Weekly Nickel 7-11-2011

Photo courtesy of mets636.glogster.com. The Home Run Derby is one of the big events going on this week. We all remember Josh Hamilton's (pictured above) memorable first round in 2008.

By Josh Kramer

On to the next one.  Last week was an epic week full of wild finishes, big time milestones, and a great conclusion to the first half of the MLB season.  This week should be another great one.

Here is what you should be watching for.

5.  The NFL lockout progresses with “cautious optimism.”  The end is near though.  Or so it seems.  We are getting to the point where matters need to be solved, or training camp and preseason games will be missed.  I firmly believe that the League will not let any games be missed, preseason or not.  Look for a conclusion to this ridiculous fiasco at some point within the next two weeks.

4.  The NBA lockout looks far more grim than that of the NFL.  Sure there is plenty of time left to solve the issue until games could start being missed.  But the two sides in this battle are extremely far apart with their demands, plus we have players threatening to go play in Europe.  NBA players have more options than NFL players.  There are other Leagues that can pay decent money and provide solid competition.  Sure the European leagues will not have space for a ton of NBA guys, but do not be surprised to see a handful of stars take their talents to Europe for a year-long Euro Trip.  It could happen.

3.  The Home Run Derby is always an exciting event.  Guys like Josh Hamilton, Bobby Abreu, and others have given us some memorable moments in recent history.  Lets be entirely honest though.  Chicks dig the long ball.  People love to watch home runs.  Well this is a night centered around people hearing the famous catch phrase, “Back, back, back, back, back…Gone” compliments of the legend, Chris Berman (sound clip from hark.com).  In addition, a new wrinkle has been added into the competition this year pitting the National League versus the American League.  The last two champions, Prince Fielder and David Ortiz were given the ability to choose their squads.  Sure there are question marks about why certain guys were chosen over others, but each team is full of guys who can flat-out rake.  I am going with the AL and Bautista to win tonight.

2.  With the Home Run Derby set for tonight, there is of course the All Star Game set for tomorrow night.  The National League  broke their ultra embarrassing streak last year in Anaheim after failing to win from 1997 to 2009.  Once again this year, the American League dominated Interleague Play as usual, but I like the NL pitching (the amazing Philadelphia trio plus Jurrjens).  Sure the American League has some aces, but without the ultimate winner, “Mr. 3000” himself (even if he is not deserving of a spot), and his partner on the left side of the infield (ARod), I am going with the National League to win for a second consecutive year.

1.  Hope Solo is turning into a mega star.  After yesterday’s breathtaking victory for the US Women’s Soccer Team, you better believe that people are excited for Wednesday’s semi-final showdown with France.  With the exits of Germany and of course Brazil (yesterday’s epic match), this appears to be the red, white, and blues tournament to lose.  USA all the way.  Hopefully they can take home their first World Cup title since 1999.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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