Ramblings 06/07/2010Posted by sportretort in nhl, Sports.
Tags: boston celtics, chicago blackhawks, chicago cubs, iowa cubs great cubs, los angeles lakers, mlb, nba, nba playoffs, nhl, nhl playoffs, pcl, philadelphia flyers, ryne sandberg, stanley cup, the finals
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I spent a BEAUTIFUL Sunday afternoon watching AAA baseball in Des Moines, home of the Iowa Cubs and their current head coach Ryne Sandberg. I grew up a Cub fan, and visited Wrigley Field in most summers growing up. I have seen many Cub greats play in the Friendly Confines. Santo, Banks, Reuschel, Suter, Monday, Jenkins, Beckert, Grace, Maddox. The list goes on and on. I then watched the Cubs when they visited Coors Field when I lived in Colorado for the 90’s and most of the 00’s. I guess I have seen most every Cub great play in person for the past 40+ seasons. To me, the greatest Cub of all during that time was Sandberg. His Hall of Fame Career in Chicago has cemented him as one of the best 2nd baseman to ever play the game. During his career, he combined tremendous range and skill defensively with power at the plate. A rare combination at 2nd at the time. He was a 10 time all-star, won 9 gold gloves and 7 silver slugger awards. He was the NL MVP in 1994 and was elected to the HOF in 2005. In addition, he is still the last 2nd baseman to lead his league in home runs when he topped the NL in ’90 with 40 round trippers. I have been out to the ball yard a few times this season and I must admit it is still a thrill to see old #23 in Cubbie blue. My hope is to see him manage in Wrigley in the future……..The Flyers are in trouble. They dropped game 5 to the Blackhawks in Chicago to go down 2-3 in the series. Sure, the home team has won all 5 games so far, but in the 3 games played in the Madhouse on Madison, Philly has had no answer for the energy the Hawks draw from the largest, and perhaps loudest crowd in the NHL. That place gets ROCKING during the National Anthem and the Flyers find themselves down before they gain their legs. Even if they can extend the series by winning a game 6 in the City of Brotherly Love, game 7 will be back in the Windy City. The Hawks WILL win the Cup!………
What a gutsy performance by the Celtics in game 2 of the NBA Finals. After failing to show up in game 1 against the Lakers and getting waxed in LA, Bostoncame out and took a big lead early in game 2. To their credit, the Lakers refused to roll over, and took a lead in the 4th quarter. Boston then closed out a 16-4 run over the last 5+ minutes to take game 2, and home court advantage, away from LA. As the series now shifts to Boston, make no mistake about it, this will be a long series. If Beantown wants to prevail over Hollywood, they can not afford to take another game off as they did in game 1……
Finally, as I flipped back and forth between the NHL and NBA games on Sunday, I was reminded of an old addage. While the seconds of the last 2 minutes of the basketball game melted slowly away, the final few minutes of the hockey game flew by. It took twice as long to play the final 2 of the Celtics-Lakers than to play the final 5 of the Flyers-Blackhawks, reminding me that if you only have 2 minutes left to live, you want it to be the last 2 minutes of an NBA game.
Wednesday Whimsey 06/10/2009Posted by sportretort in mlb, NFL, nhl, Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: atlanta braves, crowds, detroit red wings, mark sanchez, nba, new york jets, NFL, nhl, pittsburgh penguins, signing, stanley cup, the finals, tom glavine
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Some random thoughts and observations…..
Flipping between game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals and game 3 of The Finals of the NBA reinforced my long held opinion that there is more crowd energy at a hockey playoff game than at an NBA playoff game. I will admit that I have attended many more NHL playoff games than NBA playoff games, but that building in Pittsburgh rocked from the first puck drop.
What a game between the Red Wings and Penguins. Game seven on Saturday should be quite a battle. I know this series has been all about home ice and the last six game sevens in a finals series went to the home team. That’s why I’m picking the visiting Penguins to win the Cup in Detroit. They had more energy in game six.
No such luck in the NBA Finals. The underdog Orlando Magic won game 3 (their first at home) to make the series 2-1 Lakers. But If I were a Magic fan, I would be concerned that Orlando shot 62% from the field and still only won by 4 points. Sure, they sped the game up as they needed to do, and they broke the century mark for the first time in the series, but they can not continue to shoot at this rate. The Series is in the bag for the Lakers, probably in 6 games.
