The greatest phenom since … never?
Cincinnati's Elly De La Cruz has set the national pastime on fire in just 16 games
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So let’s see.
The Thunder, for the price of taking Davis Bertrans’ salary — $17 million — off the Dallas Mavericks, moved from 12th to 10th in Thursday’s NBA draft, selected 19-year-old Cason Wallace out of Kentucky and everybody says Sam Presti’s done it again and perhaps he has.
If he has, glory, because picks like that can work out huge: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, for instance, taken 11th by the Clippers in 2018; Jaylen Williams, out of Santa Clara, selected 12th by Oklahoma City just last year.
The Jordy Bahl news has finally settled and still it’s interesting to watch fans take sides, from “good riddance,” to “she’s gone, move on,” to “I’ll root for the Huskers when they’re not playing OU,” to the one I’m claiming, “Nebraska will be fascinating because pitching’s held it back and the Sooners and Huskers could definitely meet next postseason.”
All that and Big 12 Football Media Days, the Sooners’ last, arrive July 14.
Against that local backdrop, nationally, just one of North America’s big-four team sports is in session and it’s the one you could’t run away from most of the past century, yet struggles not to be ignored this one.
The game that brought you America’s most famous athletes — Pete Rose and Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench and Rod Carew, Steve Carlton and Rickey Henderson, Nolan Ryan and Cal Ripken, the entire Dodger infield — until it didn’t.
But there’s something happening on the diamond, demanding your attention now, I simply can’t not write about.
Actually, there's two things and it pains me to give one such short shrift, but here it is:
Miami Marlin second baseman Luis Arraez is hitting .401. He was up to .403 on June 7, fell back to .378 on June 14, and he’s caught fire again. Can you imagine the first .400 hitter since Ted Williams 82 years ago?
But we must move on.
Because there’s something still more exciting than that and his name is Elly De La Cruz — 6-5, 200 pounds, 21 years old — and you just have to watch him play.
He’s been in the bigs all of 16 games, and though Atlanta ended Cincinnati’s 12-game win streak Saturday afternoon, the Reds are still 13-3 since his arrival and suddenly atop the NL Central
Let’s begin at the plate.
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