Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I must admit that I don’t follow the NBA as I once did, but I have found the series between the Spurs and Clippers to be very entertaining. Game 1 looked like the Spurs were an old team, lacking the fire to win another NBA championship. But, as often happens in the playoffs, the tide turned and the series headed into Tuesday night’s game 5 tied at 2 games each. Game 5 was battle and a really well-played game. The Spurs appeared to be the beneficiary of a few favorable calls from the zebras. The one that had me scratching my head was the technical on Chris Paul. He threw the ball to the official after a made basket…I guess that is a no no.
Tim Duncan is 39 years old, but is hardly playing his age. The block of Blake Griffin late in the game was huge. The key play of the game however, had to be the offensive goal tending on DeAndre Jordan. With only seconds left in the game, Griffin put up a leaning off balance shot that Jordan grazed while it was on the rim. Those two points were truly the difference in the game. Despite scoring 107 points, the Clippers could not buy a three point basket. It is difficult to win a playoff game when you hit 1 out of 14 three pointers. The Spurs bench also outscored the Clippers 48 to 17. While this win gives the Spurs a 3 to 2 lead, I have a feeling that this series goes to 7 games.
Doc Rivers paid Tim Duncan the ultimate compliment…”That should be [Duncan’s] legacy. Forget the basketball part. He’s allowed that franchise to be great because it’s never been about him.” For a player in a team sport, there can be no better legacy.
So…the big fight is this weekend. Pacquiao vs Mayweather is supposed to be the fight of the century. There was a time when boxing was a huge part of our society…but those days are long gone. Despite the hype surrounding the Pacquiao/Mayweather fight…boxing just does not carry the same prestige and attention that it once did. What happened to boxing is debatable. Some would say boxers dying in the ring was partially responsible. Others would point to arguably the best fighter of all time…Muhammed Ali as another reason. As we have watched Ali fade, our eyes see what happens to boxers as they age….and it is not pretty. Another plausible reason is the death of Jim Crow. As more opportunity has been afforded to blacks in other sports, their path to success has changed. Whatever the reason, it is clear that boxing is not what it once was. So, while it is easy to sell this fight, it is the game of boxing that remains a tough sell. So, I am amazed that some are spending thousands of dollars to attend this fight. It is one of those events that people are attending to be seen as much as to see the action in the ring…no thanks. As I have been a witness to the decline of boxing, I wonder if another sport could fall victim to the same malaise…football.
The designated hitter is a subject that has been argued back and forth since it became a part of the American League roster. Some have argued that pitchers are paid to pitch and should leave hitting to the hitters. Adam Wainwright’s injury would seem to give credence to this argument. But as I was listening to the guys on the MLB channel discuss this, I completely agreed with their assessment. If Wainwright got hurt pitching, should he no longer pitch? If he got hurt getting out of his truck…should he no longer drive? The reality of athletes is that they sometimes get hurt. The real bottom line is the American League would have much less issue with hitters being hit if the pitchers had to hit. That is the truth and will always be the primary reason that I believe that the National League has it right. Now, if we are talking fantasy baseball…the DH is perfectly fine, but in the real world of baseball…if you play the game, you should hit.
So…Josh Hamilton is headed back to the Texas Rangers and the Angels basically paid him to leave. My how things have changed. Just a few short years ago, Angel fans celebrated Hamilton coming to LA. Now, there are some very angry fans saying some very bad things about the departed slugger. An Angel blogger lost his job with Big League Stew by “crossing the line” with the comments in his blog about Josh Hamilton. Check out the blog here: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/angels-blogger-booted-by-sb-nation-after-hateful-josh-hamilton-post-205324356.htm
It is easy to pile on Hamilton for his mistakes, but to me…it is no different than the Brown’s signing Johnny Manziel. It was obvious that there was huge risk in signing Josh Hamilton…so why act surprised when it did not work out? Hey…you rolled the dice and you crapped out. If Angel fans want to be angry, be angry with Arte Moreno for signing Hamilton to begin with.
As we approach the end of April, I am stunned to see that my Astros still sit atop the AL West standings. While it is early, I must still note that this is the first time that my Stros have been in first place this late in the season since 2006. Most “experts” felt the Astros would be better this year, but still did not have the talent to compete for a playoff spot. While this may be true, they are doing a much better job of playing as a team now. With the loss of Wainwright, can the Cardinals hold off the surging Cubs? Many will scoff at the mention of the Cubs competing in the NL Central…but I promise you this is not the Chicago Cubs of old. The season is young and we have a long summer ahead. My favorite time of year!
That’s all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
“The next time I have meat and mashed potatoes, I think I’ll put a very large blob of potatoes on my plate with just a little piece of meat. And if someone asks me why I didn’t get more meat, I’ll just say, “Oh, you mean this?” and pull out a big piece of meat from inside the blob of potatoes, where I’ve hidden it. Good magic trick, huh?
Can’t the Marx Brothers be arrested and maybe even tortured for all the confusion and problems they’ve caused?”
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own..