The A’s should send Jim Leyland a thank you note...
This is a team that thrives on being disrespected, and this year’s all-star selections – or lack thereof – will only fuel the fire.
I’m half-kidding, of course, and I understand that Leyland only selects a small portion of his roster – and he’s handcuffed by the “one player per team” rule. But still, a team 15 games over .500 with just one all-star?
Grant Balfour’s omission is nothing short of criminal. His 22 saves and 1.82 ERA are sufficient evidence. That he is the only closer in baseball who hasn’t blown a save all year is the smoking gun.
Josh Donaldson’s case is a bit more complex. I fully expected him to be snubbed because his numbers are in the same neighborhood as those of Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria, and Beltre and Longoria are the sexier names. Lo and behold, neither of the three made the AL squad. Instead the players voted in Manny Machado, who leads the world in doubles. And nothing says all-star like a lot of doubles…
To make matters worse, Leyland had an out with the Final Vote. Put the three third-baseman on there and let fans have at it. Instead, he chose – gulp – five middle relievers, ensuring that the guy who wins the Final Vote wins the least exciting election in internet history – baseball or otherwise.
(For the record, Steve Delabar should be that guy. He is filthy. 1.58 ERA, 57 strikeouts in 40 innings. I’m sure he’ll have a candy bar named after him in Toronto. Two crunchy Delabars, please…)
Oh well, who needs to go California-New York-California in a span of three days when you can bask in your backyard and re-charge for the second half?
Madison Bumgarner isn’t just an all-star, he is single-armedly keeping the Giants afloat. If, in fact, they are afloat.
San Francisco has six wins since June 14th. Bumgarner has four of them.
He’s gone exactly seven innings in each of his last five starts, and been virtually unhittable in the process. As in 17 hits allowed over 35 innings.
Consensus is that the Warriors did well to land Andre Iguodala, which should soften the blow of losing Jarrett Jack to free agency.
Their points and assists from last season are virtually identical, but Jack was as clutch. And we all know you can’t teach clutch.
But most tangible difference will come at the defensive end, where Iguodala gives the Warriors an entirely new dimension. When he was on the floor last season, Denver was tied for seventh in the league in points allowed per possession. When he was off the floor, the Nuggets ranked 23rd.
I’m surprised the Sharks couldn’t wrangle more than a 4th round pick for T.J. Galiardi…
Granted he is no world-beater, but Galiardi showed sufficient promise as a top-nine, or maybe even top-six guy the last few months of the regular season and into the playoffs. And he’s still only 25.
The Sharks obviously believe Tyler Kennedy will be a superior option going forward. And you can pencil former first round pick Tomas Hertl into the opening day lineup as well.
One week to go before the worst three-day sports stretch of the year. Guess we’ll all have to find another purpose. Temporarily.