Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Mets Still Sizzling

Today's Calls: Mets vs. Phillies, Tigers vs. Twins, Cards vs. Rockies, Jim Zorn vs. Brady Quinn, Percy Harvin vs. Joe McKnight, Kevin Love vs. Jerryd Bayless, UFC vs. Affliction and More. ↵
↵
↵The Opening Pitch:
The start of baseball's second half can be a fresh start; just ask the Rockies. ↵

↵Last July 18, they were off the radar -- 5.5 games back, despite being two games over .500 -- but they used that fresh start to refocus, ending up with that unprecedented run to the NL pennant. ↵

↵

↵Who benefits from the fresh start this year? ↵

↵

↵One guess: The Mets, who picked up where they left off before the break, winning their 10th straight and pulling into a tie for first in the NL East. ↵

↵

↵(Their rival Phillies, idle on the field, joined the NL arms race, landing Joe Blanton from the A's. Eh: He's no CC Sabathia and/or Rich Harden, but he will chew up innings...) ↵

↵

↵The Tigers just might be able to forget about their horrendous start in April; they are one game over .500. ↵

↵

↵Also in the AL Central, are the Twins holding Francisco Liriano in AAA to forestall his arbitration? That's what Liriano's agent says. ↵

↵

↵(Given that the Twins are battling for a playoff spot in the AL, that would be the most penny-wise, pound-foolish move of the season.) ↵

↵

↵The Cardinals are trying to prove their first-half overachievement wasn't a fluke; they blasted past Jake Peavy and the Padres (Troy Glaus: 2 HR, Rick Ankiel: 21st HR) to maintain the NL wild-card lead. ↵

↵

↵As for the Rockies themselves? Well, the good news is that they won; the bad news is that they are still 17 games under .500. ↵

↵

↵More MLB moves: The Yankees sign Richie Sexson as pinch hitter. Really? Sexson makes the Yankees more competitive than Barry Bonds? ↵

↵

↵Hideo Nomo retires: Remember Nomo-Mania? In 1995, he was a sensation, with 13 Ws and a sub-3.00 ERA en route to NL ROY. ↵

↵

↵He had that crazy-looking wind-up and a vibe of mystery -- this was before Japanese players were regulars on MLB rosters. Nomo ends his career in at least one exclusive club: He is one of only four pitchers ever to have thrown a no-hitter in both leagues. ↵

↵

↵NFL Training Camping: The Redskins are scheduled to be the first to kick off camp, as players are scheduled to report tomorrow. Their biggest subplot: How will rookie head coach Jim Zorn handle his first training camp without training wheels? Full NFL camping begins next week, which means breathless reports from all corners of the league. ↵

↵

↵(One has to wonder if Brady Quinn's latest scandal -- not of his own doing, mind you -- will be a topic of discussion at Browns camp.) ↵

↵

↵CFB: Arguably CFB's most exciting all-purpose player, Percy Harvin is ahead of schedule in his recovery from heel surgery. ↵

↵

↵Hmm: "Arguably," eh? Let's see: Who else is on the "CFB's most exciting all-purpose player" short list? ↵

↵

↵I'd pick Joe McKnight, Jeremy Maclin, Noel Devine and Arrelious Benn. That covers the SEC, Pac-10, Big 12, Big East and Big Ten. Not bad. ↵

↵

↵NBA Summer in Vegas: Who are Rose and Beasley? Give me Love and Bayless. What a duel they had last night: ↵

↵

↵Jerryd Bayless had 29 pts on 8/15 FG and 13/16 FT. (Bayless is averaging 14.7 ppg on FTs alone.) ↵

↵

↵Meanwhile, Kevin Love put up yet another double-double, 26 pts and 15 reb, including 10 offensive. That's his third D-D in three games. ↵

↵

↵Olympics: Yao is back, and he scored 11 points in 12 minutes in a warmup game against a team from Serbia. ↵

↵

↵British Open: Rocco Mediate's success should amuse us all. Apparently, his runner-up finish at the U.S. Open was no fluke. Without Tiger around, perhaps he thinks he could actually win one this time. ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: UFC vs. Affliction this weekend in MMA, with Dana White's UFC league trumping The Donald-backed Afflication by putting Anderson Silva on basic cable -- that's free, not the usual PPV that has kept UFC from becoming REALLY big -- while Affliction's event is PPV-only. I'll take Silva for free, thanks. ↵

↵

↵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.