Bonds: 750. With six HR to go to break Aaron's record, it is SO on. Will he break it this week? Unlikely, but you know it'll happen this month, instantly making it THE sports story of an otherwise particularly slow July. Nothing else is going on. Expect overkill.
The question now is whether it will happen before or after the All-Star Break. If Bonds still needs a handful of HR by the All-Star Game, it will be all anyone will want to talk about at the ASG. And how can MLB *NOT* include Bonds in the game?
NBA Draft Hangover: Jason Kent from the terrific FanIQ emailed me with a question yesterday that I found to be one of the most fascinating subplots of the first 24 hours after the NBA Draft:
How do Bulls fans who spent the last 1-2 years with an opinion of Joakim Noah ranging from mild annoyance to full-blown enmity do a 180 and suddenly root for him because he's suddenly "theirs?"
Here's what I replied to him:
A few thoughts:
(1) When Noah was a freshman, not playing at all and mostly sulking, I disliked him entirely.
(2) At the start of his sophomore year (two seasons ago), I sat in MSG with my wife watching the Gators foreshadow their title by beating Wake and
. I couldn't stand Noah. My wife said he's going to be a star. Shows what I know. Syracuse
(3) By the 2006 NCAA Tournament, I had come to appreciate his energy and selflessness, his team orientation. He's obnoxious, yes, but his life is an error of enthusiasm, which is entirely forgivable.
(4) End of 2006 Tournament: I believe.
(5) 2007 season and tournament: I find him a little too over-the-top (a game-killing technical waiting to happen), but he always rode the fine line. He maintained that team-first orientation and, despite (a) more scrutiny and loathing than any other player this year and (b) a decreased role within the team as his teammates got a lot better, he was a star on a double-title team.
Here's the upshot: When he's theirs, you hate him. When he's yours, you love him. I'm thoroughly enjoying watching Bulls fans who previously hated him beyond belief rationalizing how to like him.
And people call ME a Bandwagon Gator fan!!!
24 hours after the Draft, a few course corrections from my knee-jerk reactions to how the draft unfolded:
- As a Wizards fan, I feel a lot better about Nick Young (mainly because I heard from so many people assuring me he was a great addition).
- Danny Ainge is still a moron and the Celtics are still destined for continued mediocrity. (And I'm still not sold on Michael Jordan's trade for Jason Richardson, even/especially if he re-signs Gerald Wallace.)
- After all that pre-draft build-up, Greg Oden to the Blazers feels like the most obvious and natural fit in the world.
- I don't think Isiah is done yet, which is fun for the rest of us.
- I think Kevin Garnett ends up in...
, playing for the Warriors. Oakland
NFL folds NFL Europe: Was it a worthy experiment or a Commissioner's indulgence? Predictable answer: A little of both.
I think the league finally understands its place in Europe, following the sold-out-in-an-hour Wembley Stadium experiment – a handful of games in
Actually, the NFL's plan to have each team play one regular-season game per season internationally is the best globalization strategy the league could probably deploy.
MLB Stud: Aubrey Huff, who hit for the cycle in an O's win (and reminded me of the multiple seasons in a row when I was fooled into drafting Huff on my fantasy team, only to be disappointed).
MLB Stud Rookie: Ben Francisco of the Indians. Walk-off debut!
MLB Move: Milton Bradley to the Padres.
Marketing Watch: Greg Oden will wear No. 52. I'm not sure it will sell well (even in