Sign up for the daily newsletter, Jay's Plays of the Day, to get sports betting recommendations for the top games of the night and the week ahead.
Braves bats. When Matt Olson is hitting dingers at this clip — side question: did you know he hit two homers Sunday (Matty Twice) and now leads the free world in RBIs? — this bunch is unstoppable.
Braves bats, part II. Uh, Ronald Acuña to the MVP podium, please. After going 7-for-11 with three RBIs, three steals and five runs scored this weekend, Mr. Acuña's numbers continue to soar heading into August. Of all the eye-popping splits, though, did you know that Mr. Acuña has an on-base percentage of .500 leading off the first and an OPS greater than 1.120 when leading off any inning? Ohtani is the biggest unicorn the game's seen since Ruth; Acuña maybe the single biggest offensive problem since peak-PED Bonds or pre-WWII Williams. (And Acuña steals bases.)
Texas fans. No, we're still a ways off from talking NFL preseason. And no, I'm not one of the Burnt Orange blowhards who says "Texas is back" every time they find a W on Saturday. Get into the playoff and then get back to me. No, this is about the Rangers, who were among the biggest surprises in the first half and now have pushed all chips in by acquiring starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery. Giddy-up indeed.
Jalen Carter. So the reviews are pouring in for the Eagles rookie, who apparently is unblockable — even Stevie Wonder knew that after watching him at Georgia last year. The dude is a dude. Plain and simple. Hope Bijan Robinson is the real McCoy. If not, I know a lot of Falcons fans who are going to be less than pleased that the defensive-line-deficient Falcons passed on my pick for defensive rookie of the year.
Keith Mitchell. Yeah Lee Hodges won. Big whoop. We wouldn't know Lee Hodges if he walked in my kitchen and did my dishes. But Mitchell, the hometown native and Baylor School grad got hot Sunday and catapulted into a T5. A 4-under 67 Sunday helped him cash a $301-plusK check. It's his best finish and payday since placing fourth at Pebble Beach in early February. (Side question: Wanna guess how much Keith has made playing golf with one career win, 23 career top-20 finishes and making 2/3s of his career 156 PGA starts? Answer in the This and That.)
P.J. Fleck. When the word "cult" is used, it's seldom good unless it's preceded by "Blue Oyster" you know. This story is super-strange about the catch-phrase king who coaches the Minnesota Gophers. Thoughts?
Justin Thomas. Wowser. Adding some lower-tier tournaments to strengthen your FedEx chances and impress the Ryder Cup coaches is a savvy and admirable move. Until that is, you miss the cut like JT did this weekend at the 3M Open.
The Mets. They are paying nine figures for Max Scherzer to go away. I'm not sure they are going to be able to give Justin Verlander away for a bucket of BP balls and two 8x11 glossies of his better half. What a disaster.
Sean Payton. Dude, better to not say anything and have folks think you're a nut than run your mouth and prove them correct.
Pull the trigger
So we are closing in on 24 hours before the trading deadline.
I have been on record wanting the Braves to make a move.
And while a lot of folks will heckle the roulette AA and the front office is playing with the bullpen, I am all for making as many moves as needed until you find the right one.
And I am also OK with anyone not on the current MLB club being a piece in almost any deal.
Vaughn Grissom anyone? Heck, would San Diego take Vaughn and one of the young starting pitching prospects — and let's throw in Eddie Rosario — for some form of Snell, Hader and Soto potentially?
Side note: This would be the coolest non-draft day to be in the front office there is in sports, right? Today and tomorrow that is.
The storylines, though, have changed greatly since the Angels are building around Shohei Ohtani in what appears to be quite the arms race out West in the AL.
This and that
— Keith Mitchell has made $12,702,800 in his golf career. Yep Keith Mitchell has made more playing golf than Jose Maria Olazabal ($12.36M) and Tom Watson ($11.08M).
— The Knoxville News Sentinel released a slew of text messages between Jeremy Pruitt and his former UT recruiting staff. They are not overly flattering. My biggest takeaway was not the common refrain that Pruitt did not want (crappy) players as much as feeling sorry for the KNS folks who had to weed through more than 6,000 text messages to find that relatively substance-less collection of data.
— So Lindsey Shiver plotted with her lover to kill her estranged husband, former Auburn football player Robert Shiver. So, when Hallmark or Lifetime buys the rights to this for a made-for-TV movie, who are we casting for the lead. Of course Reese Witherspoon would be great for Lindsey, but there's no way we're getting a Hollywood A-lister for a D-script on a C-minus network. I think Lindsey Lohan dyed blonde for the femme fatale and Turtle from "Entourage" as her targeted soon-to-be-ex-husband. Thoughts.
— Speaking of Auburn and killing it, Hugh Freeze is doing just that on the recruiting trail. The Tigers took a five-star WR from Alabama and a flipped a five-star LB from Georgia. While Paschall's universal recruiting theory remains pretty much undefeated — if you are getting guys with offers from UGA, Bama THE OSU, et al., you want those; guys picking your power five school over UAB, Troy and MTSU are the ones Jeremy Pruitt insulted in multiple texts — it's exponentially more true for Auburn. And for UT. Because if the Tigers or the Vols land five-star cats that Georgia and Bama want, not only does it add to the roster, it means AU and UT won't have to see those cats for the next three years either.
— Speaking of Paschall, here's his series look at Mississippi State. Man, media days missed Mike Leach. What a loss for MSU, the league and college football fans everywhere.
— Hey, I know we have bounced around different summer viewing options as we bid our time until football and betting consumes our viewing habits, but I am five episodes into "The Offer" and it's 100% binge-tastic. It's about the producers' efforts to get "The Godfather" made and released and it's fantastic. It's on Paramount-plus, FYI.
Weekend winners and losers. Go.
As for today, the last day of July, let's review.
First you still remember the "30 days has September, April, June and November..." educational lyric right? I know I do.
Michael Biehn is 67 today. Time has not been kind, but Mr. Biehn has an amazing catalog as a filmmaker and actor.
What makes his Rushmore of projects in either role.