Yankee fans everywhere woke up to the news that their team signed Giancarlo Stanton. The slugger from the Marlins is making a new home in the Bronx and what a sight that will be. Yankee fans are acting like children on Christmas morning when they asked for a gift they thought they would never get but then get surprised with it. While the rest of MLB feels like they just got into a car wreck with a train. Stanton without a doubt will be amazing playing in Yankee Stadium with that short right field and batting along guys like Judge and Sanchez.
Not only is this good for the Yankee’s that a huge star player signed with them but who better to help Judge improve his consistency and becoming a better player than Stanton? Plus, now they have an abundance of outfielders so it is likely that they will rotate around between playing the field and batting DH. This is a plus because it will likely keep them healthier during the long season and keep them fresher for the postseason. It seemed as if the Marlins were really running out of options and Stanton had a no trade clause in his contracted which allowed him to veto the Cardinals and the Giants trade offers. Eric Hubbs from Barstool sports said it best last night, he said with Stanton giving his list of teams he would be willing to go to and with many other teams dropping out left and right, the Yankees were the only guys left at the bar to make a trade with if the Marlins wanted him gone that bad.
The trade consisted of the Yankees getting Stanton and the Marlins getting Starlin Castro as well as two minor league prospects (Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers) also the Marlins are willing to eat 30 million from the Stanton contract and that makes it so the Yankees will end up paying Stanton 265 million instead of 295 million. Basically, a steal for the Yankees when looking at the player Stanton is as well as what they had to give up for him. The prospects they gave up was surprising especially with Miami just getting rid of Dee Gordon it seemed likely that they would take the Yankees #1 prospect Gleyber Torres instead of Castro for rebuilding purposes as well as another top prospect such as perhaps Chance Adams to improve the pitching down there in south beach. However, that is not what happened and the Yankees are sure happy about that.
This trade makes me think back to when the Yankees got Alex Rodriguez and how excited Yankee fans were then. Now obviously that ended in a bitter sweet way and the Yankees hope for a better ending with Stanton but none the less. Stanton is just as polarizing as A-Rod was and with the ability to help Judge and Sanchez makes this even bigger. Just to give you a look at the possible numbers, last year Judge hit 52 home runs last season Stanton hit 59 and Sanchez hit 33 that is a combined 144 home runs just between those three guys. Plus, they have arguably the best bullpen in baseball with Robertson, Betances and Chapman. This is going to be a very scary team to face. Ladies and Gentlemen, this could be the beginning of another Yankee dynasty and a rebirth of the evil empire.
One of the hottest names out there in MLB right now is Japanese player Shohei Ohtani. The “Japanese Babe Ruth” as some are calling him. This guy can pitch and he can hit and he wants to come to America and play with the best players in the world. Nothing wrong with that right? Well, here is the problem, this guy makes zero sense professionally. Athletes will tell you one of two things usually, one, they play to win championships. Ohtani will not tell you that. The other reason is to get rich, but again Ohtanti will not be telling you that either. No, Ohtanti says he wants people to like him and he wants to judge his career on the amount of applause he gets when he ends up retiring.
Who the hell does this guy think he is? You get referred to as the Japanese Babe Ruth which is arguably the greatest compliment ever and you do not care about money, championships or traditions? Now I get it, it’s a child’s game and he is playing for the love of the game but if that is the case, why not just stay in Japan? This guy passed on millions of dollars to come over here now instead of waiting 2 years. Again, I have no problem with this but what reason is behind coming here if it is all about the fans.
When Ohtani arrived the first teams he ruled out was the Yankees, Red Sox and Twins. It seemed like a very odd move but he made a statement that he wanted to play on the west coast because it was closer to Japan. I get it he wants the flight home to be shorter, no problem with that. However, like everything else this guy does he makes a statement that makes no sense he then says the Cubs and Rangers are still in the hunt. Ohtani, look at a god damn map, Chicago Illinois and Arlington Texas are not on the west coast they are both very much in the mid-west. Ohtani then said he wants to play for a small market team because he is afraid of the big cities. Odd move, like did he think that some place like Waco Texas would have a pro baseball team? But then he keeps L.A. on the list of possible teams he might sign with.
