Month: July 2017

Justin Smoak cracks MLB’s 1,070th home run in June, breaks baseball record

It’s not Smoak and mirrors.

As a matter of fact, Justin Smoak is on his way to an All-Star berth, and he made sure everyone knew it with his 22nd dinger of the year. Not only did he extend his career-best homer tally, but the mash broke MLB’s single-month home run record.

The 30-year-old Blue Jays first baseman is having his best year as a big-leaguer, hitting .299 with 22 home runs and a .960 OPS, tallying in his early at-bats on Friday. Smoak, originally a Ranger, has played with the Mariners and now the Jays in his career.

Still, conspiracy theories remain: Is MLB winding the baseballs tighter? Or is there something less nefarious at work here? Such as launch angles, exit velo, and all the other sexy Statcast stuff MLB is starting to push now.

So maybe Carmelo Anthony is ready to team up with one of his Banana Boat buds. That was the word early Monday from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported that sources told him Anthony is now willing to waive his no-trade clause for a move to the Cavaliers (where he’d finally get to play with King James) or the Rockets (where he’d get to play with Chris Paul but also for Mike D’Antoni).

Woj reported the Knicks probably wouldn’t be able to get much in return for Anthony, who’s, um, steering this boat. New York doesn’t want to take back power forward Ryan Anderson in a trade, Woj added.

Just last week, Anthony’s estranged wife, La La, said Anthony didn’t want to leave the Knicks because he wanted to be close to his son. What has changed, other than Phil Jackson being forced out of the Garden? Like most of this Melo drama, that’s not clear.

The Raptors are in trade discussions with the Pacers that involve sending guard Cory Joseph to Indiana, according to ESPN. Joseph, 25, averaged 9.3 points per game last season.
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We’re doing so many things to help speed up the game

Authentic Steve Bartkowski Jersey The only thing you need to say about him is that he’s a champion and he knows what it takes to win, McCants said of Mahorn, who won an NBA championship in 1989 while playing for the Pistons, and was part of two WNBA championship teams as an assistant coach with the Detroit Shock.

USA Today caught up with West on the eve of his 5,000th game and picked his brain about all things baseball. Here are a few of his best takes:

On pace of play: We’re doing so many things to help speed up the game, but I can’t do anything about that commercial time. But as much as we want to complain, it sure pays a lot of bills.

The worst rule in baseball: The DH. It’s horrible. It was supposed to be an experiment to help increase attendance in the American League, and now it’s ruining the game.
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A pitch clock in 2018? I don’t like it. I don’t think you can take away a pitcher’s ability to get himself ready at his own pace. Instead of a pitch clock, let’s get rid of all of the walk-up music. Players wait like it’s a Broadway play before they come out to the plate.

Greatest hitters: Barry Bonds was the best left-handed hitter I ever saw, and Albert Pujols was probably the best right-handed hitter.

Biggest complainer: It’s got to be Adrian Beltre. Every pitch you call that’s a strike, he says, ‘Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!’ I had a game with him recently and the pitch was right down the middle. He tells me, ‘That ball is outside.’

I told him, ‘You may be a great ballplayer, but you’re the worst umpire in the league. You stink.’

Luke Walton downplays LaVar Ball’s claim about Lonzo Ball leading Lakers to playoffs

Lonzo Ball is finally a member of the Lakers, which means his father, LaVar, will continue to be his son’s biggest cheerleader. Sporting a purple and gold Big Baller Brand hat on draft night, LaVar Ball told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman on the telecast that his son will carry L.A. to the NBA Playoffs next season.

Considering the Lakers have held the No. 2 pick in the draft for three years straight, and finished with the third-worst record in the league a season ago, this is a pretty bold and ridiculous claim. But that can be said about pretty much anything that comes out of LaVar Ball’s mouth. And that’s why Lakers coach Luke Walton had no problem downplaying LaVar’s comments after Thursday’s NBA Draft.

While Torres is expected to be ready for spring training, Girardi says the way in which he was injured shows the unintended consequences of baseball’s anti-collision rule.

It just seems like players are forgetting how to slide today, Girardi told reporters Tuesday (via ESPN). I think slides have become a lot more creative at home plate because catchers don’t block the plate, and now I’m starting to rethink the rule, thinking the baserunners are the ones really at risk here because you see more guys slide in headfirst than ever before.

They see a corner of the bag. They think can manipulate their body to score the run. And every time I see a guy slide headfirst, I cringe, just because you worry about the hands, you worry about the shoulders.

Limited Preston Brown Jersey Ironically, Torres’ injury sliding headfirst came the same day the Cincinnati Reds unveiled a Great American Ball Park statue depicting Pete Rose in his iconic headfirst slide. Girardi is clearly not a fan of that type of slide, and the Yankees aren’t the only team dealing with a slide-related injury; reigning AL MVP Mike Trout is on the DL after tearing a thumb ligament sliding headfirst in a game May 28.
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The only thing that would work is if baseball came out and said headfirst was illegal, Girardi said, because you’re asking someone to take the competitiveness out of them that helped them to get to that point, and that’s not going to happen.