Set your countdown clocks. As of this writing, we are approximately 7 days, 21 hours and 4 minutes away from Stephen Strasburg’s MLB launch.
But with Strasburg and the Los Angeles Lakers, I figured I would be left screwed in any possible sports-fan scenario and now I have to deal with it.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting Strasburg’s immanent MLB arrival for a few weeks now, knowing that it could interfere with my schedule. It’s not a busy schedule, but I do have plans, you know?
First, he was going to arrive on June 4. That would be OK with me. I am going to Los Angeles Dodgers games on June 1 and June 3, so I would be clear there. But Strasburg was given another start at Triple-A and his ETA was pushed back to the Nationals’ June 8-10 series versus Pittsburgh.
Until last week, the only land mine was June 9, as I have tickets to another Dodgers game (Hey, if you could get seats with a view like this for $17 bucks per, you’d go to a lot of games too! I hate the Dodgers, but cheap baseball is always fun).
Then, on Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers had to go and make me so happy. And and now so very anxious.
Since Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday, I understood the possibility that Game 3 may coincide with Strasburg’s debut. I assumed that the NBA would use every Sunday possible to air its ultimate showcase, but I hoped against hope that the slate of games wouldn’t call for a stupid break of two full days between games 1 and 2. My prayers went unanswered.
Game 2 is Sunday and Game 3 is Tuesday, June 8. Of course.
I want to write a running blog for both events, but this conflict may cause me to meld the two together into one post. So, for once in my life, I hope for a fast baseball game next Tuesday. The Nationals and Pirates will begin around 4:07 p.m. West Coast time. The Lakers and Celtics will tip about two hours later. If Strasburg can work a quick six innings, I might be able to catch all of his start AND all of the NBA’s most frequent finals matchup.
This will be a non-issue if the man they call Jesus gets shelled and lasts about 2.2 innings. But against the Pirates at home, that seems unlikely.
I’m sure this comes off as just whining. That’s exactly what it is. I want to see both of next Tuesday’s spectacles in their entirety. I wanna, I wanna, I wanna!!!!
Another possible title for this post: “Kendry Morales does his best to one-up Bill Gramatica.
Chalk up another case of seeing something new in every baseball game — and even slightly after the game ends. Here’s the abbreviated description:
Morales, the Angels’ best power threat and a fifth-place finisher in last year’s MVP vote, blasts a walk-off grand slam Saturday to left-center field and Angel Stadium’s inhabitants burst into euphoria. Here comes the slugger around third, all of his teammates are waiting to beat him up, you know, in a good way. He tosses his helmet to the ground, races for the plate, hops up into the air aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand …
***Disclaimer: This post is most likely a waste of your time. But if you enjoy baseball stats about mid-level players presented for no evident reasons, then keep reading by all means.
I’m sure I’ve said this here before, but you’ll see something completely new every time you watch a baseball game. Usually, that means when you see it live, but tonight, I saw something on TV that I just had to look up because it seemed impossible to have occurred before.
Matt Stairs recorded an intentional walk and a stolen base in the same game.
Why is that important? Why is it even interesting? I’m not sure. It’s neither to most, but it’s gotta have some appeal if you are reading a blog post that you knew was about Matt Stairs.
There are certain players who randomly pique my interest. Zack Greinke is at the top because he is dominant, understated, has a great back story and the best baseball-inspired T-shirt ever. I love Francisco Liriano because I’ll never forget his 2006 season. I think Chaz Schilens will be one of the best receivers in football when his body stops betraying him.
On the other side of the coin, I like to smack on the likes of LenDale White, J.R. Smith, Ricky Davis, etc. because their personal perception of their ability is far greater than their actual talent.
I guess Matt Stairs falls in the middle somewhere. I don’t root for him. I don’t dislike him. But he does have a wondrous quality. He is the owner of a very average body and no athleticism. He can’t play the field, could never run much and can’t really hit any more but keeps getting work at 42 years old. He’s played for 12 teams and swings at an 80-degree angle. When he connects, he hits some majestic shots. He reminds us of the days when weight training and diets weren’t a big portion of MLB life. If only he and Rich Garces could start a one-on-one softball league, my life would be complete. Although, I forgot that I shouldn’t knock Stairs about his weight any more.
