We already know Carl Edwards drives fast; shows he can also throw fast at Kansas City Royals game

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Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders – and now Carl Edwards as a two-sport star?

After what he showed Tuesday at Kansas City’s Kaufmann Stadium, Edwards might have a new career ahead if this whole NASCAR thing doesn’t work out.

Even though he claimed his baseball ability was virtually non-existent, Edwards showed he can hurl a pretty mean fastball when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday at the Kansas City Royals game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

A native of Columbia, Mo., about two hours east of Kansas City, Edwards professed being a lifelong fans of the cross-state rival St. Louis Cardinals.

But according to the Kansas City Star’s Randy Covitz, Edwards’ “fastball blistered (Royals catcher) Billy Butler’s mitt.”

“You’ve got a pretty good arm,” Butler, an avowed NASCAR fan, told Edwards, according to Covitz’ column in Wednesday’s Star.

While Edwards’ throw had good speed on it, the pitch just a wee bit outside for a ball and not a strike.

Still, it was an experience he’ll likely never forget. And knowing the athlete Edwards is, don’t be surprised if he starts working more on his fastball, curve and control – just in case he may want to further pursue this whole baseball thing somewhere down the road.

“That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” Edwards told Covitz after running off the field amid a flurry of fist bumps from Royals players and even Yost himself.

“I was a little nervous about the first pitch. I warmed up a little bit (Monday) night,” Edwards said. “I haven’t thrown a baseball for a long time. My strategy was to throw it as hard as I could.”

Making his first-ever visit to Kaufmann Stadium, Edwards was supposed to have a much wider overall experience, including taking batting and outfield practice. But his plane was late from Charlotte, leaving him only to take part in the first pitch activity.

But the Royals know talent when they see it, especially since several members of the team, including manager Ned Yost, are avowed NASCAR fans.

“Our guys watch NASCAR,” Yost told Covitz. “They know who Carl Edwards is. I’ve always admired him, always respected him, and from time to time take him on my fantasy team.”

Edwards is currently third in the Sprint Cup standings and has one win in the first seven races (at Bristol three weeks ago).

Covitz’ column had the perfect end to Edwards’ brief stint as a pseudo-big leaguer.

Wrote Covitz: “Even Tampa Bay’s three-time All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria wanted a piece of Edwards.”

“He had a question … how we went to the restroom in the car,” Edwards laughed. “That was his only question. Real technical stuff was being discussed out there.”

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Check out Edwards’ pre-first pitch interview:

Daniel Ricciardo to decide soon about moving from Red Bull to another F1 team

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LE CASTELLET, France (AP) Daniel Ricciardo says over the next six weeks he wants to decide between staying at Red Bull or joining another Formula One team for next year.

Ricciardo said on Thursday at the French Grand Prix, “It would be nice to go on the summer break knowing what I am doing.”

F1 is working its way toward its three-week break in August with speculation mounting that Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren are interested in luring Ricciardo away from Red Bull for 2019.

“I will be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, and I am aware that there will be interest from other teams,” he said.

The Australian driver has won seven races in his four-plus seasons with Red Bull. He is fourth in the standings behind leader Sebastian Vettel heading into the race at the Paul Ricard Circuit near Marseille.

Ricciardo’s stock has risen in recent months after his victories in Shanghai and Monaco. His Monaco win was particularly impressive because Ricciardo had to deploy some masterful defensive driving to protect his lead after losing an estimated 25 percent of his engine power.

Ricciardo said he had not directly spoken to rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, but he hedged when asked if his manager had.

“People talk, have coffees, I will leave that one open-ended,” he said with a laugh.

Ricciardo called the decision on whether to go or stay with Red Bull the biggest choice of his career following his decision to leave his native Australia and continue his racing career in Europe over a decade ago.

“For sure the priority is to get a car to win the world title because I really believe I can,” he said. “I am slightly careful because it is easy to think the grass is greener and maybe it is, but I also have it pretty good where I am.

“People do like a change but just to make change for the sake of making a change is not enough for me. I need to find some substance behind it to jump ship.”

Red Bull announced recently it would be ending its 12-year partnership with engine-maker Renault and switching to Honda motors for next year.

Ricciardo was hesitant to endorse or criticize the change, saying he was going to “try to keep putting the pieces together if it is a good move.”

But with the question of the engine manufacturer out of the way, Ricciardo said Red Bull would likely be looking to resolve its drivers’ lineup for next year.

“I haven’t been pushed yet, but I would say that there will be some movement in the next week,” he said. “Whether that is something that gets put down on paper (or not), for sure the discussions will start to ramp up in the next few days.”