The Lists

This Week in Sports Talk: July 26, 2020

this week in sports talk July 26, 2020

This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly roundup of top headlines from the past seven days in the world of sports, plus a preview of what’s up next. Heading into the week of July 26, 2020, here’s the top sports news, with a twist. Skim it, and you’ll be good to go all week.

This Week in Sports Talk: July 26, 2020

We know you have Taylor Swift’s surprise new album Folklore on continuous repeat, but turn the volume down for a moment or two. New York’s second heat wave of the summer is on the way, and the world of sports is finally heating up, too! Here are the top 10 stories to know heading into the week of July 26, 2020.


For this first weekend of baseball, MLB is allowing teams to stencil their pitching mounds with either Black Lives Matter or United for Change. They are also allowing players to wear patches with these same messages, plus personalized messages on their cleats and wristbands with the reversal of the letters “MLB” for “BLM” (Black Lives Matter).

this week in sports talk July 26, 2020

Members of Washington Nationals kneel and hold a piece of black fabric before an opening day baseball game against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Also, many players took a knee either before or during the National Anthem – a gesture in support of the protests against violence and brutality exhibited by law enforcement toward black people in America. The move was initiated in the NFL by Colin Kaepernick, and there was a time when it would have been inconceivable that an MLB player – let alone an entire team – would adopt the practice.

Seeing this made us cry. The good kind of tears.

Baseball, you have officially regained our hearts and undying loyalty. Jackie Robinson is looking down on us and smiling.

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2. MLB opened its shortened season on Thursday night

Play ball! The LA Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants in the West Coast season opener. The Yankees beat the World Champion Washington Nationals at home in DC in a rain-shortened game. The match-up was called to a halt after just five innings, but it officially goes into the books as a 4-1 Yankees win. Giancarlo Stanton is back in a big way: he hit a 459-foot home run!

this week in sports talk July 26, 2020

The LA Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants in the season opener this week. Photo Credit: USA Today Sports.

New guy Gerrit Cole won his first game for the Yankees. While he gave up a home run to the second batter he faced, he retired 14 of 16 after that. And didn’t give up another hit for the rest of the game. Cole hasn’t lost a game since May 22, 2019. In the last 23 regular season games, he’s 17 – 0. 

Also this week, MLB announced that the playoff grouping will expand to 16 teams, up from the usual 10.

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3. Mookie Betts is all in with the Dodgers

Without playing a single game for the LA Dodgers, this week Mookie Betts signed a 12-year extension with the team worth $365 million. The contract is the second largest in MLB history, behind only Mike Trout’s 12-year, $430 million contract with the Angels.

The LA Dodgers have signed Mookie Betts to a multi-year contract that is the second-richest in baseball. Courtesy Photo.

The move was a surprise, as many thought Betts was “a player for hire” for one year. The expectation/hope was that he would then re-up in free agency with the Boston Red Sox, the team that traded him to the Dodgers. Apparently, Betts prefers sunny California to snowy Boston.

4. there’s no escaping COVID-19, even on opening night

Just hours prior to the Yankees and Nationals opening the season, Washington star Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19, leaving many to wonder if the game would (or should) be played.

this week in sports talk July 26, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci throws out a ceremonial first pitch on Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s premier epidemiologist, threw out the first pitch for the Yankees-Nationals game on Thursday night. And on this one pressing matter, the entire polarized nation of the United States of America is in full agreement:  it was a terrible pitch, and the good doctor should definitely keep his day job. 

5. NBA season resumes this Thursday

All 346 players in the NBA’s Orlando bubble at Walt Disney World have tested negative for Covid-19. Yay!

We’re happy to report that New Orleans Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson has returned to the bubble after having been absent while tending to a personal family matter. The Pelicans have been ranked the number one team by many sports commentators for this “stub” session of the 2019-20 season. And Zion is a big part of that.

this week in sports talk July 26, 2020

The LA Lakers meet the LA Clippers this week as the NBA season resumes. Courtesy Photo.

The experts at ESPN suggest the following in terms of must-see games in the next week or so: 

  • The LA Clippers and LA Lakers on “opening night,” July 30
  • The Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers on July 31
  • The Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans on August 3

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6. Tampa Bay Watch

Tom Brady reported for training camp this week! Are you as excited about this as the dudes who staff our Sports Desk? Not. Possible. They’ve been wearing their Tompa Bay Gronkaneer shirts night and day for weeks . . . 

