Sports Picks for the Week: July 19 – July 26

On July 19, the Yankees begin their first season in the American League.

When Babe Ruth signed with the Yankees, he didn’t sign to be closer to his daughters. He signed to join the Yankees in hopes of saving their pennant race. It became clear — in addition to being a jack of all trades and a special best friend — Ruth would be an above-average hitter who could play multiple outfield positions, something that wasn’t true of players from prior generations. Because of this, the Yankees elected to sign Babe himself as a fifth outfielder. But that decision was reversed.

What happened was this: Ruth turned himself into a defensive back — like “The Three Stooges” — who could also play shortstop and running back. In the Bronx, the “Three Stooges” got the national spotlight, their name had time and raised ticket prices. In order to avoid being booed, members of the famous team began a guerrilla strike — wearing Mickey Mantle and Ozzie Smith uniforms and doing some funny pranks. In baseball parlance, this is known as “cutting the mustard” — an act of deflection. To discredit the protest, the Yankees secured the right to stay in the AL East — defeating the hated Baltimore Orioles and taking over the top spot for another season.

The Yankees fired their manager, Lou Piniella, and bought Babe Ruth on July 25, 1922, following the famous commissioner’s veto. The New York Times notes that Ruth would become a symbol of the team, “greatly enhanced by a PED scandal that made it difficult to fathom how his affiliation with the Yankees could take place.”

In 1945, Al Simmons became the Yankees’ No. 1 home run hitter. On July 26, Charles Calkins was born.

Unfortunately, Jimmy Key’s final regular season effort, a 4-4 tie at Oakland on July 30, ended in a blackout, ending the 41-year playoff run in the American League East.

The Yankees open their second season in the AL with a doubleheader against the New York Rangers in Newark (June 12-13).

Phillies ace Roy Halladay has elected to retire, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Philadelphia Phillies will undergo their first major renovation in three decades by creating the largest club in the modern era of baseball, thanks to the St. Joe Building. The company behind the renovation, St. Joe Co., announced on May 14 that Halladay will also be moving to downtown Philadelphia, his hometown.

Five teams made the World Series, but the Kansas City Royals lost to the Cleveland Indians in seven games. The New York Yankees won it all, defeating the Chicago Cubs in six games.

A new Queens stadium built for a Philadelphia Phillies baseball team won’t open until 2023.

In another major triumph, the Chicago Cubs advanced to the World Series three times in a five-year span starting in 1995, defeating the Pirates and Rangers in their seven game series last year. In 16 World Series appearances, the Cubs are 27-28.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will leave the team after the 2018 season.

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