How was your Week?

Posted: July 25, 2015 in sports

As the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline approaches the Houston Astros made the first deal getting Scott Kazmir from the Oakland A’s for 2 Class A players pitcher Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham. The Pittsburgh Pirates then brought back Aramis Ramirez from the Milwaukee Brewers for Triple A pitcher Yhonathan Barrios. It was two moves you were kind of expecting these teams to make you where just wondering which players they would try to get. Houston has been struggling and even fell out of 1st place in the A.L. West right before the All-Star break; so it’s no surprise they added a starting pitcher instead of bringing up top prospect Mark Appel. Kazmir made his first start for the Astros last night (Friday) against the Kansas City Royals. Kazmir pitched 7 innings giving up 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out 3 while not giving up any runs in a 4-0 Astros victory. With all of the injuries the Pirates have had they needed to add a bat and Ramirez was a solid add. Ramirez isn’t an everyday player anymore, but he can fill in at 3rd base now and then and he’ll be a good bat off the bench. Ramirez has announced that 2015 will be his last season and now he’ll get to end his 18 year career in Pittsburgh where he started it.

We also had some deals yesterday as well. The St. Louis Cardinals acquired former Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek for Double A pitcher Kyle Barraclough Cishek had established himself as one of the game’s most reliable late-inning arms. Over 2011-2014, he put up 253 1/3 innings of 2.70 ERA pitching and despite racking up 91 saves over that stretch, Cishek lost his closing role to A.J. Ramos and was eventually sent to the minors earlier this year. It’s always interesting when the Cardinals pick up a pitcher that everyone else seems to think is done. I don’t know if St. Louis assigned Cishek to the minors or if he’ll be added to the major league bullpen.

Another deal had The Los Angels Angels of Anaheim acquiring third baseman Conor Gillaspie from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for cash considerations. Gillaspie had been designated for assignment by Chicago. With David Freese on the disabled list due to a fractured index finger. Adding (at no real cost) an experienced player with a left-handed bat makes sense for the Angels; while the club monitors Freese and continues to explore more promising players.

Everyone has said that the New York Mets need to find some bats if they wanted to contend for either the N.L. East or one of the two wild card spots this season. Yesterday the Mets picked up Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves for 2 minor league pitchers John Gant and Rob WhalenGant is currently pitching in Double A while Whalen is at high Class A. Now when all the experts where saying that the Mets needed bats I’m not sure that Uribe and Johnson were who they where talking about. Remember though; David Wright is still out and both of these players can play 3rd base. Johnson can also play 1st base, 2nd base and both corner outfield positions as well. Uribe is 36 years old and the Mets will be his 6th team, but he was hitting with the Braves. Uribe had a .285 batting average with 7 home runs for Atlanta in 46 games. Johnson had also been hitting well for Atlanta. In 62 Johnson had a .275 batting average with 9 home runs. Again while it wasn’t the name players the experts wanted to see the Mets go out and get they did pick up two veteran players with post season experience. I know a lot of people forget this, but Uribe has been on 2 World Series winning teams; the 2005 Chicago White Sox and 2010 with the San Francisco Giants. Besides making this trade to try to add some offense the Mets also called up their top hitting prospect Michael Conforto. Conforto is just 22 years old and was hitting .312 with 5 home runs and 26 RBI’s in 45 Double A games. He started the season in Class A ball were he was hitting .283 with 7 home runs and 28 RBI’s through 46 games before he was promoted to Double A. While I know these aren’t the names that the baseball experts wanted to see the Mets go out and get and maybe their not done dealing, but they added 3 bats without having to give up one of their top pitching prospects.

As they trade deadline moves along it’s no surprise that the Philadelphia Phillies haven’t made a move. With Cole Hamels struggles you have to wonder if teams are rethinking what they would be willing to give up for him. The Phillies also have Jonathan Papelbon and I was a little surprised when I heard that the Washington Nationals have had some discussions with Philadelphia about a deal. If this trade went through would Papelbon agree to be a set up guy on a winning team or would Drew Storen be asked to move back to a set up role. I wouldn’t expect the Nationals to end up with Papelbon, but it’s interesting to talk about him in that bullpen. I still think in the end a team like the Toronto Blue Jays or Chicago Cubs would give Philadelphia a better deal for Papelbon as he would be more of a need for those teams. Now Hamels is scheduled to start today against one of the teams he’s been rumored to be traded to the Cubs. Hamels last outing was July 19th against the Miami Marlins and he lasted just 3 innings giving up 8 hits, 5 runs all earned and striking out just 1 batter. Now after this outing there were some reports that Hamels is becoming distracted by all the trade talks. He’ll have a chance to impress the Cubs today, but if he goes out and falls on his face again; what will teams be thinking? Don’t foget that Hamels last outing before the All-Star break against the Giants he lasted 3 1/3rd innings while giving up 12 hits, 9 runs all earned; he also walked 2 while striking out 4. Hamels needs a good outing to get his trade value up for the Phillies, but if he has another rough outing against the Cubs today what would that do to Hamels trade value?

Don’t forget on Sunday’s podcast Chris Olmstead from http://www.BeyondtheFlag.com will join our podcast to talk MASCAR with us. If you listened last week you heard Chris mention that it was tough to bet against Kyle Busch and sure enough he was right on as Busch ended up in victory lane. This week it’s the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Turn in tomorrow and see which 3 drives Chris thinks have the best chance to end up in victory lane in Indianapolis.

