Baseball: what you should be talking about this weekend

1. World Cup finale

American fans are not interested in “World” sporting events like the World Cup or the World Baseball Classic. Fans are interested in “world” events only if it doesn’t involve the rest of the world, like the World Series.

2. Cleveland shouldn’t be upset about LeBron

LeBron James left Cleveland without raising fans hopes of anything in return. Remember, the Indians traded away CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez in order to be a last-place team.

3. Trading deadline

The trading deadline for MLB is July 31. The big swap of spies with Russia in which 10 accused Russian sleeper agents, along with four other Russians and a spy to be named later is simply a precursor to the big action as the month progresses.

4. The Derby

Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez has been added to the Home Run Derby roster during the All-Star break. Presumably Ramirez is participating because no running is necessary.

5. W.A.R. What is it good for?

Absolutely plenty. Wins Above Replacement for the All-Stars written by the redoubtable Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com in the New York Times is a great read, but as a song it doesn’t compare to “War” by Edwin Starr.

6. Names in the News

  • Swisher is not a cleaning product. Nick Swisher of the Yankees was just elected as the last player to join the AL All-Star squad.
  • Votto is not a Swedish car. Joey Votto of the Reds was just elected as the

    Buster Posey?

    last player to join the NL All-Star squad.

  • Posey is not a Cabbage Patch doll. Buster Posey of the Giants is a rookie catcher who has been hitting a ton out of the ball.

7. Seven-Year Pitch

Only twice before has Andy Pettitte had as many as 11 wins in the first-half of the season. In 1996, he had 13 wins. Seven years later in 2003, he had 11 wins. And, now seven years after that, he has 11 wins again. We look forward to watching Pettitte in 2017 when he will be 45 and still younger than Jaime Moyer is now.

8. White Caps

Now that July 4th has passed, MLB has to figure out what to do with all those hideous white caps the ballplayers were forced to wear for Memorial Day and July 4th. The really patriotic thing to do would use them to plug the leaking oil pipe in the Gulf. That way, if they went afloat at least tourists could say, “The water sure is rough, look at all the white caps.”

9. Mariano Saves

Mariano Rivera now has 20 saves in 22 attempts, but won’t be going to the All-Star Game because he’s kinda hurting. That decision may come back to haunt Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman if Yanks make the World Series and don’t have home field advantage if the AL blows the ASG in the 9th.