Hello Gabbers. As we head into Summer out here we went from 80 degrees to the blast furnace of 110 almost overnight. Thankfully the heat wave broke yesterday, but it got me to thinking – so here we are on the verge of July, and as the calendar turns, we now hit the “Dead Zone” of sports. But really is it a dead zone?
AL East. The Yankees somehow continue to hold on to a part of first place, tied with Boston who seems more interested in celebrating Big Papi than anything else.
AL Central. I see Cleveland has finally awoke from its Spring slumber, but even with all of Minnesota’s pitching problems (27th in ERA at nearly 5), they are still over .500 and only 1.5 games back. But the team to watch here all of a sudden is Kansas City (MLB low 26 errors) who has gotten red-hot of late.
AL West. It’s Houston (whose pitchers lead MLB in strike outs by a wide margin, hitters lead MLB with a .280 BA) and that’s it, but Seattle is sitting two games over .500.
NL East. Washington owns it, but Atlanta is playing near .500 ball. Ryan Zimmerman leads batters with a .348 BA.
NL Central. Milwaukee fans must be going nuts – 1st place into near July? But with that being said, here comes the Cubs. I’m starting to hear grumbling from St. Louis so keep an eye out on that at the end of the year – the Cardinals don’t suffer losing well.
NL West. Dodgers (team 3.32 ERA) and Arizona (Goldschmidt w/64 RBI) are just killing it, with Colorado also playing .600 ball.
But the reality is there’s more than Baseball out there:
NBA Draft. As a local talking head here says, you can’t really make sense of this for three years and that makes sense. But for me, the big news of Thursday Night was Chicago and Minnesota making the trade sending Jimmy Butler and the #16 pick to Minny for the #7 pick (Lauri Markkinen), Zach Lavine, and Kris Dunn.
I disagree with the talking heads, I think this is a good trade for BOTH teams.
- Chicago gets a slick shooting 7 footer in the Dirk Nowitzki mode, a freakish athlete in LaVine, and a trainable quality young Guard in Kris Dunn who wasn’t going to see PT in Minny. Suddenly the Bulls are in rebuild mode, but with three players who can help.
- Minnesota gets that veteran who can help lead a squad full of “potential” and drafted yet another big who has a chance to help. Think about this for a second: Karl Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and now Jimmy Butler. With a hopefully healthy Ricky Rubio who can do what he’s good at – assists, this is a good deal for them, but the talk is that the Wolves are looking for a PG in free agency and suddenly they have become “attractive.”
NFL Notes. Were about a month out of training camps (July 22nd and Hall of Fame game on August 3rd – a Thursday by the way) with the first pre-season games kicking off, and if I’m being honest, I haven’t given the NFL a thought since the April draft, but…
- Derek Carr gets a 5 year – $125 mil contract extension and provided he stays healthy he’ll be worth it. I would add that I’m a little concerned about cap flexibility, but having a quality starting QB makes it well worth that headache.
- Kansas City dropped their GM, but signed Andy Reid to an extension, and while I like Reid, KC has got to do something about their passing game and get more vertical.
- There is ongoing talk about Colin Kaepernick. I gotta tell you that I am torn on this one because I’m not big on his kneeling issue – in fact I’m kinda pissed. But as the issues with the police continue, I really do have to begin to wonder what is up with the cops. It just doesn’t seem like the cops or the courts see a problem. But it’s time for him to find a team. I get there’s concerns, but at what point does blackballing him become problematic? If I’m Kansas City or Arizona, I take a hard look. But then again, as he has his concerns, maybe this isn’t a bad time for him to take his talents to Canada? Hey, it’s playing time, and it buys time for somebody in the NFL to come back to him in another year.
Arizona backup QB Drew Stanton leveled criticism at the NFL’s QB development system. Gee Drew, you think? The problem with the NFL is that they can’t or won’t wait for development of a QB. Understandable given the money out there, but it’s not just at QB – it’s at all positions. Patience is the issue.
And memo to the NFL. Yes, I know fans are impatient – I get it, but if they understood what you were trying to do, they’d understand a whole hell of a lot more – that is where the NBA is light years ahead of you – they communicate what they are doing to their fans. Perhaps developing your relations with your fans might be a part of your plan.
CFL. Week 1 has started now and tonight I plan on watching Edmonton at BC. Hey, it’s football and on a quiet Saturday Night, I have no qualms.
NASCAR. I don’t pretend to know anything about the races, but there’s always that going on each weekend and I know my friend Qwazier is out there watching.
Tour de France. This is my guilty pleasure. For some reason I enjoy this and every July I look forward to it.
British Open. On Sunday July 23rd, my attention will be diverted onto watching the final round of the British Open. I enjoy watching the differences in the golf courses and how the pros handle it.
Bowling. It goes well. I shot another 300 a month or so ago, and I am doing well in the Summer, certainly better than expected.
And Finally… I’m a very lucky man. For those of you who don’t know, I became a Grandfather for the first time last Saturday. Both mother and son Zeke are doing fine and I have had a lot of holding time. It’s really an unbelievable feeling, and a surreal experience.
I also admit though to some medical issues I’m fighting through including Diverticulitis and back issues. Hopefully I can finally be diagnosed this coming week to see the cause of all of this.
Between work and my veterans volunteer work, I am very busy but as we head into a more conducive time of year for sports, I will try to get in here more, and certainly intend to be around the 4th of July.
Until then Gabbers…