IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Rossi’s in the driver’s seat; Angels honor Skaggs
THE BIG DECISION: Alexander Rossi prefers to just focus on racing. However, he is at a wonderful crossroads. He is one of the most successful IndyCar racers. At the moment, after his third place finish at Honda IndyCar Toronto, he sits but four points behind Josef Newgarden for the overall points lead. Well past the halfway point in the season, he now has a tantalizing decision to make. Where will he race next season? With all the credentials in hand, he will have attractive choices. He currently races for the Andretti Autosport team. NBC Sports reported that Andretti recently commented, “Our goal is to keep Alexander Rossi. I think things are getting there.” They also noted that it is looking better with Andretti. They continued that winning is winning and they want to keep him. Then the question arises as to whether he will continue to race for Honda or Chevrolet. Honda has treated Rossi and the team well. In any case, it is a great time for the Nevada City superstar. Great days ahead as he races Iowa today.
ANGEL LIFTS ANGELS: Last Friday night the Los Angeles Angels all wore jersey number 45 to honor departed pitcher Tyler Skaggs. He had died while on a road trip with the team in a Texas hotel. It was a night to remember. Mother Debbie threw out the first pitch. Mike Trout crushed a two-run homer in the first that travelled 454 feet (45…his jersey number). They scored seven runs in the first and 13 for the game. Skaggs birthday was 7/13. The Angels orchestrated a combined no-hitter. The last time the Angels accomplished this was 7/13/91 (Skaggs’ date of birth.) It was the 11th no-hitter in team history. In high school, Skaggs wore No. 11. It all defied logic. The team noted that they felt uplifted by an Angel.
DENVER DOUBLE DIP: Is there hope for the San Francisco Giants? On Monday they travelled to Coors Field for a doubleheader. In Game 1, the Giants bats come alive. It is a 19-2 conquest with Brandon Crawford providing two homers and eight RBIs while Mike Yastrzemski and Buster Posey contributing greatly. Jeff Samardzija goes 6.2 innings of excellent ball. Then, in the nightcap, it is a narrow 2-1 win on back-to-back homers by Crawford and Stephen Vogt. Dereck Rodriguez and the bullpen shine. San Francisco sweeps all four in Colorado. The Giants had scored 114 runs in 14 games and were 25-15 since June 1 after Wednesday’s performance. They are in the Wild Card hunt, but have a number of teams to pass.
A’S ASSUME WILD CARD SPOT: It took them a while to get there, but the A’s have taken a Wild Card spot as of Thursday. They were 9-3 for the month and had outscored opponents 73-33. How good is this team? We will understand that better after a three-game set next week vs. the Houston Astros.
SOLID 49ERS MOVE: The San Francisco 49ers sign kicker Robbie Gould to a 4-year deal. This is truly positive as Gould has made 72 of 75 field goal attempts in the last two seasons. Much yet to explore, but this is a step in the right direction.
MOONSTRUCK: As we celebrated the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon, consider the plight of Hall of Famer and ex-Giant Gaylord Perry. His batting was so bad, that his manager once told him, “we will land a man on the moon before you hit a home run.” It held true as Perry hit his first home run one hour after the moon landing.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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