Sunday, May 30, 2010

5/29/10- What a Day

What a Saturday in sports. There was something for everybody. So many great (and sad) things happened, and everything was amazing in its own unique way.

In the NBA, Kobe Bryant did what he always does, hit clutch shots near the end of games (or set them up by air balling), after the other team has cut a major lead down. He did that against Phoenix to send the Lakers to the NBA Finals to play against, who else, the Boston Celtics. Magic Johnson was raving about the upcoming matchup after the game, and ESPN will continue to rave about it. I won't until Wednesday.

Kendry Morales hit a walk-off Grand slam for the Angels to beat the Mariners. In itself, this would not make my columns. But what happened after did. During the celebrations, he fractured his left leg, and may be out for the rest of the year. This is truly unfortunate for the Angels, as he is a good player who has contributed much for them all year. This will definitely change how the Angles celebrate walk-offs, and maybe other teams as well. This reminds me of things similar to this from the NFL. Remember Martin Gramatica, and his brother Bill? They both hurt themselves celebrating game winning field goals. Yet their injuries were funny, this one wasn't at all. I feel so sorry for Kendry and the Angels, and this is something we may never see again, despite how many times we see walk-off wins. But, that was not the most memorable event from this great day (not for Kendry).

Chicago beat Philly in game 1 of the cup finals, where both teams played badly, and decided not to bring their goaltending with them. Chicago played slightly better, so they won. Even though they had no powerplays at all. This was the Flyers game to have, and they decided not to take. The Flyers have to win Game 2, or they may get swept because of the way the Hawks play on the road. With all the jawing that went on during the game, and after presumably, Game 2 will be a very hard hitting game. Despite this being the highest scoring Cup Finals game since Game 4 of the 1992 Cup Finals (with the Hawks losing a 6-5 game to the Pens at Chicago Stadium to lose the Cup), that was not the most memorable event.

The most memorable event was Roy Halladay's perfect game. I am a Mets fan, so I should be saying bad things about him, or not even acknowledge it as true. But, this is only the 20th perfect game in MLB history. Some people have called this season, "The year of the Pitcher", and I agree with them. Before June even started, we have seen a No-Hitter from the Colorado Rockies, and 2 perfect games in 20 days. And offensive output has increased dramatically. Sure it has. This shows baseball is still, and always will be in my opinion, a pitcher's game. Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in the game today, and he truly deserved this, even if he does pitch for the Phillies. What a great day for him, and there is still 4+ months left in the baseball season, so plenty of more opportunities to see something else amazing. The NBA's slogan is, "Where amazing happens". That should be the 2010 MLB season's slogan.

What a day. The month of June will provide us with a new NHL, and NBA champ, and the world will turn to South Africa for the world cup. I frankly can't wait to see it all.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Non-Biased Stanley Cup Finals Preview

For my first column, I'll write about the Stanley Cup Finals. Now I will say, I expected the Flyers to be out in the 1st round. I completely underestimated the team, of which many thought would be here at the commencement of the season. My bad. But to claw back my dignity, I picked the Blackhawks to be here at the beginning of the playoffs. So, I was half right. If you did pick the Flyers to be here at the beginning of the year, but went back on that after you saw how they were playing down the stretch, I still give you credit (some). But now, onto my predictions.

Both teams are playing extremely well coming in. The Flyers have been knocked down more than any team I have seen in the playoffs ever, and yet they always counter-punch back. This is the lowest seed to make it to the Finals since the 1998-99 Buffalo Sabres; they were a 7 seed too (His skate was in the crease). The Flyers have everything clicking right now. They're scoring, playing great defense, and can pick any goaltender they want, and he'll post a sub-2 GAA. They are doing everything right, even if a poor defender takes a puck to the face, and comes back as good as prior to the incident. Chris Pronger was brought in to agitate on defense, and that is exactly what he's doing. He shut down Kovalchuk, Savard, and Cammalleri as well, all premier scorers in this league. They can score, but better, they can agitate like the Legion of Doom, and the famed Broad Street Bullies. The seed is a misnomer. They're a 7 seed playing like a 1 seed.

The Chicago Blackhawks were expected to be here. That doesn't mean they can't surprise a bit as well. They payed a steep price to bring in big scorer Marian Hossa from Detroit. Even though he didn't play a game until November, he stilled scored like no one else. They are getting production from everyone, even Dave Bolland (who?), who shut down the Sharks in their last series. And, they can take a hit, like Duncan Keith who lost 7 teeth and still assisted on the game winning goal in Game 4, scored by big Dustin Byfuglien. They are playing just as well as they Fly guys, maybe even slightly better, backstopped by scoring from everyone, great D, and the brick wall better known as Antti Niemi, who has been shutting everyone down.

These two teams are almost evenly matched, but I'll let you in on a little secret. The Hawks have won 7 straight on the road in these playoffs. Even though Philly has lost once at the Wachovia Center in the postseason, the Hawks were facing the same stat against San Jose, and won twice in the Shark Tank. Tough thing to do, that is. Now that the Hawks can win at home, and you'd think 22,000 fans, maybe more, would provide that much sooner, this series looks to be slightly in the Hawks court. With the way the Hawks play on the road, the Flyers are looking like a tougher pick, even though the teams may be pretty evenly matched. The Hawks have the grit of a guy who just lost 7 teeth, and turns out, they have one! That will spur them on.

Prediction: Hawks in 6

Monday, May 24, 2010


First muse coming in a few days! Prepare yourself until then.