The player drafted No. 1 out of Wake Forest in 1997 has retired from the NBA. Yes, we say good bye to the ultimate big man, Tim Duncan.
I remember when all of the basketball world was shocked that Tim Duncan stayed in college for all four years! Yes, Tim Duncan chose to hone his game in college. I think it all worked out well for Mr. Duncan. The San Antonio Spurs probably never realized that in 1997 that taking him No. 1 overall in the draft would lead to five NBA titles for the franchise.
How about the fact that San Antonio went a 1,072-438 in Duncan’s 19 NBA seasons? Tim Duncan didn’t want the spotlight during his career. He was a fundamentally sound-as-they-come basketball player who flat out mastered the center position. He was a two-time MVP and played in 15 All-Star games. The Spurs were known as the Big Three with him alongside Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. I know I will miss watching the ultimate professional play and the San Antonio Spurs fans will miss him, too. Enjoy your retirement, Tim Duncan. You were one of the best!
Claret Jug up for grabs
The British Open at Royal Troon began this week. This is the 145th British Open Championship. Wow that seems like a super-long time doesn’t it? Will Dustin Johnson win back-to-back golf majors? I know many golf experts like his chances. Dustin is on top of his game right now. There will be a lot of Jordan Spieth and Jason Day fans thinking they have a chance to win, too. This is one of toughest golf tournaments to win just because the courses are so unique. I have no gut feeling who will win the Claret Jug, but one thing is for sure; I will be watching it on television. This is such a fun golf tournament to watch.
Smokin’ hot bat
The major league baseball All-Star game was played at Petco Park in San Diego this year. The home run contest was history making as Giancarlo Stanton blasted 61 home runs in 13-1/2 minutes.
I want to put this in perspective for you. The previous record was 41 home runs by Bobby Abreu at Comerica Park. Mr. Stanton smoked that record by 20 home runs! I watched a lot of it and it was pretty cool. I am usually not much for the home run derby. Can I make one suggestion to ESPN, though? Chris Berman’s back, back, back schtick is so old and tiring. Let’s let someone else call the action next season. I don’t think I am in the minority on this one, either, am I?
The one piece I did catch was the story on Tony Gwynn. I thought it was an excellent tribute to the late, great Tony Gwynn. Tony was one of the best hitters I ever watched. If Tony didn’t play in San Diego for his whole career, his status would be much higher among baseball fans. However, because he played on the “Left Coast” it wasn’t appreciated how good he really was. Tony left us much too soon.
Race is on
While we’re talking baseball, let’s look at the baseball races in both leagues. The National League East leader is the Washington Nationals with a six-game lead over both the Mets and Marlins. I think Washington will hang on in the second half and win the division. The N.L. Central will go to the Chicago Cubs, who started out red hot, but have cooled off a little lately. I see the Cardinals and Pirates fighting for a wild-card spot. The West is a two-team race also, as San Francisco holds a 6.5 game lead over the L.A. Dodgers. The Giants love winning in all the even years and this is 2016. The Giants have too much pitching for the Dodgers to overcome. The Giants and Cubs might just hook up to see who will represent the National League in the World Series.
The American League East will be a terrific race as Baltimore, Boston and Toronto will battle it out for the division. Baltimore currently leads by two games over both Toronto and Boston. I like the Blue Jays to win this division in the second half. They have some serious offensive fire power and that will be the difference.
The West division leader is the surprising Texas Rangers. I think all of us thought the Houston Astros would run away with this division in 2016. Houston got off to a slow start but are red hot now. I like the “Stros” to pass the Rangers in the second half. Houston is currently 5.5 games behind the Texas Rangers.
The Central is being won by the Cleveland Indians thanks to their 11-1 record against our Detroit Tigers. The Tigs, Royals and White Sox are all seven games behind the Tribe. Actually, Detroit is 6.5 behind if we are to be precise. I think Cleveland’s starting pitching is too good to fold in the Central. The teams trailing them are competing for wildcard spots, in my opinion. Does anyone think the Detroit Tigers will play October baseball? I say, no. firstname.lastname@example.org