Ethan: Another year, another All-Star Game, and another year of absolutely pathetic outfield defense in the Home Run Derby. I know they're only eight years old, but when there's fifty of them, they should be able to catch lazy fly balls. I'm sure if they have parents, they are deeply, deeply shamed. What did you think of the AS Game?
Amir: They seem to all blend together in my mind. Somewhat close, somewhat boring, and the AL ends up winning. Another year, another inside the park home run. Is baseball's the least interesting all star game?
Ethan: Are you kidding? When was the last time you watched the Pro Bowl? And the NBA All-Star game is a joke; if we want to watch all offense with no defense, we can see the Suns play 82 times a year.
Amir: If I wanted to see an All Star team I would wait a couple years and wait for the Yankees to bite on some old timey max contracts.
Ethan: That inside-the-park job by Ichiro was pretty cool. In your face, people of Cleveland! I loved that they gave a Japanese guy an American car for winning the MVP. "Oh, great just what I always wanted do you still have the receipt?" I still can't get over LaRussa not batting Pujols in the ninth. Any ideas?
Amir: I think it was to teach Albert that a real all star leads his team to a winning record.
Ethan: I think LaRussa was just being spiteful. "You think I care about winning games? I just moved Kip Wells back to my rotation!" Or possibly drunk. Or both. There's really no excuse for leaving one of the best hitters in the game on the bench in favor of Aaron Rowand, who is chiefly known for his defense/willingness to break his nose. It's good that the real All-Stars got to play, though. Guys like Freddy Sanchez. Now there's a marquee talent! Any predictions for MLB's second half?
Amir: Royals win the pennant. Bank on it.
Ethan: Crap, that was going to be mine, too. I'm guessing this is going to be an even more boring trade deadline that last year, and also that the Mariners will start regretting the Ichiro extension as soon as next week. It's always a fantastic idea to give $100M to an aging guy who relies heavily on his speed and already has waning power.
Amir: It's not their fault Kenny Lofton retired. It's not their fault Kenny Lofton retired. Or died. Or went to play for Texas. They're all sort of the same.
Ethan: By the end of it, this contract is going to make Johnny Damon's look frugal and smart. Oh, and the Phillies will make a race of the NL East when the Mets realize their pitching is terrible and sign you to be their fourth starter. Now, basketball free agency thoughts?
Amir: With the big boys getting re-signed (Vince and Chauncey) I guess the biggest free agent signing will be Rashard Lewis to the Magic. I think Nelson, Howard, Rashard Lewis, and an ugly European to be named later is a serious contender in the East.
Ethan: Are you kidding? I honestly can't believe the contracts that are getting thrown around. Lewis is getting paid like a superstar, which he's not, and they're going to lose Darko. That's the kind of blow from which a team doesn't recover. Look at the Pistons with Darko vs. without him.
Amir: The curse couldn't be any clearer.
Ethan: Also, why on Earth would anyone give Vince Carter that much money? A shooting guard who can't shoot and relies on his leaping ability is a great bet to age well. Enjoy your 38-44 seasons, Nets fans. Oh, wait, there aren't any Nets fans.
Amir: RIP Jay-Z.
Ethan:I do love Grant Hill going to the Suns, though; that dry desert air is going to keep him healthy.
Amir: It's good for the ankles.
Ethan: Are you worried about Oden and Durant's summer league performances?
Amir: Absolutely not. Since when have people cared about Summer League? I remember back in the good ole days people used to overanalyze exhibition season and that's it! Now we have Summer Leagues, then a pre-season. These guys are washed up by November!
Ethan: It's too bad Oden's summer league is over due to this tonsillectomy. I really don't understand, one minute he's forty-eight years old, the next minute he's undergoing a surgery common among nine-year-olds. This might explain all of those Wiggles songs on his iPod, though. They'll both straighten things out.
Amir: I dunno, dude. You don't just recover from TWO disappointing summer league games. This will haunt them forever.
Ethan: Let's get to what the people really love, though: tennis. Watch the Wimbledon finals?
Amir: Of course. Me and 10 million other American households. I don't even know why they let 126 other players into these tournaments. We should just have a Federer/Nadal best of 9 matches for each slam until at least 2010.
Ethan: I'd watch it. I like how Federer added the white trousers to his courtside ensemble this year. I'm hoping for a white top hat next year, maybe a white cape the following year, and when he guns for his eighth straight title in 2010 a really sweet white-rimmed monocle. If he's going to talk exactly like Colonel Klink he should also dress the part.
Amir:I don't know too much about tennis history, but I'm pretty sure Federer is the best ever. Better than this "Roy Emerson" character people keep talking about.
Ethan: You've got some nerve, buddy. Tell that to Roy's SIX Aussie Opens, two U.S. Opens, two Wimbledons, and two French Opens. He won the career Slam, which Federer hasn't done. Of course, most of this was over fifteen years before I was born and I just looked it up on Wikipedia, but still. He's the pride of hmmm gimme a second Wikipedia says he's Austrailian.
Amir: Speaking of interesting facts, listen to this interesting fact of the week. Do you know about the longest game in professional baseball history?
Ethan: Any Pirates game feels like the longest game in history, but that can't be the right answer.
Amir: 33 innings between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings. Over 8 hours of playing time. And the best part of all, the game featured two future hall of famers. Cal Ripken Jr. who went 2 for 13 and Wade Boggs who went 4 for 12. (Full BoxScore Here)
Ethan: Wow, that means Boggs probably ate four whole chickens throughout the course of the game.
Amir: It beats being punched out by Barney Gumble.
Ethan: Until next week, get excited for our in-depth feature on the Arena Football playoffs and the WNBA up to this point, including compelling questions like, "Who looks more like a horse, Secretariat or Diana Taurasi?"