Weekday Morning Sports – Thursday 7/16/15

Sports Radio 1400 WSJM     @wsjmsports     wsjmsports.com     Thursday, July 16, 2015

MLB – With future uncertain, Tigers hope for big second half
Over the past few years, baseball’s trade deadline has been a source of excitement and anticipation in Detroit. Whether he was pulling off a blockbuster last year for David Price or adding players like Anibal Sanchez and Jose Iglesias in previous seasons, general manager Dave Dombrowski has always been ready to act. With the deadline approaching again, Dombrowski is facing a new set of questions. The Tigers entered the All-Star break at 44-44, in third place in the AL Central. After four straight division titles, they now trail first-place Kansas City by nine games, and there’s already speculation around Detroit that the team might be better off trading some of its top players and reshaping the roster for next year.

MLB – White Sox perking up … but is it too late?
The Chicago White Sox rolled into the All-Star break playing their best ball of the season, finally performing like the team they thought they were after a miserable start. The question is can they somehow jump into contention? They are last in the AL Central, 11 games behind division leader Kansas City and 5 ½ out of the wild card. The White Sox (41-45) won nine of 11 games before getting shut down by Jake Arrieta in a 3-1 loss to the Cubs on Sunday. Even so, they are 13-7 after dropping eight in a row last month.

MLB – A ratings stinker
Baseball’s All-Star Game drew a record-low television rating. The AL’s 6-3 win over the NL in Cincinnati on Tuesday night earned a 6.6 rating and 12 share on Fox. The previous low was a 6.8 in 2012. Fox reports that the broadcast averaged 10.9 million viewers, down from the 11.3 million for last year’s game, Derek Jeter’s final All-Star appearance. Ratings represent the percentage of homes with televisions tuned to a program, while shares measure the percentage of TVs in use at the time.

MLB – Schedule
Tigers host Baltimore starting Friday
White Sox host Kansas City this weekend, they play a day night doubleheader on Friday.
Cubs are in Atlanta for three games starting Friday

WNBA – Women’s National Basketball Association
Last Night
Chicago Sky 85, Washington Mystics 57

Sky 85, Mystics 57 – Quigley scores 15 to lead Sky over Mystics 85-57
The Chicago Sky rolled to an 85-57 win over the Washington Mystics on Wednesday. Allie Quigley scored 15 points and Elena Delle Donne added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Sky, who led by as many as 31 in the second half. Stefanie Dolson led Washington with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

NFL – Bryant and Cowboys agree on $70 million deal
Dallas Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant just made his best receptions since last season. A person close to the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Bryant has received a five-year, $70 million contract which includes $45 million in guaranteed money. Bryant had threatened to skip training camp and regular-season games without a contract to replace the $12.8 million, one-year offer he had under the franchise tag. Bryant led all NFL receivers with 16 touchdown catches last season. Bryant had until yesterday afternoon to either accept multi-year offers or play under their franchise tag-designated salary.

NFL – Suit says NFL, DirecTV has created an illegal monopoly
A San Francisco bar has filed suit against the NFL and DirecTV over the league’s Sunday Ticket package. Ninth Inning Inc. says DirecTV’s exclusive right to broadcast certain NFL games is an illegal monopoly that raises costs for bars and restaurants. The suit says a bar or restaurant with a fire code occupancy between 51 and 100 people will pay a little more than $2,300 for Sunday Ticket this year.

NHL – Stars sign veteran D-man Oduya, another pickup from Chicago
The Dallas Stars have signed defenseman Johnny Oduya to a two-year, $7.5 million contract. The move was announced Wednesday. Oduya joins former Chicago Blackhawks teammate Patrick Sharp, who was traded to Dallas last week. Oduya scored 10 points in 76 games for the Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks last season.

Golf – St. Andrews is ready
The British Open is now underway this morning at St. Andrews, Scotland, and the reigning champion is unable to defend his crown. Rory McIlroy won at Royal Liverpool last year, the third of his four major titles. He led wire-to-wire for a two-stroke victory over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia. However, he can’t participate because of an ankle injury suffered while playing soccer with some friends recently. But Jordan Spieth will, and he’s the hottest player on the planet. The 21-year-old Texan won the John Deere Classic last weekend and has already captured the Masters and U.S. Open this year. Spieth is the fourth player since 1960 to win the first two majors of the year. Arnold Palmer did in in 1960, as did Jack Nicklaus in 1972 and Tiger Woods in 2002. All failed to make it three straight with a win in the British Open. Following completion of the Open, the final major will be the PGA Championship next month at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. And of note, five-time British Open winner Tom Watson is playing in the event for the final time. The 65-year old also announced this week that next year’s Masters will be his last because he no longer hits the ball far enough to be competitive in the event.

NCAA – Michigan’s deal with Nike worth $169 million
The University of Michigan’s new apparel and equipment deal with Nike is worth $169 million, with a nearly even split between annual cash and apparel value. The deal, which begins in August 2016, was announced last week, and Michigan released financial details Wednesday. The agreement runs until 2027, and the school has an option to extend it to 2031. The full 15-year deal includes annual compensation totaling $76.8 million, plus $12 million up front, as well as $80.2 million in apparel. Nike will supply the school’s 31 athletic programs with uniforms, footwear, apparel and equipment. Michigan has partnered with Adidas since 2007.

Soccer – Gold Cup – Cuban players AWOL, but team advances
A couple of Cuban soccer players were missing as the team played Guatemala on Wednesday. The whereabouts of Dario Suarez and Aricheel Hernandez were unknown, and the two players were listed as absent on the official roster. Neither regional soccer officials nor Cuban delegation members immediately offered an explanation. Two other Cuban soccer players already abandoned the team in the United States on this trip. Forward Keiler Garcia defected in Chicago ahead of Cuba’s match against Mexico and backup goalkeeper Arael Arguellez disappeared before the team traveled to Arizona.  The absence of the two players didn’t stop the Cubans from advancing to the quarterfinals. They scored in the 73rd minute to beat Guatemala and improve to 1-2-0. Cuba next faces the United States on Saturday in Baltimore.

Cycling – Froome remains in yellow
The winner of the 11th stage of the Tour de France was Poland’s Rafal Majka. The 25-year old won a stage that included several mountain climbs.  Britain’s Chris Froome continues to wear the leader’s yellow jersey, 2:52 ahead of Tejay Van Garderen of the United States.

MWL – Midwest League Baseball
Last Night
West Michigan Whitecaps 2, Dayton Dragons 1
Lansing Lugnuts 6, South Bend Cubs 4
Bowling Green Hot Rods 6, Great Lakes Loons 2

Dayton Dragons at West Michigan Whitecaps, 7 p.m.
South Bend Cubs at Lansing Lugnuts, 7:05 p.m.
Great Lakes Loons at Bowling Green Hot Rods, 8:05 p.m.