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This Week in Sports Talk: July 28, 2019

This Week in Sports Talk July 28, 2019

This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly roundup of the big events and what’s up next in the world of sports. Heading into the week of July 28, 2019, straight from the Dandelion Chandelier Sports Desk, here are the top headlines and a preview of the week to come.

This Week in Sports Talk: July 28, 2019

We begin with some short takes on this lovely last weekend of July.

Tour de France

The Tour de France concludes today in Paris. Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal finished yesterday’s penultimate stage in the yellow jersey, meaning that he is all but guaranteed to be crowned the winner of this year’s race—provided he crosses the finish line in Paris today. His teammate, Britain’s Geraint Thomas, placed second.

Britain’s Geraint Thomas, right, congratulates Colombia’s Egan Bernal. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Bernal is the youngest Tour winner in 110 years, the first non-Englishman to win the Tour in five years, and the first Colombian to win the Tour in the history of the race.

Julian Allaphilippe of France had an unexpected breakout in this competition that made him a darling of the press, and gave French fans the hope of a seeing a homegrown winner for the first time since 1985. But it wasn’t meant to be. 

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The 148th Open, also known as the British Open, concluded last Sunday under monstrous weather conditions with a victory for Irishman Shane Lowry.  He headed home with the Claret Jug and a winner’s purse of $1.935 million. 

Sports headlines week of July 28, 2019

Cliff Diving

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady jumped off a “cliff” hand-in-hand with his 6-year-old daughter this week. The criticism of this act was immediate and loud, as he was “Dad-shamed” and accused of reckless parenting. It was probably about a 10 foot drop, and we kind of love that he’s raising a daughter to be as fearless as he is. Going too far? Your call.

Also worth noting: the only reason the world knows of this exploit is because Brady posted the video on Instagram. Social media giveth, and social media taketh away . . . Parenting out loud is not for the faint of heart.

This Week in Sports Talk July 28, 2019

Tom Brady and daughter Vivian at the swimming hole, July 2019.

Countdown to the 2020 Summer Olympics

We’re T-minus one year until the opening of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Our aim is to be taking in the festivities while residing on a mega-yacht in Tokyo Bay. We’ll see if that dream comes true (donations gratefully accepted!) In the meantime, if you’re planning to go, now is the time to finalize your plans.

The Olympic Medal designs for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Photo Credit: Reuters.

A Grand Arrival

Finally, in the Sports Photo of Week, this week NFL player Antonio Brown upheld his annual tradition of arriving at training camp with flair. Previously with the Pittsburgh Steelers, in prior years Brown has arrived in a black-and-yellow Rolls Royce; a chauffeured 1930 open-top Rolls Royce; and a helicopter. Now with the Oakland Raiders, Brown announced his arrival to his first training camp with his new team by arriving in a hot air balloon after a ride above Napa Valley.

To which Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden responded: “I expected a little bit more than a hot air balloon; I thought he might jump out of an airplane and parachute here.” Maybe next year.

The Raiders’ Antonio Brown arrives for 2019 training camp in a hot air balloon. Photo Credit: Oakland Raiders.

Top Sports Headlines heading into the week of July 28, 2019

Now that we’re warmed up, here’s everything else you need to know about sports heading into the week of July 28, 2019:

1. MLB

Must Know:

The New York Yankees had an epic 3-game series with the Minnesota Twins this week. They lost the first game and won the next two. The middle game was an extra-inning, wild, instant classic that the Yankees ultimately won 14-12. The lead changed 4 times in the last 3 innings. The final out was a diving catch in deep center with the bases loaded by Aaron Hicks, an ex-Twin. In addition, shortstop Didi Gregorius became only the fifth Yankee to ever go 5-for-5 with 7 RBI in one game. Freakin’ awesome.

The Yankees celebrate Aaron Hicks Diving Game-Ending Catch in the 10th Inning of this week’s game against the Minnesota Twins. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Immediately following this thrilling series, the victorious Yanks cruised into Boston for a 4-game series against their arch-rivals the Red Sox. And proceeded to get blown out in a record 19 – 3 victory by the Red Sox.  The Sox have never scored that many runs against the Yankees in the entire history of the game. Payback for the big games in London? Maybe.

The Boston Red Sox defeat the New York Yankees at Fenway Park 19-3.

While the pinstripes don’t seem to be in any immediate danger of losing the AL East, their ace Masahiro Tanaka got hammered in that game against the Sox. It highlights the need for the Yanks to pick up a good starting pitcher before next week’s trading deadline. The solution may not be far away: across town, the New York Mets are actively shopping Noah “Thor” Syndegaard, as they look to rebuild for 2020 midway through the 2019 season.

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Nice to Know:

As of this posting, the Yankees sit at the top of the AL East, 8 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox, and 8.5 ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Elsewhere in the American League, the Minnesota Twins are only 1 game ahead of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. The Houston Astros have widened their lead atop the AL West; they’re now 8 games ahead of the Oakland A’s.

The Houston Astros

In the National League, the LA Dodgers continue to dominate in the West; they’re now 15.5 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants, who are tied for second. The St. Louis Cardinals are just 1 game ahead of the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers,  who are tied for second in the NL Central. Finally, the Atlanta Braves are 6.5 ahead of the Washington Nationals in the NL East. 

