July 30, 2013
Alfonso Soriano returns to Yankees: In desperate need of offense with so many injuries to key players, the New York Yankees turned to a familiar face, trading for outfielder Alfonso Soriano. Soriano began his career in New York as a second baseman before later playing for the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, and most recently, the Chicago Cubs. The outfielder is past his prime, but a recent hot streak was proof that he can still provide a surge of power. After hitting only nine home runs in the first three months of the season, Soriano has hit nearly that many already in July with eight this month heading into this past weekend.
Jeremy Maclin out for year: NFL training camps are underway and that can only mean one thing – injuries won’t be far behind. The biggest casualty thus far may be the Eagles’ young wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin, who is out for the season after tearing an ACL in a practice. With perhaps their best wideout injured, Philadelphia’s season gets off to a rocky start. The team still has DeSean Jackson at receiver, but Maclin’s loss gives rookie head coach Chip Kelly less to work with on offense – his area of expertise.
Jaromir Jagr signs with New Jersey Devils: Even at 41, Jaromir Jagr isn’t ready to hang up his skates. After playing for the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars last year, the winger has signed a one-year $2 million deal with the New Jersey Devils. Jagr isn’t the player he once was, but still has a little left in the tank after scoring 35 points (including 16 goals in 45 games this past season). Plus, with Ilya Kovalchuk leaving New Jersey to play in Russia, the team was in desperate need of scoring. Jagr ranks eighth all-time among NHL players in scoring and his 681 career goals are good for tenth overall.
Lebron > Kobe in ESPN poll: When it comes to the most popular player in the NBA, LeBron James passed up Kobe Bryant for the first time in a few years according to an ESPN poll. Bryant had beaten out James the past few seasons, but after his second consecutive title, James overtook him last week. Really, it’s just proof that time heals all wounds. Immediately after the much-scrutinized “Decision” broadcast where James announced his intention to leave Cleveland for Miami, he took a huge publicity hit and was even viewed as a villain by many. But after a few years with the Heat and winning a couple of rings, liking LeBron is once again okay.
101 Russian women set a skydiving record: Yeah, I’m not even going to try to add anything to this. Feel free to watch for yourself.
Matt Garza pickup costly for Rangers: Matt Garza may not quite be a household name, but the pitcher could be the best starter that gets dealt before baseball’s trade deadline this season. At 7-1 with a 2.87 ERA, Garza is having a career year and was heavily desired by contenders before he was traded to the Texas Rangers by the Cubs. Garza didn’t come cheap, however. He cost Texas two of their top prospects entering this season, pitcher Justin Grimm and first baseman Mike Olt. Both have struggled to a degree this season, but Grimm has seven wins with the major league team while Olt has 12 home runs in the minors. The trade also cost the Rangers C.J. Edwards, a flamethrower who has dominated Rookie League and Class A in the minors the past two seasons. Also, keep in mind that Garza could only be a rental player as he’s due to become a free agent after this year. All things considered, the Rangers need to not only make the playoffs, but maybe even reach a World Series for this trade to come out in their favor.
Tim Hudson injury hurts Braves: Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson suffered a devastating injury last week when his ankle was broken by the Mets’ Eric Young, Jr. in a collision at first base. The injury was a big one as the veteran will miss the rest of the season. That hurts Atlanta’s playoff chances at least a bit and the team is already looking around for a potential trade. The Braves hold a comfortable lead in the NL East, but should the team hold on for a playoff spot, Hudson’s veteran presence will be sorely missed in the postseason.
Matt Harvey likely to end season early: Similar to what the Washington Nationals did with prized young pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the New York Mets are planning to keep Matt Harvey on a limit for the rest of the year. Mets manager Terry Collins has said Harvey has about ten more starts left instead of the 13 or so he may reach if he continued to pitch every fifth day. While similar to Strasburg’s situation, though, it’s a bit different considering the Mets aren’t likely to be in the playoffs as the Nats were. One thing that will be interesting, though, is to see if the loss in starts costs Harvey when it comes to the Cy Young voting.
June 21, 2011
Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke
Ever since the Cavs won the draft lottery, the talk has been either Irving or Derrick Williams with the first pick. It has been reported that Cleveland has decided on Irving.
Derrick Williams, SF, Arizona
The Timberwolves need all the help they can get. Williams and Irving are the consensus top two players in this NBA draft.
Enes Kanter, C, Turkey
With two picks in the top 12, the Jazz have options. The Irving and Williams are pretty locked in as the top two picks, so the wheeling and dealing could start here. Utah stays put and takes a 7-footer, hoping he can become one of the few legitimate big men in the NBA.
Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania
With Irving on board, the Cavs look to get some help inside. If they can hit on these two picks, it will go a long way towards moving on from the Lebron James era.
Jan Vesely, SF, Czech Republic
The Raptors have a history of drafting international players. Why stop now?
Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas
The Wizards have plenty of young guns in the backcourt. Picking up Thompson would give them some help on the glass.
Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
The Kings go for another Wildcat to join DeMarcus Cousins. Adding Knight to run the point will allow Tyreke Evans to move to the two-guard.
Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas
After all the trouble in Detroit with Rip Hamilton last year, nobody would expect the Pistons to draft another Hamilton. Wrong.
Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut
The Bobcats need another scorer. Michael Jordan and company hope Walker can be that guy.
Alec Burks, SG, Colorado
Milwaukee is set at point guard and center. The Bucks need more firepower.
Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State
The Warriors need someone who will crash the boards and provide some toughness.
Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU
If Jimmer is still on the board here, Utah has to take him. Don’t they? The fan base will go bonkers if the Jazz pass on the Jimmer.
Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas
The Suns ought to be looking for a big man who can rebound.
Nikola Vucevic, C, USC
Yao Ming may need to be replaced. If Ming does return, the Rockets would be wise to have some insurance in case he gets hurt again.
Bismack Biyombo, PF, Spain
The Pacers could use another big man to rebound.
Tobias Harris, PF, Tennessee
The Sixers have plenty of young talent in the backcourt so they look to get some help for Elton Brand on the inside.
Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State
The Knicks add a shooter to help spread the floor with Anthony and Stoudemire.
Nikola Mirotic, SF, Serbia
The Wizards hope the Serbian can develop into a key contributor.
Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State
There is a good chance Charlotte will not pick here on NBA draft night, but if they do they will go for the best player on their board.
Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuiana
Minnesota shocks everyone by not taking a point guard.
Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
The Blazers should let the team doctor make this pick and bring in the healthiest player on the board.
Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence
Good luck finding the next Carmelo Anthony at this point. Denver has lots of free agents so they could take any position. Might as well take a guy who scored more than 24 points a game.
Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State
The Rockets add another big man.
JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue
The Thunder could use a low post scorer to take some pressure off of Kevin Durant.
Jeremy Tyler, PF
Is Kendrick Perkins available?
Norris Cole, PG, Cleveland State
The NBA champions will try to find a point guard to take over when Jason Kidd retires.
Justin Harper, PF, Richmond
The Nets need to get Deron Williams another scorer.
Shelvin Mack, SG, Butler
A shooting guard who can score would really help Derrick Rose.
Jon Leuer, PF, Wisconsin
Tim Duncan is not the man he once was.
Travis Leslie, SG, Georgia
Why not take a pair of two guards and hope one becomes the missing piece?