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The non-waiver Major League Baseball trade deadline is coming up July 31st. In what may be a bit of a surprise the Detroit Tigers may be sellers this season. The Tigers find themselves in 3rd place in the A.L. Central; 10 1/2 games behind the 1st place Kansas City Royals. The Tigers are just 4 games out of the 2nd A.L. wild card spot, but there are 3 teams ahead of them and that’s quite a few teams to get past even with 69 games left. If the Tigers are going to be sellers at the trade deadline you can look for them to attempt to move outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and starting pitcher David Price; both of whom will be free agents at the end of the season. Alfredo Simon and Joakim Soria are set to be free agents at the end of the season as well and while I’m sure the Tigers would be more than willing to deal either one Cespedes and Price are the more interesting players. Now it’s also being reported that Cincinnati Reds, President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty has been giving the go ahead to strip the Reds down which might mean dealing Johnny Cueto. If Price and Cueto are added to the trade market you have to wonder if the Philadelphia Phillies overplayed their hand with Cole Hamels. I believe that most teams would take Price over Hamels and Cueto isn’t far behind Hamels either. Philadelphia has made some outrageous demands when it came to possibly dealing Hamels, but if he’s still on their roster when the 2015 season ends the first thing Andy MacPhail needs to do when he takes over as President is fire General Manager Rueben Amaro Jr. There is still some talk out there that the Houston Astros and the Los Angels Dodgers are still interested in Hamels, but will Amaro Jr. bring his asking price down enough for either team to make that deal. I’m sure there are those people out there who might think it’s not such a big deal if the Phillies end up hanging onto Hamels into the off season. The problem them becomes there are a lot of high quality starting pitchers that will be in the free agent market this coming off season. The names Price and Cueto have already come up, but you can add Jordan Zimmermann and Zack Greinke who can opt out of his deal with the Dodgers and with the season he’s having probably will. So then a team has to decide if they want to send a whole bunch of their top prospects to Philadelphia for Hamels or try to sign Price, Cueto, Zimmerman or Greinke. Even if you miss out on those top tier free agent pitchers there’s also Jeff Samardzija.  Scott Kazmir.  Hisashi Iwakuma, Wei-Yin Chen and possibly Clay Buchholz if his option isn’t picked up by the Boston Red Sox. With this flood of pitching possibly going into the open market this pretty much kills any off season trade value Hamels will have because let’s face it no team is going to give up 2 or 3 of their top prospects for Hamels when all these names are out there in free agency. One of the huge reasons the Phillies are were they are right now is because Amaro Jr. gave out some really bad contracts and then sat by and watched the team get old. If Hamels isn’t dealt by July 31st there’s a better than average chance that he opens the 2016 season in the Phillies starting rotation.

I haven;t heard much talk about it, but the race for Rookie of the Year (RoY) in both leagues is interesting. I know there’s been a lot of talk about the Dodgers Joc Pederson who does lead all rookies with 20 home runs, but he’s hitting just .227. Then after the Chicago Cubs brought Kris Bryant up a lot of experts thought this race was over. While Bryant has done well; a .260 average with 12 home runs and 52 RBI’s which leads all rookies. Are those numbers good enough to win RoY? The San Francisco Giants have a couple of rookies that haven’t gotten a lot of press that are in the running for RoY. Matt Duffy took over everyday at 3rd base for the Giants and is hitting .298 with 8 home runs and 41 RBI’s and Chris Heston is 10-5 in 19 starts with an E.R.A. of 3.18. Don’t forget that Heston also threw a no-hitter earlier this season. Now the set up guys don’t draw much attention, but Michael Blazek of the Milwaukee Brewers is having a very good season even though his team isn’t. Blazek has appeared in 37 games covering 46 innings. He is 5-2 with an E.R.A. of 1.76 on a team that is 42-52. Yasmany Tomas of the Arizona Diamondbacks is leading all rookie qualifiers with a .303 batting average. The American League has some interesting rookies as well and the best may be Billy Burns of the Oakland A’s. Burns leads all A.L. rookies with a .304 batting average and 19 stolen bases. Now the name you always hear is Carlos Correa the Houston Astros rookie shortstop and he’s right there is the running. Correa is hitting .291 with 8 home runs, but just 25 RBI’s; so far. Devon Travis of the Toronto Blue Jays of having a very solid rookie campaign hitting .299 with 7 home runs and 33 RBI’s, but his teammate Roberto Osuna maybe the bigger surprise. With the Blue Jays bullpen in flux Osuna has 4 saves in 5 tries with an E.R.A. of 2.14; he’s appeared in 40 games covering 42 innings and has a 1-3 record. As good as Osuna has been out of the Bullpen for the Blue Jays;  Carson Smith has been better for the Seattle Mariners. Smith has converted 8 saves in 9 chances with an E.R.A. of 1.86 in 38 2/3rd innings over 40 games. I hope when it comes time to vote for RoY that the people who get to vote for this award dig into the stats and look at the p[layers and not just the names the mainstream media throws out at them.

It looks like Richard Jefferson is going to try and chase an NBA title next season as the free agent forward has agreed to terms on a one-year deal for next season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jefferson will receive the veteran’s minimum salary of roughly $1.5 million. With the Dallas Mavericks last season the 35-year-old averaged 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 17 minutes per game and shot a team-leading 43 percent from 3-point range. He had been expected to return to the Mavericks, but he may have become expendable when the club signed shooting guard Wesley Matthews. It looks like Jefferson will fill the roster spot created by the retirement of Shawn Marion. it’s being reported that the Cavaliers remain interested in re-signing free agent J.R. Smith, who declined his $6.4 player’s option when free agency opened. Smith is expected to meet with the team later this week. Cleveland also continues to have talks with restricted free agent forward Tristan Thompson and guard Matthew Dellavedova. Thompson had a strong postseason with the club and could land a deal worth over $15 million per season. Dellavedova’s popularity soared when he performed well while filling in for Irving, and the Cavaliers love the Australian’s energy and attitude. Have the Cavaliers done enough to win and NBA title next season?

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How was your Week?

Posted: July 18, 2015 in sports

Since the NBA season ended there’s has been a lot of talk about how they have to “fix” the playoff system. Now it’s clear to see that the Western conference has better teams than the Eastern conference right now it seems as though people are overreacting. While there where 2 teams that made the Eastern conference playoff that had an under .500 record. There was only 1 team in the Western conference with a record over .500 that didn’t make the playoffs. Does the NBA really need to change the playoff format for 1 team? One suggestion was to take the Top 16 teams record wise no matter where they played, but if you did that why do you need conferences or divisions? The other suggestion I heard this week was to take 10 teams from each conference. Last season that would’ve meant that 6 teams with losing records would’ve been in the playoffs. The NBA has already taken away the seeding where division winners receive the Top 3 seeds. That was the reward you got for winning your division, but that means nothing now. The NBA playoffs are long enough; do they really need to be adding teams to it. If they were to go to a 10 team playoff system that would mean the #1 and #2 seeds would get 1st round byes. As long as an NBA playoff series can take these top teams could be waiting close to 2 weeks to play a playoff game. While I’m sure the rest would be nice, but you’d think they’d be rusty and just imagine the complaining a guy like LeBron James would do if the Cleveland Cavaliers had a bye and then lost to the 10th seeded team. Is the playoff system perfect; so of course not, but I don’t buy into the complete overhaul the NBA is considering. With the way the NBA draft goes teams at the bottom can move up quickly if they draft well; so isn’t it up to these teams to improve themselves not be handed extended playoff spots.

