It was relatively quiet this week in the sports world, at least in comparison to last week. However, expect all hell to break loose at 6 PM tonight, when NBA free agency officially kicks off. For the sake of this article, I’ll try not to focus too much on the impending NBA mayhem, as there were certainly some big stories elsewhere.
What I Liked
USWNT Surviving and Advancing: After breezing through pool play with a staggering 18-0 goal differential, the U.S. women’s team faced a bit more adversity in the first two stages of the knockout round. They narrowly held off Spain, a massive underdog, with a 2-1 victory spearheaded by a pair of PKs, then followed it up with another 2-1 win over the host nation, France. While it wasn’t easy, the U.S. survived, and defeated arguably their biggest challenger in the process. In addition, with all four of the American goals, Megan Rapinoe cemented herself as one of the GOATs.
Baseball Across the Pond: While Wembley Stadium isn’t exactly tailor-made for baseball, seeing the sport’s greatest rivalry take place in Europe was awesome. Making the spectacle even cooler, London got treated to a pair of slugfests, as the Yankees and Red Sox combined for 50 runs (!) across the two-game series.
Vanderbilt’s NCAA Title: With as frequently as they’ve been playing in Omaha over the past decade, one would assume that Vanderbilt is a long-established college baseball powerhouse. Contrary to that belief, the title they clinched this past Wednesday was just the second in school history. As cool as it would have been to see the improbable Michigan win it all, with the season Vandy had, they deserved it.
All-Star Starting Lineups: It’s pretty difficult to find anything to complain about with the MLB All-Star starting lineups, which were announced Thursday night. There were some calls for Josh Bell (or even Pete Alonso) over Freddie Freeman for the NL first-base nod, but Freeman has had just as good of a season at the plate as those two while playing superior defense. It was also nice to see some very deserving players who aren’t yet household names, such as Ketel Marte and Jorge Polanco.
What I Didn’t
Kawhi to the Lakers Rumors: Oh God, please no. I know I said I wouldn’t harp on NBA speculation, but this one deserves mention. If you thought KD joining the Warriors ruined the league, imagine three of the five best players in the world joining forces. It would be a caliber of super-team never seen before; Jimmer Fredette and Brian Scalabrine could fill out the starting lineup, and that team would still cakewalk to a title.
Honestly, that might be it. Expect me to have way more complaints next week, after the inevitable creation of at least one super-team and other boneheaded free agency decisions.