Alas, another sports weekend has ended and so has the 2016 Summer Olympics, but there’s still plenty of sports to be had as MLB and the NFL fill the summer days and nights with events to remember. Plus, College Football looms as well. Here is an update on the world of sports.
MLB-With hopes of rebounding from getting swept by the Miami Marlins over the weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates made positive news as they signed 3B David Freese to a 2-year contract extension with a club option through 2019. The 33-year-old first baseman has put together a productive year at the plate, batting .276/.355/.437 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs in 107 games. He has been worth 2.0 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference.com, the third-highest total on the team behind Starling Marte and Gerrit Cole. Freese is one of the few Pirates that has a World Series ring as he won one with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. Freese was also named World Series MVP that season.
Over the weekend, the Pirates also recalled 1B prospect Josh Bell after placing 3B Jung Ho Kang on the 15-day Disabled List. In the 3-game series vs. the Marlins, Bell made his first MLB start at first base had a hit and a sacrifice fly at the plate. Before he was demoted before the All-Star Break, Bell was incredible as he went 3-3 with a Grand Slam as the Pirates took 2 of 3 from the NL Central-Leading Chicago Cubs…Pirates top prospect Tyler Glasnow is close to returning. The right-hander, who has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a right shoulder injury, completed a second side session without issues on Friday after throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.
In other MLB news: The NL East-leading Washington Nationals put starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list due to soreness to his throwing elbow. Strasburg has a record 15-3 with a 3.54 ERA but in his last three starts, he’s 0-3 with a 14.66 ERA. He’s struck out 18 in the 11 2/3 innings…in early Monday action, the NL West-leading LA Dodgers put on a HR extravaganza as they hit 7 (3 by 1B Adrian Gonzalez) as the Dodgers destroyed the Cincinnati Reds 18-9. It was just the fifth time in franchise history that the club hit seven bombs in a game. It also happened in 1976, 1979 and 2006…Earlier this week former Mets star Dwight Gooden missed a scheduled WFAN appearance alongside former teammate Darryl Strawberry, leading to speculation that the former Cy Young winner was again using drugs. While speaking to John Harper of the New York Daily News, Strawberry called Gooden a “complete junkie-addict” in need of help. Gooden replied that he was hurt by Strawberry’s comments.
NFL: The NFL and its players last agreed on a collective bargaining agreement just before the 2011 season, but Pittsburgh Steelers NFLPA Player Representative G Ramon Foster is urging players around the league to start saving their money now in preparation for the next work stoppage when the current CBA expires after the 2020 season. “There are bigger issues than pot,” Foster said, via ESPN.com, adding that he has issues with the league’s current drug policy, though insurance and post-career care are more important. He’s urging players to hit the NFL owners “in the pocket. That way, money always talks.” As for the Steelers, QB Ben Roethlisberger and the first-team offense is expected to see some action when the travel to New Orleans to face the Saints in their 3rd Preseason game this Friday. One of the backups who hope to redeem themselves is #2 QB Landry Jones who threw 4 interceptions in the Steelers 17-0 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night…The Steelers signed rookie free agent guard Shahbaz Ahmed, it was announced today. To make room for Ahmed on the roster, the Steelers Waived/Injured guard Cole Manhart.
College Football: The Pitt Panthers had a scrimmage at Heinz Field over the weekend. HC Pat Narduzzi had this to say about that scrimmage: “We had a tremendous scrimmage on Saturday at Heinz Field. We got 130 plays in. I was happy at the things our offense and defense did as the head coach that day. It was a great scrimmage—very physical, great attention to detail. We saw some guys that we wanted to see make plays at Heinz Field on game day.”
In Other College Football News: In the Preseason Associated Press (AP) Poll, defending champion Alabama is #1, followed ACC Champ Clemson and Oklahoma. Florida State and LSU round out the Top 5.
2016 Summer Olympics-The Summer Olympics are over, but not without deciding who got the Gold Medal in Men’s basketball, and that honor went to the United States as they finished off a golden three-peat with a 96-66 clobbering of Serbia. F Kevin Durant led the way with 30 points.
With the win, Carmelo Anthony won his third Olympic title, setting the record for most Olympic gold medals won by a single player. Anthony tallied seven points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in the game. Anthony established the mark for most career rebounds by a U.S. player in the final game. With his seventh rebound in the game, he surpassed David Robinson with 125 boards in his Olympic career. Earlier in the tournament, Anthony set the record for the most careers points by a USA basketball player at the Games….it was also the final Olympics for HC Mike Krzyzewski who will be replaced by San Antonio Spurs HC Greg Popovich. On Sunday, the US Women’s basketball team won their 6th straight Gold medal after destroying Spain 101-72.
In the final Olympic medal count: the US dominated with 121 total medals and led with 46 Gold, 37 Silver and 38 Bronze.
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