Did you know that the NBA has 3 summer leagues. There’s an Orlando, Utah and Las Vegas leagues. While it’s only 4 or 5 games into the leagues Joe Young of the Indiana Pacers is leading all the leagues in scoring at 22.5 points per game. Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic is leading in rebounding with 11.7 per game. Semaj Christon of the Oklahoma City Thunder is averaging 6.8 assists per game to lead this summer. A couple of other stat leaders; Russ Smith of the Memphis Grizzlies leads with 3.2 steals per game, Myles Turner leads with 4.3 blocks per game and it Gordon who leads in minutes played at 32.7 per game.

NASCAR goes to New Hampshire this Sunday for the 5-hour Energy 301. In qualifying yesterday Carl Edwards took the pole for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) with a speed of just under 136 mph Joey Logano will start 2nd with David Ragan starting 3rd. The 4th and 5th starting spot went to Edwards JGR teammates Kyle Busch in 4th with Denny Hamlin in 5th. Matt Kenseth was the only JGR driver to not qualify in the Top 5, but he did also make the Top 10 and will start 8th on Sunday. Dan the Man’s favorite driver Clint Bowyer will start the race 18th.

There are 8 races left before The Chase starts and if you’re in The Chase right now, but haven’t won a race this season you have to be worried about Kyle Busch. Right now Busch is outside the Top 30, but he has 2 wins. If he finds his way into the Top 30 he easily gets a place in The Chase with those 2 wins. It’s been a great comeback for Busch this season after breaking his foot and leg in the XFinity race back in Daytona in February. I believe if Busch averages a finish right around 10th these last 8 races he’ll take one of those chase spots away from a driver who hasn’t picked up a win.

Chris Olmstead from BeyondTheFlag.com will join Mr. Fantasy and I on the Sunday podcast of Sports Time Radio to preview the 5-hour Energy 301. I always make Chris select 3 drivers that he could see in victory lane at the end of the race and he’s been very good at this; so if you’re in a NASCAR fantasy league like I am it can help you make those last minute decisions.

Major League Baseball returned from the All-Star break with every team in action on Friday. In an odd  occurrence the game between the Washington Nationals and the Los Angels Dodgers was suspended because the lights kept going out. The game was first delayed in the bottom of the 4th inning when a bank of lights near the 3rd-base line went out. After an 82-minute delay the game got started again, but just 9 minutes later the same set of lights went out. Play resumed again in the bottom of the 5th inning, but shortly after Yunel Escobar gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead with a 2-run homer, the lights went out for the 3rd time. The Nationals led after 5 full innings, but the game was suspended rather than considered complete due to Rule 4.12 (a) (3), which provides for a suspended game when the stoppage in play results from “Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club.” The game is scheduled to resume today.

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim grabbed the majority of the baseball headlines last night as he hit a 2-out walk off home run to give the Angels a 1-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Trout’s home run came off of Red Sox closer Koji Uehara who had only given up 2 home runs in 33 2/3rd innings before Trout hit his game ending homer. This  marked Trout’s third walk-off hit, all of which have been home runs. Trout’s game winning home run was only the 2nd hit on the night for the Angels. Kole Calhoun got the other Angels hit a double to end Wade Miley’s no hit bid. C.J. Wilson kept the Angels in the game pitching 8 shutout innings against Boston. Uehara (2-4) took the loss for the Red Sox while Joe Smith (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Wilson.

How was your week?

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Let’s take a look at the guys who’ve had quality 1st half this season. I’ll try to find someone you didn’t have to spend a high draft pick or over pay in your auction league for.

1st base Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees. Before just about any draft people would’ve told you that Teixeira was done and you’d be wasting a pick on him. While the batting average may be a little low at .240 he’s hit 22 home runs and has driven in 62 runs. There where experts at the start of the season who thought those would be his numbers for the entire season. Now there is always the injury bug attached to Teixeira, but he was ranked right around 250 at draft time and now he’s in the Top 60 players. I think most fantasy owners would be happy with that.

2nd base Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians. There are a few 2nd baseman I could’ve went with here as a few of them had good 1st halves, but I’m taking Kipnis. A couple of seasons ago I thought I had gotten a steal when Kipnis fell to me at the 40th pick of our draft; WRONG! He’s bounced back in the 1st half of the 2015 season with a .323 average, 27 doubles, 6 home runs, 37 RBI’s and has added 10 steals for fantasy owners. Was it a lingering injury that had Kipnis down the last few seasons? Whatever it was it seems to be gone and he’s back the the player people thought he’d be a couple of seasons ago.

3rd base Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers. Turner was playing so well that the Dodgers dealt Juan Uribe to give him more playing time. Turner has responded with a .308 average, 11 home runs and 39 RBI’s. The 2nd half question will be can Turner continue to play well as a full time guy. Turner was ranked in the 300’s to start the season and has moved up into the Top 150. If you grabbed Turner late in your draft as a utility guy; he qualifies at all the infield positions in my league you might have the steal of the season on your hands.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants. Crawford has always been a great defensive player, but that doesn’t matter in a lot of fantasy leagues, but this season his bat has caught up to his glove. Crawford went off the board as around the 300th player taken in the draft. Now he’s ranked as the 90th player in my league; not a bad jump. Crawford’s average did drop a little heading into the All-Star break, but he’s still hitting .262 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI’s. If he gets to 20 homers and 100 RBI’s he’ll be a huge steal for someone this fantasy season.