Ohtani sets off a lot of red flags for me and I would pass on him if I was a GM because another thing is his numbers are not as dominating as some think. When compared to guys like Ichiro, Tanaka, Hideki Matsui and other Japanese greats they dominated other players in Japan and was truly the best in their country. Ohtani said himself that there are so many more players that are better pitchers and hitters in Japan than him, this is what he said in an interview with Jon Morosi. The confidence is not there which is yet another red flag. Ohtani might come over and maybe he will be in the same conversation with Ichiro and Matsui but he has seemed more like a confused person rather than a legit pro athlete.
On Friday, the now second longest consecutive winning streak in MLB history ended for the Cleveland Indians at 22 games. This was a remarkable thing to watch even if you are not an Indians fan. During this streak the Indians were on fire at the plate they outscored their opponents by 142-37 and they only were behind eight innings during the entire streak. They batted .306 as a team and their pitching staff was lights out with a 1.77 ERA. Corey Kluber was pitching just like Cleveland fans are used to and Jose Ramirez was able to get out of his slump and lead the team offensively during this incredible journey and guys like Lindor and Santana were the leaders the team tended to lean on.
The question is what does this all mean for the World Series runner up? Well, to be honest other teams should worry because they did this without some of their best talent. Jason Kipnis, Andrew Miller, Michael Brantley they were all on the DL waiting to return and Bradley Zimmer broke his hand during the streak. With this being said, presuming the pitching staff continues to be consistent and the offense continues to produce runs this is a team that could make a deep run in October. But, here is the answer to the question, yes, the Indians will get major help when all their talent returns. However, as the A’s GM Billy Bean once said nothing matters unless you win the last game of the season.
This is still true today, the Dodgers have been having a historic season but if they fall short of winning it all, it does not matter, last year the Indians won 14 straight games but failed to win the last game of the World Series. The Astros and the Diamondbacks have had the best season for their clubs as well so far this season. As a baseball fan this has been a season to remember across the board with so many teams playing great baseball and new stars emerging in to the light. However, as I can say personally there is nothing worse than having such an amazing season and thinking it was your team’s year and then fall short of the title. With this being said, keep grinding Cleveland and keep believing in Believeland because sports is all about who gets hot at the right time.
In part one we looked at the pros and cons of this trade from the Cleveland side. This time let’s look at it from Boston’s point of view. Boston ended up getting Kyrie which is arguably a top ten player in the league. However, Boston gave up some great talent which might hurt them down the road.
Losing Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder was really the only way they would end up with Kyrie however it might not have been worth it in the long run because we have seen Kyrie be the face of the franchise in Cleveland before Lebron came back and that was not pretty at all. Now I know that some will say “he was still a rookie and young” and other will say “he has matured since then” which is all true points but that is a big risk. Let’s remember when people play with Lebron they seem to get better we seen this with old D-Wade and even guys like JR Smith.
Kyrie has two years left on his deal which is good for Boston. If they can stay as the biggest threat to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference, then there is a better chance Kyrie will stay in Boston and they will have their man (providing he stays as good as he was with Lebron). However, Kyrie did not put Boston on his list of desirable teams he wants to play for which could be a concern because if he leaves after two seasons then Boston will have given up the farm for nothing in return. Another concern is how will he fit into Brad Stevens system in Boston, which is clearly different then whatever Coach Lebron decides to run.
The positive thing is Kyrie is an everyday player and has come up clutch in some big moments. The issue is Kyrie does not know what he wants, this is proven because otherwise he would have stayed in Cleveland for one more year and waited to see if Lebron left. If Lebron does leave Kyrie would have still had a lot of talent surrounding him and he would have been Cleveland’s guy. If Kyrie fits in the system and plays well with Gordon Hayward, then the Cavs Celtics will be the biggest rivalry in the east for a very long time. Kyrie has shaped up to become a terrific player, and could help Boston in a huge way and may be the piece they need to become the best in the east. Especially if Lebron leaves Cleveland and goes to the Western Conference and joins the Lakers like it is rumored.
