IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: A’s surge; Giants confound; Chestnut dominates
A’S SURGING: The Oakland A’s are playing great ball. They are 14-4 over their last 18 games as of Friday night. Give it to Oakland. They find ways to win games. They may not be in the top 10 in any important category, but they are slowly gaining ground. They are eight games over .500 but nearly 10 games out in the tough AL West. They are chasing Seattle with Houston on top. An arduous hill to climb, but they are showing great focus on winning games.
UNPREDICTABLE GIANTS: Frustration continues, but the team stays in the hunt. The Giants sweep the first place Arizona Diamondback and then lose all three in Colorado! In the series with the Rockies, they only score three runs. Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija are both back. That should bolster the pitching. However, the bats need to attain more consistency. Big series with the Cardinals this weekend complemented by another bad loss on Thursday night.
CHESTNUT A BRILLIANT AMERICAN: What is more important than the World Series, NBA Championship, the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup Finals? It just has to be the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest from Coney Island. Happy 4th of July. It is, indeed, an All-American Classic. Again, it is San Jose’s Joey Chestnut who captures the Yellow Mustard Belt with 74 dogs in 10 minutes for the 11th time in 12 years. It is a new World Record! All hail Joey! It has to make one hungry for a few Independence Day dogs.
LEBRON A LAKER: It is a $145 million deal over 4 years that bring LeBron James to the L.A. Lakers. They instantly become relevant. Yes, the Kings and Warriors both lost out in the King James Derby, but the Warriors recovered nicely. How will LeBron do in the Ball Family Circus of the Lakers? Will James bring franchise legitimacy upon arrival? One thing we do know is that Golden State will not face James in the NBA Finals. Western Conference fans will see a lot more of James this coming season.
COUSINS A WARRIOR: When does a signing bring up more questions than answers? It is when DeMarcus Cousins signs a 1-year deal with the Warriors. How will his personality jell with the Golden State Superstars? What effect will his torn Achilles Tendon have on his performance? Will the likes of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson achieve harmony with Cousins? What will his relationship be with Draymond Green? It may be a while until he joins the fray. You say you cannot wait until his first game at Golden 1? Provocative to say the least. The World Champions just got stronger.
LAKERS NOT DONE: Talk about a rebuild. Team President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson went on a rampage. Former Warrior JaVale McGee, swingman Lance Stephenson and former King Rajon Rondo all join the Lakers. In the meantime, Julius Randle is released while Kentavius Caldwell-Pope is retained. Is a deal for Kawhi Leonard on the horizon? Coach Luke Walton must be enjoying the summer of his life! The Warriors/Lakers games have become must-see.
SHARKS GETTING HOUSE IN ORDER: An 8-year deal for Logan Couture ties him up for the San Jose Sharks for the long-term future. Joe Thornton is also in the fold for another year! They do lose the race to sign John Tavares as he goes to Toronto. The Sharks are still shopping, but it looks like an entertaining season. Most of the pieces to the puzzle are in place.
FOSTER ESCAPES MAJOR PENALTY: It could have been much worse. The 49ers will be without the services of Reuben Foster for the first two games of the season. This is after a serious domestic violence charge along with possession of marijuana. The NFL officially penalized him for a violation of their substance abuse clause. They said nothing of the domestic violence charge which has been dismissed. Hopefully, Foster will learn his lesson and stick to a focus on football.
BAD LUCK FOR MCDOWELL: Former U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell may not qualify for the British Open. He flew from Paris to Manchester on Sunday prior to Tuesday’s all-important qualifier at The Open of St. Annes. The problem was that his golf clubs did not make it. Air France lost them somewhere along the way. They are untraceable according to the airlines. He withdrew and is now focused on the Scottish Open later this week. That is if his clubs show up.
WORLD CUP IS RIVETING SPORT: Two big matches on tap for this morning as the tournament moves towards a field of four. England survives the match of the week in a nasty contest vs. Columbia in which there are eight yellow cards. Carrying a 1-0 lead, England allows Columbia a goal in the final minutes of extra time. After a scoreless overtime, the Brits win it in the shootout. They live to play another day as Colombia cries foul after the use of an American referee. Don’t miss today’s matches as we trudge towards the World Football championship.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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