Catcher Stephen Vogt, Oakland A’s. Finally one I was right on as I have Vogt in every league I’m in. Vogt was ranked outside the Top 300 pre-season, but is now just outside the Top 50 with the numbers he’s put up. He has 14 home runs and 56 RBI’s to go along with a .287 batting average. Vogt has even manage to pic up 2 triples this season. With the numbers Vogt is putting up I’m sure most fantasy players are using him as just a catcher, but he does qualify at 1st base and in the outfield. It’s just rightfield if your in a position specific league.

I mentioned it yesterday, but again the outfield in my leagues are position specific; so that’s how I’ll divide it up.

Leftfield Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays. Pillar has gotten regular playing time this season and if you took a chance on him in our draft or found him on the waiver wire he’s been doing well for you. Pillar was ranked right around 350 as the draft rolled around and I’m guessing he wasn’t even drafted in smaller leagues. With some injuries and the wash out of a rookie Pillar has found playing time and has responded with a .278 average, 7 home runs, 37 RBI’s and 13 steals. Not too bad for a guy who you probably didn’t even draft or spend a $1 during your draft.

Centerfield A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s no surprise that Mike Trout is the top ranked centerfielder or that Bryce Harper is right behind him, but if you had Pollock at #3 nice job. 11 home runs, 42 RBI’s, 19 steals and a .299 batting average have moved Pollack up the board. He was ranked right around 130 during the draft, but has moved up to just outside the Top 10; he’s ranked 12th overall in my league. Pollock”s 2nd half key will be health as he has had some injury issues early in his career.

Rightfield J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers. I had looked like Martinez had arrived last season, but he barely cracked the Top 100 in pre-draft rankings. His .289 batting average, 25 home runs and 59 RBI’s have him ranked right around the Top 10 at the All-Star break. With the injuries the Tigers have had this season Martinez will continue to get a chance to produce. Martinez has a shot at a 50 home run, 100 plus RBI season which would be huge for a player that came off the board as the 100th pick in most leagues.

Starting Pitcher Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros. Keuchel was ranked outside the Top 250 overall going into the draft. Keuchel is 11-4 with an ERA of 2.23 and while he’s not a huge strikeout guy he has stuck out 114 batters. The Astros had hit a slump heading into the All-Star break; so they’ll need to get back on the winning track for Keuchel to continue to win games. If you did land Keuchel on your team you’ve got a pitcher who is ranked just outside the Top 10 for the 1st half of the season.

Closer Jeurys Familia. New York Mets. Remember that Familia wasn’t even suppose to be the Nets closer. After Jenrry Mejia was suspended for failing a drug test and Bobby Parnell was injured the job fell to Familia. Familia has 27 saves, 2 wins and even picked up 1 hold before being put in the closer role. With an ERA of 1.25 and a WHIP of 0.90 you’d have to think it’s his job even when Mejia returns from his suspension, If you drafted Familia in the late rounds of your league draft because you needed someone to put up numbers in the hold category you landed the right guy.

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With Major League Baseball on their All-Star break fantasy players have a chance to look at their teams and try to get ready for a second half run. There are always those guys you take with a high pick or spend some money on in your auction league that don’t work out for your team. Let’s look and see who’s been down; by position this 1st half of the baseball season. I always try to give players the benefit of the doubt if they got injured.

1st base David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox. Big Papa has struggled hitting just .231, He does have 15 home runs and has driven in 43 which are middle of the road at 1st base. Is it time to wonder if Ortiz’s age is finally catching up to him or if the Red Sox bad first half are affecting his numbers? It will be something to look for to see if Ortiz can bounce back and have a big 2nd half. I understand that in most leagues Ortiz is a DH, but in the leagues I’m in he’s a 1st baseman; so that’s how I ranked him.

2nd base Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners. When the Mariners signed Nelson Cruz in the off season everyone thought that Cano would be the player who benefited most from the signing. Cano is hitting .251 with 6 homers and 30 RBI’s. Cano was ranked in everyone’s pre-season Top 20 and these are nowhere close to the kind of numbers you want out of that kind of player.

3rd base has been the best position in the first half of baseball this season. This may be the first time I can’t look and say this guy or that guy have had bad 1st halves. Now there are some guys who’s numbers are down. Adrian Beltre, Anthony Rendon, David Wright or even Ryan Zimmerman who qualifies as a 3rd baseman haven’t come anywhere close to putting up the numbers they should. All 4 players have missed time with injuries and 3 of them are still on the disabled list. We’ll have to see if these players can get healthy and have big 2nd halves for their fantasy owners.

Shortstop Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals. If you use the strategy that a player in the last year of his contract will put on numbers then Desmond was your guy at shortstop. Desmond was a Top 25 pick this season and you’re getting a .211 average, 7 home runs, 24 RBI’s and 5 stolen bases. If your league scores for defense Desmond has even hurt fantasy owners there as he has made 20 errors this season; 2nd most among shortstops. Desmond will need a big bounce back 2nd half to be worth the spot where people picked him at.

Catcher Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians. While Santana hasn’t caught a game this season he does qualify at the position for this season. A few seasons ago Santana was a hot under the radar type of fantasy player, but since he’s surfaced his numbers haven’t matched up to his draft position. A .221 average with 10 home runs and 40 RBI’s aren’t the kind of numbers fantasy owners are looking for out of a catcher who actually doesn’t have to go through the grind of catching.

In my leagues the outfielders are position specific; so that’s how we’re handling it here.

Leftfield Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies. Gonzalez was hitting going into the All-Star break; so fantasy owners will have to see if he’ll continue to play more like the CarGo they thought they were getting when they drafted him. Gonzalez is hitting .259 with 13 home runs and 35 RBI’s. Gonzalez was a Top 40 players coming into the draft, but with the numbers he’s put up I’d be surprised if he would even be in the Top 200. Anyone would picked Gonzalez is hoping the hot streak he ended the 1st half on will continue.

