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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Stories by Darryn Albert:

Edwin Jackson calls his pitching ‘horses—’ after getting shelled by Angels

Edwin Jackson is a former All-Star and World Series champion, but you wouldn’t know it based on how he has been pitching this season.

The Toronto Blue Jays righty was lit up for seven earned runs in just one inning of Monday’s 10-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, retiring a mere two batters in the process. After the game, Jackson was critical of himself.

“I think my pitching has just been horses—, to be honest, since I’ve been here,” said Jackson, per Gregor Chisholm of the Toronto Star. “That’s point blank. The execution has been terrible. I know I’m better than that. That’s not who I am.”

Jackson, who was acquired by Toronto last month, entered play on Monday with a 1-4 record and a 10.22 ERA on the year. Those numbers will be even worse now after he served up six hits (including three homers) and two walks to a sub-.500 Angels team.

The 35-year-old has had a solid 17-season career with plenty of memorable moments and funny mishaps alike. At some point though Jackson may have to come to the realization that he just does not have it anymore.

Report: Kyrie Irving ghosting Celtics, has not communicated with them in weeks

Kyrie Irving

As his free agency approaches, Kyrie Irving appears to be leaving the Boston Celtics on read.

Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported on Monday that the All-Star guard seems to essentially be ghosting the Celtics and has had little, if any, communication with the organization in recent weeks.

The 27-year-old Irving has already informed the team that he does not plan to pick up his $21.3 million player option for next season, paving the way for him to potentially leave as a free agent.

One division rival is already lurking as a possible Irving destination, and the Celtics can’t be encouraged by Uncle Drew’s radio silence of late either.

Padres pitcher was ejected for encouraging teammate

Padres logo

San Diego Padres lefty Matt Strahm was on the receiving end of one of the season’s more ridiculous ejections over the weekend.

Strahm was one of three Padres tossed from Saturday’s contest against the Colorado Rockies along with infielder Manny Machado and manager Andy Green. Strahm was not even in the game but was yelling from the top of the dugout steps.

Afterwards, Padres reporter Bob Scanlan revealed that Strahm was essentially ejected for shouting words of encouragement to teammate Phil Maton, who was on the mound at the time. Home plate umpire Bill Welke thought Strahm said, “Come on Bill!” when he was really yelling, “Come on Phil!”

It’s not quite the worst ejection we have seen in baseball this month, but it’s still a pretty unique way to get sent to the showers early.

Josh Hart has perfect tweet after trade to New Orleans

Josh Hart

Josh Hart is headed to The Big Easy, and he is already trying to become one with the local culture.

The 24-year-old guard, who was just traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis blockbuster, sent a perfect tweet on Sunday asking his followers for the best beignet spots in New Orleans.

Hart, who averaged 7.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game last season, will be headed to the Pelicans along with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and a slew of future first-round draft choices.

The former Villanova star also seemed happy on his Instagram Story after the news broke, so it sounds like he is looking forward to the change in scenery.

Report: Pelicans still want to keep Jrue Holiday after Davis trade

Jrue Holiday

Anthony Davis is officially on his way out of New Orleans, but that does not necessarily mean that a fire sale has begun for the Pelicans.

Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday that the early word is the team still wants to keep veteran guard Jrue Holiday in the wake of trading Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Holiday, who just turned 29, is under contract for two more seasons and holds a player option for the 2021-22 campaign in addition.

Though Davis has been sent packing, the Pelicans suddenly have a dynamic young core to build around with the additions of Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram. Another former Laker in Julius Randle has a $9.1 million player option that he can opt into, and Zion Williamson is likely to arrive in town soon with the No. 1 overall pick (on top of the No. 4 pick that New Orleans also netted from the Lakers).

The ex-All-Star Holiday is a two-way stud who can play either guard spot and offer some veteran stability alongside those young players. There was some prior talk that the Pelicans wanted to trade him, but it may be in their best interest now to keep him, especially with the shifting power balance out West.

Celtics reportedly refused to include Jayson Tatum in Anthony Davis offer

Jayson Tatum

Anthony Davis slipped through the hands of the Boston Celtics, and one young player in particular appeared to be a dealbreaker of sorts.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Saturday that the Celtics refused to include forward Jayson Tatum in trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans for Davis, who was ultimately dealt to the rival Los Angeles Lakers instead.

The 21-year-old Tatum, who averaged 15.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season, is perhaps the most coveted asset on the Celtics roster. He also cannot hit restricted free agency until summer 2021.

In fairness to Boston, Davis did not seem interested in playing there, so it would make little sense to part with a cost-controlled potential franchise cornerstone (who is five years younger to boot) for a one-year rental.

Astros pitcher Wade Miley hit ball off train tracks in batting practice

Houston Astros logo

The Houston Astros once again have one of the best offenses in baseball this season, and now even their starting pitchers are getting in on the fun.

Prior to Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Astros lefty Wade Miley had quite the show of strength in batting practice. Miley tattooed a ball off the train tracks in left-center field at Minute Maid Park and added a bat flip for good measure, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.

The former All-Star Miley, who has spent most of his career in the National League, is a .155 lifetime hitter, which actually isn’t too terrible for a pitcher. He also has one home run and 15 RBIs in his nine big league seasons.

In any case, Miley fared much better than other pitchers recently have in BP.

Warriors interested in trading for Dion Waiters?

Dion Waiters

Even if they both re-sign, the Golden State Warriors will likely be without Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant for most if not all of next season, which could force them to get creative. Very creative.

In a piece published on Saturday, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton linked Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters to the Warriors as a potential trade target. Pelton noted that the Heat have reportedly been trying to offload Waiters’ contract and that Golden State might even be able to net a draft pick in exchange for taking the former No. 4 overall pick into an exception created by a sign-and-trade.

Waiters, 27, is coming off a 2018-19 campaign where he averaged 12.0 points and 2.8 assists per game on 41.4 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from deep. He is owed $12.1 million next season and $12.65 million in 2020-21.

While Waiters is a high-volume gunner whose style of play is not necessarily compatible with championship basketball, the Dubs will need supplementary offense anywhere they can get it next season. Waiters was also teammates with Durant in Oklahoma City, and the two still appear to be rather close.

H/T South Florida Sun-Sentinel