The Happy Father's Day Edition
IT'S THE HAPPY FATHER'S DAY EDITION OF JIM SEZ
By Jim Hurley:
Let's get it out on the table right here and right now:
The Father's Day edition of Jim Sez should be something special and so we've done a little shopping for the dads out there and we've brought you back plenty to discuss in the worlds of Major-League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association ... now that beats getting a new white handkerchief or a striped tie, doesn't it?
Our little sports potpourri column gets into the swing of things in just a moment but first this very key reminder to one and all:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be releasing loads of Major-League Baseball Winners each and every day and you can be part of all the action -- just remember to call the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here and make sure you're all aboard for a summer filled with all our MLB winners! The calling/check-in times are as follows: After 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays; after 11 a.m. ET for weekday Baseball and anytime after 1 p.m. ET for all the weeknight action in the world of Major-League Baseball.
The Toronto Blue Jays often get lost in the shuffle when it comes to talking about the power-laden American League East but there was the North-of-the-Border crew sitting pretty at .500 following Friday night's 3-2 win in Cincinnati.
The Blue Jays - who rode the efforts of lefty starter JoJo Reyes (6.1 innings of two-run ball) and three relief pitchers (see Octavio Dotel, Marc Rzepczynski and closer Frank Francisco who now has seven saves) started off their 10-game, four-city trip with a key "W" and they won't conclude this road swing until having played a make-up game in Detroit (see May 17th rainout).
No doubt this is a true stamina test for Toronto but as long as RF Jose Bautista (45 RBI) and 1B Adam Lind (44 RBI) keep producing big hits - Lind whacked his fourth home run in as many games in Friday's win at the Great American Ballpark - than don't discount the Jays just yet even if it's likely that they'll have to be battling for a precious wild card spot ...
Okay, so who's one of MLB's most important everyday players who still doesn't get all that much ink?
How about Texas Rangers OF Nelson Cruz who has endured a trying season so far with injuries and a recent 0-for-18 slump at the plate but the righthand-hitting force drove in three runs with a couple of doubles in the 6-2 Interleague game win in Atlanta on Friday night and it's rather amazing that Cruz has 37 RBI this season considering his uneven/injury-rattled campaign so far.
Don't be surprised if Texas manager Ron Washington eventually puts CF Josh Hamilton and the aforementioned Cruz back-to-back in this Rangers lineup while possibly using 1B Michael Young (hitting .310 at press time) as "protection" in the order in the five hole.
Hey, let's not spoil anyone's Father's Day with talk about this silly/dopey NFL Lockout - the fact of the matter is this mess will get fixed sooner rather than later - and so let's tackle a couple of key topics that are very much on the table that have nothing to do with this lockout crap:
The Cincinnati Bengals do plan on trading veteran QB Carson Palmer once the NFL gets back to the business of personnel moves. There's no question that Cincinnati GM Mike Brown doesn't like Palmer's "bullying" tactics but the fact remains that the Bengals can improve their collective lot by acquiring players/draft picks for the disgruntled signal-caller who - should we make a prediction here -- believe he'll eventually get moved to the Miami Dolphins or the Seattle Seahawks (remember that Seattle head coach Pete Carroll would love to reunite with his one-time USC slinger who nabbed the Heisman Trophy just a few years back) ...
Meanwhile, another former Heisman Trophy winner from USC - that's New Orleans Saints RB/punt return specialist Reggie Bush - also could be wearing different threads when this lockout is finally settled. Bush - who knew his time in the Crescent City was short the moment the Saints drafted yet another Heisman Trophy winner in RB Mark Ingram (Alabama) - has been back-and-forth with internet reports that he had the Saints' permission to seek a trade but nevertheless you can expect Bush to get traded with Oakland, San Diego and even Super Bowl champion Green Bay said to be interested if the price is right. Bush figures to bring back nothing more than a couple of second-or-third-round draft picks - and most certainly not a #1 - and look for the Raiders to be the most aggressive team in these trade talks.
The Hurley Network is moving full speed ahead with our football season preparations and are set to strike quickly. Check out our early bird rates and nail down the best possible rates today.
Lots of NBA Draft talk in these next few days here in Jim Sez but let's wind the clock back a couple of years to when the Minnesota Timberwolves - who always seem to be picking at or near the top of the draft, right? - tabbed Spain's point guard supreme Ricky Rubio with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Now, after playing the past two seasons overseas, Rubio says he is ready to begin NBA life on the hardwood but that doesn't apparently mean he has a starting job guaranteed despite such comments made by team president David Kahn two years ago.
You'll recall Kahn was bubbling over with pro-Rubio enthusiasm back then but now has tempered those remarks - could it be he's still sore at Rubio for not coming to rescue his sad-sack T-Wolves two years ago? - although one recent quote said Kahn considered Rubio "like an orchestra conductor with the basketball".
Keep in mind the Wolves are slated to select second in Thursday's NBA Draft from Newark - and right now we don't see any of the mock drafts listing Minny as picking a point guard here! ...
Finally, we don't mean to make the NBA schedule for next season - assuming there is a next season - but it's an absolute must in our Jim Sez book that Miami plays Dallas (we don't care where) on Opening Night so that there can be a real buzz to the start of the 2011-12 NBA campaign.
Okay, so it's more than likely that Heat-Mavericks will be played on Christmas Day (isn't that when the NBA always schedules its marquee matchups?) but we'd love to see Miami-Dallas on Day One and than Mavs at the Cleveland Cavaliers soon thereafter so that Cleveland hoop fans can stand and applaud the team that "made" their season by beating up LeBron James and mates in the just-completed NBA Finals.
Heck, it's gotten so crazy in Cleveland with their pro-Dallas Mavericks love that one pregnant radio host says she is going to put some form of Dirk Nowitzki's name into her child's name come his upcoming birth. A gal named Cherise Navidad of Q104 in Cleveland has never forgiven James for leaving the rock-n-roll city and so maybe 20 years from now a Dirk Navidad will be playing in the NBA - maybe even with the Cavs, who knows?
Like we said ... Happy Father's Day
NOTE: Get more MLB News & Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.
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