Centerfield Leonys Martin, Texas Rangers. Now if you’re in a smaller fantasy league players like Martin aren’t even on your radar, but our leagues are 20 team leagues; so these type of players really matter. Martin was ranked in the Top 150 to start the year, but poor hitting led to him losing playing time and him hurting any fantasy owner that drafted him. A .222 batting average and 13 stolen bases is a lot less than fantasy owners were hoping for. Martin’s not a power guy; so you’re hoping for steals and extra base hits and sadly even with his speed Martin has 0 triples. If Martin is filling a hole in a bigger league for you it’s time to look else where if you haven’t already.

Rightfield Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds. I could’ve easily plugged Gonzalez into this spot, but decided to go with Bruce here instead. Just 2 seasons ago Bruce was a breakout fantasy player with a 30 home run 100 RBI season, but he hasn’t been anywhere close to that type of production since. A lot of fantasy players liked Bruce and he was a Top 150 player going into the season and while his average is up (.251) from last season with 13 home runs and 42 RBI’s he;s not looking like the player fantasy owners though they would be getting.

Starting Pitcher Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs. Lester was a Top 15 starting pitcher going into the season and a Top 50 player overall coming into the draft. Lester is 4-8 with an ERA of 3.59 and would be lucky to rank in the Top 300 fantasy wise right now. Lester does have 109 strikeouts and that ties him for 22nd among starting pitchers. While the Cubs have had a good 1st half Lester hasn’t benefited from it. Fantasy owners will have to hope that the Cubs continue to play well and that Lester will be the guy who’s getting the benefit of it in the 2nd half.

Closer Steve Cishek, Miami Marlins. Now there are two schools of thought when it comes to drafting a closer. You can go out and get the best ones or you can wait until later in the draft and try to find a guy. If you waited and thought Cishek would be your guy; sorry. After back to back seasons of 30 plus saves Cishek struggled in the 1st half of the season lost his closer spot and was even demoted to the minors for a short stint. Cishek is 2-6 with a 5.14 ERA and just 3 saves. If you’re in a league that scores Holds maybe Cishek can help you in the bullpen, but if you’re looking for saves out of him you might want to look somewhere else.

Tomorrow will look at some of the surprises from the 1st half. 

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The American League beat the National League 6-3 in the All-Star game last night. The win for the American League means that the team that represents them in the World Series will have home field advantage. Home field advantage in the World Series is one of the things that makes baseball’s All-Star game different than any other sport. Baseball has the one All-Star game that is similar to what actually happens during a regular season game. That’s the one reason I’ll watch the Baseball All-Star game over the other three sports NFL, NHL, NBA various All-Star games. They will actually play defense in baseball’s All-Star game and if you’ve seen the other sports All-Star games you know that defense is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Now there are always complaints about the fan voting or who should’ve been selected for the team, but when the game is on the field it’s an actual baseball game not a facade of itself.

Now you know that the network executives at Fox where doing cartwheels when Mike Trout led the game off for the American league by hitting a home run. While Trout is the best player in baseball right now by hitting that home run he allowed the broadcasters to bring his name up all night without having to find a reason to. You also had to know that as soon as Trout hit that lead off home run there was nothing any other player could do to win the MVP.  The home run was Trout’s only hit in 4 at bats during the game. He did walk and score another run later in the game. While the MVP pretty much has to come off the winning team.  You’d think Trout was a good of a choice as any, but I really thought that Prince Fielder deserved the award more. Lorenzo Cain was the only player in the game to get more than 1 hit and he also stole a base, but I don’t think he got much consideration for MVP. The most impressive player might’ve been Wade Davis the Kansas City Royals relief pitcher. Davis pitched the 7th inning for the American League and struck out 2, but once he gave up a hit you knew they wouldn’t consider him for MVP.  While I’m not sure that Trout should’ve won MVP no one else stood out enough for anyone to jump up and down about it and scream. Trout becaomes the first player to win the MVP award in back to back All-Star games.

How did your favorite player do last night? Locally for us Anthony Rizzo was 0-2 and Kris Bryant was 0-1 with a walk. Besides Trout’s lead off home run there where 5 other extra base hits. Cain and Manny Machado doubled for the American League and Brian Dozier homered in the 8th inning. On the National League side Ryan Braun tripled in the bottom of the 9th and Andrew McCutchen homered in the 6th inning. On the mound Jacob deGrom is getting rave reviews for his inning of work. deGrom pitched the 6th inning and struck out all 3 batters he faced. Aroldis Chapman of the host team Cincinnati reds also struck out all 3 batters he faced pitching the top of the 9th inning for the National League. National League pitchers totaled 15 strikeouts in the game while the American League pitchers stuck out 9. There were only 13 hits in the game and Clayton Kershaw was the pitcher who gave up the most with 3. Kershaw also gave up 2 runs and took the lost for the National League. David Price worked the right inning for the American League and picked up the win.

As it gets closer and closer to the NFL season there are 4 top players who haven’t signed their franchise tender. Those 4 players are Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos, Justin Houston of the Kansas City Chiefs and Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants. Most of the talk has been about Bryant and if he’ll skip mini camp or sit out regular season games if he doesn’t get a long term deal. Now these 4 players have until today to sign a contract or else they have to play for whatever the franchise dollar amount is for their position. It’s been reported that Thomas and the Denver Broncos have had some contract talks, but Thomas wants more money than the highest paid receiver in the NFL Calvin Johnson. You have to think that Thomas and his agent realize they have to cash in before Peyton manning retires and someone else is quarterbacking the Broncos. The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston were expected to meet on Tuesday, but they’ll have to move quickly if they want to get a deal done. It’s been reported that there hasn’t been any negotiation between the sides lately. There seems to be some optimism about Houston getting a long-term deal as Kansas City has made it clear they’d like Houston to be a Chief for a long time. Now Pierre-Paul and the New York Giants are in a unique situation and  after Pierre-Paul suffered injuries from fireworks that included having his right index finger amputated. Don’t forget the fiasco that occurred when the Giants personnel went to visit Pierre-Paul and weren’t allowed to see him. The franchise tag for Pierre-Paul would be $14.8 million, but there have been some reports that the two sides are discussing a lower dollar amount. Will any of these 4 players get the long term deal they want before the deadline. If they don;t get that long term deal will they skip mini camp or would they actually sit out one or more regular season games to get that deal. How much would it affect these 4 players teams if they did decide to sit out during the regular season?

