Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Roland Garros: TSC Salutes The Greatest!

CONGRATS TO THE GREAT ROGER FEDERER!

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The World No. 3 advances to the third round at the French Open and in doing so wins his 234th Grand Slam match, which is now an all-time record. He surpasses the legendary Jimmy Connors for the most Grand Slam match wins in the Open Era. He is now an astonishing 234-35 (.870 winning percentage) in the 4 major tournaments. What a career! 

Here are the all-time Top 5 in the Open Era (since 1968):
  1. Roger Federer - 234 and counting
  2. Jimmy Connors - 233
  3. Andre Agassi - 224
  4. Ivan Lendl - 222
  5. Pete Sampras - 203
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Roland Garros: So Far, So Good For The King and Queen!

2012 French Open: Round 1

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World No. 2 Rafael Nadal wins 6-2, 6-2, 6-1

World No. 2 Maria Sharapova wins 6-0, 6-0

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As for the rest of the Top 10-- every player on both the men's and women's side advanced to the second round, except one--

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The only first round SHOCKER was the ousting of 13-time Grand Slam champion, former World No. 1 and 5th seeded Serena Williams. Serena had been a perfect 46 for 46 in Grand Slam first round matches-- until today. SHOCK AND AWE, to say the least. Read more on Serena's shocking loss, here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Celtics vs. Heat: Destiny's Children

''Was there any doubt that it'd be us and Boston?'' -Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: It's the Big 3 vs. the Big 3

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It's the 2008 and 2010 Eastern Conference champions vs. the 2006 and 2011 Eastern Conference champions.

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''Inevitable. It's the matchup the game of basketball wants." -Dwyane Wade

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''This is a good time right now. This is the cream of the cream. This is what it's all about, you know, conference finals. We definitely didn't like the way we left last year. So we'll see what happens, man. We'll see what happens. Let's get it on.'' -Kevin Garnett

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''I wouldn't have it no other way, personally. It's really the only team I'm accustomed to playing in the playoffs. No matter where I go, I find a way to play Boston. ... We've got a lot of history.'' -LeBron James

MY PREDICTION: HEAT 4 - CELTICS 2

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It's THE KING'S time!

Read more about the Heat-Celtics matchup, here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

King LeBron James: Closer and Closer

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Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks
Heat win series, 4-1

Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers
Heat win series, 4-2

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS:

Miami Heat vs. ???
Heat win series, ???

NBA FINALS:

Miami Heat vs. ???
Heat win series, ???

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Preakness Stakes: We Almost Have Another!

CONGRATS (AGAIN) TO I'LL HAVE ANOTHER
2012 PREAKNESS STAKES WINNER

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2 DOWN, 1 TO GO!

After edging out Bodemeister in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, the stage is set for I'll Have Another to make history. A win in the upcoming Belmont Stakes will make I'll Have Another and Mario Gutierrez the first Triple Crown winners in 34 years. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed, ridden by Steve Cauthen, in 1978. Incidentally, in 1978, a horse named Alydar finished second in all 3 races to Affirmed. Will Bodemeister be the next Alydar? It's quite conceivable.

It should be an interesting third leg....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

'Bout Time!

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It's official! The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field, home of the New York Baseball Mets. The Mets will host their second ever All-Star Game. The first was in 1964, the year they opened the old Shea Stadium. You can get "the skinny" here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bryce Harper: One Down, ??? To Go

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The 2010 No. 1 Overall Pick, Bryce Harper, the most touted phenom in recent MLB history, has hit his first career home run. It came in the third inning of an 8-5 win over the San Diego Padres. If the 19-year old prodigy lives up to all the hype he's received since his high school days, this should be the first of many, many more.  We'll see....

SI.com/Vault

Friday, May 11, 2012

King LeBron James Wins His Third MVP Award!

CONGRATS to LeBron!

Three MVP awards in the last four years sounds good but I'm sure the king has bigger fish to fry....

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The MLB on TSC: Johnny Damon, Zack Greinke and Lance Lynn

It's time now for another edition of the MLB on TSC, where baseball's past always meets baseball's present, where the strange and bizarre never goes unnoticed and where facts are sometimes stranger than fiction.

So here are some odds and ends from the wacky world known as major league baseball--

HEEEEEEEERE'S JOHNNY!

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Don't call it a comeback, he's been here for years!

The ageless Johnny Damon is back in the bigs and this time around as a mentor to the young Cleveland Indians. Last year he was in the bigs as a mentor to the young Tampa Bay Rays. The year before last he was in the bigs as a mentor to the up-and-coming Detroit Tigers. Just keep getting "mentor" gigs, Johnny! Currently you have 6 hits with the Indians, bringing your career total to 2,729. That's 271 shy of the magical 3,000.

