It’s Not Over Until The Fat Lady Sings …
A game-seven will now be played in this year’s NBA Finals , providing the league hierarchy with the climactic and suspenseful finish they will be hoping for. Conspiracy theorists wherever they might be , will continue to question the veracity of the officiating and whether or not the league itself actually intervened at any point during the series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors . No matter what the outcome in the Finals . there will be questions asked which I doubt NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will proffer up a satisfactory answer ! Clearly the referees have shown their inconsistency throughout the NBA Playoffs and during the entire NBA Finals, in the lead-up to a series’ deciding game seven which will take place at the Oracle Arena in Oakland , California on June 19th , 2016.
There was a great deal of frustration on the face of Steph Curry during game six , which resulted in the Warriors’ loss and Curry being ejected , having thrown his mouthpiece into the crowd during game-six played at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland , Ohio on Thursday night. Golden State were outplayed and failed to get off to a fast start at the intent of Steve Kerr and the Warriors’ coaching staff . Sunday’s game could prove to be fateful if the defending NBA champions allow the Cleveland Cavaliers to dictate the pace of the game for its entire forty-eight minutes. Losing this game and their title would prove to be disastrous after such a sensational regular season for the Golden State Warriors. League record or not , the emphasis for the franchise was to make a successful defense of their title.
I do believe there is a great deal of merit to the claims , the NBA Playoffs have proven once again what we know to be true and it is the very fact, the hierarchy is unwilling to admit the officials are very poor and there seems to be a declining standard of the officiating talent among their on-court officials. The NBA Referees’ Union might believe this to be the contrary , but there seems to no denying the fact the league has a problem which it has failed to address over the past decade.
I’ll say this for the MLB season at this point of the schedule and it is the fact we have seen some stellar pitching from the starters and an abundance of offensive woes among several of the teams . No-hitters though not a rarity , have been seen already this season , but we have to see a perfect game . Offense from the players , has been somewhat sporadic, but in recent days we have seen Victory Martinez put on an amazing performance for the Detroit Tigers . Martinez set the trend which would lead to the Tigers’ most impressive performance of their season while leading the team to a victory over the Kansas City Royals , with the Tigers’ catcher hitting three home runs in the contest . The Detroit Tigers will be back in action on Friday when they face the Kansas City Royals in the resumption of their current series between these two AL Central combatants . Michael Fulmer will be on the mound for the Tigers as he faces the Royals’ Yordano Ventura in a match-up of two very good AL starting pitchers.
Give credit where it’s due , because even light of Jose Reyes having served a fifty-one game suspension for domestic violence and aggravated assault the Colorado Rockies are well within their right to rid themselves of the short-stop. Reyes has been designated for assignment , but will be hindered by the fact the player will be owed $40 million on the two remaining years of his existing contract . Playing sub.500 baseball the Rockies now find themselves sitting third within the NL West with a 32-33 record . Eight games behind the division leading San Francisco Giants (41-26) and three games out of a wildcard berth , the team over their last ten games are 8-2 . Yet within an un-competitive division, it simply isn’t good enough place them as a serious contender within their division.
The departure of Jose Reyes I certainly don’t believe will be on any great loss for the Colorado Rockies, given his lack of productivity since being acquired by the ball-club from the Toronto Blue Jays . Colorado has not reached the heights expected of the ownership group or their fan-base over the past ten years and it is becoming increasingly clear the management as well as the front office has become increasingly impatient with the lack of consistency and progress sought. The franchise’s farm system has talent , but there appears to be no one among their Minor League System capable of stepping up to the plate and leading by example. Among the Rockies’ starters it is already clear that has been the case , as seen with their play over the course of the season.
In the Colorado Rockies’ last game they they had an easy 6-3 victory over the struggling New York Yankees in a home contest played at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday evening . Walt Weiss and his Rockies’ managerial staff will prepare the team for a three-game weekend schedule against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark , in Miami Florida.. The first of the three contests will take place on Friday and Colorado will have starting pitchers Jon Gray of the Rockies facing Adam Conley of the Miami Marlins . Both of these teams are seeking to make an impact within the NL with an eye gaining a wildcard berth at least . It remains to be seen if either can make it a reality , but it will be interesting to see how things pan out at the end of the season.
Ichiro Suzuki has now amassed more than 4,000 career hits over the course of professional baseball career, but a large proportion of those hits took place while he played in the Japanese League . However, baseball’s hierarchy has seen fit accord Suzuki’s achievement of recently garnering his four thousandth two-hundred and fifty-seventh hit , accrediting as if it were an MLB career record . Now while it is an achievement within itself , it does not equate with what is still considered to be the legitimate record held by Pete Rose , whose 4,256 career hits which is seen as the all-time record. Rose may will still remain on the outside looking in as a pariah . Yet it does seem hypocritical of MLB to afford Suzuki this accomplishment and then overlook the career statistics put up by Hideki Matsui . Ichiro is still twenty-three hits shy of the 3,000 hits’ career plateau and would have to play another six more seasons to reach the league record set by Pete Rose in MLB (Major League Baseball) based on his current pace .