With about eight minutes to play, Kendrick Perkins fouled out on an iffy illegal screen call. Orlando then scored six of the next eight points — all of which came from inside the paint and make you wonder how different the score would have been if Perkins didn’t have six fouls. But suddenly, it’s a two-point game.
For the majority of the remaining six minutes, it was a back-and-forth contest with big shots made on each side. Kevin Garnett’s fading baseline jumper with 2:45 left was absolutely ridiculous.
The real drama began with 34 seconds on the clock and the Magic trailing, 95-92, after Paul Pierce made two free throws.
Attempting to go two-for-one, Vince Carter forced the action, slashed to the basket and was fouled by Pierce for his sixth personal. Just as Pierce made his two free throws a few seconds earlier, Carter sunk his shots smoothly.
Oh, that’s right. The exact opposite of that happened.
The first hit off the side of the rim. The second was a tad strong and popped up off the back of the rim and into Glen Davis’ mitts. That display caused many to start evoking the name of Nick Anderson when comparing Vince’s misses. That’s a big-time diss in Orlando.
But hey, that’s OK. All the Magic needed was a stop with 30 seconds left, and they got it. Garnett got a fairly open look just outside the key, a shot that he’s made about 90,000 times in his career. But a late hand in the face by Dwight Howard may have forced the shot off the mark. In any case, the Magic got their stop and the defensive rebound. Now all they needed was a timeout to set up their final shot with seven seconds on the clock.
Just gotta get that timeout.
SOMEONE CALL A TIMEOUT!!!
TAKE A GOD DAMN TO, BABY!!!!!!!
All that talk about John Wall heading to the Nets, how he will become Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s first draft selection and how they together could influence LeBron James to head to New Jersey? Fugetabouit. The Nets couldn’t get any home-court advantage from the folks who draw the Ping-Pong balls. They received the draft’s third selection during the NBA draft lottery in Secaucus, N.J. on Tuesday.
Instead it was the Washington Wizards, who had the fifth-best probability of claiming the No. 1 pick, who were the surprise recipients of that top spot and instantly, you have to look at the Wizards’ roster and wonder how much better Wall will make it.
How much better? Certainly a playoff contender, especially in that Eastern Conference, where a .500 record can put you in the running. Hell, Washington may finish in the top five or six. Look, if the Wizards get Gilbert Arenas back and can team him up with Wall, that’s a very solid duo right there. But the Wizards also have Al Thronton and Andray Blatche on the interior under contract. Blatche could be a tremendous player if he fully commits himself to playing and performing like a professional.
That’s a damn good base. They’ll need to make decisions on good players such as Mike Miller, Josh Howard, Shaun Livingston and Randy Foye. Plus, they have enough cap space to comfortably sign a big-name free agent this summer.
If everyone stays healthy, if Wall lives up to the billing and if Arenas comes back to being the player we know he can be, the Washington Wizards will definitely make the playoffs in 2011.
At first, I thought it was just some fluke outings. But I have to realize that Trevor Hoffman is done.
OK, that’s harsh. Over/under 10 more saves for Hoffman this season? I’d say under. Why? Just watch Tuesday’s outing in Cincinnati. He blew yet another chance in spectacular fashion.
He entered the bottom of the ninth with a 4-2 lead. He faced five batters and retired none of them.
This made up Hoffman’s fifth blown save in 10 chances this season. He blew four saves all of last season. In the past six seasons, he hasn’t walked more than 15 hitters in any year. He’s on pace for about 30 walks. He has now allowed at least one run in eight of 14 appearances this year and his ERA is now up to 13.15.
I’m a few days late on this, but the fact that this even exists is just too good.
Oh, my sides hurt.
The rumor is likely nothing more than that, but when real news outlets such as the Huffington Post start reporting on this story, it does give it some indirect credibility. I like how it is believed that LeBron didn’t play well and the Cavs lost the Celtics series due to knowledge of the affair. Because it certainly wasn’t because of how well the Celtics played, right? Hell, LeBron only had one bad game in the series, Game 5. Otherwise, he was pretty freakin’ good, especially in Game 6, save for the final few minutes when he didn’t feel like playing any longer.
Why don’t we start looking at Antwan Jamison? Which one of his relatives slept with Delonte, because he was horrible for all of the eastern semis.