I will admit that when I first heard about the blockbuster trade between Cleveland and Boston I was not in favor of it. However, as I began to dwell on it more I have determined it is good for both teams (maybe). The reason I say maybe is because it seems more like a spider web of what if’s then having a clear winner.
First let’s start with Cleveland. The Cavs loved Kyrie and rightfully so, that guy was supposed to be the future after Lebron and he made in my opinion hands down the most clutch shot in Cavs history against Golden State in the 2016 finals game 7. Let alone his defense was lockdown, no doubt losing him is hard on the Cavs and their fans.
The Cavs got Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 unprotected first-round pick. Now to start with the positives, Isaiah Thomas is a star in this league and has even in talk for MVP last year. Furthermore, Thomas has proven he can play with a heavy heart and still preform, he proved this last year in the playoffs after the death of his sister. Thomas has also proven he can be the number one guy which is great for Cleveland consider all the rumors that Lebron may leave after this year.
Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic are both nice big guys to have on a team that seems is ran by all guards. Crowder can not only help in the rebound department but the dude can also shoot well for a guy of his size. The fact that the Cavs get the Nets #1 pick in 2018 is a plus because that is very likely to end up being a top 5 pick in the draft.
Now this is where it gets messy for the Cavs. Thomas injured his hip last season and decided against having surgery on it. This could set up problems because if Thomas goes down then ultimately the Cavs gave up Kyrie for Jae Crowder, which is not great if you are a Cavs fan. Furthermore, Thomas wants to be a max contract player which is a double-edged sword for the Cavs, if he stays healthy and Lebron leaves then the Cavs still have a young future player who has proven he can be a number one player on the team. However, if Lebron stays who knows if Thomas will take a pay cut. Thomas defense is also nowhere near the caliber of Kyrie which is an issue when playing a team like Golden State in the finals let alone the issue of the size of Thomas against a giant Golden State team.
Colin Kaepernick is yet to be signed this year and it does not look like he will be getting signed anytime soon. This should not surprise anyone, yet here we are just weeks away from week 1 of the season and people are still talking about how it is either good or bad that he is not on a team.
Everyone is aware that during the 2016 season he decided to kneel during the national anthem to protest the social injustices in society. Kaepernick is not on a team now and many believe the NFL is blackballing him because of his views and his protests however, I view this in a different way, I believe Kaepernick knew what he was doing and I do not think this was to “stand up for the injustices”.
Kaepernick a couple years ago, was one of the best in the league and many people jumped on the bandwagon when the 49ers were contenders every year. Kaepernick was quite then though and he stood for the anthem and just played football. However, when his career started to go downhill he decided to start a circus that every sports station in the nation would talk about. This is not about protesting and making a point, this is about trying to stay relevant in the media and not just fading away.
The past two seasons Kaepernick only played in 21 games with a 3-16 record and completed 59% of his passes and had a 52 QB rating. Those are not star numbers let alone numbers for a starting QB in the NFL. Kaepernick knew his NFL career was done so he wanted to have something he could point to as an escape goat for not playing anymore.
If he is getting blackballed then why did the people who feel this way not protest the NFL when Tebow could not get a job, everyone was quick to say look at his numbers, he can’t play QB. Look at Manziel, why is he not in the league, did he have a fair shake? The bottom line is Kaepernick’s numbers were among the league worst the last couple years and this if anything was just the final nail in the coffin. However, like I said instead of just fading away he is still being talked about. The issue is nobody wants to hear politics in sports, they want their athletes to play a child’s game and win their team games. Once the athlete cannot do that, then its game over for them. Kaepernick is smart and just decided to try to beat the system, only in my opinion he lost because the circus will only last so long.