Now we don’t talk much golf if any on the podcast, but the British Open starts tomorrow at The Old Course at St. Andrews. Jordan Spieth has won the first 2 majors of the season and is the odds on favorite to win the British Open. Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose players with good odds to win this week. I’m not going to pretend that I know anything at all about golf except for the fact that I play the game poorly, but I’d like to see Spieth win and continue to chase the grand slam.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRado.com

I know it’s a little later this season, but normally I collect votes from Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and myself, but I couldn’t get Mr. Fantasy to send me his ballot; so we’re doing this with just the 3 of us making picks. at 1st, 2nd, 3rd Short and Cather we voted for 3 players. We each voted for 6 outfielders. We also voted for 5 starting pitchers, 4 closers and this season we added a set up man category were we voted for 4. Here’s what we came up with starting in the American League.

1st base: Miguel Cabrera starter unanimous others receiving votes Albert Pujols and Jose Abreu.

2nd base: Jason Kipnis starter others receiving votes Jose Altuve, Dustin Pedroia and Brian Dozier.

3rd base: Josh Donaldson starter others receiving votes Manny Machado and Mike Moustakas.

Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts starter others receiving votes Jose Iglesias, Alcides Esobar and Erick Aybar.

Catcher: Stephen Vogt starter unanimous others receiving votes Salvador Perez, Brian McCann and Russell Martin.

Outfield: Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz and Yoenis Cespedes are out starters. Others receiving votes Lorenzo Cain, J.D. Martinez, Brett Gardner, Michael Brantley, Adam Jones and Billy Burns.

Designated Hitter: Prince Fielder starter others receiving votes Alex Rodriguez and Kendry Morales.

Our starting pitcher would be Dallas Keuchel. Others receiving votes Felix Hernandez, Chris Sale, Sonny Gray, David Price, Chris Archer and Hector Santiago.

Our choices for set up men. Pat Nesek, Wade Davis, Joe Smith, Zach Duke, Justin Wilson Darren O’Day and Kevin Jepsen.

Closer: Glen Perkins unanimous others receiving votes Huston Street, Brad Boxberger, Zach Britton, Koji Uehara and Andrew  Miller.

Here’s what we came up with for the National League.

1st base: Paul Goldschmidt starter unanimous others receiving votes Anthony Rizzo, Adrian Gonzalez and Adam Lind.

2nd base: Dee Gordon starter unanimous others receiving votes Joe Panik, Howie Kendrick, Kolten Wong and D.J.LeMahieu.

3rd base: Nolan Arenando starter others receiving votes Todd Frazier, Yunel Escobar, Kris Bryant and Matt Duffy.

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki starter unanimous others receiving votes Jhonny Peralta, Brandon Crawford and Adeiny Hechavarra.

Catcher: Buster Posey starter unanimous other receiving votes Yader Molina, Wilson Ramos and Derek Norris.

Outfield: Bryce Harper unanimous, Andrew McCutchen and A.J. Pollock were are starters. Other s receiving votes Giancarlo Stanton, Nori Aoki, Charlie Blackmon, Ben Revere, Denard Span, Justin Upton and Billy Hamilton.

Our starting pitcher would be Max Scherzer others receiving votes Zack Greinke, Gerrit Cole, Jacob DeGrom, Clayton Kershaw, Michael Wacha and Jake Arrieta.

Our choices for set up men Tony Watson, Ken Giles, Kevin Siegrist, Sergio Romo, Matt Thornton, Jim Johnson, Will Smith, Seth Maness, Joel Peralta and Boone Logan.

Our closer is Mark Melancon unanimous others receiving votes Drew Storen, Trevor Rosenthal, Jeurys Familia and Jason Grilli.

There’s what we came up with.

Four Winds Field Fun

Posted: July 14, 2015 in basketball, sports
Tags: , ,

  
The Big Jack & I hopped into my Equinox and took the 2 hour trip to Four Winds Field in South Bend, IN.  Neither of us had been before while the commute was long but it seemed to fly by. We arrive, pick up our media passes and went straight to the press box which was very cool, considering how hot and humid it was at the start of the game.  Fortunately, the press box wasn’t too crowded and Big Jack and I were able to set up in there.   

After watching a couple of innings of play, I got up to take a trip around the park to see what it has to offer.  Once you enter gates A or B, whichever corridor you choose has everything you’re looking for and what’s for sale at most sporting event concessions.  When you first walk in there is a little stand to purchase team gear, if you don’t see anything you immediately love, wait and go to the gift shop.    The Cubs Den team store is located in left field.  Any and everything you could want is in this store.  I of course zoomed right in on the New Era 5950 cap.  I also had to get my self one and to say Happy Birthday to Big Jack, I grabbed one for him too.  On my way to the Cubs Den I passed by the picnic area which I assume is a group outing area.  You’re given a wrist band and it’s all you can eat, picnic food.  Everything looked great.  I don’t think you have to have the bracelet to sit in the picnic area.    


Sitting directly in left field are bar style tables, there’s a few rows.  Looks comfortable and the view is great.  As you travel along to center field is where the lawn seats are.  Bring a blanket, relax and enjoy the game but try to keep the kids there’s with all the action going on behind center field. There’s a bouncy houses and blow up slides.   All I heard was screaming kids every where.  The main gate to the stadium sits by center field and all this action is taking place but before the game started they had a classic car show, outside the gate.  Now we missed that but had I known I may have checked it out.   

 
As I strolled on the walkway behind the center field’s batter’s eye wall, had I not stopped to check out the last reminents of the Silverhawks logo, I could have been in position to catch the home run in that game that was actually caught by one of the guys in the press box, mom, on a bounce in her purse.  Yes, you may have to go back and read that last sentence over slowly.  I continued on to right field and I see this other building like the Cubs den but called the performance center, with a batting cage in it open to the public.  It’s open to the public even when the players are in there.  I was told that they’ll keep to the last two cages.  There is an upstairs that is used for more group party rentals with  a view overlooking the field.   Just after you walk out of the performance center, are the right field lawn seats, complete with a splash park and a playground.  

