MLB's popularity problem; Mike Francesa flips out: Traina Thoughts - Sports Illustrated

Traina Thoughts: MLB's popularity problem; Mike Francesa flips out; Thor speaks

MLB's popularity problem; Mike Francesa flips out, Pepsi controversy: Traina Thoughts
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1. In Tuesday’s “Traina Thoughts,” I mentioned that it didn’t seem like a good sign for Major League Baseball that model Kate Upton came in fifth in a Sports Business Journal ranking of MLB influencers on social media. The sports suffered another blow on Wednesday when an ESPN poll revealed that only three baseball players appeared on the list of America’s 50 favorite pro athletes. The news was actually much worse than that. The three players who ranked don’t even play anymore: Derek Jeter at No. 13, Babe Ruth at No. 30 and Pete Rose at No. 50. Yeesh. Here’s what the Top 10 looks like:

1. Michael Jordan
2. LeBron James
3. Tom Brady
4. Stephen Curry
5. Peyton Manning
6. Lionel Messi
7. Aaron Rodgers
8. Cristiano Ronaldo
9. Muhammad Ali
10. Kobe Bryant

2. Mets flame-throwing ace Noah Syndergaard visited the SI office today and I asked him a few quick questions, which he was kind enough to answer.

SI: Are you still devastated that Bartolo Colon left for the Braves?

NS: I understand why he left, of course; 43 years old and you still have that much money on the table? I don’t blame him for taking it. I think we all learned a lot from him as a team. We were able to benefit just from his presence. New. York was able to embrace Big Sexy as much as possible. He was just such a joy to be around and people just fed off his positive and fun energy. He’s gonna be missed.

SI: You are a great Twitter follow, but you don’t tweet that much. You sorta of come out of nowhere…

NS: And throw a haymaker.

SI: Exactly.

NS: It’s all about quality, not quantity. Every time I post, I want to make sure I really hit home. I think it’s a great way to interact with fans and show your personality outside of things. They’re just getting one perspective, and that’s a fan perspective, and they can’t really see how you are as a person.

SI: Are you sick of questions about your hair?

NS: Kind of. It went like this (raises hand up), then not so much and then it kinda (raises hand up). These days it’s mostly questions about my f—ing blister more than anything. Questions about how tall are you are the most annoying ones. I don’t know what to say there.

SI: Do you like the nickname “Thor?”

NS: I like the nickname, but I don’t like when people call me it directly.

SI: Do guys in the locker room say anything to Matt Harvey about dating Adriana Lima?

NS: Not really. We all have our types. Mine’s… Nah, forget it.

3. In honor of the aforementioned Bartolo Colon making his first start for the Braves Wednesday night, the team's social media department put together this mesmerizing GIF.

4. The biggest news on Twitter over the past 24 hours was the ridiculous Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner, which has since been pulled. However, we’ll always have this great tweet from Packers tight end Martellus Bennett

And this one from SB Nation’s Matt Ufford:

And this one from comedian Patton Oswalt.

5. It’s taken me three days of “Traina Thoughts,” but we finally have a great Mike Francesa clip to enjoy: The WFAN radio host FLIPPED OUT on a caller Tuesday because he dared call the Sports Pope by his full name, Michael.

6. Headline and Story of the Day: “Horse Leaving Taco Bell Falls Into Hole In California.”

7.’s Ben Golliverhas a great feature today popular “Inside the NBA” host, Ernie Johnson.

8. If you believe US Weekly, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are already talking marriage. We're not buying it and we think Blake Griffin was dead on about this relationship.

9. The Angels celebrated Cameron Maybin's 30th birthday by dumping powder and shaving cream all over the outfielder.