"The Stack" 7-13-16

Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez hit homeruns in the second inning to help the AL beat the NL 4-2 in the MLB All-Star game. Hosmer won MVP honors. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez hit homeruns in the second inning to help the AL beat the NL 4-2 in the MLB All-Star game. Hosmer won MVP honors.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins put on a show Monday night at the Home Run Derby hitting a whopping 61 homeruns. He would go on to beat Todd Frazier in the finals.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The great Tim Duncan has retired after 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. There is little debate that Duncan is a top ten all-time NBA player.
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Wednesday with a little reaction to the All-Star festivities plus a couple of other topics.  We don’t anticipate a blog post on Thursday, but will have one on Friday with thoughts on the first round of the Open Championship plus thoughts on the ESPYs for whatever that’s worth (they’re tonight on ESPN).  Now let’s get right to it and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Wednesday, July 12th:


AL tops NL in All-Star game


Baseball fans across the country descended upon beautiful San Diego for MLB All-Star festivities the past few days and Tuesday night it was a “Royal” treat for those cheering for the AL.  The AL has homefield advantage throughout the World Series now thanks to Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez hitting homeruns in the same inning to help the AL beat the NL 4-2.  The AL scored three of their four runs in the inning and then the Royals bullpen helped out as well.  There were more than just Royals that played for the AL just like there were more than Cubs who played for the NL, but the Royals players stole the show and with it homefield advantage for the World Series if they can make it back there.  Regardless, the AL has homefield advantage in the World Series.  David Ortiz, appearing in his last All-Star game went 0-1 with a walk.  Apparently he was supposed to get some softball like pitches from Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and that never happened.  Oh well.  It was a good time had by all.


Stanton wins Home Run Derby


The night before the All-Star game Giancarlo Stanton stole the show with the display he put on in the Home Run Derby Monday night.  He beat Todd Frazier, last year’s winner, and hit a total of 61 homeruns throughout the tournament.  19 of the 20 longest homeruns hit during the derby were by Stanton.  We’ve seen Stanton hit monster shots throughout his entire career, but the moonshots he sent out Monday night that hit the Western Metal Supply Company building in leftfield were something else.  He hit at least one off of the scoreboard.  He was tremendous and I’m glad he won.  You might recall I picked him to win back on Monday (I did pick the NL to win the game though so can’t get everything right).  Stanton is a true star in the game and a joy to watch.  He most likely will defend his title at next year’s homerun derby considering it is at Marlins Park in Miami.  Just a guess though.


Tim Duncan retires


One of the greatest players in NBA history is hanging them up.  San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan is calling it quits after 19 seasons and five NBA championships.  I thought he had said he was coming back for a 20th season a few weeks ago, but apparently I either heard wrong or Duncan decided against it.  Regardless there is little debate how good Duncan was throughout his career.  He was consistent.  He routinely got double-doubles and most importantly he was a tremendous teammate.  Duncan regularly didn’t see max contracts so that the Spurs could keep a good team in place and make runs at championships.  He had success with Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker.  Duncan may be the best power forward ever.  When you think San Antonio Spurs two names immediately come to mind…David Robinson and Duncan.  When will we ever see again a guy who stayed four years in college and went number one overall that went on to have a stellar career like what Duncan had?  Maybe never again.  The Spurs never had a record below .600 during Duncan’s tenure.  The Spurs are a model of consistency and Duncan is a major reason why.  Teammates loved playing with him.  He’s well respected by his peers.  And now he is walking away quietly into the shadows and I don’t think he would have it any other way.


The Open Championship


The Open Championship (aka The British Open) tees off Thursday at Royal Troon on the Golf Channel and NBC.  I love this tournament.  It is my favorite tournament of the year because of the links style courses and also how much weather plays a part.  It can be sunny on hole 5 or 6 and windy and rainy on hole 11 or 12.  The weather can switch at the drop of a hat.  It is truly a tournament that tests the players in every way both physically and mentally.  With all of that being said in terms of who I think will win it’s hard not to look at the top three players (Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy) and think one of them will win.  Spieth has not played well since the back 9 in the final round of the Masters so it’s tough to have a great deal of confidence in him.  I wouldn’t count out Phil Mickelson either.  Plus a few people have mentioned how much they really like Sergio Garcia to win his first major.  He was so close back at the U.S. Open.  Speaking of the U.S. Open maybe Dustin Johnson will drive a bunch of par 4s and have many eagle opportunities however far away he may be from the hole on the green.  Adam Scott is a wild card as well.  In the end though I will take Spieth though I’m not really confident about it.  He was so close last year and I think he will string together a good four rounds and win his first Open Championship.  It should be fun.


Coming up Friday: Open Championship round one reaction plus ESPYs thoughts and more.