Quick Shots: Blackhawks trade of Byfuglien both good and painful
The Blackhawks had to do it, or at least something like it, but I still hate trading playoff hero Dustin Byfuglien. He was at the very center of Blackhawks’ excitement when thousands of Illinois fans were rediscovering hockey this spring, scoring three consecutive game-winning goals.
The Blackhawks losing Byfuglien is like the 2005 White Sox trading Aaron Rowand for Jim Thome: It’s a great deal, moving him when his value was highest, but it still hurts. The Blackhawks saved $5 million in cap space in the deal and got first- and second-round draft picks. They’ll have to cut again; with 13 players signed, they have only $2.3 million under the salary cap for their last nine players.
Jimenez not untouchable in AL
If Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez (13-1) wants to be known as the best pitcher in baseball, he better stay out of the American League. Luckily for him, interleague play ends this week. Jimenez has been historically good in the NL so far this year (0.93 ERA). He’s not even average in the AL, with a 4.58 ERA in three successive interleague starts.
Your sport, our name
Best comment Landon Donovan’s dramatic goal to push the U.S. into the round of 16 with a dramatic 1-0 victory over Algeria came from comedian Jon Stewart: “If America wins the World Cup, the rest of the world has to call it soccer.”
Strasburg is an All-Star
The same people who want to hand Ubaldo Jimenez the Cy Young in June say Stephen Strasburg is no All-Star. Yes, he’ll have only seven career starts before the game, but the All-Star game is for the fans, and the fans want to see Strasburg more than any player in baseball. Besides, after striking out 14 Pirates in an electric debut, he’s gotten even better, lowering his ERA in three successive starts — all against AL teams. He has 41 strikeouts and five walks in 25 1/3 innings. A league that hasn’t won an All-Star game since shortly after O.J. Simpson and the Unabomber were arrested in 1996 could use a pitcher like that.
Tradition isn’t always good
My latest support for the DH comes from Wimbledon. Yes, Wimbledon. The NL resists the DH in a world where pitchers have forgotten how to hit solely out of tradition. The same reason Wimbledon won’t use a tie-breaker in the fifth set. But John Isner and Nicolas Mahut held serve a combined 170 times in a row in a match that ended 70-68 in the fifth set. A tie-breaker, where every point counts, is actually a truer measure of ability in modern tennis.
Matt Trowbridge’s Quick Shots appear Sundays. He can be reached at 815-987-1383 or email@example.com.