Three Jeopardy! contestants whiffed on a slam-dunk Hall of Fame answer

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In the interest of full disclosure before I jump into the meat of the subject and poke some fun at some Jeopardy! contestants, I consistently whiff on a good 99 percent of Jeopardy! clues. But when it’s Teen Jeopardy time, or if there’s a baseball category, I’m ready to risk it all on a Daily Double.

Recently, three Jeopardy! contestants ran into a question involving Roger Clemens:

354 wins did not overcome the controversy as this ex-Red Sox pitcher didn’t make the Hall of Fame cut in 2013

Gudrun, the first contestant to buzz in, guessed Pete Rose. Rose was neither a pitcher nor a member of the Red Sox, and he was — ahem — not on the ballot in 2013.

Stacy, buzzing in second, guessed Curt Schilling. All things considered, not a bad guess. Schilling was on the Red Sox, on the 2013 ballot, and occasionally controversial, but he retired with only 216 wins.

Sarah, last but not least, guessed Mark McGwire, which was only the second-worst guess of the three. McGwire was not a pitcher, though he was on the ballot and was, of course, involved in some controversy.

Trebek’s response to Sarah was a snide “heh, no”. Listen to it on an infinite loop at Deadspin. Make it your ringtone.

Trebek revealed the answer, Roger Clemens, to the row of contestants. He added, “Obviously, you’re hoping that baseball does not come up as a topic in the second round.” No word on if Trebek quit “once and for all, really“.

You can watch the clip on YouTube here.

Noah Syndergaard: ‘I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency’

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Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.

While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.

Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”

Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.

If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.