1. When one of your on-air talent people works in the front office for a team they're supposed to cover, you get a classic case of conflict of interest. Yet, ESPN doesn't seem to care about Jessica Mendoza's conflict of interest, because the network had her on its morning shows Thursday to discuss the Astros sign-stealing controversy.
So while the Mets, who employ Mendoza, try to figure out what to do about manager Carlos Beltrán's role in the cheating scandal, Mendoza went on national television and put all the blame on the former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers for blowing the whistle on the sign-stealing scheme.
When asked about Fiers's role in the matter, here's what Mendoza said:
"I get it. If you're with the Oakland A's and you're on another team, I mean, heck yeah, you better be telling your teammates, 'Look, hey, heads up, if you hear some noises when you're pitching, this is what's going on.'
"But to go public, it didn't sit well with me. It made me sad for the sport that that's how all this got found out. This wasn't something that MLB naturally investigated or that even other teams complained about it because they naturally heard about and then investigations happen. It came from within. It was a player that was a part of it. That benefitted from it during the regular season when he was a part of that team. ... It's something you don't do. I totally get telling your future teammates, helping them win, letting people know. But to go public with it and call them out, it's hard to swallow."
What a double whammy. First, she blames Fiers for exposing the cheating, and then she's doing it as a member of a Major League team's front office.
It's amazing that ESPN would even put her in this position and cause her credibility to take a big hit with viewers, but here we are.
Your lead Sunday Night Baseball analyst just went on your network and said Fiers should've told some people, but not all people about the cheating. Great take.
UPDATE: Mendoza issued this statement later in the afternoon after her appearances on ESPN in the morning.
2. FOX NFL Sunday host Curt Menefee joined the latest episode of the SI Media Podcast. Menefee gave us the inside scoop of Jimmy Johnson's Hall of Fame surprise Wednesday night (Menefee was the only cast member who knew about it) and talked about his approach for the five-hour pregame show he has to host on Super Bowl Sunday this year.
Menefee also talked about getting the hosting job after James Brown left for CBS, what it's like to work with Terry Bradshaw, his relationship with other pregame show hosts, his impression of Gronk after working with him this season and much more.
3. A pretty solid golf feud has broken out on Twitter. Bryson DeChambeau called out Brooks Koepka for his lack of abs.
Koepka then dropped the hammer on DeChambeau.
4. Memo to all Super Bowl prop bettors: Demi Lovato has been announced as the national anthem singer for the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. Start scouting her singing times now for your over/under wager.
5. I've watched one episode of Netflix's new Aaron Hernandez documentary and have two to go. It is a must-watch. Very well done and very compelling. Here's the trailer if you are unfamiliar with it.
6. Keep this great stat in mind if you're thinking of betting the Titans-Chiefs over/under on Sunday.
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: We are getting closer and closer to the Season 10 premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm this Sunday on HBO. Here is one of the most memorable scenes from the show.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.