Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All Eyes On Rafa (Again)

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is at it again....


Rafa has reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and is seeking his 2nd straight Grand Slam title. Next up-- No. 4 Andy Murray






If Rafa pulls it off, this will be is second Wimbledon championship (2008) and 8th overall Grand Slam title. Only the U.S. Open eludes him.

And I'm sure he has his eyes on that prize too.

Go Rafa!

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dynasty! (Again)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS!
2010 NBA CHAMPIONS

Los Angeles Lakers 4 - Boston Celtics 3


The Celtics left it all on the court last night, but in the end, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Co. playing a Game 7 at the Staples Center was just meant to be. No doubt!

The last 3 NBA championships have been won by the Lakers and Celtics. For those keeping score, it now stands, Celtics 17 - Lakers 16. The NBA may be one league, but in the long run, it is controlled by 2 teams. No doubt!


And in the end, it's all about-- defense, baby, defense!


Yes Ron! You FINALLY got your ring. The weight of an empire is off of your back. It took guts to say, "if the Lakers don't repeat, blame it on me". But in the end you came thru. Big time!

CONGRATS LA!!!!!

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Final Battle!

NBA FINALS:
Los Angeles Lakers 3 - Boston Celtics 3

THE LAST STAND!


Ok folks! We are down to the nitty gritty! ONE GAME for all the marbles. This is how many, including myself, envisioned it would be. Celtics and Lakers, Game 7, at the Staples Center-- gotta love it!


I refuse to believe that Kobe Bryant will let this magic moment slip away. A Game 7 of the NBA Finals at the Staples Center against the hated Boston Celtics is his stage, his dream, his everything. Something tells me, he will get the job done. No doubt!


Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom and Co. played the game of their lives in Game 6. If they show that kind of effort in Game 7, there will be a celebration in LA. No doubt!


Yes Ron! You are at the brink of FINALLY getting your elusive ring. This is your moment! One game, one chance! Just play your heart out, dude! It's yours to lose.

As for the Big 3-- if Boston doesn't pull it off, it'll be interesting to see what their future holds. Personally, I think the Big 3 have now become the Big 4-- Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo deserve a couple of more years together. No doubt!

To Game 7 we go! Gotta love it!

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Help!

NBA FINALS:
Boston Celtics 3 - Los Angeles Lakers 2


"Our defense belongs on milk cartons in the last two games." -Kobe Bryant


If Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and Co. don't step up and help Kobe, it just may be a long summer in LA. Personally, I have no problems with the way Kevin Garnett is slapping Gasol around and with the way Pierce is obliterating Artest because those guys are superstars and that's what superstars do-- BUT!!!! -- letting the Celtics bench run the show and score at will is INEXCUSABLE.


Something tells me this man is going to have the game of his career in Game 6.

Can't wait!

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kudos To The Cubs Fans!


Today, the BP Crosstown Cup, which goes to the winner of the Chicago Cubs/Chicago White Sox annual series, got a rude welcome. The Cup was introduced before the game and received the loudest of BOOS from Cubs fans at Wrigley Field. TWO THUMBS UP!

I'm sure the fans want the Cubs to win the series but as far as they're concerned, major league baseball can keep the prize-- and I don't blame them.

The BP oil spill down in the Gulf has turned into a nightmare for the folks down there and from today's reaction, it seems, Cubs fans want no part of BP. And BP deserves no sympathy because they have been utterly irresponsible in their handling of the disaster.

But the Cubs and White Sox don't get a pass here, either--

This is what happens when greed runs amuck. Sooner or later it will come back and bite you in the you know what. I mean, is it really necessary to name a meaningless trophy after a big corporate sponsor just for the sake of pocketing a few extra bucks? Are the Cubs and White Sox that much in the red?

I refuse to believe that these two organizations would go broke if they didn't make any loot off of a trophy given in good gesture. They are just plain greedy! And today, their greed blew up in their faces.

Well done, Cubs fans!

Photo courtesy of the AP

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finally!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
2010 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS


Another one of those long championship droughts has bit the dust as the Blackhawks win their first Stanley Cup in 49 years (1960-1961). It was the longest drought for any of the coveted members of the exclusive fraternity known as the "Original Six" (the Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, Detroit Redwings, Montreal Canadians, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs).

This was a great win as it brought championship fever back to the city of Chicago. Did someone say, Lebron James to the Bulls?

Oh and let's hope some of it rubs off on the Cubs.

CONGRATS CHICAGO!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hey! What About Me?!


Ok, so today Stephen Strasburg (the 2009 No. 1 overall pick) makes his highly anticipated MLB debut for the Washington Nationals. As the story goes, the game was sold out within two hours of the Nationals making the announcement a few weeks back. Strasburg is yet to throw a major league pitch but his gear is selling like crazy all over the country. There is no question the guy is a rock star right now.

But what about Mike Leake?

Leake was the No. 8 overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the same draft. The draft that we might as well call the Strasburg Draft.

