Monday, July 9, 2018

Sports this 'n' that

Congratulations to the Albany Empire upon clinching the Arena Football League's regular season title Saturday night after beating Philadelphia. Due to a convention of Jehovah's Witnesses having been previously booked for Times-Union Center, the first year club's next game may not be until this time next week, with the convention in town this weekend. Have to pray it's not a portent of things to come for the Empire.

Meanwhile, El Cheapo Media apparently couldn't be bothered to send a reporter to the game on Saturday, as a report in today's edition was credited to "sports staff". Ditto for the Tri-City Valleycats' win over Aberdeen, also on Saturday. El Cheapo's parent company is more concerned about its bottom line than properly serving its readers. Small wonder it's the #3 daily in the market.
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Even though she's currently in the WWE, Ronda Rousey was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame prior to going on the road with WWE this weekend. The other shoe between the two promotions dropped Saturday night when former UFC and current absentee WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar showed up at the latest UFC PPV for a confrontation with Daniel Cormier. Reportedly, he's entered the drug testing pool, making him eligible to fight again for UFC in January. First things first, though, Lesnar, who should've dropped the Universal title long ago, has to decide when his next WWE fight will be, and soon, as fans are getting antsy. The ratings aren't where they should be, due largely to a number of factors, including Lesnar's prolonged absence between matches. This is the result of the contract Vince McMahon negotiated with Lesnar six years ago, allowing Lesnar to pick & choose when he appears. It's not good for business, no matter how WWE tries to spin it.
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Speaking of Ronda, here's her commercial for Twizzlers licorice candy.

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The 2018 baseball All-Star teams have been announced. Your average mileage, of course, may vary:

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

Starters:

C: Wilson Ramos, Rays
1B: Jose Abreu, White Sox
2B: Jose Altuve, Astros
3B: Jose Ramirez, Indians
SS: Manny Machado, Orioles
OF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
OF: Mike Trout, Angels
OF: Aaron Judge, Yankees
DH: J.D. Martinez, Red Sox

Reserves:

C:
Salvador Perez, Royals
1B: Mitch Moreland, Red Sox
2B: Gleyber Torres, Yankees
3B: Alex Bregman, Astros
SS: Francisco Lindor, Indians
OF: Michael Brantley, Indians
OF: Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers
OF: Mitch Haniger, Mariners
OF: George Springer, Astros
OF: Nelson Cruz, Mariners

Pitchers:

RHP
: Trevor Bauer, Indians
RHP: Jose Berrios, Twins
LHP: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees
RHP: Gerrit Cole, Astros
RHP: Edwin Diaz, Mariners
LHP: J.A. Happ, Blue Jays
RHP: Joe Jimenez, Tigers
RHP: Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox
RHP: Corey Kluber, Indians
LHP: Chris Sale, Red Sox
RHP: Luis Severino, Yankees
RHP: Blake Treinen, Athletics
RHP: Justin Verlander, Astros

Final Vote candidates (fan ballot):

OF
: Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
OF: Eddie Rosario, Twins
SS: Jean Segura, Mariners
SS: Andrelton Simmons, Angels
OF: Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

Starters:


C:
Willson Contreras, Cubs
1B: Freddie Freeman, Braves
2B: Javier Baez, Cubs
3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
SS: Brandon Crawford, Giants
OF: Nick Markakis, Braves
OF: Matt Kemp, Dodgers
OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals

Reserves:

C:
Buster Posey, Giants
C: J.T. Realmuto, Marlins
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs
1B: Joey Votto, Reds
2B: Ozzie Albies, Braves
2B: Scooter Gennett, Reds
3B: Eugenio Suarez, Reds
SS: Trevor Story, Rockies
OF: Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
OF: Lorenzo Cain, Brewers
OF: Christian Yelich, Brewers

Pitchers:

LHP: Patrick Corbin, D-backs
RHP: Jacob deGrom, Mets
LHP: Sean Doolittle, Nationals
RHP: Mike Foltynewicz, Braves
LHP: Josh Hader, Brewers
LHP: Brad Hand, Padres
RHP: Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
LHP: Jon Lester, Cubs
RHP: Miles Mikolas, Cardinals
RHP: Aaron Nola, Phillies
RHP: Max Scherzer, Nationals
LHP: Felipe Vazquez, Pirates

Final Vote candidates:

1B
: Jesus Aguilar, Brewers
1B: Brandon Belt, Giants
INF: Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
INF/OF: Max Muncy, Dodgers
SS: Trea Turner, Nationals

Of course, people will gripe about certain players being snubbed (i.e. Blake Snell of the Rays, the Mets' Brandon Nimmo). The fact that the Nationals, the host team, only have three players on the roster at the moment, tells you something about the state of fan support in Washington, and the fact that the fans aren't as passionate as you'd think.

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