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benjamin eckstein classy caper

LAS VEGAS — NO ONE ever loses. If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Discord, you would think that no one ever loses a bet. EVERY stinkin’ handicapper has a phenomenal record, with a bulging wallet.

Lemme bring you a little dose of reality. I LOSE! We ALL lose!

Which brings me to the incredible Wander Franco story.

Before the baseball season started, I threw down a handful of chips on Franco to win the American League MVP at a DELICIOUS 15/1. Why not. Wander was the No. 1 prospect in baseball and was coming off a solid effort in the ALDS against the Red Sox, batting .368 with two home runs, four RBIs and a sky-high 1.158 OPS. If you’re not familiar with OPS, the league average in 2021 was .728. Sadly, Franco’s 2022 season has been cut short by wrist surgery, so, yeah, that bet is a big fat LOSS!

However, not as much as Wander lost when a burglar stole more than $650,000 worth of jewelry from his SUV. So, SUV, huh? The SUV in the story is a FREAKING Rolls-Royce Cullinan that goes for $563,000. That’s just for the basic trim level. My question is, is there ANYTHING BASIC about $563,000??? The top of the range, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge, can set you back $834,020. Of course, Franco signed an 11-year, $182-MILLION contract, so, obviously, he can handle the Black Badge.

Forget about the 650,000 bucks in bling for a second and lemme tell you the problems that jump out at me.

Franco was staying at a DoubleTree hotel. We’ve stayed at many DoubleTrees and NEVER EVER seen a Rolls-Royce Cullinan in the parking lot. Raise your hand if you’ve stayed at a DoubleTree and seen a Rolls. Anyone. I’ll wait... thought so. I would make the OVER/UNDER of Rolls-Royce Cullinan sightings at any DoubleTree in HISTORY maybe 0.5, and bet everything on the UNDER!

So, Wander, here’s the plan moving forward. Get a Toyota Camry. DO NOT put a safe in the car, especially a CHEAPO $60 model. And if you’re gonna take jewelry, get some fakes made and leave ’em in the car.

If you’re wondering what was stolen, here’s the list.

  • A $300,000 gold, diamond-encrusted Cuban link chain with diamonds and a W in the center.
  • A $200,000 rose gold Cuban link chain with diamonds.
  • A $70,000 gold pendant with a medallion in green and blue lettering spelling “FRANCO 5.”
  • A $44,000 Platinum Rolex watch with diamonds.
  • A $20,000 American League championship ring.
  • A $20,000 International League championship ring from Durham.
  • A $5,000 gold pendant of Jerry the mouse from the “Tom and Jerry” cartoon.

As a side note, I DO NOT own any gold, diamond-encrusted Cuban link chains, a Rolex or anything to do with “Tom and Jerry.” But I do have a $79.99 Timex that works like a champ, a six-year-old silver Camry and a Mickey Mouse pinky ring!!!

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email... ben@americasline.com.