In Cleveland, a $3 bottle of water can cost a lot more than that

One of the problems of pretending to be a quasi-legitimate news organization is that, sometimes, we’ll get beaten to the punch.

In this case, however, we don’t mind.

Our pot-smokin’ buddy (he doesn’t smoke pot — it’s a slap at John Herrera) Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Browns have fined a player for not paying for a bottle of water that he drank in his hotel room during a preseason road trip.

The bottle of water cost $3.

With the fine, the player could have purchased 567 more of them.

Yes, Browns coach Eric Mangini fined the player $1,701 for not paying for the $3 bottle of water.

We’d heard about this one several days ago, but it sounded so ludicrous that we wanted to be 100 percent sure of it before mentioning it.  (We hope NBC’s legal department appreciates that.)

Nuggets like this serve only to bolster the notion that agents will be steering players away from the Browns in the 2010 offseason, essentially forcing the Browns to overpay (2008 Raiders style) in order to persuade players to join the Browns staff.

Meanwhile, if there’s an issue with players not settling up their incidentals invoice from a hotel stay, why not simply deduct the cost of the unpaid bottles of water and Snickers bars (product placement!) from their paychecks?  Hell, that’s what we assumed most teams did, anyway.

Then again, common sense possibly ain’t all that common within the walls of the football club residing in Cuyahoga County.

48 responses to “In Cleveland, a $3 bottle of water can cost a lot more than that

  1. Mangini’s tenure in Cleveland is going to be very quick and then , mercifully, he is going to disappear. I don’t know if this is the truth or a worthless prediction. Either way, I’m desparately looking forward to it. Although I doubt Billichek could ever be so petty, these Billichek wannabe’s are really getting on my nerves.

  2. Wow. I was thinking it had staph on it or something, but that is almost worse.
    There should be some sort of crime in charging 3 bucks for a bottle of water in the first place, but the team has got to pick up the tab unless it is from the mini bar or porn rental.
    They should at least buy a truck full of bottled water with the fine and let the players take as much as they want.
    Stay thirsty Charlie Browns.

  3. And bloody stupid Florio continues his vendetta against the Browns.
    It must be something personal. Maybe Art Modell was a distant relative of Florio.

  4. That’s absurd. Someone else in the Brown’s organization with half a brain should step in and waive that. How long until there is a total revolt against this guy?

  5. They should start fining their fans for being dumb enough to show up to Browns games.
    (…said the die-hard Lions fan…)

  6. Come on Florio, even you have to understand the discipline and lesson here. Mangini wants the players to understand that they must be held to a higher standard. They are in a high profile position and everything they do reflects directly on the team and the league. It’s about character. As a fan I have no problem with this at all. Agents on the other hand (for the most part) serve as models of what you find at the other end of the spectrum.

  7. I think they are right to nip this in the bud. Now it’s water bottles, next thing you know they taking liberties with the hotel’s TV repairmen. Nip it!

  8. $1,701 ? I wonder how they arrived at that price for the fine. Sometimes it seems like the entire sports world has lost its collective mind.

  9. Are you seriously putting down the Browns here??
    Theft is a serious offense at most businesses. A well paid athlete steals a bottle of water just because he believes he’s above the rules of everyone else and you blame the Browns?!?!? If they just took the 3 dollars out his paycheck he and others wouldn’t think twice about doing it again. I bet now they will think twice.
    You are an idiot Florio!!

  10. If a guy is there on the team’s ticket he’s an ambassador for the team – seems simple enough to me. The penalty represents the the stupidity and the senselessness of the action not the cost of the water.

  11. The truth of the matter is, the Browns have been a stupid team that has lacked discipline; they need “extreme”. When a rich kid doesn’t have the common sense and responsibility to settle up a tab, they deserve a slap on the wrist; it embarrasses the team look bad (worse…).
    That mentioned, the impact of a $1,xxx fine for an NFL player is similar to an average Joe having his check docked $5 for losing his Keycard… no big deal.
    As far the “Free Agents” avoiding Cleveland; who the hell was going to Cleveland before this regime? If they (somehow) start to win, folks will be lining up early to suck on the “Mancock”…

  12. I don’t really have a problem with the Browns teaching the player a lesson about responsibility. Why coddle them and have some employee have to take care of things that normal adults are required to do?
    But at the same time….I don’t think Eric Mangini realizes you have to actually accomplish something and earn respect before being a dick is considered an admirable quality.

  13. When you have to explain your joke and lead us like Helen Keller to the punchline, like you did for your uproarious pot joke( which is most likely true anyway), your joke is thin . It wasn’t that funny the first 400 times u did it. Give it a rest and report football. Thereare enough real jokes out there.
    Mike Silver is a tool.

  14. The Yankees just deduct all such items (alcohol, bath robes, movie rentals, etc.) from paychecks.
    Maybe this is too difficult of an accounting practice in Cleveland.

  15. Wow…imagine expecting that grown men earning millions of dollars to pay for their water?
    If he doesn’t win a game, at least Managini isn’t treating these overbllown babies as divas.
    Maybe the a-hole who stole the water will think twice in the future.

  16. And how much would he have fined the same player for cramping up during the preseason game due to not properly hydrating?

