Monthly Archives: June 2017

After rough start, Adam Wainwright pitching like Cardinals’ ace again

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The best starting pitcher in baseball over the past couple of weeks is the same guy who gave up more hits and earned runs than any other pitcher in the National League last season.
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He’s also the same guy who, in his first seven starts of the 2017 season, was shelled to the tune of a 6.37 ERA and only made it past the fifth inning one time. Oh, and this guy turns 36 in a few months. Doesn’t scream bounce-back candidate,right?

Not surprising, right? That left-on-base percentage is especially impressive. Not only is he allowing fewer hitters to reach base safely, but when they get there, they stay there. To that first point, here’s what opposing hitters have done vs. Wainwright.

Point is, Thome was much more than a homer-cranking, one-trick baseball pony. He was a well-rounded offensive player whose accomplishments were perhaps misplaced or overlooked in the noise and controversy created by the Steroid Era.

Thome has never been linked to PEDs. By all accounts, he did everything right. Which is why he could (read: should) find himself in the Hall of Fame class of 2018, his first year eligible. It’ll be a crowded ballot, with holdovers and newcomers including Chipper Jones, meaning a first-ballot induction for Thome could be a challenge.

It seems weird to say that a clean player with 600 homers might not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but, again, here we are.

This is the story of Jim Thome’s quiet baseball life. Always great, often overshadowed.

Victor Cruz could give 1 of these 5 teams a boost in 2017

Victor Cruz didn’t garner much interest in the weeks after he was released by the only NFL franchise he’d called home. Now, with the 2017 NFL draft come and gone, the former Giant is starting to pick up traction on the free agent market.

The veteran wide receiver has scheduled visits with the Bears and Jaguars, two teams in dire need of offensive help. There’s also reportedly mutual interest between Cruz and the Ravens, another team with limited depth at wideout. This all comes after a potential pairing between the receiver and the Panthers fizzled out.

Despite a deep crop of receiving talent entering the league from the NCAA ranks, Cruz has once again become an asset at a time where wideout depth is more important that ever. He’ll have several questions to answer when he steps on the field, as age and a pair of leg injuries have sapped him of the explosiveness that made him one of the game’s top playmakers.

While those concerns were too much for the Giants to retain him at a $7.5 million cap hit, he could be a valuable pickup for the following five teams.

“His loving and fun personality was often present in our building. He was very close to our owners Tom and Gayle Benson and our head coach, Sean Payton, but what I loved most about Cortez was the care and time he took in cultivating relationships with the equipment guys, security, ball boys, trainers, scouts, ticketing staff — the staffs that work long hours behind the scenes, he appreciated their hard work and recognized the contribution they made to any teams success,” Saints GM Mickey Loomis said in a statement.

In all, the Miami Hurricanes Ring of Honor member would earn eight Pro Bowl selections and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team. Seattle retired his jersey in 2012, the same year he was inducted to the league’s Hall of Fame.

Giants’ Odell Beckham gets monster shoe deal from Nike

Odell Beckham Jr. won’t be a free agent until after the 2018 season, but the Giants receiver has a brand new contract.

Beckham has signed agreed to a new five-year deal with Nike, which retained the 24-year-old wideout after matching an offer Beckham had from adidas.
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The new deal is believed to be worth more than $25 million over the five-year length, with additional incentives that could add another million to each year of the deal, according to Nice Kicks.

Beckham was a first-round pick of the Giants in 2014 and his rookie deal will pay him just over $3.3 million this season. He will make $8.459 million next year after the Giants picked up the fifth-year option on his initial contract.

Nike signed Beckham after he left LSU and that contract had expired May 1. Nice Kicks reported Beckham’s agent, Zeke Sandhu, met with both Nike and adidas this month to hear offers. Beckham reportedly wants to be a brand icon and could get signature cleats from Nike.

Isaiah Canaan Elite Jersey Tampa Bay needed a playmaker opposite Mike Evans who could stretch the field against one-on-one coverage with a knack for home runs. Jackson has lost some speed as he hit 30 last December, but not too much. Jameis Winston will want to show off his big arm.

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