If all else fails and Johnny doesn't reach 3000 he can always try out for the part of Jack Torrance in the remake of The Shining. He kinda looks a little like Jack Nicholson, doesn't he?

ZACK GREINKE AND TOM LOVETT

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Here's an odd Zack Greinke stat, according to the Elias Sports Bureau:

In his 19th HOME start for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Brew Crew finally lost a game. In other words, the Brewers snapped a streak of 18 consecutive wins at HOME when Greinke is on the mound. So how unique is Greinke's start at Miller Park? Only one other pitcher made more HOME starts to start a career with a team without his team losing. Back in 1890, yes 1890, the Dodgers won the first 24 home starts by Tom Lovett. If my math is correct, that's 122 years ago.

Incidentally, back in 1890, the Dodgers were known as the Brooklyn Bridegrooms.


LYNN-SANITY IN ST. LOO

Lance Lynn (6-0): 6 G, 6 GS, 1.40 ERA, 0.85 WHIP

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Is Lance Lynn for real? Well, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lynn is only the 4th pitcher in Cardinals history to start a season 6-0. He now shares the distinction with Max Lanier (1946), Luis Arroyo (1955) and Bob Tewksbury (1994). It looks like the defending world champions may be on to something here.

TOO EARLY TO START BELIEVIN'-- BUT WHAT THE HECK!

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The New York Baseball Mets are 18-13 to start the season. Yes, 18-13! But let me quit writing about them so not to jinx them.....

HEEEEEEEERE'S VLAD!

According to the AP:

Vladimir Guerrero agrees to deal with Blue Jays.

Hmmm? Johnny got a gig. Vlad got a gig. Roy Oswalt, where u at?

To be continued....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ur Making Me Look Bad, Robbie!

David Robertson (L, BS): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 HR
 
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Well, after praising David Robertson as the heir to the injured Mariano Rivera's throne, the dude goes on and gets rocked in his second game with a save opportunity in the post-Mo era. Robertson had a perfect 0.00 ERA for the season, until last night. Robertson had pitched 2 perfect 9th innings (with 1 SAVE) in his role as the new Yankee closer, until last night. It looked like the stars were aligning for him, until last night.

With the Yankees winning 1-0 against the Tampa Bay Rays, Robertson was handed the ball and asked to do his best Mo impersonation in the bottom of the 9th inning. NOT! The Rays pounded him for 4 runs and the Yankees wound up losing the game 4-1. Robertson got the loss, the BLOWN SAVE and the shattered confidence. Oh well, I guess for now I have egg on my face.

For the record, I still have faith in the kid being the Yankee closer for years to come. He just needs to develop a "No Mo' Mister Nice Guy" mentality. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Josh Hamilton Club

4 Home Runs In One Game


Here's the list of the 16 men in the "4 Home Runs In One Game" club:

Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers — May 8, 2012
Carlos Delgado, Toronto Blue Jays — Sept. 25, 2003
Shawn Green, Los Angeles Dodgers — May 23, 2002
Mike Cameron, Seattle Mariners — May 2, 2002
Mark Whiten, St. Louis Cardinals — Sept. 7, 1993
Bob Horner, Atlanta Braves  — July 6, 1986
Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies — April 17, 1976
Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants — April 30, 1961
Rocky Colavito, Cleveland Indians —  June 10, 1959
Joe Adcock, Milwaukee Braves — July 31, 1954
Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers — August 31, 1950
Pat Seerey, Chicago White Sox — July 18, 1948
Chuck Klein, Philadelphia Phillies — July 10, 1936
Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees — June 3, 1932
Ed Delahanty, Philadelphia Phillies — July 13, 1896
Bobby Lowe, Boston Beaneaters — May 30, 1894

Stats courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Great One!

Josh Hamilton rips four, yes four, 2-run HRs

Texas Rangers 10 - Baltimore Orioles 3

Josh Hamilton: 5 AB, 5 R, 5 H, 8 RBI, 4 HR, .406 BA, 18 Total Bases (most ever in AL history)

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Top 1st: Texas
- J. Hamilton homered to deep center, E. Andrus scored

Top 3rd: Texas
- J. Hamilton homered to deep left, E. Andrus scored

Top 7th: Texas
 - J. Hamilton homered to deep center, E. Andrus scored

Top 8th: Texas
 - J. Hamilton homered to deep center, E. Andrus scored

UN-FREAKIN'-BELIEVABLE!!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Roland Garros: In 20 Days....

....the Defending Champion and World No. 2 Rafael Nadal will begin his quest for a 7th French Open championship....

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....and chances are that the man known as the "King of Clay" will more than likely face the "King of Everything Else But Clay", a.k.a. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, in the final....