  17. Where did they get $1701 from? Is there some magic formula saying “If you commit a $3 crime, your fine is $1701?” Is that extra dollar the processing fee?
    I’m all for disciplining players, but I think a $1701 fine for a $3 bottle of water is way excessive. I think it would be more appropriate to embarrass the guy. Bring it up in a team meeting and make him give you cash for it. Continue to bring it up until he pays you. I think the desire not to be made fun of would serve as more of a deterrent and wouldn’t be so excessive.

  18. To everyone saying this is a good example of discipline or saying the player was an idiot to not pay for the bottle of water, have you ever taken anything out of the mini-bar of a hotel room? Every single hotel will have whatever was taken out of the mini-bar billed to the room, not the person staying in the room. In fact, there aren’t too many hotels that will tell you what your incidentals are until a couple of days after you have checked out because they have to take stock of the mini-bar and the closet.
    So what makes you think the player could even have paid for the bottle of water he took out of the room? Why don’t you idiots try claiming you only took one bottle of water out of the mini-bar and only that one bottle of water before the hotel staff can take stock.

  19. “Wow…imagine expecting that grown men earning millions of dollars to pay for their water?”
    Better yet imagine an NFL franchise scalping it’s own players for water. Three bucks for a bottle of water, seriously? Gee, do they let players bring their own drinks into the stadium? Probably not. Oh no, you’re got to drink the $3 water or the $5 cup of Gatorade. I wonder if they make the players cough up some cash during the games when they get thirsty?

  20. He made rookies go to a charity event on a bus. He fines players for not paying for things. He shuts out the media like Belichek. Oh no. Oh no. $1,701 is a pittance of these players’ salaries. A coach who enforces policies in a draconian way? Yes, all his players will revolt, I’m sure, because no coach has ever done that before, and the Jets were an awful, awful team under Mangini. This is all proven by immutable fact. Mmmm-hmm.
    If he wins, he stays. Time will tell. Verdict on the Browns is out until at least midseason.
    Also, this overpaying for players theory is bunk. Anything based on what an agent says a year before the draft is bunk. If Cleveland has to overpay for free agents, it’s because it’s a small market and some big players don’t want to play in small markets, period. Not as big a deal as in MLB/NBA, though. The other reason? We don’t win. That’s kind of a weak spot for Cleveland, but it sure isn’t news.
    “I would put one of my players on another team’s practice squad before putting him on the Browns.” – Probably because the Browns have shown a zero-tolerance attitude for BS, as evidenced by cutting Shaun Smith and Louis Leonard, and trading KW2 with very little discussion. Are there enough players around to make Mangini’s vision work? Maybe. You don’t hear a lot of discontent from New England. And don’t tell me you don’t think Belichek hasn’t done similar draconian things.
    If you can find evidence of a player directly turning down the Browns because of his agent saying that they’re a bad atmosphere for him, I’d be interested to read it.

  21. A lesson taught to a child by his or her parents. Not Eric Mangini to a grown man. Sounds like a personal conduct rules violation and penality accessed… Who on earth wants to play for Eric. He should have listened to his babies God father Billy B., stayed a little longer in New England and learned more how to be a better clone.

  22. There’s more to this story that we just don’t know. Maybe he had more than just a bottle of water, maybe he didn’t pay for food either. Maybe he had an attitude problem and lashed out his mouth when he was told he was going to be fined and they got him for that too. Maybe he trashed the hotel room. Maybe they have a team policy that says if you try to skate on food and beverages then you pay the entire cost of the man-hours that the team staff has to put in to reconcile expenses for the whole team. etc. etc.
    He wasn’t necessarily fined $1701 for just the bottle itself.

  23. We all know this has happened before. You can’t teach a grown man a lesson for bottled water in the hotel room. The fine is an act of “Stupidity & senselessness”. The Browns have other ways to teach lessons to their players. Mangini didn’t get fined for his football team not being prepared to play The Minnesota Vikings. Maybe he was researching the rule book instead of the play book. Never heard of a coach acting like this moron. The Browns are doomed with his instincts. Keep up the good work Cleveland. Oh, and, say goodbye to LB23!

  24. A big guy like Shaun Rogers would need to rehydrate often, day & night. He’s my edumacated guess as the culprit.

  25. Wow did I just hear Mike “A*shole” Florio name a source. Throw Mike a cookie, this is a first, unlesss he calls his d*ick Michael Silver.

  26. the reporting of this story only makes me feel more strident that florio prints these stories to generate more page”hits”.
    where’s the objectivity here?has anybody asked the browns their side of the story?
    this story is being pushed on us so florio can bolster another ongoing diatribe concerning agents and their willingness to do business with the browns organization.florio,please name these agents that you talk of,who are they?
    this story is just another bull shit grab at money on florio’s part.

  27. Way to go floho
    Another cheap attack the Raiders.
    Cable is gonna box your itchy ears.
    Tom Tubbie just finishe another box of twinkies.

  28. Did anyone consider that this may have been a Kangaroo Court Fine? I know some of you used to play organized sports. We had kangaroo court in summer travel baseball in high school, you could get fined for anything. It wasn’t thousands of dollars of course, but a couple bucks here and there.

  29. It should be the responsibility of the player to pay for the water and if he didn’t so be it. Its not the business of anyone else. The fine should be deleted. What is the matter with management of the Browns. Do we have sick people in that office? They need to grow up. $3 for a bottle of water is out of control anyway. I can buy a gallon of distilled water for $l.

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