The way that the MLB Atlanta Braves treated future hall of fame pitcher Tom Glavine last week was disgraceful.
I have no problem that he was given his release. Baseball is a business. But all Glavine did for the Braves in his 17 seasons with them was to record 244 of his 305 career wins with them, make 8 all star games and win 2 Cy Young Awards. (He also had 2 All Star appearances during his 4 seasons with the New York Mets.) This guy gave his heart and soul to the Braves. He deserved better than to have been released after a rehab stint in A ball. The Braves organization showed a complete lack of class.
While we are on baseball, has anyone noticed that the hottest team in baseball currently is the Colorado Rockies with 6 straight wins? ……. No, I didn’t think so! Hey, 6 more and the Rocks will find the .500 mark.
Word out of New York is that the Jets and their first round (#5 overall) pick QB Mark Sanchez have reached a contract agreement. Sanchez was already in camp learning the system and is battling Kellen Clemens for the starting job. How refreshing to see a high skill position draft pick actually show that he wants to play, and not miss part of camp for a contract holdout.
Chops Night In San Jose 04/20/2009Posted by sportretort in Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: ahl hockey, anaheim ducks, andrew ebbett, bobby ryan, chicago bulls, chicago cubs, chicago sports, chicago white sox, colorado rockies, drew miller, iowa chops, jason marquis, mlb, nabokov, nhl, playoffs, rockies bullpen, san jose sharks, stanley cup
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The eight seeded Anaheim Ducks defeated the top seeded San Jose Sharks 3-2 Sunday night to take a 2 games to none
series lead in their best of seven NHL first round playoff matchup. Both games were played in San Jose. The Sharks are now in danger of becoming the eighth top seed to drop a series to the 8th seed since 1994. The series shifts to Anaheim for games 3 and 4.
Sundays victory by the Ducks featured the first ever Stanley Cup Playoff goals in the career of 3 Ducks players. Bobby Ryan, Andrew Ebbett and Drew Miller each picked up their career first markers. All three played earlier this season for the AHL Iowa Chops in Des Moines. Ryan opened the scoring just 3:45 into the first period with a power play goal. He took a rebound off Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov and beat him to his stick side. The shot, however, was just wide and bounced off of the left goal post. Ryan then dove, and while airborne redirected the rebound with his stick from behind Nabokov and into the goal. (See Ryan’s goal at http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20082009,3,152&event=S.J29)
The Sharks Ryane Clowe tied the score at one 5:38 into the second period. It was the first goal in the series for the
Sharks, who lost game one 2-0. The score remained tied at one until 9:44 of the third period when Ebbett took a rebound off the boards behind the San Jose goal and slapped an odd angle shot off Nabokov as he moved from the left of the goal to the right to cover the near post. The goal gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead. They made it 3-1 three and a half minutes later when Miller stuffed a rebound off Nabokov just left of the net through traffic past the goaltender’s glove and just inside the far post. The Ducks then held on for the 3-2 win.
Random notes from a weekend of Sports:
Clean Sweep. Saturday was a rare day in Chicago sports. It was the first time in 17 years that both the Bulls and Blackhawks won playoff games on the same day. The NBA Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 105-103 in overtime while the NHL Blackhawks defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2. In addition, Baseball’s Cubs defeated the St Louis Cardinals 7-5 with a walk off 2 run homer in the bottom of the 11th and White Sox beat the Rays 8-3 making the Chicago teams 4-0 for the day.
Rocky relief. The Colorado Rockies are off to a 4-7 start. While the schedule has been brutal (series against the Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs and Diamondbacks) with only 3 games played in Denver so far, pitching has been poor for Colorado. The team era of 5.74 is too high, and only Jason Marquis has been consistent among the starters. He is 2-0 with a 1.93 era in his two starts. The bullpen has been a horror show, allowing 53 hits in 36 2/3 innings of work including 11 home runs and has only 2 saves in 4 opportunities. This team will hit and score runs. But it will go only as far as the pen will take it. It is early, but improvement must be significant. And soon!