Extra Credit:

LA Angels Mike Trout and LA Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger continue to have epic seasons.

Trout, arguably the best player in baseball, doesn’t get the same level of press coverage as other star players, due to playing on the West Coast. And also because he’s playing for an average team – the Angels are 11.5 games back. But he’s been on fire. This week alone he threw an out at home plate that reached almost 100 mph. And then blasted a home run that landed in the left-field upper deck. All of this despite the personal loss of teammate and close friend pitcher Tyler Skaggs just a few weeks ago.

Mike Trout

Meanwhile, Bellinger is hoping to be the National League’s first Triple Crown winner since the St. Louis Cardinals’ Joe Medwick in 1937. (A player earns the Triple Crown when he leads a league in three specific statistical categories in the same season:  batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI)). Keep an eye on the West, dear reader.

Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images.

2. NFL

Must Know:

Training camp has started in the NFL. Players are reporting for duty, and people are already getting hurt. Shepherd Smith of the New York Giants broke his thumb in the first practice. New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is out on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list for 4 weeks for a non-football injury to his hand.

N’Keal Harry of the New England Patriots on the field during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 25, 2019. Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald.

In other training camp news, the Giants’ Golden Tate is out for 4 games for Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) use. He plans to appeal the ruling, saying that his positive test was due to fertility drugs. It’s been a rough week for the Giants receiving corps.

The Dallas Cowboys’ “Zeke” Elliott appears to be a holdout. He hasn’t shown up for camp yet. With 2-3 years left on his contract, apparently he wants to negotiate an extension now –  probably in line with what Todd Gurley signed for last year. 

Meanwhile, the New York Jets are gushing about how great quarterback Sam Darnold is looking in training camp. Head Coach Adam Gase said “He is 22 and can throw the piss out of the ball…”. But new teammate LeVeon Bell has missed parts of the first two practices.

Our Sports Desk advises that we take all of the pre-season chatter with a big grain of salt. With respect to training camp, “the truth is, the only thing you care about is that nobody gets hurt. The pre-season injuries are killers.”

Nice to Know: 

There’s also already a lot of posturing between star players and their coaches. Aaron Rogers is getting along with his new rookie coach, so far. Although Rogers was quick to note that as of now, the coach has “never called one play” in an NFL game. Matt LaFleur was named head coach after Mike McCarthy was abruptly fired last season.

In kinder-and-gentler news, Kliff Kingsbury, the rookie coach of the Arizona Cardinals, has instituted a 15-minute phone break in team meetings. He’s allowing players a break to text and read their phones once every hour. He’s also instituted the practice of having a fruit cart roving the fields during practices to provide refreshments to the players. Most do not believe that head coach Doug Marrone of the Jacksonville Jaguars (or Bill Belichick of the Pats) will be adopting these kinds of measures. But hey – you never know.

Extra Credit:

Odell Beckham Jr (OBJ) – he of the bright orange Rolls Royce – continues to have a lot to say. Most recently, he claimed that he was the only reason the New York Giants were competitive at all. He has also said that he has his sights set on Jerry Rice’s all-time receiving yards record. And that he might just get 4,000 yards receiving this year. Hope he’s not writing a check with all that braggadocio that he ultimately can’t cash. We’ll see.

Quarterback Carson Wentz is back for the Philadelphia Eagles with no restrictions after an injury-prone season last year. The question is whether he’ll be able to play an entire 16-game season for the first time.

Cam Newton had a shoulder operation during the off-season and reports are that he is throwing much better now, even though he is just easing back into the game.

Finally, the NFL decided not to penalize Tyreek Hill for his child/domestic abuse allegations, so he is good to go this season. No comment.

3. NBA

Must know:

The ripple effect of so many star players making big moves during the free agency period continues. This week, the big story is about how six-time NBA All-Star Paul George got himself traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the LA Clippers.

Another headline making the rounds is about how Kawhi Leonard almost stayed with the Toronto  Raptors, and nearly went to the LA Lakers instead of going to the LA Clippers as he ultimately did. Apparently, it was a much closer thing than originally reported. Some speculate that the Lakers lost him once Magic went public that he was meeting with Leonard. Leonard is very low-key, dislikes drama and prizes confidentiality. So that story line seems plausible.

Nice to Know:

The NBA Coaches have voted on the best player: Kawhi Leonard got 12 votes. The “Greek Freak” received 6, and James Harden got 2.  So no LeBron James or Kevin Durant, which seems very odd.

Extra Credit: 

Zion Williamson has signed a 7-year, $75 million shoe deal with Nike’s Jordan brand.

And Kyrie Irving has unveiled his Nike Sponge-Bob collection of limited-edition sneakers. The happy colors and whimsical details make these accessible to all. Personally we favor the the “Squidward Tentacles.” But there are also adorable “SpongeBob,” “Patrick Star,”  “Mr. Krabs” and “Sandy Cheeks” colorways available.

sports headlines week of July 28, 2019

Clearly, it’s the sneaker’s world, and we’re all just living in it.

This Week in Sports Talk

That’s it! You’re good to go with the top headlines and coming attractions in sports heading into the week of July 28, 2019. Have a good one, and see you next week.

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

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