So Many Sports, So Little Time

gausman

Wednesday was a busy day in the sports world. Too much for one person to handle some might say. But I’m here, so I may as well give it a shot….

NBA

Wednesday night showcased two NBA playoff matchups. Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers steamrolled the Toronto Raptors (125-103), taking a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Lebron did what he does, scoring 39 points while adding 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Just another day at the office huh?? Lebron’s 39 points were special because he passed Kareem-Abdul Jabbar for 2nd all-time on the playoff scoring list. Bad became worse for the Raptors as Kyle Lowry went down in the 3rd quarter with a left ankle injury. Lowry would return to the game, but with a noticeable limp, so I’d call Lowry questionable at best for Game 3.

The late game Wednesday night was Game 2 of the Houston Rockets vs. the San Antonio Spurs. The storyline here was simple: after a lopsided Game 1 win by the Rockets, how would the Spurs respond? And they responded exactly as I expected, with a 121-96 victory. Kawhi Leonard showed the world why he is an MVP candidate. Leonard dominated the offensive side of things with 34 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. Tony Parker also had a good game, however, he had to be carried off the court during the 4th quarter when his left knee buckled. The real story of Game 2 was Leonard’s defense, as he showed why he is the 2-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year. He locked up James Harden for the majority of the game, holding Harden to 13 points on 3 of 17 shooting. I guess Leonard doesn’t fear the beard.

NHL

The NHL also put forth two playoff games on Wednesday night. The Anaheim Ducks won an overtime thriller over the Edmonton Oilers (5-4). After an awful giveaway in his own zone by Adam Larsson of the Oilers, Ryan Getzlaf fed a wide-open Jakob Silfverberg right in front of the net.  Silfverberg drove home the one-time winner just 45 seconds into overtime, and this series is now tied at two games a piece.

Earlier in the evening, the Sydney Crosbyless Pittsburgh Penguins took on the Washington Capitals in Game 4. Crosby is still out after leaving Game 3 with a concussion. I guess the Capitals felt bad for the Penguins, so they decided to score for them. Oh yeah, you heard that right. In the 2nd period, Pittsburghs’ Jake Guentzel sent the puck in front of Washington’s net and defenseman Dmitry Orlov thought it would be a good idea to kick that puck into his own net. Nice work! The Penguins went on to win 3-2, and now hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

MLB

There was a full slate of MLB games on Wednesday night, but there was one game that dominated the headlines. The Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles have an on going feud that began on April 11th. It all started with a hard slide from Manny Machado into 2nd base that took out Dustin Pedroia’s legs. Since then, the Red Sox threw at Machado’s head, the Orioles plunked Mookie Betts, and Machado was thrown at again (this time going behind him). These actions resulted in a conference call between the Red Sox and Orioles organizations, the MLB Commisioner, and the MLB Players Association calling for the feud to be put to rest. Well you guessed it, the feud was not put to rest. Wednesday night, Kevin Gausman hit Xander Bogaerts, albeit with a curveball, as some form of sneaky retribution. Gausman was immediately ejected. I view Gausman and the Orioles as the immature person who must get the last word in no matter how wrong they know they are. But at the same time, can we not throw baseballs at people’s heads at 100 miles per hour? Okay cool, thanks. Good Talk.

In New York baseball news, the New York Mets continued their roller coaster season, beating the Atlanta Braves 16-5. As for the Yankees, they continued their winning ways, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-6. Aaron Judge smashed his MLB leading 13th home run of the season, and I’m quite certain he grew a foot taller last night as well.

BOXING

I’m assuming you haven’t watched a boxing match since Evander Holyfield was in the ring, but let’s talk about it anyway. This Saturday, May 6th, Canelo Alzarez (48-1-1, 34 KO’s) will take on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KO’s) in an All-Mexican Showdown in Las Vegas. Coincidentally, this match will take place just one day after Cinco de Mayo. Canelo, the Junior Middleweight Title Holder, will move up a weight class to fight Chavez Jr. at a catch weight of 164.5 pounds. Canelo’s only loss to date remains a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. Canelo is the odds on favorite to win this match and for good reason. I see Canelo winning fairly easily in a unanimous decision.

SOCCER

Juventus is very good.

 

What did you watch on Wednesday night? Let me know all about it in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

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Happy Birthday Aaron Judge!!

aaron judge

Did you see that?!?! This has become a common reaction to the early season accomplishments of New York Yankees’ outfielder, Aaron Judge. A mountain of a man, standing 6’7″ tall, Judge has taken the league by storm, one moonshot home run at a time. Wednesday night, Judge celebrated his 25th birthday by playing against the Boston Red Sox for the first time. Judge didn’t wait long to give himself a gift and introduce himself to this historic rivalry.

