Patience Is A Virtue

May 30, 2009
Andy Pettitte gave up only 1 run in 5 innings of work before being pulled from the game with a strained lower back.

Andy Pettitte gave up only 1 run in 5 innings of work before being pulled from the game with a strained lower back.

October 1st, 2006 to May 29th, 2009. It sure seems like a long time to me. Over two and a half years, 972 days to be exact. With a win last night against the Cleveland Indians, the New York Yankees were able to sit atop AL East for the first time since October 1st, 2006, which was the final day of the 2006 regular season.

Andy Pettitte threw 5 strong innings until he was pulled from the game for what appeared to be a strained lower back. The decision to pull Pettitte was a precautionary move by manager Joe Girardi. The Yanks will not afford to lose any starting pitcher mainly because of the struggles on Chien-Ming Wang. He is currently in the bullpen after throwing several games in the minors trying to regain his pitching touch. Phil Hughes has already made a solid contribution to the rotation and will most likely stay in it if he continues to build off his most recent success.

Catcher Jorge Posada returned to the lineup and batted 6th. He had two hits, raising his average to .325 on the season. Posada had missed the previous 22 games with a hamstring injury.

Reliever Alfredo Aceves threw three scoreless innings giving up 1 hit and striking out three. The game was then turned over to Mariano Rivera who closed it out for the victory.

With Pettitte picking up the win and Rivera getting the save, the Yanks made some history. It was the 58th time Pettitte won a ballgame that was saved by Rivera, breaking Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley’s record of 57 games.

The Red Sox have already played today and lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, giving New York a 1 game lead over their rival. The Yankees can look to increase their lead to 1.5 games when they take on the tribe once again at 7:05pm in Cleveland.

CC Sabathia will be making his first start in Cleveland as a Yankee since he was traded from the Indians to the Milwaukee Brewers in the middle of last season. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets from the crowd. He won the Cy Young for the Indians back in 2007 and was well liked by the fans.

Now that the Yankees are back in first place, are they there to stay? Let me know what you think!

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This Is What Happens When You Look For Videos

May 29, 2009

Okay, so I was looking for baseball videos on youtube for a possible upcoming story, but I ran into this video and felt it was worthy of sharing with those who visit the site, so basically like 50 people haha.

With that being said, I just want to thank you to whoever comes to the site and checks out what I have to say. I appreciate your comments and the time you take to read whatever is up. Your support is important to me and I hope that it will continue now and in the future. Be sure to check out my other article below that I wrote today. Thanks guys!

Now check out this hilarious video of this umpire. Around the 40 second mark is where it gets me everytime. Enjoy!


Lebron Gets By With A Little Help From His Friends

May 29, 2009

Lebron James showed exactly why he was voted this year’s MVP. Cleveland’s 112-102 triumph over the Magic last night meant that Lebron and Cavs would live to see another day in the NBA playoffs.

James had his fourth career playoff triple double with 37 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists, as he pushed the series to 3-2 with the Magic having another chance to close it out when they return to Orlando to play Saturday.

Lebron and Mo Williams paced the Cavs to a game 5 win against Orlando.

Lebron and Mo Williams paced the Cavs to a game 5 win against Orlando.

I said a few days ago that Lebron’s kingdom was crumbling and it most certainly was. However, look what happens when he gets help from his teammates. The Cavs came out strong and scored a 2009 playoff high 35 points in the first quarter, setting the pace for the game, letting the Magic know they were not going to roll over and die. As most people could have guessed, the Magic came storming back to cut the lead to one and head into halftime with a score of 56-55 favoring Cleveland.

Lebron put his stamp on the second half as he either assisted or scored in 31 consecutive points stretching from the end of the 3rd quarter and deep into the 4th. It was great to see Lebron get his teammates involved as they rose to the occasion to contribute half of Cleveland’s 34 points in the 4th quarter.

Statistic of the night: In the entire game, Lebron alone had as many assits as the entire Magic team, 12.

4 of the 5 Cleveland starters scored in double figures, which is the first time that’s happend in the series. Mo Williams finally broke out of his slump as he scored a series high 24 points and went 6-9 from the land of 3. Finally, the supporting cast for Cleveland showed up to play.

If you were watching game, what really propelled James and the Cavs was his teammates ability to knock down open looks, which forced Orlando to spead its defense. This allowed Lebron to go one on one with Orlando’s Michael Pietrus, making him look helpless as Lebron torched him several times with an array of jump shots and strong drives and dishes.

