Frankly Frankel: June 21, 2014

21 Jun

The Yankees are getting it together, Vidal Nuno is the worst pitcher in baseball, Rex Ryan needs to shut his mouth, the Cavs shouldn’t touch Joel Embiid with a 50-foot pole, Tony Gwynn leaves us too soon, and my thoughts on the World Cup. This is Frankly Frankel on this June 21, 2014.

  • I have to start with the New York Yankees who walked-off last night for the first time in 2014. Carlos Beltran drilled a game-winning 3-run home-run off Zach Britton in a game the Yankees were destined to lose. New York left the bases loaded 3 times, and stranded 11 runners on the night. A loss would have been a huge letdown after the Yankees just swept division leading Toronto, but Beltran saved the day with the homer off Britton who had been absolutely dominant coming out of the pen for the Orioles.
  • It took until the end of June, but Carlos Beltran is finally coming around offensively. He’s swinging the bat as well as he’s had all season, and it could not have come at a better time. The same cannot be said for Yangervis Solarte whose days with the big club appear to be numbered. Solarte hasn’t had a hit since June 8th, and is 0 for his last 24. Ouch.
  • Going back to that sweep of Toronto, the Blue Jays have now lost 16 straight games at Yankee Stadium and are a putrid 2-20 there since 2012. That series saw another gem by Masahiro Tanaka, another solid outing out from Chase Whitley combined with timely hitting, and a gutty performance from David Phelps. If the season ended today, Tanaka would be both the AL MVP, and Cy Young Award winner. He also deserves to start the all-star game. He’s been that good.
  • Melky Cabrera is lucky I was not sitting in left field for Thursday night’s Yankees Blue Jays game. After making the final-out of the inning, Cabrera faked throwing the ball into the stands, and ran off the field. The things he would have heard if I was there…
  • Later today, Vidal Nuno will get the start when the Yankees take on the Orioles in the 2nd game of this 3-game set. I’m just not a fan at all of Nuno who’s arguably been the worst pitcher in baseball in 2014. His 5.90 ERA is the highest of any pitcher in the AL who’s thrown at least 60 innings. Nuno has no margin for error, his stuff doesn’t allow for it, he doesn’t give the Yankees any distance, and opposing batters feast off him. I think it’s time the Yankees move on.
  • Old-Timers day is on Sunday, but today is Tino Martinez day at Yankee Stadium. Tino will be honored with a plaque in monument park, which is well deserved. He’s one of the gutsiest players I’ve ever seen and had more than his share of memorable moments. I will never forget his grand-slam in game 1 of the 1998 World Series, and his game-tying home-run with 2 outs in the ninth in game 4 of the 2001 World Series. He was a player who defined what it meant to be a Yankee. People forget Tino was given the tough task of replacing the iconic Don Mattingly (I don’t have an emotional attachment towards Mattingly because he never won anything and I never saw him play), and he shined through it. Not many players could do what Tino did.
  • Major League Baseball lost an all-time great this week when Tony Gwynn passed away at the young age of 54. Unfortunately for me, I was too young to appreciate Gwynn’s greatness. He won 8 batting titles, the 2nd most of all-time behind Ty Cobb, and he hit over .300 in 19 of his 20 seasons, all with the Padres. Gwynn stuck out a total of 434 times in his career, which is mind-boggling. Curtis Granderson strikes out about 200 times per season. Gwynn’s highest strike-out total in a season was 40…unreal.
  • Gwynn succumbed to salivary gland cancer, and he blamed chewing tobacco for the illness. Chewing tobacco is obviously extremely popular in baseball, and many are advocating that it should be banned from the sport. The Players Association though doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to get that done.
  • While I’ve never “dipped” in my life, when I was little I used to take watermelon and stick it in the side of my mouth. It made me feel like a baseball player, and it’s that image in my opinion why it should be banned. Chewing tobacco and playing baseball seemingly go hand in hand, and that has to change.
  • Rex Ryan needs to get over himself and keep his mouth shut. In an interview with Monday Morning QB, Ryan’s former long-time defensive coordinator Mike Pettine claimed that the Jets defensive playbook ended up in the hands of Bill Belichick. Instead of saying that this never happened, Rex could not help himself and proceeded to take shots at Pettine. When it comes to coaches talking, Rex has to learn that less is always more.
  • I have no idea what the culture is among NFL coaches, but I have no idea why a coach would ever hand out a playbook to another coach. I just don’t see what good comes out of that.
  • The NBA Draft is set for Thursday night from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A major shake-up just occurred with Joel Embiid going down with a stress fracture in his foot. He’s expected to be out 4-6 months. Talk about a player the Cavaliers should not touch with a 50-foot pole. Embiid already has back problems, and now he’s out with foot problems. If that doesn’t raise a red flag, nothing will. I just hope for Embiid’s sake that he can overcome this and be a great NBA player, but I definitely have my doubts.
  • One team that gets adversely affected by this is the Philadelphia 76ers. If Embiid had been healthy, he would have been a top 2 pick in the draft. It wouldn’t make sense for the Sixers, who have the 3rd pick in the draft to take Embiid since they have Nerlens Noel waiting in the wings. Philly would have wound up with either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, but now likely miss out on both. That’s tough.
  • The Cavaliers should really take Wiggins with the first pick. He has elite speed and athleticism, and is the best defender in the draft. His offensive game isn’t where it could be yet, but he easily has the highest ceiling of any player in the draft. I just pray Cleveland doesn’t mess up another first overall pick.
  • Some other NBA Draft predictions: I think Marcus Smart ends up a Laker, and Doug McDermott joins the Boston Celtics.
  • One story that seemingly will never go away is the Washington Redskins team name. Until Dan Snyder agrees to change the name, there will continue to be public outrage. I know I am tired of this and just want it to end.
  • The golf world can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Tiger Woods announced that he will return next weekend for the Quicken Loans National at Congressional. The impact Woods has on golf is staggering. With Woods on the shelf, the US Open got an abysmal 3.0 rating, its lowest in 15-years…
  • Some World Cup thoughts, I cannot believe that Spain and England both failed to get out of group play. England at least put up a fighters chance, but Spain was a flat-out no-show. They were blown out by the Netherlands, and lost 2-0 to Chile. No disrespect to Chile, but I can’t name one player on that team…
  • As for the US, I am looking forward to facing Christiano Ronaldo on Sunday evening. I think the US has a chance to win this game with Pepe and Fabio Conreao both out. Not having Jozy Altidore hurts for sure, but this American team is very resilient.
  • One thing that really bothers me watching World Cup soccer is how inconsistent penalties in the box are. Refs will call a penalty when a player blatantly flops, and won’t call it when a player is taken down from behind. There needs to be more of a fine line here, and soccer players in general need to stop flopping. I understand it’s part of the game, but it’s so ridiculous.
  • Someone who should never talk about soccer is Mike Francesa who stooped to a new low this week when he tried talking about the World Cup during his radio show. For a person who’s been covering sports for 25-years, how do you know NOTHING about soccer? There’s absolutely no excuse for this nonsense.
  • Be sure to tune in next Saturday for another edition of “Frankly Frankel” and make sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel.
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Posted by on 06/21/2014 in Frankly Frankel


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