Posts Tagged ‘MLB All-Star game’

On Monday Tim Duncan retired from the NBA after 19 seasons. Now after a career like Duncan’s you might expect a little fanfare to announce his retirement. There was no gigantic goodbye press conference called. There was no cool Instagram video posted. There was no picture on Twitter making the announcement. As a matter of fact I don;t think social media was involved in making the announcement at all. So how did Duncan go out; the San Antonio Spurs out out a simple press release announcing his retirement. It’s almost the way you’d expect Duncan to go out. While Duncan wasn’t looking for the spotlight as he was retiring and didn’t seem interested on having one more retirement type season, but after the career he had if he would’ve wanted that who could’ve blamed him.

San Antonio selected Duncan with the #1 pick in the 1997 draft. Duncan entered the NBA after winning 3 player of the year awards in college. He was named AP Player of the Year, Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year and he also won the John R. Wooden Award. Duncan then went on to win the 1997-98 NBA Rookie of the Year award. That was just the start of the awards that Duncan would win throughout his career. He won 5 NBA Championships with the Spurs and was named Finals MVP. 3 times. He won 2 NBA MVP. awards and he did it in back to back seasons; 2001-02 and 2002-03. Besides winning the MVP twice Duncan finished in the Top 5 of the voting 9 other times. Duncan also made 15 All-Star teams and was named MVP of the 1999-00 game. Duncan played in 1392 games; he averaged 19.0 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game and 3.0 assists per game while playing an average of 34 minutes a game. Duncan should go down as one of the best to every play the game and I’ve even heard some experts mention he should be in the Top 5 all-time. One of the things I found more interesting about Duncan’s 19 year career was the fact that he played all 19 of those seasons with one team and he had the same head coach Gregg Popovich for all 19 of those seasons. By comparison Kobe Bryant just wrapped up a 20 year NBA career that saw him play for 10 different head coaches. That begs the question; will we ever see a player with this long of a career play for just one head coach?

Now there is no better All-Star game than the Major League Baseball All-Star game. It’s far and away the closet to the actual game that is played during the regular season. While the National Hockey League did improve their game last season and it was a lot more watchable than it had been. Of course it is a three on three game and it’s different than what they do in the regular season. The National Football League Pro-Bowl is a huge joke. In a way it’s almost understandable. Football is a very physical game and the last thing a team or even a fan base needs is for it’s Pro-Bowl player to get injured going all out in an All-Star game. The biggest joke out of all the All-Star games has to be the fiasco the National Basketball Association puts on. There is absolutely no defense played and you have to believe sooner or later we’re going to see an NBA All-Star team score 200 points in the game. Baseball is so different because it’s difficult to fake. In the other All-Star games you can make it look like you’re trying without really trying. In baseball though there’s still a pitcher on the mound and unless he’s willing to serve one up t the hitter and make himself look bad he’s going to pitch to that batter like it’s a regular game. Ever now and then you get a blowout in the MLB All-Star game, but the majority of the time you get a close well played game like last nights.

Tuesday on the Sports Time Radio podcast Dan the Man selected the National League  to win the All-Star game. Of course we know by now that he was on the wrong side of that pick as the American League  picked up a 4-2 victory to claim home field advantage in the World Series. What I still don’t know and I haven’t been able to find out is; why was the NL the visitors? I thought for sure with the game being played at Petco Park in San Diego that the NL would be the home team. I’ll have to do a little more research and try to figure it out. Now the NL got off t a quick start as Kris Bryant hit a solo home run in the Top of the 1st off of Chris Sale to give the NL a quick 1-0 lead. The A.L. turned it around in the bottom of the 2nd inning getting a solo home run by Eric Hosmer to tie the score and then a two-run home run by Salvador Perez put the AL up 3-1 and it turned out to be a lead they would relinquish. Hosmer and Perez both hit their home runs off of their former teammate Johnny Cueto. The AL added a run in the Bottom of the 3rd inning. David Ortiz drew a walk and then Edwin Encarnacion came into to run for him and allow Ortiz to walk off the field to a big crowd reaction in his last All-Star game. Xander Bogaerts doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd for the AL It was Hosmer again who came through for the AL with a single to left field off of Jose Fernandez to bring Encarnacion home and put the AL up 4-1. The NL did get a run back in the Top of the 4th inning. Buster Posey drew a one out walk. Anthony Rizzo singled moving Posey to 3rd base. Marcel Ozuna singled to center off of Aaron Sanchez to drive in Posey and cut the AL lead to 4-2. The NL got 10 hits in the game with Daniel Murphy being the only guy with 2 hits. The AL got 8 hits in the game with Hosmer and Jackie Bradley Jr. each getting 2 hits. The AL used 10 pitchers in the game with Corey Kluber getting the win and Zach Britton picking up a save. The NL used 9 pitchers in the game with Cueto being the pitcher who took the loss. Hosmer was voted the games MVP.

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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.

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