Baseball News and Notes, NBA Stars on the Move and Looking at the Seahawks Sked
THE JIM SEZ MID-WEEK REPORT:
THE BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES SEGMENT FEATURES A BUSY MATINEE CARD ON THIS JAM-PACKED WEDNESDAY…
PLUS THE NBA FINALS ARE DONE BUT WE EXAMINE WHAT’S STRAIGHT AHEAD FOR SOME KEY NBA STARS
THAT MAY BE ON THE MOVE…
NFL TIDBITS: WE EXAMINE THE 2014 SKED FOR THE DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPION SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
By Jim Hurley
So, maybe not everyone in the western world is riveted to this year’s World Cup—although you gotta love that chant that goes, “I believe that we will win!” that was heard loud-and-clear in USA’s 2-1 win against Ghana this past Monday evening—and no doubt Major-League Baseball fans are lovin’ this Wednesday menu that features eight afternoon games including fun showdowns between red-hot Kansas City at Detroit (1:05 p.m. ET) and that great pitching matchup on the South Side of Chicago between San Francisco RHP Tim Hudson and Chicago White Sox’s classy LHP Chris Sale.
In case you’ve missed it, the Royals entered last night’s game in Motown riding a MLB-best eight-game winning streak and one of the neat aspects of this surge was KC’s offensive numbers that included 56 runs (that’s 7 runs a game, folks) and even the power numbers were going up for a team that overall ranks just 12th in the American League in dingers with 36.
And how about that Windy City showdown we touched on where San Fran’s Hudson—who is 7-2 with a microscopic 1.81 ERA—goes up against Pale Hose lefty Sale who sports a tasty 5-1 mark with a 1.97 ERA?
If Sale—who missed a few starts this year due to injury—had three or four more wins now you might make the argument that this would be a matchup of All-Star Game starters next month in Minnesota.
In fact, dig a little bit deeper with the figures and you’ll see Hudson’s walked just 13 batters in 89.1 innings and is pitching to an 0.97 WHIP while Sale has an even better 0.67 WHIP with just 9 BBs in some 59.1 innings.
Guess what we’re trying to tell you good folks is that the matinee card here is chock full of goodies and it ain’t half-bad on this Wednesday night either as we’re looking forward to the Clayton Kershaw start with the Los Angeles Dodgers against Colorado.
Hey, Kershaw also has missed some starts this year but his numbers are pretty “Kershaw-like” including that 6-2 mark with a tidy 2.93 ERA and let’s not overlook the fact he’s struck out 71 batters and walked just 8 hitters in 55.1 innings of work.
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The NBA Finals—and the whole 2013-14 NBA season—is officially in the books but that doesn’t mean Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will stop the winning!
There’s plenty of Major-League Baseball daily winners coming your way when you check in either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. Eastern time for weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners.
Plus, the Football Season isn’t that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear in early August—can’t wait!
THE NBA REPORT
Now that didn’t take long… did it?
The silver-and-black confetti pieces were still coming down just moments after the San Antonio Spurs had wrapped up their NBA Finals series win against the Miami Heat last Sunday night when reports were making the rounds as to what the Heat’s “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were gonna due this summer… would they stay or would they go?
First off, not sure we can label them “Big Three” after just James showed up in that four-games-to-one series loss but we will go on record to say James, Wade and Bosh all will be back in the Heat colors for the 2014-15 NBA season and we don’t believe that New York Knicks free-agent-to-be F Carmelo Anthony will join them.
However, anyone that watched the Heat get lambasted by 15, 19, 21 and 17 points (that’s Game 1, 3, 4 and 5, respectively) by the potent Spurs knows that Miami better get a hand on a heady point guard—the Mario Chalmers/Norris Cole days appear done, eh?—and may we suggest Miami’s Pat Riley move heaven and earth to get his hands on Toronto PG Kyle Lowry or maybe even Minnesota Timberwolves backup J.J. Barea.
Meanwhile, the champion Spurs are looking to hang onto PG Patty Mills, who was a major sparkplug off the bench for Gregg Popovich’s club, but there are web reports that the New York Knicks would love to sign Mills as their mid-level exception. Odds are he’ll stay put in San Antonio where “Pop” will get him additional minutes behind starter and mega-star Tony Parker.
Still, there will be some likely major moves by big-name NBA players in the coming weeks…
The aforementioned Anthony will make more moolah if he stays put in New York City, but something tells us he’ll be on the move with Chicago, Houston or Dallas the likely order of destination for the Knicks’ top scorer.
Minnesota forward Kevin Love—who recently referred to the T-Wolves as “they”—is rumored to be on the move this summer, but who’s gonna make the best offer?
Right now the Golden State Warriors—who have plenty of valuable “chips” to trade—and the Chicago Bulls are considered the front-runners for Love’s services, but don’t be surprised if he winds up on the Phoenix Suns should they be able to swing a deal that doesn’t include star G Goran Dragic.
Finally, we might see a Draft Night deal or two involving picks and players and here’s one potential scenario:
The Washington Wizards might make Bradley Beal available in order to land the draft’s #2 or #3 pick, and so heads up as to whether or not Milwaukee or Philadelphia gets the smooth-stroking Beal plus a draft pick for that second or third overall choice. Could happen.
The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks nailed down the NFC’s numero uno seed last year and then crushed Denver in the Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey—and if you looked back at Seattle’s 2013 sked you noticed it played a weak AFC South and played 11 games against teams that didn’t make it to the NFL Playoffs.
This time around the Seahawks will play their out-of-conference games against the AFC West (that’s home to Denver and Oakland and at San Diego and Kansas City) and gotta believe that’ll be more challenging than last year’s interconference sked that featured three wins and a 34-28 loss in Indianapolis.
Plus, Seattle gets a real early bye—in Week 4—and so Pete Carroll’s club goes from October 6th through December 28th without a single break, and note that includes a pair of back-to-back road games against St. Louis and Carolina in Week 7 and 8, and at San Francisco and Philadelphia in Weeks 13 and 14.
If you’re looking for any “trap game” with the Seahawks, then consider the Nov. 16th game in Kansas City as it comes right before a revenge game against Arizona (remember the 17-10 loss in Seattle last year on Dec. 22nd) and you might also see the ‘Hawks struggle in that above-mentioned Dec. 7th game in Philly as that tilt is sandwiched by the two NFC West mega-showdowns against San Francisco.
Can Seattle get another 13-3 type season and home field through the playoffs?
Of course it could but the odds are these so-called trap games will be problematic and can you really expect Seattle to sweep San Fran in the regular season? Last year they split before Seattle won the NFC Championship Game and gut feeling is a regular-season split is most likely to happen here in ’14.
NOTE: Remember the NBA Draft is set for next Thursday, June 26th and we’ll have previews/coverages all through the next several days plus there’s more Baseball News/Notes comin’ soon in these Jim Sez columns.
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