 
As Big Jack mentioned in his blog Take A Trip, there are a lot of activities to get the younger generation interested in the game of baseball.  But not just that even a princess parade and as I mentioned earlier the classic car show.  Even though it is a baseball game, there’s definitely something for the entire family and with all the group outtings there, also a great place for a company to take it’s employees.  Great food, lots of fun, nothing really more you can ask for in the experience as a whole from the fans perspective.  Every part of Four Winds that I walked through, everyone was having a good time and if you’re in the area or are looking to take a road trip, go see the South Bend Cubs in action and then your this historical town in Indiana.   

Dan the Man and I visited South Bend Indiana yesterday (Sunday) to see the South Bend Cubs play the Lake County Captain at Four Winds Field. It took me about 40-45 minutes to go from my house to Dan the Man’s house. He had never invited me to his house before; so I wanted to make sure I was going the right way and that took me a little longer than it should’ve. From Dan the Man’s house it took us a couple of hours to get into South Bend. As we got into South Bend I think Dan the Man and I were thinking the same thing and that we had driven past the stadium because we where actually in the town of South Bend. Dan the Man’s GPS told him to turn right and Four Winds Field was right there less than a block off the main drag. It’s a cool spot for a stadium, but we had no idea we where that close to the ballpark. We got to park as close to a ballpark as I ever had before. We where parked so close that even with my bad knees it took us about 3 minutes to walk into Four Winds Field. Dan the Man picked up our media passes and we where allowed to sit either in the press box or the scouts seats; we chose the press box. It was a sunny warm and humid day and the press box was much cooler. There were 5 guys in there already with pretty elaborate computer set ups covering the game for different web site; so I tried to stay out of their way. I wasn’t using a computer as I was keeping score by hand. Like a lot of minor league teams the South Bend Cubs do a lot of pre-game activities with the fans and even during the game they run contests. It was humorous to watch the fans do the different contests, but it’s a good way to keep the younger kids attention on the field. Then it was game time and they announced the South Bend Cubs line up and each player came out of the dugout with a kid who’s name was announced along with the players. If something like that had happened to me when I was a kid I would still be talking about it. The Cavalry Kids sang the national anthem and it was game time.

Trevor Clifton was the starting pitcher for the South Bend Cubs while Jordan Milbrath started the game for the Lake County Captains. Both pitchers had 1, 2, 3 1st inning with Clifton striking out 2 batters and Milbrath getting 1 strikeout. Clifton had some trouble in the top of the 2nd inning. Bobby Bradley led off the inning with a walk for Lake County. After the walk Taylor Murphy hit a 2-run home run to rightfield. Dorssys Paulino singled after the home run, but Clifton got out of the inning with a strikeout and a double play grounder. The Cubs led off their half of the 2nd with a single  by Yasiel Balaguert, but he was wiped out on a double play and a strikeout ended the inning. 2-0 Lake County after 2 innings. Clifton struckout the lead off hitter in the top of the 3rd inning. Greg Allen doubled after that, but the next 2 hitters flew out to the leftfielder to end the inning. South Bend went down 1, 2, 3 in their half of the 3rd inning. In the 4th inning both teams where retired 1,2,3. Yu-Cheng Chang was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the 5th for Lake County, but he was thrown out trying to steal 2nd. After a fly out to centerfield Ordomar Valdez drew a walk and stole 2nd base. Greg Allen’s 2nd double of the game drove in Valdez to give Lake County a 3-0. A ground out ended the inning for Lake County. Wilbrath was able to retire South Bend 1, 2, 3 in the bottom of the 5th inning striking out hit batters. After 5 innings Lake County had a 3-0 lead. In the top of the 6th inning Clifton got a strikeout and a fly out before Taylor Murphy picked up his 2nd hit of the game; a single, but he was stranded there when Clifton struck out Dorssys Paulino the end the inning. After 2 fly outs to centerfield Rashad Crawford singled, but was stranded there as Charcer Burks grounded out to end the 6th inning. Clifton got the first out of the 7th inning via strikeout. Martin Cervenka singled after that, but Ordomar flew out to left for the 2nd out of the inning. Clifton then hit Greg Allen his 2nd hit batter of the game to out runners on 1st and 2nd. Dillion Maples was called out of the South Bend bullpen and got Yonathan Mendoza to ground out to the first baseman to end the threat. South Bend was able to get a 1 out single by Jason Vosler in their half of the 7th inning, but a fly out and a ground out ended the inning.Maples walked the lead off hitter Anthony Santander, but he was caught stealing. Maples struck out the next 2 hitters to end the inning. Lake County went to the bullpen for the 8th inning as Nick Pasquale took over for Jordan Milbrath. Pasquale got a ground out and a strike out for 2 quick outs in the bottom of the 8th inning, but Andrew Ely, Rashad Xrawford and Charcer Burks all singled with Burks single driving in Ely to get South Bend on the board. Burks stole 2nd, but a flu out to centerfield by Gleybar Torres stranded runners on 2nd and 3rd and after 8 innings the score was 3-1. Maples had a 1,2,3 top of the 9th inning for South Bend. Lake County made another call to the bullpen. Luke Eubanlk took over on the mound for the bottom of the 9th inning. Eubank struck out the first 2 batters he faced and then got Kevin Encarnacion to ground out to the shortstop to end the game.

Final Score Lake County 3 South Bend 1

For the Lake County Captains. Greg Allen had 2 hits; both doubles and an RBI. Taylor Murphy had 2 hit; one being a home run and 2 RBI’s. Dorssys Paulino and Martin Cervenka each had a hit.

Jordan Milbrath got the win pitching 7 innings. Milbrath gave up 2 hits, walked 1 and struck out 4; throwing 86 pitches.

Nick Pasquale pitched 1 inning. Pasquale gave up 1 run on 3 hits with 1 strikeout while throwing 21 pitches.

Luke Eubank pitched 1 inning picking up a save. Eubank struck out 2 while throwing 16 pitches.

For the South Bend Cubs. Rashad Crawford had 2 hits. Andrew Ely, Yasiel Balaguert and Charcer Burks each had 1 hit while Burks had South Bend’s RBI.

