Sports That Matters
July 9th, 2019
1. Major League Baseball All Star Game.
In defiance of preseason expectations, 24-year-old right-hander Shane Bieber was the lone member of the Indians‘ rotation to make the All-Star Game in 2019. Thanks to his standout work in the fifth inning, Bieber was named MVP of this year’s Midsummer Classic. (READ) by Dayn Perry, CBS Sports
Mercifully, they played the 90th All-Star Game before talk of juiced baseballs and absurd home run totals devoured the narrative. And for a night, it was not about how far the pearls traveled so much as how well the pitchers manipulated them. (READ) by Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY
Major League Baseball played its 2019 All-Star Game on Tuesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The American League defeated the National League by a 4-3 score, extending its winning streak in the Midsummer Classic to seven in a row. The AL has also won 11 of 14 dating back to 2003, the year after the game infamously ended in a tie. (READ) by Katherine Acquavella & R.J. Anderson, CBS Sports
In what was yet another competitive Midsummer Classic the American League took down the National League 4-3 to win its seventh straight All-Star Game. These games are always competitive and this one was no exception, as every inning had a little bit of drama. (READ) by Thomas Lott, Sporting News
The American League’s dominance at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game continued Tuesday with a 4-3 victory over the National League at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. The Junior Circuit has now won the Midsummer Classic seven years in a row, although victory no longer guarantees home-field advantage in the World Series. (READ) by Scott Polacek, Bleacher Report
Orioles left-hander John Means never imagined that he would be a member of the 2019 American League All-Star team when the season began.
He was just happy to make the Opening Day roster and, quite frankly, there were a lot of people who didn’t think he would be on it very long. Tuesday night, he got to take a bow during pregame introductions, but then he had go back to being just happy to be the most unlikely All-Star at Progressive Field. (READ) by
After entering the game in the fourth inning, Lucas Giolito walked the first man he faced, Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman, on four pitches. The fourth ball went over the glove of Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez’s glove and all the way back to the wall behind home plate. (READ) by Steve Greenberg, Chicago Sun Times
2. Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says the sport has been unable to find any changes in the manufacturing process.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
- The topic of Major League Baseball being largely responsible for the record home run pace we have seen in 2019 came up again at the All-Star Game on Tuesday, and commissioner Rob Manfred doubled-down on his denial.
- Manfred recently acknowledged that a difference in the way game balls are being manufactured may have contributed to the increase in home runs, but he says nothing was done at the directive of the league.
- There were 3,691 home runs hit before the All-Star break, which puts the league on pace for 6,668. That’s 500 homers over the record of 6,105, which was set in 2017.
- Players union chief Tony Clark on the question of a juiced ball leading to HR increase: “I believe the ball suddenly changed. And I don’t know why
- Justin Verlander absolutely ripped into the league over it this week. Either Manfred is telling the truth or he has no intention of backing down from the cover-up.
- New research commissioned by “ESPN Sport Science,” a show that breaks down the science of sports, suggests that MLB baseballs used after the 2015 All-Star Game were subtly but consistently different than older baseballs.
- The research, performed by the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and Kent State University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, reveals changes in the density and chemical composition of the baseball’s core and provides our first glimpse inside the newer baseballs.
- As more home runs are hit the more focus will be on the baseball so stay tuned!
3. Let the wheeling and dealing begin after the MLB All-Star game.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
- The San Francisco Giants will trade Madison Bumgarner before the deadline, but the interest is underwhelming. The latest reporting from Ken Rosenthal suggests that the Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers have joined the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees as potential Madison Bumgarner suitors.
- The Cleveland Indians are reportedly open to unloading a key member of their starting rotation at the trade deadline. The Indians will be “aggressive listeners ” if teams call about Trevor Bauer over the next few weeks. The New York Yankees are one team that might be interested.
- The 60-32 Los Angeles Dodgers will get a pair of familiar reinforcements back when the second half of the season begins. Shortstop Corey Seager and center fielder A.J. Pollock will return from the injured list Friday, reported by Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
- The New York Yankees have checked in on Robbie Ray of the Arizona Diamonmdbacks: “The Yankees are among the teams that have historically liked Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray.” Ray’s stats: 3.96 ERA, 5-6, 137 SO, 104.2 IP. Another possible trade target for the Yanks.
- Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles arguably are the Blue Jays’ top two veteran trade chips, and it appears there are at least a couple teams interested in acquiring both pitchers. According to TSN reporter Scott Mitchell, the Yankees and Twins have inquired about a package deal for Stroman and Giles, who are both under control through next season. However, it’s likely Toronto general manager Ross Atkins would prefer to trade them separately to maximize the return.