Thoughts of the Day is back! There is a lot to get to in the sports world, so without further adieu, let’s get started!
- Clayton Kershaw may have pitched the best game of all time last night. Kershaw added to his incredible young career last night when he tossed his first no-hitter in dominating fashion, with 15 strikeouts and no walks. Only a Hanley Ramirez error could prevent it from being a perfect game. How dominant was the Dodger lefty? Baseball statistician Bill James developed a stat called Game Score to rank how effective a pitcher was in a game. According to Game Score, Kershaw’s no-no was the second best pitching performance ever, coming in behind only Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout, one-hit, no-walk game in 1998. To not walk anybody in a no-hitter is simply incredible, and the 26-year old Kershaw is definitely well on the way to Hall of Fame status. The only thing the hurler doesn’t have is a ring, which the Dodgers could very well win if he keeps this up.
- Baseball stats are fascinating; there’s always something new. Kershaw made history with his stat line (no hits, 15 strikeouts, zero walks), but the Boston Red Sox also made history on Wednesday. According to Elias, they became the first team in MLB history to get a walkoff win with back-to-back homers in extra innings after being shut out for the first nine. The wacky stat reflects how the season has gone for the 2014 Red Sox: their offense has been weak, but David Ortiz has bailed them out time and time again, with four clutch homers in the sixth inning or later to tie or take the lead. Boston surely wishes they had been able to push across a run in innings one-through-nine, but a win’s a win, no matter how odd that win is.
- The Redskins should just start planning a name change. I’ve tried to defend the Redskins at times in this name-change controversy, but it’s come to the point where it’s just indefensible. The cancellation of the Redskins trademark by the U.S. Patent Office means the racist name is not only disparaging to Native Americans, it won’t be profitable for Daniel Snyder and his ownership group anymore either. I will say that if the Redskins have to change their name, the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Blackhawks should be on notice, because America is coming for you next. Name changes have been accepted by numerous teams over the years, including my school, St. Bonaventure University, which changed from the Brown Indians to the Bonnies in 1992. It’s time for Daniel Snyder to start planning the team’s next name, because he’s going to have to surrender eventually.
- The World Cup is thoroughly entertaining thus far. Like many sports fans, I’ve been thoroughly entertained watching the FIFA World Cup. The action is breathtaking, and the fact that Spain has been eliminated from the group only makes things even more interesting. The USA has a significant chance to advance past the group stages, and the Portugal game on Sunday will be greeted with great expectation; Dempsey and the boys need to get a point at the very least, with a win all but ensuring an appearance in the knockout stages. The excitement is unreal, which has many Americans catching soccer fever.
- All for training camp scuffles. The defending champion Seahawks opened training camp with a bang when star corner Richard Sherman and wide receiver Phil Bates got into a scuffle during offense vs defense drills. Fellow defensive back Earl Thomas backed up Sherman when speaking to reporters about the incident, saying, “Those wide receivers can be pretty soft sometimes.” I’m all for training camp scuffles, as long as no one gets injured. It’s important to set the tempo, and it’s a good sign that Seattle isn’t resting on their laurels, opting to be competitive from the start. The Giants-Jets battles of recent past, when the teams would scrimmage each other in camp and start shoving from the start, come to mind when training camp scuffles occur. As long as no one gets injured, summer scuffles should be encouraged by coaches and fans.