LeBron James left Andrew Wiggins out of his letter for a reason, Tom Seaver thinks Derek Jeter should be a unanimous Hall of Fame selection, and Yu Darvish makes a good point about MLB teams going to a 6-man rotation. This is Frankly Frankel on this July 26, 2014.
- I can’t help but think that LeBron James didn’t mention Andrew Wiggins in his “Coming Home” letter on purpose. I truly believe that Cavaliers ownership promised LeBron they would trade Wiggins for Kevin Love. Here’s the section where LeBron talks about the Cavs players he’s looking forward to playing with:
“I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.”
- There’s no other reasonable explanation as to why LeBron would not talk about his excitement for playing with Andrew Wiggins who’s been one of the most hyped prospects in recent memory. The fix was in. How could someone not be excited about playing with a potentially transcendent player and mentoring him? As much as it pains me to say, my LeBron Wiggins fantasy duo does not look like it will become a reality.
- Reports out of Philadelphia indicate the Phillies are shopping Ryan Howard and are willing to give him away for next to nothing. If I’m Brian Cashman, I have to think about bringing him to the Bronx for several reasons. The health of Mark Teixeira is obviously a huge concern and taking a flyer on Howard couldn’t hurt. Also, Yankee Stadium was made for Howard’s swing and playing in a pennant race could revitalize him. If it doesn’t work out, you move on without paying much of a penalty.
- Brian Cashman has made 2 what seemed like minor moves at the time, that have made a huge difference for the Yankees. Cashman traded the worst starting pitcher in baseball Vidal Nuno for Brandon McCarthy who’s been unbelievable in his first 3 starts. McCarthy is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA and the Yankees have won all of his starts. His stuff is very solid with a fastball that reaches speeds of 95 MPH, and he has a highly effective sinker as well as a cutter. The other move Cashman made was acquiring Chase Headley for Yangervis Solarte and Rafael De Paula. The Yankees were desperate for a starting 3rd baseman and bought really low on Headley who was an all-star 2 seasons ago. This was complete and utter highway robbery by Cashman who brought in 2 impact players for chunk change.
- One move that I am skeptical of however is Cashman deciding to start Chris Capuano later today against the Blue Jays. Capuano hasn’t started a game all year and has an ERA of 4.55. When the Yankees signed Capuano on Thursday, I thought he would go to the minors, show what he’s got, and then maybe if all goes well make it to the big club. I had no idea the Yankees would be so quick to have Capuano start. Hopefully I’m wrong on this one.
- I saw Tom Seaver said he thinks Derek Jeter should become the first ever unanimous Hall of Fame selection. As much as I think Jeter should be unanimous, I don’t think we’ll be seeing a unanimous selection any time soon for a reason. There are unnamed voters who have been ON RECORD saying they will not vote for any player that played in the “steroid era”. As arrogant and ignorant as those voters are, they are the same people who didn’t vote for Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. How can you look someone in the eye and say that Maddux isn’t a Hall of Famer?? Unless the voting system undergoes a major overhaul in the next 5-years, Derek Jeter will not go in with 100 percent of the vote, as unfortunate as that is.
- More about the Hall of Fame. I heard Bryant Gumbel from HBO’s Real Sports make an unbelievable point about Tony La Russa’s upcoming induction. Gumbel talked about how 43% of La Russa’s wins came when he managed Mark McGwire, one of the main faces of the steroid era in baseball. The voters will not let McGwire in the Hall because he used steroids, but they will let La Russa, who won a World Series and accumulated nearly 800 wins with McGwire, in. If voters are going to ignore the players who took steroids, why do they also not ignore the managers who won games because of them. Personally, I think everyone should be in, but this is just another example of how much of a joke Cooperstown is.
- Yu Darvish said this week that if teams went to a 6-man rotation, it could help reduce the amount of arm injuries there are in baseball. I think Darvish makes a good point. There’s so much stress on every pitch in this day in age with each pitch being thrown with maximum effort. Having an extra day for the ligaments to re-group could be a major benefit. Another potential solution could be reducing the baseball’s season from 162 to 154 games which would add 8 more off days throughout the course of the season. Either way, baseball has to do something because the current set-up is causing pitchers to drop like flies.
- How pathetic are the Mets? On Thursday night down 7-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers in the top of the 7th, Lucas Duda hit a solo home run that cut the deficit to 7-1. In response, the Mets dugout reacted like they always do, doing their ridiculous car wash celebration. Are you kidding me? I get celebrating if the home run gives your team the lead, or extends it, but to celebrate like that in a blowout is flat-out embarrassing. If I’m a Mets fan, I’m disgusted. Mediocrity should never be celebrated. That being said, his go-ahead 2-run homer in the 9th inning last night deserved to be celebrated.
- Yasiel Puig did it again last night when he hit not 1, not 2, but 3 triples in one game against the San Francisco Giants. He became the first Dodger to accomplish the feat since 1901.
- Onto the New York Jets. All reports indicate that Stephen Hill continues to build on his stellar OTA’s and mini-camp performance with a strong training camp performance. I will believe that Hill can be a productive NFL wide receiver when I see it. It’s easy to look really good when you don’t have to worry about being hit…
- Manish Mehta covers the Jets for the Daily News and after watching Chris Johnson for a few plays, released this tweet:
Here’s some fantasy football advice: Draft Chris Johnson. #nyj
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) July 24, 2014
- Can we at least see Chris Johnson in an actual game before we start crowning him? The man has been on a downward trend for years and while I appreciate the optimism, the fact Mehta, whether joking or not, can say Johnson will be a great player this season is embarrassing. The man had one good practice, so what!
- John Idzik made a somewhat surprising move by bringing in veteran pass rusher Jason Babin to the Jets on a 2-year deal. The 2-years really surprised me and it means the Jets aren’t just taking a flyer on Babin to see if he can be a productive player. He’s being brought in to make a legitimate impact, or so they think. I just don’t know where he fits in. The defensive line is set, and I don’t think Babin has the speed to make it as an outside linebacker. He led the Jaguars in sacks last season with 7.5, so we’ll get the chance to see what he’s got.
- There’s been a lot of fuss over Ray Rice receiving a 2-game suspension for a domestic violence incident with his wife in Atlantic City. Many were outraged Rice got just 2-games, when a marijuana suspension carries an automatic 4-game ban. What’s worse, smoking some weed or striking a woman? It’s not even close. While it would have been a good PR move to suspend Rice between 4-8 games, the fact are he didn’t have any prior criminal record, he was a model citizen for the Ravens, and his incident clearly had zero negative effects on his relationship considering the fact the two got married the day after Rice got indicted. I think people were so quick in this case to automatically assume Rice was 100 percent, without question, the villain here. It’s always good to let the facts come out before we rush to assumptions.
- Be sure to tune in next Saturday for another edition of “Frankly Frankel”, and make sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel.