The backlash that came out of New York this week regarding Jeremy's Lin contract was nothing short of "ridiculous." Even more so was the mentality that, as of yet, Lin hadn't proven anything, he of the 25-game resume just weeks after jumping off his brother's couch. The terms of his Rockets contract does give one pause when observing the pay hike Lin will receive in year three. The Ivy Leaguer is set to make an intial $5 million, then $5.225 million in the second year, and a perplexing $14.8 million at the back end of the contract. But when looking at the overall package of $25.1 million for three years, it's not exactly the kind of number that's offending the market.
Tim Lincecum's season has been one he would just as soon forget as the former All-Star has struggled to find the form that made him a two-time Cy Young winner in the National League. After years of eating up innings for the San Francisco Giants, Lineceum has managed only three quality starts in 18 outings this season (six innings pitches, three earned runs or less aTim Lincecum's season has been one he would just as soon forget, struggling to find the form that made him a two-time Cy Young winner in the National League.)
After years of eating up innings for the San Francisco Giants, Lineceum has managed only three quality starts in 18 outings this season (six innings pitches, three earned runs or less allowed). The righty has given up five earned runs or more on eight separate occasions, and his performance is in sharp contrast to the season his counterpart Matt Cain is having, who pitched a perfect game only one month ago.
Anthony Rizzo's debut with the Cubs was highly anticipated by the Chicago fan base this summer, if for no other reason than that there was little else to get excited about. The Cubs were floundering in last place on June 24, having just been swept in Arizona, and dropping to a season-low 24 games under .500. On the following Monday, Chicago announced the promotion of Rizzo to the big club, and since that day the Cubs have won eight of their last 11 games.
The buzz generated by Rizzo's promotion was immediate, as fans had anticipated the call-up ever since the front office acquired him last January. Chicago Sports talk radio was lit up by callers who wanted to talk about the 22-year-old, having something to look forward to as the summer progressed.
Rizzo hasn't disappointed, hitting .375 with four homers and nine RBI's on the season. His bat has responded to the excessive heat as well this week, catching fire for a .435 average and three home runs over his past five games. Rizzo's first career four-hit night sparked an 8-7 win over the Mets in New York last night, and his three-run blast in the fifth helped the Cubbies build a 7-2 lead.
A number of closers are flourishing with new clubs in 2012, with some coming back from injuries that cost them a significant portion of their previous season. Tampa Bay's Fernando Rodney has had a history of shaky closing, and saw himself removed as the Angels' stopper during the first couple weeks of 2011. Signing on with the Rays in December, Rodney has made the All-Star Game with 24 saves and an ERA of 0.96 during the first half, helping keep Joe Maddon's club in the race for the American League East.
Joe Nathan spent the last six seasons in Minnesota, leaving the Twins last offseason to sign on with the Texas Rangers. A native of Houston, Nathan slid into closing duties, allowing the organization to move Netheli Feliz into the starting rotation. Nathan missed the entire 2010 because of a torn ulnar collatera ligament , and had limited success early on when he came back the next season. After losing the closer's role, the club's all-time saves leader righted the ship, and finished the season converting his last 11 save opportunities. He's had an impressive year for Texas, saving 18 of 19 with an ERA of 1.87.
Dwight Howard wants to trade in his Mickey ears, again. This time, his trade demands will likely be ignored, at least in terms of the team he is currently dead-set on landing with. A scenario having Howard end up on Brooklyn's roster seemed possible as recently as a Sunday, but today's actions have all but guaranteed he won't be heading to Flatbush. The Nets, in a state of transition both logistically and philosophically, have found themselves in the role of supporting actors in the latest Dwight Howard situation.
By acquiring Joe Johnson from the Hawks on Monday, thus ridding their franchise of four expiring contracts, owner Mikhail Prokhorov is setting the stage for the genesis of Brooklyn basketball. Retaining Gerald Wallace over the weekend was sneaky, and if most reports turn out to be true, the likelihood of point guard Deron Williams staying with the Nets seems to be increasing each and every day.