Only a game and a half out of the NL wildcard berth it has to be said the Miami Marlins have been one of the surprise teams in the NL this season. Yet from my own perspective , I do believe this Don Mattingly managed team will have to do a great deal more prove their detractors wrong in suggesting this group of players are not competitive enough to win a World Series title . The struggles of the Marlins have been there for all to see over the course of this season and I doubt things are likely to change anytime soon !
Something strange is happening in the state of Texas and it has nothing at all to do with the Dallas Cowboys . While year in year out great things are expected of the NFL franchise , you have to admit . it is always great to see the Cowboys’ repeated pratfalls , with Jerry Jones , the front office and their often injured quarterback Tony Romo continue to make the same old excuses for another poor season . The less news’ coverage to the Dallas Cowboys during the off and regular season , the better off we all are as sports’ fans. While the Cowboys wallow in self-pity and ridicule , the Texas Rangers are having a good season, leading the AL West and playing some solid baseball . Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels has shown a great deal of faith in Jeff Banister and his managerial staff this season while the Texas players have gone about their business with a great deal of professionalism.
Heading into their weekend series’ schedule of games Jeff Banister and the Texas Rangers will be seeking to increase their AL West divisional lead over their rivals by taking down the St Louis Cardinals , whom they will face at Busch Stadium , in St Louis , Missouri , with the first of those games taking place on Friday evening. Cole Hamels will be representing the visiting team when he faces Michael Wacha of the Cardinals.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the few teams in baseball who can continue to spend capriciously on talent while their apathetic and clueless fans wistfully believe the money is being well-spent and getting absolutely nothing in return . Dumping an ineffective veteran Carl Crawford made a great deal of sense given the fact the player was well past his prime and no longer seen as a leader. Utter stupidity by former GM Ned Colletti was simply one of the signs that this organization still remained in a quagmire after the sheer lunacy seen from former team owner Frank McCourt . The Dodgers’ financial troubles notwithstanding, in the four seasons since being acquired by a cabal of billionaire entrepreneurs , very little has changed with the mindset of the franchise. Common sense now seems to be prevailing with Andrew Friedman having been brought in to lead the Baseball Operations , while Farhan Zaidi was installed as the general manager.
Having to play catch up in a division where it was felt the Dodgers would be totally dominant this season , we are beginning to see a number of weaknesses on the roster . The team lacks consistency and have not been able to put together a winning streak of more than four games during their entire schedule at this point of the season. Over their last ten games heading into their current schedule the Los Angeles Dodgers are an abysmal 4-6 . On Friday night the Dodgers would be playing host to the Milwaukee Brewers with Julio Urias on the mound for the home team against the Brewers’ Zach Davies . Having lost their Thursday night meeting against Milwaukee , it is easy to see why the Dodgers are such an inconsistent team . There is some great young talent being developed within the Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm system , but it will take time for that talent to prove to be effective long-term, in spite of what has been seen from Yasmani Grandal , Julio Urias and Corey Seager .
A great deal of pressure has been placed on the shoulders of Dave Roberts , with his having succeeded Don Mattingly as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. I believe Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi will continue to show faith in the manager and his staff , but I also feel should things continue to head South , then this entire lineup could be blown apart , rather than having to witness the Dodgers’ continued futility.
If a case can be made for the unexpected season the Chicago Cubs are now having , then this must be the year where the stars are in alignment and something special could very well happen. Then you remember these are the Cubs we are talking about , a franchise whose fortunes over the last e ninety-five years reads like a sob story , never mind delving into their postseason woes . Theo Epstein , GM Jed Hoyer and the entire Cubs’ front office and ownership now seem to be on the same page. Add in the fact the organization now has one of the best managers in all of baseball. A winning formula now seems to be in place with Joe Maddon and his managerial staff to go alongside a team of truly determined players eager to win.
The Cubs have simply been relentless throughout much of the season winning games with ease , throughout the months of April , May and now in the month of June . The team has a healthy 10 ½ game lead over their nearest divisional rival in the NL Central . A lead I might add, which is the biggest in all of baseball’s six divisions . The Chicago Cubs have to be seen as a shoo-in to not only win the division , but also a leading contender for the NL Pennant , solely based upon their record. One could allude to their play which is head and shoulders above all of the NL teams , if not the entire league . A weekend schedule which began yesterday will see the Chicago Cubs take on the Pittsburgh Pirates , another divisional rival . Friday’s result saw the Cubs annihilate the Pirates without their breaking sweat during in the game . Wrigley Field in Chicago will be the scene for today’s action when the two teams resume their schedule with Jonathon Niese on the mound for the Pirates against Jon Lester of the Cubs.
Current NL Cy Young Award winner and Cubs’ All Star Jake Arrieta is considered to be the best starting pitcher on Chicago’s daunting rotation . Arrieta is having an astonishing season , but while I believe him to be one the best pitchers in the National League , he has to be perhaps one or two tiers lower than Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers . This year’s NL Cy Young Award could very well come down to the achievements and consistency seen from both of these starting pitchers and I believe should they meet head to head at some point during the season, we could very well witness some of the best pitching to be seen anywhere within the game !
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With the final of the NBA Finals set for Sunday evening prime-time what do you expect to see from both teams and have you been completely satisfied by these contests throughout the series ? Furthermore with the MLB season having now played a quarter of the scheduled games have you been impressed by certain teams and which ball-clubs and players do you believe to have been the biggest disappointments to date ?
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