As for Cespedes, he hasn’t matched the great season he had last year, hitting just .225/.293/.420, although the A’s lead the American League West at the break. Maybe that enormous swing he impressed with Monday night hurts him sometimes against real pitching — he expands the strike zone too much at times, leading to a poor strikeout/walk ratio at the plate. But the talent is incredible, and it was great to expose a national TV audience to a guy they don’t normally get to watch.
Maybe that’s the lesson to be learned from this Home Run Derby: Keep an eye on Cespedes and the rest of his teammates in the second half. They’re not going away.
- David Schoenfield, ESPN
The Giants, unfortunately, can relate, as they have made a habit of taking the more arduous path this season. While they have the 21st-best record in the game at the moment, they rank 12th overall in WAR. The pitching has been most culpable, as the bullpen has been mediocre and the starters have been terrible as a group.
But things are looking up. Tim Lincecum, fresh off his first no-hitter, has looked strong of late, and Madison Bumgarner carries a six-start streak of at least seven innings pitched and two runs or less allowed into the break. Matt Cain hasn’t been stellar, but as FanGraphs’ Jeff Zimmerman detailed last week, Cain’s main issue is not his velocity or late-game inconsistencies, but rather a recent inability to paint the black. This is a far easier fix, especially for a pitcher of Cain’s caliber.
- Paul Swydan, ESPN
If LeBron is interested in winning championships and improving his legacy, I say there’s only one team that fits the bill most perfectly. That one team is the Golden State Warriors.
Assuming nothing drastic changes between now and then, the Warriors have an already deep core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, and David Lee locked up for the 2014-15 NBA season. LeBron would fit perfectly with just three of those five…you would have the NBA’s first Fab Four. More so than any other team, the Warriors are in great position to add another high-priced All-Star (a la LeBron James) come next summer.
- Elijah Abramson, Bases and Baskets