The Mid-Week Grades welcome August. Pretty soon the kids will be back to school and pigskins will fly through the air on the weekends. And maybe it will cool off a bit. We can only hope. If you’d like to turn in a Mid-Week Grade, text WGEM SportsCenter at 217-617-9437. We’ll break these down around 8:20 on Wednesday’s program.
A —Trade deadline. Maybe it’s because I’m always working on a deadline, but I love it when trade deadline day nears. All kinds of crazy stuff happens. This year’s Major League Baseball trade deadline didn’t disappoint. You had one huge name move — Ichiro Suzuki going from Seattle to the Yankees. There were a bunch of other guys who had to change teams, too. I actually like what the Cubs did, getting rid of a bunch of guys for some prospects. If a few of the young kids work out, the Cubs will be sitting pretty in a few years.
B — Missy Franklin. She might be the only amateur still participating in the Olympics. That’s a stretch, but the 17-year-old Colorado high schooler is leaving a lot of money on the table. Because she’s an amateur, she’ll have to bypass $100,000 in bonuses for her gold medal win. There’s also a ton of endorsement money that could come her way after her outstanding showing in London, but she’ll have to give up her amateur status first. She says she wants to swim in college. She’s been than me. I’d take the money and swim.
C — Atlanta Braves. With the team being one of the hottest in the National League, you’d think they’d get a higher grade. They’re in the middle here because they had to go to some drastic measures on Monday night. The Braves’ 8-2 win over the Marlins on Monday was the team’s first Monday win of the season. Heck it was their first Monday win going back to last August. The team pulled out all the stops. The Braves wore their pants up — old-school style — and credited Chipper Jones’ new Twitter account with reasons for the streak being over.
D — Olympic timers. South Korea’s Shin A Lam was one second away from reaching the gold medal match in Olympic fencing. With so little time, there was virtually no way for Germany’s Britta Heidemann to win the match. Unfortunately, the timekeeper erred and allowed extra time as Heidemann scored two points to win the match. To make matters worse for Shin, she had to stay on the floor for nearly an hour as the match was protested. She broke down crying during the wait and was ultimately ruled the loser. She also lost the bronze medal match, too, going from a sure medal to going home empty-handed.
F — NBC/Twitter. Consider them the tag-team champions of the world when it comes to denying someone free speech. The two teamed up to shut down an account of a Los Angeles-based journalist who had been critical of NBC’s decision to tape delay events at the 2012 London Olympics. Twitter says it banned Guy Adams, a reporter for the England-based Independent, for publishing the email address of an NBC executive in charge of the Olympic programming. The move has people on the Internet steaming. Adams’ speech wasn’t hateful. He was merely expressing an opinion and letting others know how to contact NBC if they had the same problem with the networks’ coverage.