13) My favorite part of the All-Star Game is the player introductions; you see guys who are All-Stars for the first time- has to be a tremendous thrill to hear your name while you stand with the best players in the business.
12) Every team has to be represented in the All-Star Game; this year, the A’s representative is P Paul Blackburn, who was scheduled to fly commercial from Houston to Los Angeles after the A’s series in Texas over the weekend.
Astros heard about it, and offered Blackburn a seat on their team’s charter from Houston to LA, pretty classy move.
11) I felt pretty old Sunday night, when Jackson Holliday was first player taken in the amateur baseball draft. His dad is Matt Holliday, who was a terrific ballplayer for Rockies/Cardinals.
Our fantasy baseball league started in 2005; it is a dynasty league— you keep the same players from year-to-year. Our first draft took 81 days to finish; we started before Christmas, and my first pick was Matt Holliday. Now his son is a pro ballplayer. Time flies.
Later on, I wound up with Rays’ LF Carl Crawford on my team for 3-4 years; his son got drafted in the first round by the Phillies Sunday night. Carl Crawford played in the 2008 World Series, against the Phillies. Go figure.
10) Ironic that Sunday, the day the draft started, Detroit Tigers sent Spencer Torkelson down to AAA.
Torkelson was the first player taken in the 2020 draft; they rushed him to the majors, but he struggled, batting .197 with a .577 OPS. Now he is back in AAA, and has to regroup.
Being a top draft pick is great, but no matter who you are, once you get to The Show, you have to produce to stay there. It is a production-based business, after all.
9) Washington Nationals lost the first game in 16 of their last 20 home series; they have a big star in 23-year old Juan Soto, but it looks like he isn’t going to sign with Washington long-term, so eventually they’ll have to trade him. Tough times.
He turned down a 15-year, $440M offer last week.
Nationals won the World Series in 2019, but when your stars are turning down $30M a year deals, how can you sustain success?
8) I know next-to-nothing about video games, but when I see that Ja’Marr Chase is the #18 WR in the Madden ratings, it just seems wrong.
81 catches, 1,455 yards, 13 TD’s. There are not 17 WR’s who are better than Chase, whether in video games or real football.
7) I like that Lamar Jackson is serving as his own agent; saves him the 3% agent fee, and from what you read, he is well-versed on what he wants in his next contract. Will be fascinating to see what he winds up making. If Jackson does well with his contract, will more players follow his lead and be their own agent?
6) Circa Casino in Las Vegas advertises a lot on San Diego Padres’ TV games; they have an amazing sportsbook, part of which is outside on the 3rd floor of the casino, with lounge chairs scattered amongst pools, with a lot of distractions walking around.
Video screens take up a wall above the betting windows; it is amazing to see.
You have to be 21 years old to stay at Circa; no kids allowed.
5) Watching the British Open, the person who invented pot bunkers is a sadistic bastard.
4) In case you were wondering, Portland Trailblazers won the Las Vegas Summer League.
3) Poker player from Norway named Espen Jorstad won this year’s Main Event at the World Series of Poker, banking $10M in the process. Total of 8,663 people competed in this year’s Main Event.
2) Pittsburgh Steelers changed the name of their stadium from Heinz Field to Acrisure Stadium. Over the last 20 years, Heinz paid the Steelers $57M for naming rights; Acrisure is going to pay the Steelers $10M a year.
1) Bills/Raiders started their training camps Monday; eight other teams started Tuesday. When is the NFL going to announce their decision on Deshaun Watson? Cleveland Browns start camp July 30; would be nice if they knew who their quarterback was going to be.
If Watson gets suspended, Jacoby Brissett will be their QB; three years ago, Brissett replaced Andrew Luck as the Colts’ QB, when Luck abruptly retired. He also was in New England for a year, and Miami last year, when the coach got fired after a 9-8 season.
Brissett could write a hell of a book someday.