A little more than a week ago, John Salmons had five-year, $20 million-plus contracts on the table from both Phoenix and Toronto.
Now, the Suns have Marcus Banks, the Raptors have Fred Jones and Salmons is still on the market — with a huge blue light flashing over his head. What happened?
When Salmons first reneged on a handshake deal with the Suns and chose the Raptors, we wondered aloud if the fit really made sense. Given all the bodies new general manager Bryan Colangelo had already stockpiled, was the move more to zing the Suns than bolster the Raps?
Turns out, Salmons got cold fins during the one week it took for ex-Sun Andre Barrett to clear waivers and complete a deal between the Raptors and 76ers. The 76ers don’t want Salmons back, so now he’s a free agent late in July with a reputation for not living up to his word — twice.
TWO DOWN, 28 TO GO
In case you’ve lost track of Russ Ortiz, things aren’t going any better in Baltimore for the $32 million human torch.
Ortiz, who I’m sure still claims he just needs to work out a few kinks, dropped to 1-16 in his last 22 starts after facing six batters (five hits and a walk) before being excused from the rest of Friday’s 14-7 loss to Tampa Bay. Ortiz has allowed 19 runs in 12 innings since arriving June 25 and has been dropped from the rotation.
• Kudos to Chad Tracy, who finally stepped out of the batter’s box Sunday, allowing the Chase Field crowd to properly acknowledge Luis Gonzalez’s moving into 30th place on the all-time doubles list (527). Twice during the homestand, the applause of a milestone two-bagger was cut off by rookies digging in right away.
• While tossing out laurels, let’s hear it for Tiger Woods (British Open win) and Floyd Landis (Tour de France champ) for reversing the recent run of American pratfalls on the world sports stage. The soccer flameouts, Wimbledon losers and hot dog eaters certainly appreciate the pick-me-up.
We’re especially proud of Landis, since another American winning the Tour is worse than making fun of Zinedine Zidane’s mom in France.
• Losing Stephen Drew and Carlos Quentin doesn’t seem to have slowed down the Tucson Sidewinders, who beat Salt Lake 28-5 on Sunday. The Diamondbacks’ Triple-A team collected six home runs among 28 hits and had two six-run innings and one seven-run frame.
• After a 7-3 homestand, the DBacks are now 46-37 against the National League. And interleague play is over — at least until October.
• Good news and bad news (we’ll let you decide which is which): Brownie Points will be off for a brief hiatus beginning Tuesday but, unlike Ortiz, will return to the rotation on Aug. 2.