Ray Jr. on Sports

  1. Panthers Announced as Candidates for Nagurski and Outland Trophies- Safety Jordan Whitehead was selected as a preseason candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, annually presented to the nation’s Defensive Player of the Year, while offensive linemen Brian O’Neill and Alex Officer were chosen for the watch list for the Outland Trophy, given each year to college football’s top interior lineman.

 

  1. Jordan Whitehead’s value-It really says a lot about a player’s value when he’s still selected for a postseason award, despite missing several games. Such is the case with Whitehead who missed Pitt’s final four games due to an arm injury. And make no mistake, the Pitt safety is a superior athlete who is a threat on offense and defense. I even compared him to 1997 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson and me stand by that comparison.
  2. Pitt WR Tre Tipton will miss 2017 season-Early this week, the Panthers announced that Pitt WR will miss the 2017 season due to a non-football knee injury. Many feel that he will weaken the Panthers at that position, but although I wish the young man well, I think the Panthers will be just fine at receiver with speedsters Jester Weah and All-American Quadree Henderson.
  3. FSU Coach said ACC is the best in College football-As the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) begin their annual media day, Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher made a bold statement that the ACC is the “Premier conference in college football..” I’m not going to argue with the man as the conference finished 9-3 in Bowl games, including Clemson’s upset over Alabama in the National Championship Game. But I’m sure the Southeastern Conference (SEC) begs to differ.
  4. WVU picked 6th in Big 12 Media Day-The Big 12 Conference also had their media day as they predicted Oklahoma to finish first, despite the sudden retirement of HC Bob Stoops. The West Virginia Mountaineers are picked to finish 6th and it has to be because they lost several players from their 2016 season. I think WVU will prove the conference wrong and finish higher.
  5. Big 12 Championship Game Returns-After a 6-year absence, the conference will have a Big 12 Championship Game which will be played at at&t Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Of course, we know that stadium as the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
  6. 2017 MLB HR Derby-I admit, it was a pretty good derby this season with fierce competition, but in the end, it was my favorite NY Yankee, rookie Aaron Judge who took home the trophy as he beat Minnesota Twins 3B Miguel Sano for the title. Judge’s feats included hitting the Marlins Park roof and two mammoth shots that averaged over 500 feet. I witnessed the 512 blast. Pretty impressive.
  7. MLB All-Star Game-It wasn’t as thrilling as the HR Derby, but MLB’s Mid-Summer Classics was full of excellent pitching and it even went into extra innings as Seattle’s Robinson Cano’s HR in the 10th gave the American League a 2-1 victory over the National League. I honestly believe that MLB has the best All-Star games. Something about how they value their tradition when it’s played.
  8. Cubs make a trade-The 2nd half of the MLB season hasn’t begun yet, and the defending World Series Champions proved they’re ready to go as they acquired P Jose Qunitana from the cross-town White Sox for 2 top prospects. Quintana isn’t at his best with a 4-8 record, but he can eat innings and he knows he’s going to a contender. Are the Cubs worried about losing those prospects? No. they’re more concerned about a World Series repeat.
  9. Brewers make trade-No, it wasn’t as huge as the Cubs, but the NL Central Division leaders also made a trade, acquiring P Tyler Webb for a prospect. Webb was a Pittsburgh Pirates Rule 5 draft pick who was eventually sent to the Yankees because there wasn’t a roster spot for him. It’s been reported that the Pirates were interested in Webb again. Makes you wonder why they didn’t make a move for him?
  10. Pirates-Speaking of the team who is currently 7 games back from the Brewers with a 42-47 record. It’s not determined if they will be ‘buyers’ or ‘sellers’ at the August 1st Trade Deadline, mostly because the NL Central division is pretty week, giving the Pirates a chance, provided they start off strong in the 2nd
  11. What will the Pirates do? While I honestly hope they start strong and make a serious run at a weakened division, I still don’t trust this front office. They were contending for a Wild Card spot last season when they traded All-Star Closer Mark Melancon, which in my opinion, deflated the team. I think they will still find a way to trade their highest-paid stars, especially since there will be contenders who will be hungry for them.
  12. Andrew McCutchen-So many folks wrote the Pirates outfielder off last season after he struggled and now that he’s regained his mojo, McCutchen is now hitting over .290 and leading with 17 HRS. I think the team will trade him if a contender will offer a package of prospects, but if they’re near first place in a few weeks, even they won’t be dumb enough to do so. I hope he keeps this up as I feel he also should’ve been in the All-Star Game with Josh Harrison.
  13. Jung Ho Kang-The news isn’t so good for the Pirates Korean infielder as he’s been missing action due to being on the team’s restricted list after DUI issues in the offseason. Plus Kang has been having issues getting back into the country. GM Neal Huntington said he can’t imagine Kang helping out the Pirates this season, which means more David Freese and whomever else may fill-in at 3rd
  14. Staling Marte-The suspended Pirates Gold-Glove outfielder is set to return July 18th, but will he make a difference to the team? Possibly, but I doubt it. He’ll certainly do his part and keep rotating utility players out of the outfield with his presence. But the Pirates need more pitching to improve.
  15. Knicks, Rockets working on Melo Deal-Just when you thought he was heading to Cleveland, ESPN reports that NY Knicks are working on a deal to send F Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets in several trade scenarios. What does this mean? Nothing. The Cavs still have a shot.
  16. Knicks pursuing Perry as GM-The Knicks are also trying to hire Sacramento Kings assistant GM Scott Perry as their next GM, per ESPN. Perry was just hired by the Kings after being fired as by the Orlando Magic. Hope he keeps his suitcase ready.
  17. Pelicans pursuing Rondo-The New Orleans Pelicans are trying to build a team around All-Star F Anthony Davis by signing former Chicago Bulls G Rajon Rondo who formed a strong bond with former King and current Pelican DeMarcus Cousins a year ago. I think it will work if Ronjo doesn’t disrupt the chemistry with his attitude.
  18. Forbes lists Cowboys as most valuable team again-For the second straight year, Forbes magazine lists the Dallas Cowboys as the most valuable sports franchise at 4.2 Billion. The NY Yankees are 2nd (3.7 Billion) and the Pittsburgh Steelers are 28th at 2.25 Billion.
  19. Venus Williams advances to Wimbledon Final-In her sister’s absence Venus Williams will play for her 5th Wimbledon championship after upsetting Johanna Konta and will face Garbine Muguruza on Saturday, It will be Venus’ 9th Wimbledon final.

 

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him@urbanmediaRay on twitter

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *