Link – How Matt Kemp’s Resurgence Has Helped the Los Angeles Dodgers

To say that no one saw this coming, would be the understatement of the year. I believe most Dodger fans on Twitter were angry that he was still on the team come Opening Day.

How silly that seems now…

“Instead, all Kemp has done since the start of the season is hit…and hit…and hit some more. He has been playing like an All-Star leading the National League in batting average at .353 and is second in the entire MLB  in that department. Only Mookie Betts (.359) of the Boston Red Sox has a higher batting average.

He is also sixth in the league in slugging percentage (.599) and eighth in OBP (.983). Recently, Kemp was named the NL Player of the Week for the week of May 28 – June 3. The veteran batted .429 that week with three home runs, eight RBI, and had a 1.411 OPS.”


Snow, Weight Out For Islanders – What Else?

As most of Islander fandom already knows, GM Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight have been relieved of their duties.

I can’t honestly say it’s a huge surprise. Someone was going to pay for the horrible defensive team the Islanders were last season, especially with the addition of Lou Lamariello as President of Hockey Operations. (Now GM too)

Now, of course, everyone wants to know what this means for the pending free agency of John Tavares.

I don’t think it means much of anything. You could look at these dismissals as a message to JT that the team is committed to winning, and being a professional organization. You could just as easily make the argument that Tavares enjoyed playing for Weight and wanted him back, and that Lou spent some time talking to him about what he’d like to see the team do and is now doing that, or that he’s given up on JT coming back and this is the sign of that.

I don’t see any of it, for one simple reason. Lou Lamariello is not the kind of guy who would let a player dictate to him if he really thought someone needed to go. I think he came in, and within a couple of weeks of meetings and discussions decided that the job Garth and Doug did wasn’t good enough, and he could find better people to do it. Period.

John Tavares can get on board with that, and come back, or he can not, and leave. He’s a free agent, he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants. Lou is a longtime professional, and he’ll put together a roster either way. I honestly believe that’s why he’s been rumored to have talked to Ilya Kovulchuk. If Tavares came back, I’m not sure how that would fit under the salary cap, or in the lineup. Without Tavares, it kind of makes sense. (My guess is Bailey moves to center, but that’s really just a guess.)

As Islander fans, we may have to get used to a GM who will do things his way, regardless of how the players might feel about it. He’s earned that with the success he’s had. That will be an adjustment for us.


Link – Yankees could boycott ESPN if not taken off ‘Sunday Night Baseball,’ report says

I get it, it’s hard for any of us to feel sorry for the Yankees, ever. But, this seems fairly dumb:

“Thanks to ESPN, the Yankees and Blue Jays will play at 8 p.m. ET Sunday in Toronto. And the Yankees ain’t too happy about it.

Why? The game originally was scheduled for 1 p.m. as the Yankees have to catch a flight to Baltimore after the game for a doubleheader the next day. “

They can’t not play the game, but they apparently can, and will, make use of the one threat they do have against ESPN, player and manager access.

Really, in a battle of wills between the Yankees and ESPN, there’s no good guy. Just pass the popcorn…

Update – Apparently, the threat worked.

Photo by anthonystoro

Link – National Basketball Players Association adds first director of mental health

This is great, not just for NBA players, but for everyone who wishes to see the end of stigma surrounding mental health issues.

The National Basketball Players Association named Dr. William D. Parham its first director of mental health and wellness on Thursday.


Link – Metta World Peace Claims He Was Offered Huge Money to Throw a College Game

This is a very real risk, especially in college sports where the players don’t have any money.

“In a controversial Supreme Court ruling this week, ​the nationwide ban on sports gambling was overturned and power was given to the states to regulate wagering as they see fit.

While sports junkies and bookies across the league celebrate, many are concerned about the damage this could do to the integrity of sports. Many scandals have resulted from players attempting to alter the outcome of games, and Metta World Peace is now speaking out about a certain situation he found himself in during his college days at St. John’s. ​”

Honestly, I don’t know how the NCAA is going to prevent this from happening.