Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Legend of Hamilton

↵Today's Calls: Josh Hamilton vs. Justin Morneau, Cliff Lee vs. Ben Sheets, Danilo Gallinari vs. Donte Greene, Brett Favre vs. Greta Van Susteren, Tim Donaghy vs. Scott Foster and More! ↵

↵

↵The Opening Pitch: "Ha!-Mil!-Ton! Ha!-Mil!-Ton!" ↵

↵

↵It will go down as one of the most thrilling and memorable cheers in recent baseball history. More than 55,000 people - many New York Yankees fans - lost all pretense of "Bronx jeer" partisanship and wildly cheered on the now-mythical Josh Hamilton. ↵

↵

↵Hamilton's 28 first-round homers in the Home Run Derby unified fans everywhere -- at The Stadium, sitting at home, furiously typing blog comments. ↵

↵

↵The frenzied night was a highlight of this dream season Hamilton is having – first competing for the Triple Crown, now smashing the Derby records, his 71-year-old mentor Clay Council pitching to him. ↵

↵

↵It is so easy to get cynical about the All-Star Break or sports, in general (hey, just ask Brett Favre). ↵

↵

↵But those 28 jacks were pure, sweet, unifying fun. ↵

↵

↵(Ha ha: So much so that it didn't even matter that, in the end, Hamilton didn't even win the Derby. His display transcended the event.) ↵
↵
↵

↵

↵Justin Morneau actually wins the HR Derby: Not that you'd know it. He was so marginalized -- by the Hamilton story, by fan attention, by Reggie Jackson, by the TV talking heads, by the sponsors -- that Morneau at least deserves a respectful nod for winning. ↵

↵

↵ ↵

↵

↵All-Star Game: Cliff Lee and Ben Sheets will start. Both are reasonable enough (given the timing of off-days). I was kind of excited about the notion of letting Mariano Rivera start at Yankee Stadium; that said, starting a game is hardly a tribute for our generation's greatest closer. ↵

↵

↵MLB Midseason Awards: ↵

↵

↵AL MVP: Josh Hamilton
↵AL Cy: Mariano Rivera
↵AL Rookie: Evan Longoria
↵AL Manager: Joe Maddon
↵NL MVP: Albert Pujols
↵NL Cy: Tim Lincecum
↵NL Rookie: Geovany Soto
↵NL Manager: Tony LaRussa ↵

↵

↵Looking for Barry Bonds: His agent says he doesn't think Bonds will play this season, which is a shame. I cannot imagine why a contender wouldn't sign him for the stretch; in the NFL, they wouldn't flinch. ↵

↵

↵K-Rod is going to make a lot of money. The only open question is: Where? ↵

↵

↵The Angels are among the few teams with the deep pockets to pay Francisco Rodriguez big, but he seems disenchanted with them (for now). ↵

↵

↵Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Yankees are set at closer. Would the Mets really bench the pricey (if spotty) Billy Wagner to reel in K-Rod? ↵

↵

↵Brett Favre Watch: So now he's turning to Greta Van Susteren to talk about the future of his career? Who's next on his media tour: Tyra Banks? ↵

↵

↵The upshot? Favre wants out. As I said yesterday, the Packers' only option is: "Welcome back! (Hell, no: You're not going anywhere.)" ↵

↵

↵I suspect/hope that public perception regarding Favre will turn -- if only slightly -- in the wake of his petulant public breath-holding. (But let's hope that the Packers don't use that as an excuse to trade him; their strategy should be constant: Do NOT let him play elsewhere.) ↵

↵

↵NBA Vegas Summer Rookie Watch: Danilo Gallinari got off to a modest start with the Knicks (14 pts, 5/11 FG, 6 reb), but was overshadowed by Mike D'Antoni's newest thrill, Wilson Chandler (26 pts, 8 reb). ↵

↵

↵More Debuts: Donte Greene may have been slightly undervalued in the draft (Summer-high 40 on 12/20 FG, 5/10 3-pt, 11/12 FT). ... Kevin Love: 18 and 13 in his summer debut. ... Jerryd Bayless is going to make his living going to the rack (28 pts with 18/23 FT). ↵

↵

↵O.J. Mayo Watch: 18 pts (5/17 FG), with draft-night slider Darrell Arthur putting up another solid game (23 pts on 10/15 FG). ↵

↵

↵Tim Donaghy Scandal, Cont'd: The NBA's "we-insist-this-is-a-nonstory" rings more than a little hollow when new details come out that Donaghy talked to another ref, Scott Foster, 134 times, mostly immediately before and after games he threw. ↵

↵

↵Name to Know: Chase Hilgenbrinck, who retired from MLS to pursue a career as a Roman Catholic priest. I sincerely admire anyone who is willing to follow his passions in the way Hilgenbrinck has. ↵

↵

↵CBB: It's official -- Billy Packer is out, Clark Kellogg is in. There isn't a Kellogg-esque made-up nonsense word that can capture my enthusiasm for Packer's ouster. (Hmm: "Packerlicious!") ↵

↵

↵That said, Special K is a merely average analyst; my choice would have been Bill Raftery. (I assume Jay Bilas is already earmarked by ESPN to succeed Dick Vitale as the net's lead CBB analyst -- if he hasn't already.) ↵

↵

↵For his part, Packer insists in an interview with Sporting News (not with me, obviously) that the decision was mutual and made more than a year ago. I find it hard to believe that Packer willingly left. ↵

↵

↵CFB: Michigan's new jerseys are fine enough, certainly no departure from the classic look -- particularly the home blue. But I have to admit that after all those years of the Swoosh, seeing the adidas logo is a little weird. ↵

↵

↵Sports Blog Post of the Week: Want insight into why sports bloggers are closer to the 8th-grade losers we all once were than to the media glitterati we all want to be? Legend of Cecilio Guante captures a paranoia that I think all bloggers experience from time to time. ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: "There's only one Blog-tober." ↵

↵

↵To promote their playoff coverage with a new TV ad campaign, it's nice to see MLB swapping out Dane Cook with a vaguely familiar young actor playing a ... blogger? ↵

↵

↵(Cue Moe Szyslak-style "Whaaa?!?!") ↵

↵

↵Realistic details MLB missed: ↵

↵

↵*The desk was too orderly.
↵*His face was too clean-shaven.
↵*The typing was too accurate.
↵*No demonstrable self-loathing.
↵

↵

↵And -- above all -- where were the on-screen commenters saying, "Meh, I disagree. Moron!" ↵

↵

↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.