IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: A’s begin fire sale; O.J. to be paroled
A’S TRADES BAFFLE: The Oakland A’s arguably have the most ex-players in MLB. Another trade this week rids them of two experienced pitchers. Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson, both relievers with positive late-inning experience, are dispatched to the Washington Nationals. It also saves them about $15 million. Their fire sales impede the team’s success.
SANDOVAL EXITS BOSTON: Is the next stop for ex-Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval a reunion with San Francisco? He seemingly eats his way out of the Red Sox organization. They also cite “other issues” on which they stay silent. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy once said when discussing his eating, “He just got to control himself a little bit.” Let’s see if he can diet his way back into baseball.
OJ TO BE SET FREE: Why does the issue of O.J. Simpson continue to attract so much attention? A racially polarizing figure, it is just such a waste of time. Regardless of your perspective, have most of us not heard enough about O.J. to last a lifetime? He will soon be paroled, and then his every move will again be part of the media frenzy. Note to O.J.: Try to live the rest of your life in peace. For crying out loud, you are 70. Get it together.
A COMEBACK FOR MANZIEL?: “I know the situation I put myself in,” exclaims NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel. He sits out last season after drug and behavioral problems. Some say he has more interest than Colin Kaepernick for a possible return. He lunches with New Orleans Saints coach Sean Peyton. An ex-Cleveland Brown, he hopes to play out of his dismal past.
FEDERER KING AT WIMBLEDON: After Venus Williams falters in the Ladies Championship match, Roger Federer wins his eighth Wimbledon Championship. At almost 37, he becomes the second oldest to win the crown. He is extremely efficient with 6-3, 6-1 and 6-4 set triumphs. The Swiss star again lands in the Winner’s Circle.
ONTO THE SEMIFINALS: On a sweltering night in Philadelphia, the US Men’s Soccer team claims a hard earned 2-0 victory over El Salvador in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. It is a very physical contest with Jozy Altidore the main target of El Salvador’s ire. Biting, kicking, and pinching are a part of El Salvador’s repertoire. Bruce Arena and Company get it done. With the World Cup looming in a year, this tournament is close to a must-win for the US. Tonight it is Costa Rica for a spot in the Finals. If they prevail, they will probably face Mexico for the crown.
SOUTH CAROLINA SOCCER: It could be almost anywhere. South Carolina’s Youth Soccer program invokes an “August Cooling Off” period when parents are not allowed to berate referees. The parents brutality is well-chronicled. Police escorts to cars after games. Parents threatening post-match violence. So, standards have to be set for parent conduct and expulsion from viewing matches. Unfortunately, not a surprise in today’s competitive climate.
TIGER IN AT 1,005TH!: Does it really make much difference? Tiger Woods slipped below the 1,000 mark in rankings. It is shocking considering he spent more than 600 weeks at #1. However, that was a lifetime ago. It is doubtful he will ever again play in a major golf event. Is his back really the only issue?
LAKERS SHINE IN SUMMER LEAGUE: Luke Walton must feel optimistic about the Lakers future. They go out and dominate the NBA Summer League. Lonzo Ball is recognized as the MVP of the tournament. In the championship game vs. Portland, it is again the Lakes who dominate and win 110-98. Kings and Warriors produce lackluster results.
FINAL THOUGHT: Is there a bigger stage for theatrics in sports than that portrayed by a fouled soccer player?
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.