Trevor Clifton took the loss pitching 6 2/3rd innings. Clifton gave up 3 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 8 while throwing 97 pitches.

Dillion Maples pitched 2 1/3rd innings. Maples walked 1 and struck out 2 while throwing 31 pitches.

While Dan the Man and I got to see a very good game; sadly the South Bend Cubs lost, but Chris Hagstrom from the South Bend Cubs will join Dan the Man and I Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. on the Sport Time Radio podcast. While we’ll talk to Chris about the game and the team of course I’m sure we’ll find a way to ask him about leading the princess parade before the game. You can listen to Chris and us at BlogTalkRadio.com

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your Week?

Posted: July 11, 2015 in sports

The Golden State Warriors just proved that you can win and NBA title without a true center, but when they end up on the free agent market a quality one still draws quite a bit of interest. The Dallas Mavericks thought they had landed one of the top center on the free agent market when DeAndre Jordan verbally agreed to sign with them. Then Jordan’s what would’ve been former team the Los Angeles Clippers put together a last minute recruiting trip. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was joined by head coach/general manager Doc Rivers plus current Clippers players Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick. After spending the entire day together Jordan decided that he would return to the Clippers on a 4 year Max contract. Now neither Jordan or the Clippers broke any rules as the NBA has this odd period where you can agree to deals with players, but can’t make them official until July 9th. All Jordan did was shake Mark Cuban’s hand and agree to take his money to play for the Mavericks. Now depending on what kind of a person you’ll have varying degrees of anger. There will be people who won’t care that Jordan backed out of his verbal deal with the Mavericks and then there will be people who’ll tell you that when a man shakes your hand and gives you his word that’s better than a signed contract. Of course you have to throw out any Mavericks or Clippers fan that wants to weigh in on this as we all know where they would stand. Where it really looks like Jordan hurt the Mavericks is once he agreed to sign with them there were still a few centers on the free agent market, but after Jordan came to an agreement with Dallas he started a bit of a domino effect. After Jordan’s agreement was announced with Dallas Marc Gasol agreed to return to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Los Angeles Lakers made a trade with the Indiana Pacers for Roy Hibbert and Brook Lopez signed with the New York Knicks. Would Dallas have been able to sign or deal for one of these other players had Jordan not agreed to sign with them? It was even too late for Dallas to re-sign their center from last season Tyson Chandler as he had agreed to a deal with the Phoenix Suns. The last real quality free agent center the Mavericks could’ve signed was Enes Kanter of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he agreed to a 4 year $70 million dollar offer sheet on Friday with the Portland Trailblazers.

I was a little surprised to see Jordan agree to go back to the Clippers. If you remember as free agency was starting Jordan came out and said he was tired of being the 3rd option in the Clippers offense and wanted to go somewhere that would feature him on offense. Well with Paul and Griffin still on the Clippers Jordan is still the 3rd option on offense and I’d be shocked if he’s ever feature in that offense. With the emergence of Reddick last season Jordan may actually be the 4th option next season in the Clippers offense. There is also the rumored feud between Jordan and Paul. Remember at the end of a game last season Paul screamed at Jordan for not putting a rebound back into the basket quick enough at the end of a game. While will never really know if fences have been mended between Jordan and Paul once they start playing games will see how big of a part of that Clippers offense Jordan actually is.

What did the Mavericks lose; well Jordan did post his highest points per game average last season at 11.5. Jordan has also played in every game for the past 3 seasons. He led the NBA in rebounding averaging 15 per game. Jordan is a force on defense were he averaged blocking 2.2 shots per game in 2014-15 and was named to the 1st team NBA All-Defensive last season. What you also get with Jordan is a player who just can’t shoot free throws. For his career Jordan is a 41.7% shooter from the free throw line and in 2014-15 he was even worse than that shooting 39.7%. Jordan has only shot over 50% from the free throw line one time in his career. In the 2011-12 season Jordan shot 52.5% from the free throw line. While Dallas was going to and the Clippers did; they’ll be paying a lot of money for a guy who can’t really be on the court in the 4th quarter of a close game.

The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks made their second deal of the off season this time sending Patrick Sharp and defenseman prospect Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars for  defenseman Trevor Daley and left winger Ryan Garbutt. Sharp was part of all three Blackhawks Stanley Cup winners, but salary cap concerns have seen the Blackhawks having to make some deals. Earlier in the off season Brandon Saad was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sharp had just completed his 10th season with the Blackhawks. He had 43 points in the 2014-15 season; 16 goals and 27 assists. Sharp added 15 points; 5 goals and 10 assists in 23 post season games for the Blackhawks during their run to the Stanley Cup last season. Sharp has played in 745 career games and all but 25 of them have been with the Blackhawks. He has 526 career points on 249 goals and 277 assists. In return the Blackhawks get a veteran defenseman in Daily who scored 38 points last season on 16 goals and 22 assists, but was a -13 last season in 68 games. Daily has played in 756 games covering 11 seasons all with Dallas. Garbutt totaled 25 points during the 2014-15 season scoring 8 goals and picking up 17 assists, but he was a minus player as well at -9. Garbutt has played in 198 career games all with Dallas. With this deal and the acquisition of a defenseman will the Blackhawks allow free agent defenseman Johnny Oduya leave. Oduya has spent parts of four seasons with the Blackhawks winning two Stanley Cups, but with the teams salary cap situation he may be another player the Blackhawks will have to let go.

It ended up being Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez who won the fan voting for the 2 final All-Star spots. With the way Royals fans have voted this All-Star season it’s no surprise that Moustakas won. He’ll join Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar, and relievers Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera on the American League team. Gordon injured his groin on Wednesday and was replaced by New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner on the roster. Martinez is a bit of a surprise to me as he beat out some very impressive candidates including last seasons MVP and Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Maritnez also won the vote over Johnny Cueto who’s team the Cincinnati Reds are hosting this seasons All-Star game. Troy Tulowitzki of the Colrado Rockies and New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia were the other two players on the NL final ballot. Did you vote? If so did the players you vote for make the team? I can tell you mine didn’t.

So how was your week?

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