Welcome to another weekly roundup in the world of sports. This week, Carmelo Anthony opted in to his contract for the 2018-2019 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The NBA draft was this week. See where the big names in college basketball landed. Barry Trotz resigned from the Washington Capitals and signed as the new head coach of the New York Islanders. Mike Trout is making history in baseball and doing it under the radar and another week of the World Cup is in the books.
National Basketball Association
Carmelo Anthony decided not to exercise his early termination option on the last year of a five-year contract that he originally signed with the New York Knicks. The Thunder will pay Anthony $27.9 million in the upcoming season. Anthony is coming off of his worst year as a professional, averaging only 16.2 points per game. He also had his lowest minutes and lowest field goal percentage of his career.
The Thunder are hopeful they can re-sign Paul George, but to do so they’ll need to offer him a maximum contract. If George does sign that contract, the Thunder’s payroll for 2018-2019 would be one of the highest in NBA history. Anthony most likely opted into his contract because the market for him wouldn’t be anywhere near the amount he’ll make this year. The Thunder and their fans are hoping Anthony can offer more than he did last season, especially for almost $28 million.
As Anthony looks forward to his 16th season in the league, the next group of future NBA stars hoping to leave their fingerprints on the game had their name called by NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver.
The NBA draft was Thursday night and there was no surprise at the top. With the number one pick in the draft, the Phoenix Suns selected Deandre Ayton, a center from the University of Arizona. Marvin Bagley III went second to the Sacramento Kings. The Dallas Mavericks made a trade with the Atlanta Hawks and both teams got their guy. The Mavericks landed Slovenian star Luka Doncic while the Hawks got the Oklahoma University freshman phenom, Trae Young. Michigan State product Jaren Jackson Jr. went fourth overall to the Memphis Grizzlies.
For a full list of all the picks in this year’s NBA draft, click here.
National Hockey League
Presumably, Barry Trotz has been enjoying his summer so far as he and the Washington Capitals are coming off of their first Stanley Cup win in franchise history. But on Monday, Trotz made a decision that made people question how enjoyable his time has been in the nation’s capital. Trotz announced he was resigning effective immediately and was no longer serving as the coach of the defending champions.
Trotz and the Capitals couldn’t agree on a new contract and Trotz, seeing his value rise with the Stanley Cup win, decided to look elsewhere for employment.
The Capitals released a statement on the issue stating their disappointment.
“We are obviously disappointed by (Trotz’s) decision, but would like to thank (him) for all his efforts the past four years and for helping bring the Stanley Cup to Washington. (Trotz) is a man of high character and integrity and we are grateful for his leadership and for all that he has done for our franchise.”
Just three days after resigning, Trotz found a new home in New York. On Thursday, Trotz officially signed a contract to become the new head coach of the New York Islanders. The Islanders were the only team that had a head coaching vacancy in the league, but they apparently were able to offer what Trotz was looking for. Trotz made $1.8 million last year with the Capitals which is on the lower end of the spectrum for NHL coaches. The details of his contract have not yet been released, but the deal is presumably around the five-year, $20 million deal he was searching for.
Trotz will try to lead the Islanders back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Islanders will look to improve on the season they had last year finishing with just 80 points and just one spot above the last place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan division.
Major League Baseball
Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Roberto Clemente, Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter…Mike Trout? Trout, 26, is quietly having, not just one of the greatest seasons of all time, but one of the greatest careers of all time.
Trout currently leads the big leagues in home runs (23), runs scored (62), walks (67), OPS (1.121), OBP (.461) and WAR (6.6). Through the first 1,000 games of his career, he’s had 1,126 hits, and since becoming a regular starter in 2012, he’s never gone more than two games in-a-row without reaching base safely.
What Trout is doing through his first 1,000 games is unprecedented. If you line up all his career stats so far and put them next to the all time leaders of each statistic through their first 1,000 games, he’s on par or slightly ahead in every category.
Trout is trying to make all these statistics count for something and help his Los Angeles Angels in the American League West race. They currently sit in third place 10.5 games back of the first place Houston Astros. The Astros are the hottest team in baseball, winning 16 of their last 21 including a 12-game win streak. The Seattle Mariners have struggled as of late losing seven of their last 10 games and falling four and a half games back of first place where they sat just one week ago.
