As the 2017 baseball season enters August, MLB will take the final weekend of July to celebrate its past. The Baseball Hall of Fame will enshrine five new members in Cooperstown on Sunday, which includes three players, a GM, and the former commissioner.
Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines had to wait a long time for induction, but they finally got the votes necessary to get their busts this year. Ivan Pudge Rodriguez, didn’t have to wait nearly as long, getting in on his first year of eligibility. Meanwhile, executive John Schuerlohz and commissioner Bud Selig were voted in by the Today’s Game committee.
Other inductees include the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, recognizing baseball writers, and the Ford C. Frick Award, given to the best announcers in the sport. This year’s Spink winner is Claire Smith, while Bill King is honored with the Frick award.
Blue Jays: Only Steve Pearce stuck with his actual name. We’re disappointed, but maybe you haven’t fully shed your true Orioles’ nature yet.
Indians: Jose Ramirez went with Ramirez so I’m not even going to bother coming up with a joke.
Royals: Ian Kennedy and Mike Minor are disappointments here, but at least two Kansas City players made it so their jerseys combine to say Sledge Hammer.
Twins: You knew Joe Mauer wouldn’t have a nickname: nicknames are too flashy for him. Ryan Pressly missed an opportunity to make sure no one confuses him with Alex Presley. If the jerseys had been presented differently, we would have gotten a Buddy Rogers combo, so I’m docking points for that missed opportunity.
Sidney Crosby did not even draw a penalty for his slash of Senators defenseman Marc Methot Thursday night, which left Methot with a grotesque finger injury that will sideline him for weeks.
But Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says the Penguins star deserves a lengthy suspension.
In an appearance on TSN 1200 radio Friday, Melnyk called Crosby a whiner and said the NHL must act.
We all know who he is, the guy is just a whiner beyond belief and you do this kind of stuff I don’t care who you are in the league, Melnyk said, via FoxSports. I don’t care if you’re the number one player in the league, you should sit out a long time for this kind of crap.
I think the only way to do it is you wipe the guy off the map. Not one or two games, (but) 10. How about a season for a few of these guys. You take my guy, I take your guy. That’s my attitude.
The debate comes down to the each player’s main priority.
Burns is tasked with shouldering the Sharks’ offense defending is secondary. He led the NHL with a whopping 320 shots, 79 more than the next closest defenseman, the Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien.
Karlsson makes things happen on offense, but at the end of the day, his best work comes in Ottawa’s end.
Karlsson has an edge on Burns in every key defensive category. He was second in the league with 213 blocked shots, compared to Burns’ 142. He had more takeaways and fewer giveaways and averaged nearly two more minutes of ice time.
Another day closer to the trade deadline, another round of rumors to collect and lay out for easy reading and catching up. There’s so many trade rumors drifting in the wind some that are legitimate, some that are less so that it only makes sense to gather them up day by day and make sure everyone stays up to speed.
The Brewers have their eye on Sonny Gray but have been trying not to send one of their top two prospects back to Oakland in the process. Rest easy, Milwaukee fans, as the latest reports say Lewis Brinson believes that might not be necessary to land Gray, and another option like Brett Phillips could be just the trick for the A’s outfield.
Right now, both the Cubs and Rockies look to be after Alex Avila, who has been a great backup catcher for Detroit this season. Avila’s 2017 campaign is his best since the 2011 season, and he could help teams out, especially Chicago, at first base.
Cleveland was reportedly seriously involved in J.D. Martinez trade talks. This is the one of the only major rumors to involve the Indians so far this summer, and with Martinez’s eventual price being so low, it seems like they might have been seriously involved but not actually seriously interested.
The Royals, who started the year out playing like absolute trash, were outscored by 53 runs combined in April and May. That led to a 22-30 record they were honestly kind of lucky to have. Since then, though, the Royals have been whatever the opposite of trash is to fit this analogy, going 30-17 since June 1 while outscoring opponents by 43 runs.
It’s hard to figure out when the Braves are going to be excellent again, in other words. Could be next year. Could be three years from now. A wholly in-house rebuild is a tricky thing to pull off, even if they already have Freddie Freeman and a couple of other major parts already in place. It’s hard to push everything off until 2021 because the prospects could arrive next year. It’s hard to go all in for next season because the prospects might not arrive until 2021.
The solution is a middle ground, like Gray. He’s under team control for the next two seasons, and he would help the Braves bridge the gap between the R.A. Dickey present and the Ian Anderson future. If the roster solidifies in the meantime, that’s great. They’d have a young all-star. If the roster takes its sweet time, they get to exchange Gray for some of the prospects they lost to get him.
And the Braves most certainly do have the prospects to get him. More than any other team, they have the prospects, the need, and the desire.
