A Farewell to ARod, Celtics Summer League Notes, What Jimmy Garoppolo Will Face, and Much Much More!
A fond farewell to Alex Rodriguez, the player arguably most despised by Red Sox nation during the height of the early to mid-aughts rivalry with the New York Yankees. We respected Jeter, feared Rivera, and loathed ARod. From the moment he spurned Boston for New York in 2003, Rodriguez became the face of the Evil Empire, with his contract the epitome of the Yankees “all-star at every position” philosophy. As ARod prepares to take his final at-bats, I am left saddened, as while I will miss hating him, I see the end of an era on the horizon, with Ortiz’s retirement at the end of the season the final link to this once great chapter of one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports.
Speaking of the Red Sox, raise your hand if you had Rick Porcello with 6 more wins than David Price heading into mid-August? Then again, raise your hand if you had Rick Porcello currently second for the AL Lead in wins with 15 behind Toronto’s J.A. Happ?
Finishing up on the Red Sox, in the “where are they now” department, former outfielder Darren Bragg is doing color commentary for the Little League World Series on ESPN.
Lost in the Tampa Bay Rays wash of a season, Evan Longoria could potentially have one of the best finishes of his 9-year career. Looking at power numbers alone, Longoria should finish with his highest single season home run total since 2013, with his 25 current home runs already passing 2014 & 15. Longoria’s current .279 average is also his highest since 2012.
If you haven’t seen the video of Yasiel Puig partying with his Pacific Coast League teammates, the outfielder may be having more in fun in the minor’s than any former all-star that I can recall.
For the record, Terry Rozier finished his 3 summer league games averaging 21 points per game, good for 8th in Las Vegas, leaving the question of how his off-season improvement will translate into the major leagues. Best case scenario for the 2016-17 season? Rozier can be a consistent scoring threat off the bench, averaging 8-10 points per game, and cracking Brad Stevens playoff rotation.
On the other hand, seeing James Young, now in his 3rd NBA season, average just over 3 points per game is concerning to say to the least.
Speaking of the Celtics, while I wouldn’t mind Ray Allen coming off my bench on the veteran minimum, a signing of the former All Star would only hurt the playing time for players like Rozier mentioned above. With that said, it should be noted that Allen hasn’t played an NBA game since the 2014 NBA Finals.
If you are looking to wager against the Warriors this upcoming season, the defending champion Cavaliers are +275 in Vegas.
Tied for 7th, 19th, Tied for 7th, and 15th…the 2015 ranking for top NFL defenses by points allowed for Arizona, Miami, Houston, and Buffalo, the 4 teams Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo will have to face while substituting for Tom Brady.
With Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott primed for a breakout rookie season, rumor has it that veteran Darren McFadden could be put on the trading block. For the record, McFadden will only be 29 at the start of the season. Certain teams could benefit from an established back like McFadden to help carry the load while their QB is suspended for the first four games of the season.
If you are keeping track at home, we are just about 2 weeks away from College Football kickoff weekend and top 25 ranked Baylor still hasn’t found a permanent replacement for the disenfranchised Art Briles.
You know you’re doing something truly special when NBA superstars like Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan are sitting in the stands watching you compete, as was the case for Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky.
In conclusion, a RIP to John Saunders, a true gentleman and giant at the World Wide Leader. While much has and will be written about Saunders, I dare anyone to find a better piece than the one below, by Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press and Saunders colleague on The Sports Reporters.