Frankly Frankel: July 18, 2015

18 Jul


Alex Rodriguez has another game winning go-ahead hit for the Yankees, Joel McHale owns the ESPY’s and everything else you need to know from the awards, and Rex Ryan can’t help himself by going skydiving. This is Frankly Frankel on this Saturday, July 18, 2015.

  • I have to begin again with Alex Rodriguez who picked up his 2nd half of the season exactly how the 1st half ended. In the bottom of the 7th of last night’s game, A-Rod crushed a Joe Beimel pitch into the Yankees bullpen to break a 3-3 tie.
  • A-Rod’s last four games have been absolutely remarkable. He homered in the first inning of last Friday and Saturday’s games against the Red Sox, and had the go-ahead hit in the game last Sunday. In those games, A-Rod is 6/16 (.375) with three home runs and 7 RBIs. On the season, A-Rod has 19 homers and 52 RBIs. Oh, and it’s only July 18th.
  • Alex also made headlines this week at the ESPY awards when he and Hangover star Ken Jeong participated in a skit together. The joke was Jeong was A-Rod spokesperson and was apologizing for basically everything going on in society except for A-Rod using steroids. This skit received a lot of backlash. Some people thought it went on too long, others thought it was stupid, but at the end, why do so many people care? It was an innocent act and I actually thought it was funny. Yes it may have gone on a little longer than some wanted, but to me it was a well executed skit. Are we really going to rip A-Rod for this? I mean, when is enough enough? Judge for yourself:
  • Before I transition to the ESPY’s for good, I just wanted to give my final thoughts on the Yankees as they enter the 2nd half of the season. After last night, the Yankees now lead the AL East by 4.5 games and everything is going according to plan. Jacoby Ellsbury is back healthy, Brett Gardner is having a career year, A-Rod, Mark Teixeira, and Brian McCann are all having renaissance years, and aside from CC Sabathia, the starting rotation has kept the team afloat.
  • If Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda can stay healthy and effective, the Yankees are going to be a team to be reckoned with come playoff time.
  • One last Yankees note, Carlos Beltran’s return from the DL is imminent, and the reality is Beltran doesn’t have a place on this roster. He’s old, slow, can’t run, and his offense has been way too inconsistent to make up for his ineffective defensive play. I’d much rather see Chris Young play every day. The Yankees are just so much better when Young is in the lineup. The reality here is you know Joe Girardi is going to just put Beltran back in right field every day once he’s ready. However, if the Yankees could somehow find a trade taker (Astros, Angels, anyone) who could use a bat, Brian Cashman should jump at it, even if the team has to eat some of the contract.
  • Onto the full ESPY’s show. I thought Joel McHale was as good as a host could be. I thought his opening sketch where Russell Wilson was about to throw him the microphone before McHale begged him not to throw it but to hand it to him was perfection. When he said all the athletes were dressed in suits they wear to their depositions, I almost fell to the floor. If I had to give McHale a grade, I’d give him an A-.
  • Other great moments from the ESPY’s: the Lauren Hill tribute, Devon Still’s speech, and Derek Jeter receiving the Icon award.
  • As for what the whole night is based on, the awards, they mean next to nothing. Athletes don’t compete to win an ESPY. They compete to win championships and make millions of dollars. So when LeBron James wins the award for Best Championship performance (when his team LOST the Finals to the Warriors!!!), it adds nothing to his resume. When he’s introduced as one of the greatest players to play basketball, his ESPY has zero chance of being mentioned because no one cares. His championships and MVPs are going to top the list.
  • I thought Caitlyn Jenner had a nice speech and it was great for her to shed light on the struggles transgendered people go through on a daily basis, but when I hear the only reason Jenner did the interview with Diane Sawyer was to win the Arthur Ashe Courage award, it’s just disappointing to hear. Whether we like it or not, Jenner has as much Kardashian in him as Kris, Kim, Khloe, or any other. Attention is the only thing.
  • Rex Ryan will never learn. The new Buffalo Bills head coach was seen skydiving with the Army’s Golden Knights. I have no problem with Rex doing something like this, I just don’t want the coach of my favorite football team doing it and that’s why I’m happy Rex is no longer with the Jets.
  • The MLB Home Run Derby’s new format was a major hit Monday night. The bracket style head to head competition was a much needed adjustment to pick up the pace and keep the Derby interesting throughout. The night was capped by Cincinnati’s hometown hero Todd Frazier who electrified the Great American Ballpark crowd with a dramatic performance besting Joc Pederson in the final round. It was awesome to see the fans get behind Frazier with every swing and to see him win it in his own ballpark was really cool. Finally, baseball has done something right.
  • About Pederson, I’ve never seen someone be so good in the Derby when every ball he hit seemed to go in a different direction. He was hitting balls to left, center, and right field. Usually when that happens participants don’t do very well, but Pederson showed how much raw power he truly has.
  • Lastly, during the All-Star festivities before the game, Major League Baseball announced a “Franchise Four” for every team in baseball. I thought it was noteworthy the Yankees four players were Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle. I’m not saying they got it wrong but it just goes to show you how many great players have played for the Yankees when neither Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, or Yogi Berra were able to make the cut. They would have easily made it on any other team. And how about Nolan Ryan making the list on not one, not two, but three different teams? That’s just silly.
  • I am not sure how much time I will have to write this column going forward since I am starting my first full-time job at ESPN starting next Monday. But make sure to still follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel and you will all hear from me for sure in the near future.
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