Just a week ago, it didn’t feel like the Rangers were going to trade Yu Darvish. Now, though, it seems almost assured, as they’ve decided that they’re not only out of the postseason race in 2017, but that the return for Darvish in a trade is worth more to them than the exclusive negotiating window keeping him would give them. That much comes from Ken Rosenthal’s latest on Darvish, while more explicit mention of trading then re-signing Darvish comes from the Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson.
The Dodgers are the primary suitor for Darvish, but per Rosenthal, Darvish also isn’t their top target, as they’re looking at Orioles closer Zach Britton and are considered the backup plan for Sonny Gray should the Yankees fail to make a deal for the A’s starter. The Yankees are in the opposite scenario, where they’re looking at Gray and see Darvish as a secondary option.
The NHL debuted a refurbished All-Star Game format a year ago to rave reviews. Its brush with Hollywood in 2017 should bring more of the same.
Though there’s no John Scott this year, the NHL’s All-Star Skills Competition and four-team 3-on-3 tournament are largely unchanged, but there are a few tweaks.
The league announced it’s doing away with the fan-favorite breakaway challenge, hockey’s version of the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest, but it will be replaced by a new event dubbed The Four-Line Challenge, in which players will try to hit targets from various distances around the ice, per Sportsnet .
The other new wrinkle to the weekend is the NHL’s reveal of its own much-hyped 100 greatest players of all time during a ceremony Jan. 27 at Microsoft Theater.
Across the street at Staples Center, the skills competition is set for Jan. 28 with the All-Star game to follow on Jan. 29.
Had you asked me a month and a half ago, I would have said Dubnyk without hesitation, but Bobrovsky made a late push and Dubnyk had a lousy finish.
Bobrovsky had just one regulation loss the entire month of March. That run included a seven-game winning streak and three straight shutouts.
On the flip side, Dubnyk went 3-9-2 in March and allowed two goals or more in nine straight games.
Voters won’t forget how dominant Dubnyk was earlier this season, but that brutal stretch could really cost him.
From a numbers standpoint, Bobrovsky led the league in save percentage (.935) and goals-against average (2.06) and was third in the league with 41 wins.
So, adding Estrada might not be a bad idea. He’s having a rough 2017, with his ERA at 5.33, but otherwise his surface numbers look pretty similar to his last two seasons, which were pretty good. The difference is that Estrada is allowing far more hits this year, so even though he’s also racking up more strikeouts, the change from unhittable guy except for when he’s giving up homers to guy who gives up hits before he gives up homers has been a tough one.
However, this combined with it being the last year of his contract with the Blue Jays means he should be relatively cheap for the Royals, who are three games back of the AL Central lead but are also under .500. They should invest in improving for the second half, but they also probably shouldn’t go overboard and unload any future assets they might have especially since there aren’t that many. Estrada is a potential change-of-scenery guy who could benefit from pitching in a weaker division and more pitcher-friendly park, especially with his home run tendencies.
That’s not to say Kansas City has a perfect roster. Their starting pitching is still abysmal (even with the excellent play the last two months, the rotation has posted a 4.73 ERA), with the lineup and bullpen doing all of the work for them.
hey don’t have much in the way of assets to trade in order to improve in the future, given their farm system is a wreck and they need the good players they already have in the majors. If they can find a way to upgrade on Alcides Escobar at shortstop, though, and keep searching for starting pitchers who would benefit from playing in pitcher-friendly Kauffman, then they should come out of the deadline stronger than they went into it.
The Colorado Avalanche are pulling the plug on Semyon Varlamov after an injury-marred start to the season.
The goaltender will have season-ending hip surgery Thursday in an effort to overcome hip and groin injuries that have nagged him in recent years, the team announced.
It’s nice to have our first transaction and have our first player ready for Vegas, GM George McPhee said.
Duke, originally drafted by the Wild in 2014, has played the past three seasons for the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, who were coached and managed by Golden Knights assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon before he left for Vegas last offseason.
It’s really cool, Duke said of being Vegas’ first player. This is the first signing, but first to come. I’m just excited to share this with everyone in the organization.
Duke has 35 goals and 32 assists for 67 points and 69 penalty minutes for the Wheat Kings this season.
Because once McDavid is being paid commensurately for his services (though even at the highest AAV in hockey, he’ll still be underpaid) some of Edmonton’s other contracts will truly show their warts. Lucic was brought in to play with McDavid, and though he wasn’t in his prime when he signed a seven-year deal with Edmonton at age 27, he was still a productive player that appeared to have a lot of good years ahead of him. But Lucic and McDavid never clicked, Patrick Maroon (a power forward the likes of Lucic) was swapped onto McDavid’s line, and Lucic, though still somewhat productive in his first year as an Oilers (23 goals, 23 assists) isn’t playing the role he was cast for.