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....and this time around Djokovic ain't jokin' because the clay courts of Roland Garros are the only territories he is yet to conquer.... But then again, how could he? After all, Nadal has ruled these waters with an iron fist for oh so long....

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But we shall see if the times they are a changin'....

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....in 20 days.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kentucky Derby: Will We Have Another?

CONGRATS TO I'LL HAVE ANOTHER
2012 KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER

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Now the question is-- can I'll Have Another be the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years? We'll see what he's made of at the Preakness Stakes....

Potential Problem For Mo!

"I am coming back. Put it down. Write it down in big letters. I'm not going out like this. I can't go down like this." -Mariano Rivera

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The season-ending freak accident to Yankee closer Mariano "Mo" Rivera is probably the last thing anyone envisioned in this early season. Just last week I read an article where Mo was consoling new acquisition Michael Pineda on how he should handle his devastating season-ending injury. I'm sure, at the time, the last thing on Rivera's mind was that he too would have the same destiny.

But the great Rivera has made it clear that he ain't goin' down this way. He'll be back!

As great as Mo has been during his career-- the greatest closer ever, without a shadow of a doubt-- it may not be so simple. Yes, during his major-league record 608-saves career Mo has been lights out. Yes, he has been the closest thing to perfect with his near 90% save conversion rate for his career. But at 42, Mo's "undoing" may be the "doing" for another man. The same way Mo began his career as a lights-out 8th inning setup man so has David Robertson, who will be the new Yankee closer for the remainder of the season. Robertson, the 2011 Setup Man of the Year, has a-- get this-- 0.00 ERA thus far this year. Last season he had a 1.08 ERA with 34 HOLDS in 66.2 innings. Over the past two seasons opponents have barely been able to bat .170 against him. He was so good last year that he actually received a vote for the AL Cy Young Award and a vote for the AL MVP Award. How many setup men can lay a claim to that? There is no question this kid has the potential to be a lights-out closer himself.

So yes, if there's anyone that can comeback at 43, it's the great Rivera-- but the question is-- will the closer spot still be open when he comes back?

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Something tells me the dawning of a new era has begun at Yankee Stadium.


Friday, May 4, 2012

King LeBron James: Just A Matter Of Time!

NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks
Heat lead series, 3-0

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Like'em or not, the inevitable is, well, the inevitable.

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Like'em or not, there will be a celebration down in the Valley of the Kings, a.k.a. South Beach.

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Like'em or not!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The MLB on TSC: The Boys of April

It's time now for another edition of the MLB on TSC, where baseball's past always meets baseball's present, where the strange and bizarre never goes unnoticed and where facts are sometimes stranger than fiction.

Here goes--

A.J. BURNETT AND NICK MADDOX

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There's no question that A.J. Burnett is off to a terrific start with his new team. Thus far Burnett (1-1, 1.38 ERA) has had two solid starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates after being run out of town by the New York Yankees because of his inconsistency. In fact, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, in his first start for Pittsburgh, Burnett became only the second Pirates pitcher ever to throw at least 7-shutout innings and strikeout at least 7 batters in his debut for the team. The only other Pirates starter to do so was Nick Maddox, WAY WAY, back on September 13, 1907. That's, get this, 105 years ago. Go A.J.!

"CONGRATS" TO PAUL KONERKO

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Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko deserves some KUDOS for becoming the 48th player in major-league history to belt 400 home runs. Too bad he did it in today's day-and-age and not once-upon-a-time when 400 home runs meant something. Nonetheless, congrats P.K.!

A BUMMER FOR HUMBER

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What a difference a START makes! Chicago White Sox starter Philip Humber went from perfection to imperfection in a span of two starts. After throwing the 21st perfect game in major-league history, Humber became the first pitcher to ever allow at least nine runs in his start following the perfecto. His pitching lines for the two games look like this:
  • 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 9 K
  • 5.0 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 3 HR, 3 BB, 5 K
Talk about a rude awakening!

THE AMAZING METS

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Leave it to the New York Mets to set quirky major-league records. Here's the Elias Sports Bureau on the 2 latest FIRSTS set by the Mets:

"What is it about the Mets that makes managers want to change pitchers? On April 24 against the Marlins, the Mets became the first team in major-league history to have four straight batters draw walks from four different pitchers. On April 30 against the Astros, the Mets saw Houston's manager Brad Mills engineer the first instance in major-league history of seven different pitchers facing seven consecutive hitters." Amazing!

ATTENTION: NATIONAL LEAGUE: BEWARE OF THIS MAN

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Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Matt Kemp (.417 BA, 12 HR, 25 RBI)-- the early odds-on-favorite to win the NL MVP Award. Um, the same award he should have EASILY won last year. Maybe someday someone will tell me what season the 2011 voters were watching.

To be continued....