And by the way--

Leake is 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 50 Ks in 11 starts for the first-place Reds (33-25). And he could have easily been 11-0. Leake has pitched at least 6 innings in every start and has allowed 3 runs or less in 10 of the 11. And the 1 start where he allowed 5 runs, he won the game. In 5 of his 6 no-decisions he has allowed 1 ER or less.

I'm not taking anything away from Strasburg who has the potential for greatness-- BUT this kid Leake is good.

The point is--

Strasburg is getting all the attention, all the praise, all the aura, all the everything--

But Leake may just be the best pitcher taken in last year's draft.

Keep an eye on this kid.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Ageless One


Kudos to Jaime Moyer!

Moyer (6-5, 3.98 ERA, 2 CG, 1 SHO) at 47+ years young, is defying nature. Not only did he become the oldest player ever to throw a shutout, he is now only the third player ever to win 100 games after the age of 40. He joins Phil Niekro (121 wins) and old-timer Jack Quinn (103 wins) in this rarest of clubs. Niekro was a knuckleballer and Quinn made is MLB debut 91 years ago during the dead-ball era. So it's not something we're going to see everyday.

To put Moyer in perspective, when he made is MLB debut (way back in 1986), players like, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Ryne Sandberg, Wade Boggs and Kirby Puckett, were all young lads in their 3rd to 5th seasons in the majors and all five are now retired and in the Hall of Fame.

And incredibly, Moyer is still going strong. Two thumbs up!

Moyer photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not Even Close!

CONGRATULATIONS TO RAFAEL NADAL
2010 FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION


6-4, 6-2, 6-4


Rafa made it look easy. He wins his 5th French Open championship (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010) without dropping a single set. With his win over Robin Soderling, he avenged his only French Open loss and is now 38-1 for his career at Roland Garros. As ESPN's Stuart Scott would say, "he is a RIDICULOUS 38-1 in Paris."

And with the win, Rafa is officially the new world's No. 1 player. It may be too early to start comparing him with the best ever, but I will dare say, he is the best ever on clay.

Move over, Bjorn Borg!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Rematch of the Century!

The French Open: The stage is set!


Rafael Nadal is a man on a mission. His career record at the French Open now stands at 37-1. One more win and not only does he reclaim the French Open championship but the No. 1 world ranking as well.

Nadal has easily advanced to the final where he would meet none other than Robin Soderling. Soderling is the ONLY man to ever beat Nadal in Paris (in the 4th round in 2009). Prior to last year, Nadal (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 champion) had never lost a French Open match. And this year, he is yet to drop a single set. The guy is just amazing on clay.

But Soderling is no slouch--


He is the 2009 runner-up (lost final to Roger Federer) and he dethroned Federer earlier in the quarterfinals. There is no doubt the guy has raised eyebrows the last two years in Paris.

Last year he beat Nadal but went on to lose to Federer. This year he beat Federer and advanced to play Nadal. Pretty remarkable accomplishment.

But nonetheless, I have my money on Rafa.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Thursday, June 3, 2010

NBA Finals: Beware Of This Man!

Ron Artest's defense may just be the difference in the series....


NBA Finals:

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics XII

My Prediction:
Gotta stick with my opening day prediction: Lakers in 7

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The Moment Has Arrived!


There is no doubt, and I mean NO DOUBT, Armando Galarraga's "PERFECT GAME", has put the instant replay debate back in the news. If this moment, this one TERRIBLE CALL, doesn't change the status quo-- then nothing will.

And NOT just instant replay!

This entire notion that umpires "rule with an iron fist" has to come to an end. Period!

Why didn't Jim Joyce ask for a second opinion? Why on such monumental close calls can't the umpires, as a crew, take a quick look at the replay and make the right call? Why doesn't commissioner Bud Selig use his power to overturn a damaging wrong call?

Joyce admits he blew it. Everyone (including Joyce) feels bad for Galarraga, so why not just do the right thing and reverse the damn call!?

Every baseball fan, including myself (a Perfect Month post), was mind-boggled when Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay threw only the second pair (and first in the modern era) of perfect games in a single season, let alone a single month-- but never in our wildest dreams did we see this coming.

As far as I'm concerned, we have witnessed the impossible-- 3 PERFECT GAMES in a span of a month. And I'm sure Jim Joyce will be reminded of that for the rest of his life.

The ball is in your court, Commissioner Selig! Do the right thing!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Farewell Junior!


Ken Griffey Jr. retires after 22 seasons.
  • 630 HR
  • 1836 RBIs
  • 13 All-Star Games
  • 10 Gold Gloves
  • 1997 AL MVP
  • 1987 No. 1 overall pick

....and he did it LEGITIMATELY!

Photo courtesy of SI.com

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Worst Call In Major League History!

"I just cost that kid a perfect game." -umpire Jim Joyce





Detroit Tigers right-hander Armando Galarraga had a perfect game with two outs in the 9th inning, only to have his chance at history ruined by a SHOCKING BLOWN CALL by umpire Jim Joyce.

UNBELIEVABLE!

SIMPLY UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

Photos courtesy of mlb.com