Talkin’ All-Star Game Snubs Plus More NBA Free Agent Chatter
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY TO YOU TOO!!!
THE BASEBALL REPORT: ALL-STAR GAME SNUBS, YOU SAY? HEY, EVERYONE CAN’T GO TO THE MIDSUMMER CLASSIC, ‘YA KNOW! …
PLUS MORE MLB NOTES / NBA FREE-AGENT STUFF
It’s an annual rite of summer, if you will:
Players, managers, coaches and – worse yet – fans that bellyache about who didn’t make the All-Star Game rosters for both the American and National League.
Okay, so the fact of the matter is the rosters were trimmed down from 34 players per squad to 32 players and that’s gonna cause a bit of a stir but check out the fact that a handful-or-so players that didn’t make the cut don’t have that big an argument, if you ask us:
The likes of New York Yankees OF Aaron Hicks (currently out with an oblique injury), Los Angeles Angels SS Andrelton Simmons (great defensive shortstop but not one of the league’s top five shortstops) and St. Louis 3B Jeff Gyorko (12 home runs but we could name five or six NL third-sackers that have played better) didn’t make the All-Star Game rosters should not be treated as if it’s some sort of federal crime … hey, how about the fact Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano was nipped at the wire by Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez or that Miami’s favorite son OF Giancarlo Stanton didn’t get in over teammate Marcell Ozuna and both Sano and Stanton are reserves. Nonsense!
Nobody’s asking us but we would like to see Detroit RHP Michael Fulmer, Kansas City’s Jason Vargas and Arizona’s Robbie Ray all get to throw two innings here either as potential starters or in the third/fourth innings, let’s say, because all three of these hurlers have been something special the first half of this here-and-now 2017 season that the fans deserve them in the spotlight for more than a single inning or, good grief, just a single batter.
Now hear this …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 plus the Football Season isn’t that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear on August 3rd with the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys versus the Arizona Cardinals – just can’t wait!
In other MLB News / Notes …
Lots of fun series on tap as we head into the 4th of July and we’re paying special attention to the Arizona Diamondbacks (52-31) at the Los Angeles Dodgers (55-29) in the NL and the Interleague set between the Tampa Bay Rays (43-41) at the Chicago Cubs – take note that ‘Zona-LA runs Tuesday-thru-Thursday and the TB-Chi series is just Tuesday/Wednesday:
The Diamondbacks are fresh off winning their weekend series two-of-three against Colorado with Sunday’s 4-3 walk-off win featuring SS Ketel Marte’s game-winning single and now they’ll start off this series in Hollywood with LHP Patrick Corbin (2.96 ERA in past four starts) on the hill and we’re paying special attention to Thursday’s game when All-Star RHP Zack Greinke (10-4, 1.02 WHIP) gets to face off his old Dodger mates – how much fun will those three or four at-bats be when LA first baseman Cody Bellinger (24 dingers) battles Greinke?
The Dodgers enter the NL West showdown series 2.5 games in front – if the D-Backs get swept here they may never catch LA atop the divisional standings the rest of the summer.
In that interleague two-game set at Wrigley Field, let’s see if the Cubbies – 41-41 and make plenty of folks shake their heads these days – can crank up the bats: The Cubs rank 14th in the NL in team batting average (.237) and eighth in runs scored (4.5 runs per game) and maybe OF Ian Happ (two homers in Sunday’s 6-2 win in Cincinnati that prevented a Reds sweep) can stay hot against a Rays’ team that should pit RHP Chris Archer (5-4, 3.75 ERA) versus LHP Jon Lester (4-4, 3.83 ERA) in the series opener.
Finally, want some fun stats as we head into this 4th of July week?
The San Diego Padres are at the bottom of the charts in MLB when it comes to run differential as the Pods (a minus 120 run diff) but the strange stat here is San Diego ranks right in the middle of the NL pack in total home runs with 97 – way too many solo dingers, it seems.
And how about the fact as we head into these early July series that the Toronto Blue Jays are the only AL East team with a sub-.500 home record (see 20-22) – prior to the start of this season we would’ve thought the Jays might be 20 games over .500 at home at year’s end. Ain’t happening, folks!
NBA FREE AGENCY NOTES
Guess it really should not surprise too many folks that the champion Golden State Warriors re-inked a batch of free-agent players – yes, they’ll get around to re-signing NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant one of these days – but keeping Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston was a stroke of genius and don’t put it past “Dub Nation” that they’ll sign one of the other free agents out there with Toronto F Patrick Patterson or Memphis’ ace defender Tony Allen supposedly on the team’s radar.
Meanwhile, love the fact the Philadelphia 76ers signed J.J. Redick (one year for $23 million) who fits nicely with a young-but-growing team and you could see Redick be a 20-plus ppg scorer should Joel Embiid and others garner all the attention …
And Minnesota’s signing of free agent Jeff Teague (three-year deal for $57 million) should signal that the Timberwolves are not interested in the likes of New York’s Derrick Rose and/or Utah’s George Hill …
Would love to see the following free agents go to the following cities:
The aforementioned Hill would be a classic fit with the Chicago Bulls where he would be a mentor to recently acquired Kris Dunn; and Miami’s Dion Waiters would be a real good plug-in guy with the reshaped Los Angeles Clippers who keep stripping down the team that kept falling short bin NBA playoffs past.
There’s more free agent moves comin’ this week … just remember it was July 4th last year when Durant signed his bombshell contract with the G-State Warriors.
NOTE: Lots more Baseball and Football coverage all week right here at Jim Sez, so don’t miss out!
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