In the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians have gotten hot and are currently riding a seven-game win streak. They’ve put the once hopeful Detroit Tigers further in their rear view. The Tigers are now six games below .500 and eight games back of the Indians after losing their last five games. The Minnesota Twins are also eight games back of Cleveland and will try to jockey for positioning with the Tigers.
The AL East has become a two-team race. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have been the two best teams in division from the start and remain two of the best teams in the whole league. It’s always good for baseball when the Yankees and Red Sox are going at each other and this year is no different. The two teams are tied for first place and other than the Astros, are the only other teams to reach the 50-win mark so far this season.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have won four straight games to remain in first place of the National League West. The Los Angeles Dodgers are hot on their trail, just two and a half games back. They’ve won three straight and seven of their last 10 games. The San Francisco Giants are a game over .500 and are hoping to improve their position in the standings where they currently sit five games out of first place.
The Milwaukee Brewers have reclaimed first place in the NL Central for the time being thanks in large part to the struggles of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have lost four in-a-row and have dropped to two games behind the Brewers. The St. Louis Cardinals are still in the hunt, only four games above .500, but just four and a half behind Milwaukee for the division lead.
The Atlanta Braves have continued to hold strong in the NL East and hold a two-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies. Right behind the Phillies are the Washington Nationals. They’ve been struggling as of late, dropping seven of their last 10 and even provoking Bryce Harper to shave his iconic beard in hopes that the baseball gods will look upon his sacrifice favorably. So far, they have not, as the Nationals have lost two out of the three games they’ve played since Harper’s trimming.
ESPN’s top five power rankings
1. Houston Astros (52-27)
2. New York Yankees (50-25)
3. Boston Red Sox (52-27)
4. Chicago Cubs (42-33)
5. Milwaukee Brewers (45-32)
The Collegiate’s top five power rankings
1. Houston Astros (52-27)
2. New York Yankees (50-25)
3. Boston Red Sox (52-27)
4. Seattle Mariners (47-31)
5. Cleveland Indians (43-33)
West Michigan Whitecaps
The West Michigan Whitecaps started the week with three scheduled days off. On Thursday, they traveled to Fort Wayne, Indiana to take on the Tincaps. The Thursday game was postponed for rain until Friday afternoon. When Friday afternoon rolled around, the rain was still in the area and that game couldn’t be played and was pushed back until Sunday.
Friday night, the rain cleared and the Whitecaps played a game for the first time in almost five days. Fortunately, their days off didn’t cause any rust, and they won the game 5-3. On Saturday, the Whitecaps were going for their sixth straight win. In a low scoring affair, they got that sixth win in-a-row by beating the Tincaps 3-2. Sunday, the double header took place and the Whitecaps couldn’t keep the win streak alive. They lost the first game 8-3 and the second game 6-3. Overall on the short week, they went 2-2. This was the official start of the second half of the season, so the four games played this week marks their overall record.
The Whitecaps travel to South Bend, Indiana on Monday to face the Cubs for a three game series. On Thursday, West Michigan comes home to host the Bowling Green Hot Rods for a four-game weekend series. To find tickets to upcoming games click here.
The World Cup
Mexico continues to play great soccer in the 2018 World Cup. So far they’ve won both games they’ve played and have earned six points in the standings. They started off by shocking the world with a 1-0 victory over the heavily favored German team. On Saturday, they beat South Korea 2-1 to stay undefeated.
Germany rebounded from their loss to Mexico in an impressive way. They beat Sweden on Saturday to get their first win of the tournament by a score of 2-1. With the game tied at one, Toni Kroos of Germany scored the go-ahead goal on a free kick in additional time.
The host country Russia has won their first two games but Uruguay has stayed right there with them in Group A. Both teams have earned six points with their two wins. France, Croatia and England are the only other teams to have earned six points thus far in the tournament.
Russia and Uruguay play Monday morning to see who can take a lead in Group A. Other games on Monday include Saudi Arabia facing Egypt, Iran taking on Portugal and Spain facing off against Morocco. For a full list of matchups and times, click here.