5-at-10: Weekend winners and losers after an OK U.S. Open, Kaepernick back at it, Rushmore of baseball games

5-at-10: Weekend winners and losers after an OK U.S. Open, Kaepernick back at it, Rushmore of baseball games

June 19th, 2017 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Brooks Koepka kisses the winning trophy after the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Weekend winners

Brooks Koepka. This one is obvious and clear. Dude was aces on a tough U.S. Open Sunday and walked away with his first major. Here's Weeds discussing the big win for the big-hitting Koepka, and what it could mean for his future. 

The NBA draft. There already has been one big trade, as the Cletics have reportedly moved the top pick to Philadelphia for the No. 3 pick this year and the Lakers' pick — as long as it is 2-5 — next year. Now there are reports that Cleveland and Indiana are talking about a trade involving Pacers star Paul George. Intrigue abounds and this time of the year in sports, that makes you a winner.

Tennessee Titans. Adding Eric Decker feels like the perfect complement to an offense that had already added an explosive first-round wide out and now feels like one of the more complete units this side of the Raiders and Patriots in the AFC. This certainly seems to be the year that we will see for sure if Marcus Mariota is a franchise guy.

Diana Taurasi. The former UConn superstar became the all-time WNBA leading scorer with a big weekend. Congrats. Is she the GOAT in women's basketball?

Kenley Jansen. The closer for the Dodgers, who swept the Reds this weekend and despite winning nine of their last 10 fell out of first place in the last NL West in the last week, has been amazing. Want the definition of lights out? He got two saves this weekend, and struck out five in two innings. Want the definition of a guy riding an amazing streak? In his last 12 appearances — 12.2 innings — he has not allowed a run, is 2-0 with seven saves and has allowed four hits. Want the definition of domination of the first 70 games? He is 4-0 with 15 saves, has an ERA of 0.91 — he allowed two earned runs in his second game of the season and all of one on a solo homer in his 27.2 innings since — and has 50 strikeouts and zero walks. Buckets.

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, UCLA's Lonzo Ball (2) walks by his father LaVar Ball, right, to greet family members after UCLA defeated Long Beach State in an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles. By now the entire basketball world knows Lonzo Ball is a singular talent with a unique parent. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker, File)

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Photo by The Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Weekend losers

U.S.Open traditionalists. There were seven guys who were 10-under or better. Those scores would have won 114 of the previous 116 U.S. Opens. The weather was benign and the course was soft, making for ideal scoring conditions. Only Sunday was traditionally the tough-feel of our national championship, and that made Koepka's 68 feel every bit as impressive as Justin Thomas' 63 on Saturday.

Speaking of the 63, man, could Johnny Miller have sounded any more curmudgeonly when asked about Thomas' record-setting 63. A lot of people have said Miller's quote was classic Miller, and if that's the case, then Miller's a classic buttonhole. Have some grace dude. Here's Miller's quote: "For one, the greatness of my round is the 63 in the last round of the U.S. Open to win by one. Everything else is way secondary. If somebody does it tomorrow to win the U.S. Open by one, that's the specialness of my round. And secondly, Erin Hills isn't exactly Oakmont." Gambling is illegal at Bushwood and Miller never slices.

Speaking of golf announcers, here's the story about Joe Buck calling Koepka's girlfriend the name of his previous girlfriend. Hmmmm, something tells me Jim (Hello friends) Nantz would not have made that misses-cue. 

Speaking of the draft, it looks as if the Lakers are not as high on Lonzo Ball as daddy LaVar is. There were reports that the Lakers were looking to move to No. 1 and draft Markelle Fultz. Now there are reports that the Lakers are making no promises to take Ball at No. 2.

FILE - In this July 16, 2014, file photo, San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick arrives at the ESPY Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Video and pictures from social media posted on May 1, 2017, show Kaepernick standing outside a New York City parole office with two boxes of custom-made suits. An Instagram post by Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights Camp” campaign says the suits will make parolees “better equipped to achieve gainful employment” and “live more productive lives.” (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File )

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Photo by The Associated Press/Times Free Press.

He's committed

Yes, Colin Kaerpnick is a lightning rod.

Yes, we believe he is a talented NFL quarterback who posted solid numbers with a terrible San Francisco team.

Yes, we believe the fact that he does not have a job is a calculated business decision by individual teams because of concerns on how a team's fans view his controversial protests.

Yes, we believe he will have an NFL job next season, and he will be signed when a team's starting QB suffers a a serious injury and the realization of needing to win passes the objections to his protests. 

You can agree or disagree with those premises as you see fit.

He's a dude that has generated a ton of ink and talk by kneeling during the anthem. We have discussed it a fair amount around these parts. In fact, here's saying that no one in professional sports has generated this many opinions in the last 12 months. 

Durant's decision to join the SuperTeam? That could be close, but Kaepernick was leading 60 minutes; Durant was leading E:60. All of that is to say, everyone has a view on Kaepernick, and those views vary.

What is undeniable is his commitment to the protest.

Dude is without a job — after opting out of an eight-figure contract with the 49ers mind you — almost assuredly because of the controversy. Now he's doubled down, and after a police officer was found not guilty of manslaughter Fridayafter a shooting of a Minnesota black youth last July, Kaepernick took to social media and left no doubt

Kaepernick started with complaints against police brutality. Not sure if even the poohbah of the FOP is for police brutality, so OK.

The  Kaepernick moves his chips all in and compares modern police to the slave catchers who were charged with finding runaway slaves before the Civil War.

Wow. 

This and that

* Bill H. took home the title and the majority of the field in the 5-at-10 U.S. Open contest. Bill H. won with a total score of 43. A large majority of us had multiple players missing the cut. So it goes, and email me Bill and we'll get you the prize pack.

* Speaking of the U.S. Open, Baylor School grads Harris English finished tied for 46th (he made $35,484) and Stephan Jaeger finished tied for 60th ($24,301) after rough weekends at the Open.

* The Braves notched a couple of one-run wins over the weekend against the Marlins to take two of three. The Braves are inching ever so close to .500 and are 31-37.

Today's question

Weekend winners and losers.

Go.

Is Taurasi the women's basketball GOAT?

On this day, June 19, in 2000, Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open by 15 shots.

In 1903, Lou Gehrig was born. Paula Abdul turns 55.

In 2013, James Gandolfini died. 

And in 1846, the first official baseball game was played as the N.Y. Nines beat the Knickerbockers 23-1 in Hoboken, N.J. 

So as for a Rushmore, what makes up the Rushmore of the best single baseball games of all time?

Go, and enjoy the day.

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