One side effect of Robinson Cano leaving the All-Star Game early may have been reporters not dwelling on his pending free agency. The Yankees remain overwhelming favorites to keep Cano, but it's looking increasingly likely that he will hit the open market; he does not have a contract extension and at this point does not appear close to signing one. ... At this point, Cano might as well test the market, if only to leverage the Yankees. And who knows? Another club might tempt him with a monster offer. Indeed, a number of teams with potential openings at second base could jump into the sweepstakes for Cano, who will turn 31 on Oct. 22. The LA Dodgers are an obvious alternative. The Chicago Cubs could make Cano the centerpiece of their rebuilding program. (FOX Sports) Comment
The Dwight Howard experiment didn't work out in Los Angeles, so what's next on the horizon? [The Lakers] are looking at adding LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony -- among others in a star-studded 2014 free-agent class -- front-office sources have told ESPN. Opinions are split on whether the Lakers can actually land James or Anthony, with one source calling it "realistic" and another saying it was "far-fetched at this point." Nonetheless, the Lakers have made it clear they are positioning themselves for a run at one and perhaps even two of the superstars who could become free agents in 2014 by refusing to commit to any contract past this upcoming season, multiple sources have said. (ESPN.com) Comment
Before ever squaring off in an SEC game, Gus Malzahn and Bret Bielema are already squared off in a hot philosophical debate. Bielema re-ignited the argument at SEC spring meetings by proposing rule changes that would slow down no-huddle aoffenses in an effort to promote player safety, a view first presented by Alabama's Nick Saban last season. Malzahn, the mastermind behind the hurry-up, no-huddle offense, finds it hard to believe that any increase in pace correlates with an increase in player injuries. "When I first heard that, to be honest with you, I thought it was a joke," Malzahn said. "As far as healthy or safety issues, that's like saying the defense shouldn't blitz after a first down because they're a little fatigued." (AL.com) Comment
The British Open teed off on Thursday morning, and Zach Johnson got off to a very hot start. He made three birdies and an eagle over his first seven holes at Muirfield. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
There were no games in any of the four major professional sports last night, making it a slower time in the sports calendar. Here's Robin Roberts receiving the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPY's.