The first pitch Judge saw Wednesday night, an 89-m.p.h. fastball from Rick Porcello, landed exactly where you’d expect; the cheap seats. The 2nd inning, 2-run home run was the 7th of the season for Judge. He now has 7 home runs and 15 r.b.i.’s while batting .281 in his first 18 games. And to think just 4 short weeks ago, Judge nearly lost the right-field competition to Aaron Hicks. Good work Joe Girardi! This is Judge’s second audition in the big leagues (playing in 27 games in 2016), and I’d say he’s got the part. And who said you never get a 2nd chance at a 1st impression?!

The birthday boy’s evening didn’t end there. In the 3rd inning, Judge figured it was time to flash the leather. Xander Bogaerts popped-up a ball down the right-field line. As it appeared it would hang up just enough for Judge to make a play on it, he took off full-speed toward the foul line. The ball met his glove simultaneously with his knees meeting the half-wall, making an incredible catch and tumbling into the first row of the stands (pictured above) in a very Jeter-Esque manner. Dare I say that Judge’s home run in the 2nd inning was an inside-out swing reminiscent of one Derek Jeter as well? I’m just sayin’. 

Thanks to Judge’s hot start (and some surprisingly OUTSTANDING starting pitching), the Yankees have opened the season 12-7, just 1.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. Only time will tell if the Yankees and Judge will continue their strong play. For now, I will enjoy watching him hit 448-foot home runs into the stratosphere.

Do you think Aaron Judge is the real deal? Are the Yankees really contenders or is the other shoe about to drop? Let me know in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

A-Rod Drama Continues

mad joe

Alright sports fans, here we go again! It’s Mid-August, and while pennant races are heating up, the only thing on our minds is what will happen on the next episode of A-Rod TV. The stage for this last installment was none other than Fenway Park. It is the perfect place for this unbelievable story to rise to the next level. The Yankees, have been counted out of the playoff race by most, but like him or not Alex Rodriguez has brought the Yankees back to life in more ways than one. He and the Yankees have found their way back onto the front page of the sports section, and despite popular belief they have found themselves sniffing at the backdoor of the playoffs. We will discuss how The Yankees can make the playoffs later on, but for now let’s get back to the more important issues.

Sunday night, The Red Sox and Yankees faced off in a tiebreaker of a 3-game series, but the actual game quickly became an afterthought. Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate to lead off the 2nd inning as The Yankees were already in a 2-0 hole. Ryan Dempster, with the first pitch, decided to send a message by airmailing a pitch just behind his knees. A-Rod shuffled forward, said thank you very much, and made his way back to the batter’s box. With no warnings issued the at bat continued on it’s natural progression. Dempster then came inside with another fastball for ball two. Dempster then came inside AGAIN with yet another fastball for ball three. As if all this fun wasn’t enough for one day, with a 3-0 count, Dempster decided to plunk A-Rod right in the back. A-Rod turned and glared at Dempster and along with The Yankee’s trainer, walked down to first base. Now before I continue, I want to point out something the one and only Michael Kaye brought up on his radio show last week. Following the decision by MLB to expand the use of instant replay, Michael Kaye was worried about losing a part of the game that he personally enjoyed; The Manager-Umpire argument. He stated how much he enjoyed the old school manager mentality of getting right up in an umpire’s face and giving them a piece of their mind. He thought with the use of instant replay to remove human error (while Kaye supports replay for the sake of the quality of the game) the game would miss the kicking of dirt by a manager after a blown call. He went on to cite Joe Girardi as an example. He said that he would miss Joe Girardi storming out on to the field with his target locked on to an umpire and his vein pulsating from the side of his head. Well, Michael, last night you got your wish. Immediately following the pitch heard ’round the world, both benches were warned by the home plate umpire, and Girardi immediately stormed out to politely inquire about what was going through Brian O-Nora’s mind. No, seriously, Girardi went ballistic on O’Nora (rightfully so). Girardi, while absolutely right in his argument, was ejected from the game for arguing with the umpire. Both benches and bullpens had briefly cleared, but returned to their respective burrows without an altercation.

