From Comcast SportsNetSAN DIEGO (AP) -- Phil Mickelson is talking more about how much he pays in taxes than how many fairways he hits off the tee.Mickelson, regarded as the "People's Choice" for his connection with fans, put his popularity on the line with polarizing comments about how much he has to pay in state and federal taxes. The four-time major champion said it might lead to "drastic changes," such as moving from his native California, and that it already caused him to pull out of the San Diego Padres' new ownership group.His only regret was not keeping his opinion to himself."Finances and taxes are a personal matter, and I should not have made my opinions on them public," Mickelson said in a statement released Monday night. "I apologize to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend not to let it happen again."Mickelson first made a cryptic reference to "what's gone on the last few months politically" during a conference call two weeks ago for the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he won last year for his 40th career PGA Tour title. After his final round Sunday at the Humana Challenge, he was asked what he meant."There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state, and it doesn't work for me right now," he said. "So I'm going to have to make some changes."Mickelson said the new federal tax rate, and California voting for Proposition 30 to increase taxes on the earnings over 250,000, contributed to total taxes that tap into more than 60 percent of his income.Golf Digest magazine, in its annual survey of top earners in the sports, said Mickelson made just over 45 million last year on and off the golf course.The response to Mickelson's opinions on taxes ranged from mocking a guy who has become a multimillionaire by playing golf to support for having such a high tax rate and not being afraid to speak his mind.A majority of PGA Tour players live in Florida and others in Texas, two states that have no state income tax. Tiger Woods grew up in Southern California and played two years at Stanford. He was a California kid when he won an unprecedented three straight U.S. Amateur titles, but when he made his professional debut in Milwaukee a week later, he was listed as being from Orlando, Fla."I moved out of here back in 96 for that reason," Woods said Tuesday."I enjoy Florida, but also I understand what he was -- I think -- trying to say," Woods said of the Mickelson comments. "I think he'll probably explain it better and in a little more detail."Mickelson deflected questions at the Humana Challenge by saying he would prefer to elaborate at his news conference at Torrey Pines.That couldn't wait."I know I have my usual pre-tournament press conference scheduled this week but I felt I needed to address the comments I made following the Humana Challenge now," Mickelson said in his statement. "I absolutely love what I do. I love and appreciate the game of golf and the people who surround it. I'm as motivated as I've ever been to work on my game, to compete and to win championships."Right now, I'm like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws. I've been learning a lot over the last few months and talking with people who are trying to help me make intelligent and informed decisions. I certainly don't have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family."Mickelson's news conference Wednesday will come after his pro-am round in the Farmers Insurance Open, a tournament he first won 20 years ago."He definitely showed a lack of sympathy for the plight of a lot of people, unemployed and all that sort of stuff," Geoff Ogilvy said. "But everything is relative. He's verbalized when he's thinking, and you shouldn't get in trouble for verbalizing what you're thinking."Texas Gov. Rick Perry even weighed in with this tweet: "Hey Phil....Texas is home to liberty and low taxes...we would love to have you as well!!"Mickelson is among the most famous athletes to come out of San Diego. He went to school at Arizona State and lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the first decade of his career until moving back home to Rancho Santa Fe.He was part of the group that bought the Padres, saying that it would be a "significant investment" for him but that he saw it as a great opportunity to get involved in his hometown. Asked if the tax changes were why he withdrew, Mickelson said, "Absolutely."Mickelson has earned just under 70 million in PGA Tour earnings for his career, which doesn't include corporate endorsements (Callaway, Barclays, Rolex) or his golf course design company, which is thriving in China.In November, California voters approved Proposition 30, the first statewide tax increase since 2004. It raises the rate on earnings over 250,000 for seven years."If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent," Mickelson had said. "So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."The reaction to Mickelson's comments from the California legislature split along party lines, with Republicans saying they expect more high-earners to follow and Democrats saying multimillionaires can afford to pay more."You know, it's sad," said Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare. "And I think it'll be the first of many."Democrats said there is no evidence in the U.S. or California of mass departures in the wake of higher taxes on the wealthy. State Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, called Mickelson "the exception rather than the rule."This is not the first time Mickelson's opinions have brought him attention. Ten years ago, he came to Torrey Pines and apologized for Woods for saying in magazine article that the world's No. 1 player was using inferior equipment.These comments on paying taxes were sure to resonate with far more people.Ogilvy recently moved from San Diego County to Scottsdale, though his reason was more about golf than taxes. He bought a home in Del Mar and lived with his wife and three kids for about four years, knowing there were other states he could live with lower tax rates."It's a little bit of one negative to a lot of positives," Ogilvy said. "If the tax rate in California was the same as it was in Texas, half the tour would live here. The lifestyle is impressive. The climate is impressive. But even the ones who grow up here move away."
