Shanoff's W.U.C.: The Slowest Day in Sports

Today's Calls: Barack Obama vs. Albert Pujols, Carl Crawford vs. Brad Hawpe, Matt Cassel vs. Phil Rivers, Pedro Martinez vs. Roy Halladay, Bud Selig vs. Manny Ramirez, Anthony Randolph vs. Stephen Curry, Benjamins vs. Roosevelts and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Today is almost like a sports holiday. Almost. ↵

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↵Today is, arguably, the Slowest Day of the Sports Year. No baseball. No NFL camping (yet). Complete dead zone for college football and basketball. Hockey's offseason has reached a lull. British Open starts ... tomorrow. A few summer-league NBA games, and that's it. Maybe tinkering with your MLB fantasy team. ↵

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↵We are reduced to commenting on President Obama's choice of fan apparel when throwing out the first pitch last night at the All-Star Game. Or talking about "what it all means" when the Chiefs finally sign Matt Cassel to a big contract. And "Roosevelts." And ... well, that's about it. ↵

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↵Naturally, it's a perfect day for Brett Favre to OWN the spotlight and announce his return to the NFL, with the Vikings. But that's not going to happen (although you never know -- Favre's media addiction knows no bounds, as does the media's addiction to Favre). ↵

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↵I suppose the right answer is to kick back and enjoy it. We spend the other 364 days of the year obsessing over every little piece of sports minutiae -- and (mostly) loving every minute of it. ↵

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↵Read the rest of this column. Poke around your favorite websites, blogs or your Twitter feed, just enough to get your fix. ↵

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↵Then go outside. It's probably amazing out where you live. Sports will be back tomorrow. Today, it is taking its annual day off. ↵

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↵MLB All-Star Game: Yet another AL win? Yawn. The AL owning the NL -- now 13 straight -- is the biggest mismatch in sports. Yet another 1-run game? It's a lot less dramatic when the NL loses an early 3-0 lead by mustering a grand total of only 5 hits (including one stretch of 18 consecutive outs). ↵

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↵OK, I'll give you Crawford's HR-robbing catch of Hawpe as the game's signature play -- more an affirmation of the hard-luck NL than anything else -- but you sort of knew that the AL would put up that winning run eventually -- just as you knew that Mo Rivera would shut the door on the NL in the 9th. ↵

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↵Pujols Watch: 0-3, with one error that led to an AL run early, but a couple of defensive gems later, including one that saved a run. All in all, did anyone have more fun during the All-Star festivities than Pujols? What a perfect combination of player, moment and environment. ↵

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↵Did you see Obama's first pitch? Because Fox sure didn't offer fans watching on TV a decent vantage point. (Did Pujols sneak his glove in there to ensure it didn't bounce on the plate?) ↵

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↵What we DID get was Obama walking out to the mound in a Chicago White Sox jacket -- which was kind of awesome. If there's one thing that mild-mannered Cards fans can't stand, it's Chicago. ↵

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↵(Wait: Were those boos heard? Or maybe "Oooobama?" A friend who was in the stands swears there were no boos. Sure sounded like some on TV, didn't it?) ↵

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↵Pedro Martinez to the Phillies: Will it push the Phillies over the top to a repeat? Hardly. But any quality starts Pedro can give the defending champs would be a bonus. (Know what would be better for the Phils? If they could somehow come up with the package for Roy Halladay.) ↵

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↵Selig on Manny: Commissioner Shoulda-Woulda-Coulda wishes the 50-game ban given to Manny didn't include his ability to play rehab games before the 50-game suspension was over. So Selig suggests that the better solution is to ensure that the ban effectively extends past 50? ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: Matt Cassel gets long-term deal with the Chiefs (6Y/$63M w/ $28M guaranteed) -- that's what both sides were looking for when they traded for him, right? The Haley and Pioli Eras will be judged on how well that move works out. ↵

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↵NBA Summer League: It's Anthony Randolph's world and the rest of the summer-leaguers are just living in it. He tied a Vegas record with 42 points. Meanwhile, Stephen Curry still hasn't met a shot he didn't like (3/15 FG). ↵

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↵Other notables: ↵

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↵• Blake Griffin: 16/9 ↵

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↵• James Harden: 23, 5, 5 ↵

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↵• Debut: Bulls big men tandem James Johnson (21/8) and Taj Gibson (14/12) ↵

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↵• Vets: Wiz's Nick Young (36 pts) and Andray Blatche (21/10). ↵

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↵• Hmm: Hasheem Thabeet (6 pts on 3/6 FG w/ 6 reb) ↵

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↵NBA Offseason: Wait, are the Lakers actually going to let Lamar Odom go? (Did they expect him not to talk with other teams?) I suspect the Lakers reportedly pulling their offer to Odom is just some posturing by the team, and they will eventually reconcile. With Ariza gone, Odom is a must-sign. ↵

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↵Must-Read: Shoals on what AI-to-the-Clippers would mean. ↵

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↵Crime: Diana Taurasi charged three times for drunken driving, including "extreme DUI" -- I don't even know what that is, but it sounds like the kind of thing your sport's commissioner should suspend you for. If this was the NFL, the player would be out for a quarter of the season. ↵

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↵Tour de Lance: "Radio-free" racing was ... well, apparently, it was mostly limp. Is this how the race was back before radios were used? ↵

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↵British Open: If you want to watch Tiger, you better set the alarm early -- he tees off at 4:09 a.m. ET. ↵

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↵Video Clip of the Day: So now there is a new vocabulary word: Being "LeBron'ed." (Definition: Pro athlete shown up by camper at athlete's own summer camp.) Of course, Phil Rivers being schooled by prep QB Will Nunn is different from LeBron in one big way: We can watch the tape. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "It's all about the Roosevelts, baby." Absurdly genius. (Is this going to become the commercial catch-phrase of the summer?) ↵

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↵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. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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

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