Now anyone with two eyes that function properly could see and understand that Ryan Dempster hit Alex Rodriguez on purpose. Dempster absolutely should have been ejected from the game instantaneously. I mean, he did throw at him three times before finally hitting him. I personally find it hilarious, and the moral of the story for me is simply how bad Dempster’s aim is. Maybe that’s why his e.r.a. is almost 5.00 (4.77 if you were wondering). However, following the game, the political responses that make baseball the blatantly obvious façade that it is ensued. Let’s start with Red Sox head coach John Farrell. He was asked in his post-game press conference if Dempster hit A-Rod on purpose. He candidly responded, I don’t know that he hit him in purpose (or something to that affect). Dempster stated that he was just trying to establish his inside fastball. Excuse me while we take a quick intermission, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (that’s me laughing off-air while I accidentally leave my microphone on and the audience get’s to hear my honest opinion). Oh yeah, way to establish your inside fastball behind him and in A-Rod’s ribcage. Listen, I dislike A-Rod the baseball player as much as the next guy, but this is not how you do it on the baseball field. You don’t take it upon yourself to plunk a guy to send a message in the 2nd inning of an important game. If Dempster had been rightfully ejected, the Red Sox bullpen would have been put in a precarious situation. And more importantly, when you miss him with the first pitch, let that be your message and move on with he game. Now, last but not least, let’s get to the ultimate politician, A-Rod. On the field just after the end of the game, Buster Olney caught up with A-Rod for a quick interview. I want to analyze his responses one by one to illustrate just how intelligent this evil genius is. First, Buster asked him how what he thought about winning this big game. A-Rod responded by saying it was huge and that The Red Sox have such a great team over there and they’ve had a great season all year long. Translation: The Red Sox have a good record, but essentially today was the beginning of the end of the 2013 Red Sox. He then proceeded to say that they are gathering their goups and now that they are scoring runs on a regular basis, everyone else should watch out. He was then asked about having a pitch thrown behind him and then being hit by a pitch in the same at bat. To that he slyly replied, well that was a bit odd and that was a weird situation. Next he added that the game has a way of policing itself. Translation: We are going to hit one of their best players on the first try the next time we get a chance. Buster also asked him what he said to Dempster as it appeared that A-Rod mouthed something in his direction following the incident. You know how you know you’re a good liar? When there is proof of something on video tape, and you still stand there and deny it. That’s how you know you’re good. I believe Shaggy said it best, “It wasn’t me.” He then went on to tell the truth for the first and only time in the entire interview. He spoke about the home run and how he got a fastball right down the middle and sent it back to where it came from. He also said that no matter what is going on around him, the main focus is and always has been winning baseball games and getting to the postseason. He also pointed out that he has great teammates and a great manager that have always supported him. Believe it or not, that part is also true. Joe Girardi’s actions and Bret Gardner’s words are proof of that. Gardner said that he doesn’t know how he would feel (about A-Rod, who else?) if he was on another team, but he is on this team and he supports everyone of his teammates to the best of his ability. And here is where A-Rod lost me completely. He said he has faith in God to get him through all the trials and tribulations that surround him everyday. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that everyone has the right to believe in whatever faith, religion, culture, and lifestyle they want, but did A-Rod really need to take it there? He used God as a springboard to say that despite all the boos he has a lot of people in his corner supporting and praying for him throughout this whole situation. Yup, you’re right, you’re the victim. Why didn’t we all realize that a little sooner? What he’s really saying is, I don’t give a crap what anyone thinks of me, I’m very rich and I’m happy! Lastly in response to the boos, he basically said I take boos on the road as a compliment. Which brings me to a saying that I believe in, “they don’t boo nobodies.” To summarize this entire interview I will say one thing: if A-Rod ran for Mayor, Governor, or anything in political office I would vote for him.

After all the nonsense in the game quieted down, A-Rod exacted his revenge on the field. As I referenced in the interview, A-Rod took a fastball and crushed it to dead center. If you were watching the game live, you knew that the second he hit the ball and you heard the beautiful crack of the bat; the ball was long gone. He got fired up as he rounded the bases, mouthing some obscenities, and that plus the Girardi ejection seemed to fire up The Yankees squad. They went on to win the game 9-6 and take the 3-game series two games to one. With A-Rods’s solid play of late, Granderson’s return, and Alfonso Soriano’s lights out performance thus far, The Yankees have a realistic shot of sneaking into the final wild card spot in the American League. While they appear that they can win enough games to make the playoffs, they would still need help from the teams currently ahead of them. Let me list these teams, and you tell me if you think they can outplay their American League foes. The Yankees are chasing at the coattails of the Baltimore Orioles, The Cleveland Indians, and The Oakland Athletics. How do you say not worried, not worried, and definitely not worried? All The Yankees need to do is take A-Rod’s advice (hahahaha), and keep their main focus on winning baseball games and making it to the postseason. If The Yankees can and will make the playoffs this season is yet to be seen, but you can be certain that there will be more drama to unfold each day on A-Rod TV. I mean, Brain Cashman, The General Manager of The Yankees, actually said he doesn’t feel comfortable speaking to A-Rod because of lawsuits that could ensue. Now if that isn’t awesome drama I don’t know what is!! Enjoy!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!