The White Sox signing Yasmani Grandal broke suddenly and unexpectedly.
It wasn’t a big surprise that the White Sox would go after him, but the timing and the fact that the White Sox broke the news on their own (a la the Jose Quintana trade) caught people off guard.
Once the dust settled, the White Sox were in the national spotlight as far as the baseball world was concerned.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan got Ken Williams on the record before the White Sox had conference calls on the signing. Williams makes it sound like it’s go-time for the South Siders.
Ken Williams on having the temerity to give a really interesting quote about Yasmani Grandal and what him signing this early in the offseason means and not realizing that it's six characters too long to fit into a tweet so that I have to attach a screenshot of it. pic.twitter.com/sqh5YOaoFd— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 21, 2019
Passan also gave a look at a potential White Sox lineup for 2020 once prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal eventually join. We also made our own.
Here's what the Chicago White Sox's lineup could look like by this May:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 21, 2019
Nick Madrigal 4
Tim Anderson 6
Jose Abreu 3
Yoan Moncada 5
Yasmani Grandal 2
Eloy Jimenez 7
Luis Robert 8
James McCann DH
Leury Garcia 9
Pretty good. And let's not forget: Andrew Vaughn is coming fast.
Ight... let's see your potential (and incomplete) 2020 lineup right now pic.twitter.com/vGDwykUFLT— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) November 21, 2019
The Athletic’s Jayson Stark was impressed with how early the signing was. White Sox fans will enjoy that after going through the long, drawn out Manny Machado/Bryce Harper sagas last offseason.
The best part of the Yasmani Grandal signing? It actually happened in November!— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 21, 2019
Josh Donaldson signed his one-year, $23M deal with the Braves in November last year. But...
Last FA contract this large in years/$ signed before Dec. 1? Yoenis Cespedes - 3 years ago (11/30/16)!
Here are some Grandal stats that should get White Sox fans fired up about his addition (if they weren’t already).
Yasmani Grandal leads MLB in fWAR by catchers since 2015 (24.9).— Jason Benetti (@jasonbenetti) November 21, 2019
Part of that: Grandal leads all catchers in HR since 2015 (117).
Yasmani Grandal was tied for 2nd-most Runs Extra Strikes from framing in 2019 among qualified catchers, at +13.— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) November 21, 2019
The White Sox primary catcher James McCann was -16, the worst mark among qualified catchers -- by a lot.
So the White Sox just went from worst to T-2nd-best there...
Finally, is it time to talk playoffs? Long way to go, but the White Sox offseason is off to a notable start.
The #Whitesox say this is just the start of an aggressive winter in hopes of making a playoff push— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 21, 2019
The Bears are throwing it back to the past this weekend at Soldier Field.
The Bears will rock 1960s throwback helmets Sunday when they take on the New York Giants. The helmet is navy blue and features a white "C" logo and gray facemask, whereas the current helmet has an orange "C" and white facemask.
A look at the throwback lid:
The Bears donned those helmets from 1962-72 during the playing days of Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers, now Hall of Famers. They won the 1963 NFL Championship along the way.
“I think a lot of Bears fans remember the ‘60s, especially the ’63 championship team winning at Wrigley against the Giants with those ‘Cs’ on our helmet,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said. “And of course Butkus and Sayers and all the great memories they provided. That small change I think means a lot to people.”
As 2019 is the Bears' 100th season as a franchise, they've been honoring a different decade at each home game. The Bears have also installed seven-foot tall bobbleheads around Chicago each week featuring players from that week's celebratory decade.
Unsurprisingly, this week's game will celebrate the 1960s, with Butkus and Sayers represented in life-size bobblehead form:
The Bears will give out bobbleheads of Butkus and Sayers to the first 20,000 fans who arrive at Sunday's game.