the New York Islanders, Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post pointed out the rather large favour that had been done for the goaltender. "If he ever joins the Isles," Hamilton wrote, "he'll never have to worry again about visiting the White House as a Stanley Cup champion." . . . The 2014 Olympic Winter Games are less than a year away now, and the tab in Sochi already has gone past $51 billion. . . . Six years ago that cost was projected at $10 billion. The 2010 Games in Vancouver/Whistler came in somewhere around $8 billion. . . . The IOC must be so proud. . . .
Right-winger Jordan DePape, who left the Kamloops Blazers in November in order to have shoulder surgery in Winnipeg, is expected to join the Red Deer Rebels tomorrow. The Rebels will return home after playing here tonight, and so will end one of those goofy WHL road trips. The Rebels left home Tuesday, played in Prince George on Wednesday, rode the bus to Kent, Wash., on Thursday where they played the Seattle Thunderbirds last night, and then drove here for tonight's game. All because a Disney ice show was in the arena in Kent when the Rebels were on their U.S. Division swing earlier in the season. . . .
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel has fessed up to using some of that deer-antler spray. "It didn't make me feel any better," he reports, "but at night I got these uncontrollable urges to run out of the woods and dart in front of cars." . . . Here's Bianchi, again: "If deer antler extract has such incredible healing powers just imagine how much better moose antler extract would be." . . . Following the Super Bowl, Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis apparently said he was going to Disney World. "You know," wrote Brad Dickson of the Omaha World Herald, "to get some spray from Bambi's antlers." . . .
Will Leitch of Sports on Earth wasn't at all enamoured with the work of CBS analyst Shannon Sharpe when the lights went out during Sunday's Super Bowl. "Sharpe just kept talking and talking," Leitch scribbled, "until his sentences began to resemble one of those sets of refrigerator magnets that assemble random sequences of words. At one point, I thought he might be gargling." . . . According to Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com: "Super Bowl XLVII is over. The Super Bowl XLVIII pregame show starts tomorrow." . . . "Manti Te'o says he's going to take some time off Twitter," notes Richmond blogger TC Chong. "This is so he can spend more time visiting his Facebook farm." . . .
Here's a brief Super Bowl report from Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: "Operation Red Zone is likely to wind up as a movie starring Tommy Lee Jones and Sly Stallone. It's the combined effort of three federal agencies - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security and the Border Patrol - to bust the folks who sell knock-off Super Bowl souvenirs. The operation raked in $330,000 worth of goodies in the Bay Area alone. So our borders and airports have been less-protected and our anti-terrorist security has been thinned, but we've protected the NFL from the dude selling $5 Sponge Bob Super Bowl T-shirts on Canal Street. I am now free to buy a $36 licensed T-shirt." . . . Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register wraps up the NFL season with a Super Bowl tweet: "NFL is a long season. Ravens scored no TDs vs. KC, lost to Charlie Batch, needed 4th-29 to beat SD, gave up 43 to HOU . . . and now this."