Tuesday, August 02, 2016

No Chris Sale...Well Not Yet

"Last year I had drama, girl not right now."

What's up campers? I know the song lyric is "it never rains in California...but when it pours, man it pours"...but the exact same happens over Fort Lauderdale Beach. Lots of storms miss us, but when they hit...look out! So as the rain continues to fall (going on three hours now), let's talk about some recent sports events.

The PGA Championship had a dramatic finish on Sunday. I watched most of it, which was great and at the same time unfortunate because I was at work, and quite frankly, the more sports I get to watch, the less $$ I make...kind of a Catch 22...thank you 7th grade summer reading list! Haha. Anywho, Jimmy Walker (tremendous name) won the tourney, edging out Jason Day by one stroke at Baltusrol (also tremendous name) Golf Club. This marks the third time ever that all four majors were won by first-time major winners (I can't believe there was more than one?). Say what you will about golf, but there's nothing like when a major tournament comes down to the final 9 holes.

The last two majors have had fantastic finishes. The Stenson/Lefty duel at Royal Troon was epic, calling on not only the two to be ten shots clear of the field, but also for Stenson to fire a major score-tying 63 (whose list now stands at 29 players all time...also another shockingly high number). I dunno...it's tough not to root for Phil if he's in the hunt at a major. He sinks a few putts, gets the little fist pump going, sheepishly starts acknowledging the crowd as he has commanded the second biggest amount of batshit crazy fans of our generation (Tiger)...how do you not get caught up in that? Another 2nd for Phil, but the fact that he is still playing at as high of a level as he has for as long as he's done it...guy's sick I guess is what I'm getting at (he made his pro debut at the U.S. Open 24 YEARS AGO!!). Stenson absolutely deserved the Jug though...63 in the final round of a major? When the guy you're paired with is in a heads-up match with you? That's crazy.

Jason Day is the #1 player in the world, and yet if we're talking about who is the best golfer in the world, I would make a guess that his name continues to be passed up, most likely in favor of the other top 2 of the "New Big Three" (copyright 2008 Boston Celtics), Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. This despite the fact that not only did he win the FedEx Cup last year, he is also the leader and odds-on favorite to win this year. Day also has two Match Play Championship victories and has finished in the top 2 in consecutive PGA Championships, including a victory in the event last year, his first major victory. I think the only reason Day is not considered to be the unanimous #1 player is simply because he does not receive the amount of exposure that McIlroy and Spieth get. You have to wonder what attributes to this? Why is it that an average sports fan probably is not aware of Day's accomplishments, or that he is actually, literally, the #1 player in the world? It's fascinating. He's actually a really easy sell too. He is by far the most accomplished Australian golfer since Greg Norman, and all of this before he hits 30 (turns 29 in November), and in addition to all that he has done, let's not forget that he nearly won the U.S. Open last year despite dealing with vertigo and collapsing during the final round. This guy is an animal. One has to wonder if he has, unknowingly to the masses, actually already lapped the field in terms of who is and has been the best over the last two seasons. The way that the three main characters are trending, it would seem that it is Day, and not the other more touted players, is on the higher and longer career trajectory.

(Quick side note: While obviously being ranked 4th amongst the most important of the four majors, the Wanamaker Trophy is the biggest of the trophies handed out in those events...classic male overcompensation?)

Baseball's non-waiver free agency trade deadline came and went with plenty of activity, setting a new all time record for amount of trades made from June to the deadline at 48. The Sox made a little bit of a splash acquiring reliever Fernando Abad from the Twinkies for a minor leaguer. Abad strikes out a lot of guys, and looking towards a potential postseason run, it never hurts to have more bullpen help. Of course they were unable to corral Chris Sale away from the ChiSox, but ultimately, I don't think they were ready to let Moncada go, and the more I think about it, they are probably very correct about being so hesitant to move him. He seems like he's going to be a stud. My opinion is that they need to think about moving him or Pedroia to first base next year when HanRam will officially ascend to the DH spot in replacement of the DH G.O.A.T., Big Papi. They lose a huge bat in Ortiz, but perhaps will be benefited if Moncada can join Andrew Benintendi, who just got the call-up today and is expected to play in the Seattle series starting tonight, and hopefully fill the void. Moncada, while being a highly-paid prospect, has the potential to outgrow the amount the Sox are playing him by as early as next year. So while it was disappointing to not get Sale and get that second ace a la Randy Johnson/Curt Schilling, it's understandable to see why they balked on any deal involving Moncada.

Now while the Sox were unable to acquire Sale now, it stands to reason that the more of a headache he becomes in Chicago's clubhouse, the more they will be willing to move him. So while he's not here yet, I would be very surprised if he would be around past next year's deadline, especially if the White Sox continue on their current decline.

I think the most interesting story to come out of the trade deadline is that suddenly, the Texas Rangers, at least in my opinion, became the overwhelming favorite to represent the AL in the World Series (where they will face, barring some insane circumstances, the Cubs). This is yet another splash the Rangers have made at the deadline, acquiring Cole Hamels from Philly last year, and this year, adding the potent trio of Jonathan LuCroy to play behind the dish, Carlos Beltran at DH, and Jeremy Jeffress to be the 8th inning man for incumbent closer Sam Dyson. If Yu Darvish can help out in any way, shape, or form that even closely resembles his form pre-Tommy John surgery, they are going to give every team not only in the AL, but every team en general a run for their money. Armed with probably the best lineup in baseball, a potentially dynamite 1-2 in the starting rotation, and the back end of their bullpen seemingly sewn up, the Rangers were the big winners and took a tremendous stride to bringing home their first ever World Series title.

Well short and to the point...just how I like it. Hope y'all have a terrific eve
ning. Stay classy. Peace.


(PS: Ichiro is at 2,998 hits!!!)

(PPS: How sick was the Sox game on Friday? Pedroia hits a 3 run bomb, then X Man goes deep, and the whole bench is going nuts? That was freggin' amazing!!!)

No comments: