The Evster's Midseason WNBA Awards

The Evster's Midseason WNBA Awards

It's been another roller coaster season in the WNBA filled with ups and downs and women throwing the ball off the bottom of the backboard and right back into their own faces. In the East, the Chicago Sky (led by local hero Elana Delle Donne) have SKY'ED to the top of the standings, while out West, the Tulsa Shock have been shitting all over themselves, delivering another shit-filled summer to the shitty fans in their shitty city.

Perennial fan favorites like Tina Thompson, Jet "The Jet" Jett and Fancy Nancy Reagan have continued to amaze, while young stars such as Dr. Jane Naismith, Kevin Durant's fiancé and Wilma Rudolph Jr. have taken the ligg by storm.

So seeing as the past few months have been chest-pass-arrific©, let's give out The Evster's Midseason WNBA Awards.

Most Incredible Layup

Oh man, there have been so many sweet layups so far this season: Right-handed layups, left-handed layups, OFF-DA-BACKBOARD layups. I even saw one layup that was meant to go off the backboard, but instead went over the backboard, into another player's hands, and then that player tried put it back in, missed, got her own rebound, back-dribbled off her foot, over to another player, who then collided with a different player, knocking the ball loose and causing six women TO SIMULTANEOUSLY CRASH TO THE FLOOR OH GOOD GOD THE HUMANITY.

Rookie of the Year

It's a two-horse race this summer between the former Blue Hen, Delle Donne, and the Phoenix Mercury's Britney Griner, last year's NCAA player of the year. EDD has been sensational for Chicago, but Griner has been HUGE for the Mercury, literally, she's by far the tallest woman on the planet. The first-born daughter of Gheorghe Muresan and a giraffe, Griner stands at 19 feet tall and averages over 300 points per game. Experts all over the country are debating which one of them has had the greater impact, so I asked University of Tennessee Head Coach, Imelda Marcos, who she thought has had the better start to her career.

Imelda Marcos: "I love shoes!"

Thanks, Imelda Marcos.

I'm giving the award to Delle Donne because she's prettier.

**Evster's Note** I'd just like to take a second to say that I actually sort of enjoy watching women's basketball, specifically the USA National Team, and feel kinda bad about making fun of the sport. Over the past 25 years, the women's team has consistently outperformed the men, winning seven of the past eight olympic gold medals while the men have only won six. I also recognize that any woman in the WNBA could destroy me on the court -- or in the bedroom -- and that I am a terrible and pathetic person. That being said, it's still really fun to rag on the WNBA, so let's continue with this mildly offensive, kinda sexist blog post. Next award!

Chick With the Biggest Rack

I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm kidddddinnnnnggggggg.

Most Valuable Player

According to EmilyMaynard.com, the first half MVP has been Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks. So yeah, that's great, I agree, Candace for MVP, whatever. But more importantly, did you know that Candace is married to former Duke and Atlanta Hawks SUPAHSTAH, Shelden "My Name is Shelden" Williams?!?!

It's true!

The couple married in 2008, and have a lovely 4-year-old daughter together, Lailaa, whose name is spelled with a ridiculous amount of A's. Lailaa is an aspiring soccer player and amateur artist, and recently drew this picture of her Mommy and Daddy.

Candace is the one wearing headphones.

Also that picture of Shelden is INCREDIBLE.

Based on her Instagram, it seems as if Parker is living a truly #blessed life, as evidenced by the fact that she recently met Mr. Belding!

Best Mascot

After googling "WNBA + mascots + I'm so very lonely", I discovered that the Houston Comets -- the former back-to-back-to-back-back (that's four backs!) champions -- are no longer a team! Can you believe it? Me neither! I'm actually being serious right now, that's friggin' really weird (and sad). Other teams who have folded are the Charlotte Sting, the Detroit Shock, the Cleveland Rockers, the Orlando Miracle, the Miami why do I keep naming teams this isn't even interesting. Anyway, that's pathetic that the team who won the league's first four championships had to fold. Not as pathetic as what's happened to Mr. Belding's career, but still.

Even sadder is the fact that Haley the Houston Comet, the weirdest-looking mascot in the history of mascots, is now dead! That lady was a total weirdo!

What is even going on there?!?!

#75?

So I guess now the Seattle Storm's mascot, Doppler, looks to be the league's best. Doppler is a big, furry, brown idiot whose favorite broadcaster (according to the Storm's website) is Hannah Storm. That's kinda funny, actually. Doppler's favorite movies are listed as Rain Man and Gone With the Wind. His favorite color is white lightning, which isn't even a real color, so now I sort of hate him. He might not even be a he. He might be a she. Explain to me why I chose to write about the WNBA again?

Best Kevin Durant's Fiancé

Monica Wright, Minnesota Lynx, hands down. She's the only player so far this year to get engaged to the NBA superstar. I could tell you more about the young lovers -- like the fact that they met years ago at the McDonald's game -- but instead let's just check out Monica's Instagram account, because clearly that's the only research I'm capable of doing.

Here's Monica and KD getting ready to go paddle boarding. Interesting that Durant is goin' with the "Hang Loose" Hawaii hand gesture while Monica is throwin' down deuces like her name was MC Ren.

Monica posted these pics over the past couple of Wednesdays, giving props to that Geico Humpday commercial (WHICH I LOVE). Not only did she post a screenshot of the spot, she also recently bought a t-shirt featuring the camel. I love this woman.

And this is her dog wearing sunglasses!

So there you have it, folks. You're all caught up on the wonderful world of the WNBA.

You're welcome!

You can follow the future Mrs. Kevin Durant on Twitter @Monnie22. You can also follow The Evster @TVMWW, or Imelda Marcos @ThePhilippinesFinest.

Instant Replay: Cubs 7, Phillies 2

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USA Today Images

Instant Replay: Cubs 7, Phillies 2

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO – The Phillies completed a dreadful road trip with a 7-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon.
 
The Cubs swept the three-game series by a combined score of 17-5.
 
The Phils were 1-5 on the trip. They lost two of three in Detroit to start the trip.
 
The Cubs tagged Phillies starter Vince Velasquez for seven runs in 4 ⅔ innings Sunday.
 
The Cubs belted six homers in the three games. The Phillies had two and they both came late in Sunday's game after they were down, 7-0.
 
The Cubs have the majors’ best record at 34-14.
 
The Phillies have been held to two or fewer runs 19 times this season. They head home with a record of 26-24.
 
Starting pitching report
Velasquez was tagged for nine hits and seven runs in 4 ⅔ innings. He gave up two homers, a solo shot in the second and a three-run blow in the third.
 
Velasquez did not have a good trip. Against two of the toughest lineups in baseball, he pitched 8 ⅔ innings over two starts. He gave up 18 hits, five of which were homers, and 10 earned runs.
 
The righthander is 5-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 10 starts.
 
Cubs’ right-hander John Lackey gave up just four hits and one run in seven innings.
 
Cubs starting pitching held the Phils to three earned runs in 22 ⅓ innings in the series. And Jake Arrieta did not pitch.
 
Bullpen report
Brett Oberholtzer walked three in 1 ⅓ innings, but did not allow a run. 
 
At the plate
Tyler Goeddel homered for the Phillies’ first run. Tommy Joseph homered in the ninth.
 
The Phillies were out-hit, 10-6. They had just six extra-base hits in the series. The Cubs had 11.
 
The Cubs used three hits, none of which were hit particularly hard, to score a run in the first inning. Miguel Montero crushed a 2-0 fastball from Velasquez over the wall in right to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the second and Ben Zobrist made it a 5-0 game with a three-run shot off Velasquez in the third.
 
In the field
A day after manager Pete Mackanin praised him for his defense, shortstop Freddy Galvis had a tough day in the field.
 
His 44-game errorless streak ended in the fifth inning when made just his second error of the season.
 
Two innings earlier, with two outs in the third, Galvis failed to make a play on a scorching one-hopper by Kris Bryant. The play was scored a hit because it was hit so hard, but Galvis had made plays like that before. The play proved pivotal because it extended the inning. Velasquez then issued a two-out walk, setting the table for Zobrist’s three-run homer, which gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
 
Joseph started at first base as manager Pete Mackanin sat Ryan Howard for the second time in a week against a right-hander pitcher. Joseph made a nice defensive play with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning.
 
Health check
Cody Asche’s minor-league rehab stint ends Wednesday. The team can bring him to the majors at any time or option him to the minors when the rehab stint ends.
 
Up next
The Phillies return home Monday to start a 10-game homestand that includes visits from the Nationals, Brewers and Cubs. Here are the pitching matchups for the series against the Nats:
 
Monday night – RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.97) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (3-4, 2.71)
 
Tuesday night – RHP Aaron Nola (4-3, 2.86) vs. RHP Joe Ross (4-4, 2.52)
 
Wednesday night – LHP Adam Morgan (1-3, 6.67) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (5-4, 4.05)

NBA draft profile: Providence PG Kris Dunn

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NBA draft profile: Providence PG Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn

Position: Point guard

Height: 6-4

Weight: 205

School: Providence

Point guards are coveted on NBA rosters, and a team could land a long-term solution with Dunn. Last season, he averaged 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.5 steals in 33.0 minutes per game. The Sixers met with Dunn at the draft combine and plan to work him out as well. In order for the Sixers, who hold the first, 24th and 26th picks, to acquire Dunn, they would have to make a trade to move up in the selection order. 

Strengths
Dunn brings a physical presence to the one spot. At 6-foot-4, he has a 6-9 wingspan and can create size mismatches at the point guard position. Dunn is athletic with strong leaping abilities, which allows him to move well without the ball to the basket and attack the rim as well. While Dunn can score (16.4 points per game), he also averaged 2.5 steals per game this season.

Beyond the numbers, he has immeasurable mental strength and focus after overcoming obstacles to reach the highest level of basketball.

“You’re going to get someone who works hard every day,” Dunn said at the combine. “I like to say I’m a blue collar worker. Nothing was ever given to me and I go after it with everything I have.”

Weaknesses
As an NBA point guard, Dunn has to be disciplined running the floor. At times in college he went for the highlight play over fundamentals, resulting in turnovers (3.5 per game). He will have to improve shot selection in the pros. Dunn took 21 more field goal attempts from his junior to senior season but actually made one less year to year. He also shot 69.5 percent at the line. 

How he'd fit with the Sixers
The Sixers had a revolving door at the point guard position this season. They didn’t have a consistent starter until late December when they traded to re-acquire Ish Smith, who is a free agent this summer. Dunn could be their point guard for the future. 

NBA comparison
Dunn has been compared to Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall. At the combine, Dunn said he liked that comparison because of Wall’s defensive skillset.

Draft projection
Dunn is projected to be drafted as high as in the top five. He could be selected lower, though, given teams close to the top already have point guards.

MLB Notes: Sore left foot sidelines Red Sox's David Ortiz against Blue Jays

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MLB Notes: Sore left foot sidelines Red Sox's David Ortiz against Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has been scratched from the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Blue Jays with a sore left foot.

He is day to day.

Ortiz, who leads the major leagues with 46 RBIs, 23 doubles, and 121 total bases, was hit on the foot by a pitch in the fifth inning of Saturday's 10-9 loss. Ortiz struck out on the play.

Hanley Ramirez moved from first base to DH, Travis Shaw moved from third to first and Josh Rutledge replaced Shaw at third.

Ortiz is batting .339 with 13 home runs. He has announced his intention to retire at the end of the season.

Yankees: Beltran misses Rays game with shoulder tightness
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- New York Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran is out of the starting lineup Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays because of right shoulder tightness but says he is available off the bench.

Beltran was hurt Saturday on a checked swing.

He said Sunday: "A little sore, but I'm good. I saw the doctor yesterday and he said that it should go away in a couple days, so I'm not worried."

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira didn't start for the fifth consecutive game because of neck stiffness but said he "felt pretty good" after resuming batting practice and taking grounders.

Teixeira had a cortisone shot Thursday. He said that made a "night and day difference."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi is hopeful that Teixeira can start Monday night's game at Toronto.

Royals: C Salvador Perez out 7-10 days
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez is expected to be out 7 to 10 days with a bruised left thigh after colliding with rookie third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert while catching a foul pop up in the ninth inning Saturday.

Perez had a MRI on Saturday night, which confirmed the injury was a contusion with no structural damage.

"Hopefully it's not going to require a trip to the DL," Royals manager Ned Yost said Sunday. "We're hoping he'll be back in 7 to 10 days. It could be earlier or later. We'll just have to wait and see and just manage it day to day.

"Great news, you don't want to have to put him on the DL and he's ready to play in eight days and has to sit there for another week."

The Royals recalled catcher Tony Cruz from Triple-A Omaha, where he was hitting .278 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in 31 games. Cruz has a .220 average in 229 games with St. Louis the past five years (see full story).

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