Please excuse my absence for the last week but Vegas was calling and I’m never one to turn down the invitation. It may have been frightfully hot there but that was more than balanced out by my chill at the slots—still, I love the place. So does Pete Rose who’s as much a part of Sin City as gambling, clubbing and buffets.
I can’t remember a time I was in Vegas that I didn’t see the game’s shamed all-time hits leader. In fact, his autograph, as much as he gives it, has to be the most devalued scribble in the sports world.
I was glad to see the Royals nab a couple spots on the American League All-Star team. Multiple players from the Royals have been a rarity at the Mid-Summer Classic. With Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez going to New York, it’s only the third time in 24 years that Kansas City has been represented by more than the one player that has to go from every team. How else do you think that Aaron Crowe, Gil Meche, Mark Redmond, Ken Harvey and Mike McDougal became All-Stars? The last time the Royals sent three players to this game George Brett was one of them in 1988.
Speaking of Brett---
Either the Hall of Famer is having a nice effect of Eric Hosmer, or the warmer weather is simply agreeing with the left handed hitter. After hitting .303 in June, the first baseman is off to a .350 start for July and after going 31 straight games without a homer to open the season he’s stroked eight in his last twelve. Brett hasn’t had as much success with Mike Moustakas. After a much improved June, he’s started July off poorly.
Great break ins---
Yasiel Puig deserves all the accolades he’s received during an amazing debut, but the 22 year old is just one of two Cuban defectors to be making big splashes this summer. Jose Iglesias has been outstanding for the Boston Red Sox hitting .395, just .008 behind Puig but with 25 more at bats. In fact, Iglesias has a better on base percentage and strikes out far less than his countryman—no, his power numbers don’t compare but I don’t think the Sox would trade him. Although considering their history maybe I’m giving them too much credit.
So Andy Murray, a Scot, ends the British skid at Wimbledon at 77 years. Fred Perry was the last Brit to win at the All-England Club in the 1930’s. Murray’s win got me to thinking about great recent British athletes (I’m weird that way) -- I realize there’s a bunch of great soccer players, led by David Beckham but he’s the only one I could come up with without prompting. Golf’s a little easier for me with Tony Jacklin, Lee Westwood and Nick Faldo. Boxing gave us Olympic Gold Medal sprinter Linford Christie and Sebastian Coe was the world’s best middle-distance runner before he organized and ran the London Olympics. None will be any bigger than Murray and the championship he delivered back to the homeland after such a long absence.
American no shows---
If you’re like me there probably was a time that you actually paid attention to Wimbledon. American tennis has given the world some great and interesting champions over the years, but the stars and stripes were nowhere to be seen over the fortnight and that’s a problem. Quick---who’s the world’s top ranked American male? Would you believe Sam Querry at number 19? Sam Querry? It turns out that he’s only one of three yanks in the top 80, little wonder that tennis has such poor TV traction in the U.S.