Tom Brady reported to Tampa Bay training camp this week. Photo Credit: LA Times.

7. In other NFL news . . . 

To manage the risks from the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL and the Players Association have agreed that there will be no preseason games this year.

Adams trade

Jamal Adams has finally achieved his dream: he’s leaving the New York Jets. He had been trying to force a trade for most of the off-season. This week, he disparaged Head Coach Adam Gase in the press, and that seems to have been the final straw. The Jets traded Adams to the Seattle Seahawks, along with a fourth-round draft pick in 2022.

this week in sports talk July 26, 2020

This week in sports talk July 26, 2020: Jamal Adams has been traded by the New York Jets to the Seattle Seahawks. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In return, the Jets got S. Bradley McDougal; first-round  and third-round picks in 2021; and another first-round pick in 2022. Our Sports Desk reports that J-E-T-S fans think it was unfortunate that the team’s management couldn’t find a way to keep Adams – but if they had to trade him, they got a pretty good return in terms of draft picks.

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the Washington NFL team has a new (temporary) name

After retiring their former nickname on July 13, the NFL franchise in Washington DC has been faced with what to call itself this season. This week, the team announced that until they select another name, Washington will play the season as the Washington Football Team.

The placeholder name and logo for the NFL’s Washington DC franchise. Courtesy Photo.

Wow. The creativity of this moniker is staggering, no?

Even athletes from other sports joined in the general derision of this safe-as-churches decision. LeBron James Tweeted: “The Washington Football team???  Is that real?? No way! Oh man they had a thorough intense long board meeting about that one huh.”

To be fair, it’s just a placeholder until a comprehensive and inclusive process unfolds to choose an actual new nickname for the team. A re-branding effort typically takes months or years of work – so get used to this. It may be there for a while. And if you’re looking for a collectible NFL item, you might consider buying one of the “Washington Football Team” jerseys from the NFL Shop. Get ’em while you can.

8. PGA Golf 3M Open

 Despite the fact that heading into the weekend, Dustin Johnson was the betting favorite in this weekend’s 3M Open tournament at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota, the golfer had to withdraw from play due to an apparent back injury after a terrible first round.

this week in sports talk July 26, 2020

The 3M Open is underway in Minnesota this weekend. Courtesy Photo.

As of this posting, Michael Thompson and Richy Werenski are atop the leaderboard. The tournament concludes this afternoon.

9. Trevor Lawrence is engaged

From the Love and Sports beat comes this news: Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence got engaged to his longtime girlfriend Marissa Mowry at Memorial Stadium last Friday. Yay!

10. Introducing the Seattle Kraken

The NHL awarded Seattle an expansion franchise in 2018. And ever since, fans have been obsessing over the team’s name, color, logo and branding. Even though the team won’t debut until the 2021-22 season, the wait is over. 

ESPN reports that after considering over 1,200 names; doing a deep dive on more than 100; and then settling on five finalists, the new franchise is the Seattle Kraken.

What’s a Kraken, you say? A mythical sea creature. It is perhaps best known in current times for its recurring role in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

this week in sports talk July 26, 2020

This week in sports talk July 26, 2020: Fans are loving the new name and logo for Seattle’s NHL team. Courtesy Photo.

We’re enchanted with the color palette for the new team logo. Adidas NHL uniform design director Matty Merrill describes the two shades of blue this way: “the lighter one is a neon blue that looks like the ice caps on the Olympics and the white caps on Puget Sound. The navy is so dark, it’s almost black. We call it deep sea.

Fun fact to close our report this week: the five finalist names for the Seattle NHL team have been placed in a sealed envelope and added to a time capsule in Seattle’s Space Needle. There, they’ll reside beside some Nirvana records, a Hostess Twinkie and one share of Amazon stock. You’ll have to wait for the big reveal in 2062, which is the Needle’s 100th anniversary. Candidly, we’re more excited to see what condition the Twinkie is in by then.

This Week in Sports News July 26, 2020

That’s it. You’re good to go with the top headlines and coming attractions heading into the week of July 26, 2020. Stay safe and healthy, dear reader. See you next week.

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