Game 6 is on Saturday in Orlando. With their backs still up against the wall, will Lebron’s gang show up to bring the series back to Cleveland for a game 7 showdown?


A 7 Foot Tall Man Can Do That??

May 28, 2009

I have seen many basketball videos in my day. Mostly ones with incredible shots, buzzer beaters, and ridiculous blocked shots. One video that was brought to my attention yesterday by my good friend Dom Abramo (Viva!) that I had never seen was this one. Pau Gasol, all 7 feet and 250 pounds of him, running the fast break like he should be on the AND 1 team. Maybe he should start his own Spanish AND 1 team and travel the globe. Now that would be something to watch.


Note that the defender does a complete 360 as he is trying to defend the play. Pau makes him look ridiculous. Also, Pau not only adds his behind the back and no-look flair to the play, he also makes the pass and just starts heading down the other end of the court to play D, knowing that Ariza is going to throw it down.

When I saw this video, I laughed so hard and was incredibly amazed. I know Pau is a very skilled player and a great pass, mostly in the post. However, his ability to run the break from time to time is such a great rarity that never fails to catch my attention.

If you happened to catch last night’s pivotal game 5 between the Lakers and Nuggets, Pau left his mark on one of, if not the biggest play of the game when he came up with a steal and lead the break for a ridiculous dunk by Shannon Brown over Chris “Birdman” Anderson, who had been swatting shots away all game prior to Brown’s dunk. Watch Pau in action once more…

The great play by Gasol and Brown changed the momentum of the entire game and led to a Lakers victory.

If you could have any 7 footer running the break on your team, who would it be and why? Pau is included.


May 27, 2009

King James And His Crumbling Kingdom

May 27, 2009
This is what this year's playoffs have looked like for Lebron James, his teammates seemingly non-existent.

This is what this year's playoffs have looked like for Lebron James, his teammates seemingly non-existent.

Jordan and Pippen

Duncan and Parker

Shaq and Kobe

Garnett, Pierce, and Allen

Lebron and…James?

It might be as simple as that. Even Michael Jordan needed a sidekick, a Robin to his Batman like heroics. Lebron James, MVP trophy and all, can’t do it alone. Let’s look at the supporting casts (the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th top point scorers) of teams in this year’s Conference Finals.

 

Denver Nuggets: Chauncy Billups, J.R. Smith, and Nene Hilario
49.2 points per game

Orlando Magic: Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, and Rafer Alston
47.6 points per game

Los Angeles Lakers: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Trevor Ariza
40.4 points per game

Cleveland Cavaliers: Mo Williams, Delonte West, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas
39.6 points per game

The Cavs are 0-3 when James scores 40 points or more. All three losses have come against the Magic.

You know what, let’s go back 2 years ago when the Cavs made it to Finals, but lost to the Spurs. The Conference Finals featured these teams and their supporting casts.

San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Michael Finley
48.8 points per game

Detroit Pistons: Chauncy Billups, Rasheed Wallace, & Tayshaun Prince
47 points per game

Utah Jazz: Deron Williams, Mehmet Okur, and Andrei Kirilenko
40.6 points per game

Cleveland Cavaliers: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Drew Gooden, and Larry Hughes
35.3 points per game

Starting to see the trend?

During the regular season, the Cavs averaged 100.3 points a game and James averaged 28.4 points, which means James was responsible for 28.3% of the team’s points. In this year’s playoffs, the Cavs have averaged 98.9 points per game, and James has averaged 36 points, meaning he scores 36.4% of his team’s points. This means from the regular season to the playoffs, James has become accountable for 8.1% more of his team’s points.

To make matters even worse, Lebron has scored 41.7% of the Cavs points in the current series against the Magic. Can Lebron get any help!?!

Two years ago, Lebron scored 28.3% of his team’s points in the regular season, but only 27.4% during the playoffs. Where did the team end up that year?… In the NBA finals.

Kobe Bryant is also struggling to get support from his teammates.

During the regular season, the Lakers averaged 106.9 points per game and Bryant averaged 26.8, making him responsible for 25% of his team’s points. In this year’s playoffs, the Lakers have averaged 104.8 points per game, and Bryant has averaged 29.8 points, which is 28.4% of the team’s points. From the regular season to the playoffs, Bryant has become accountable for 3.4% more of his team’s points.

One year ago when the Lakers made the Finals, Bryant scored 26% of his team’s points in the regular season and 28.4% during the playoffs, 1% less than he has had to score in this year’s playoffs. 1% does not seem like a huge difference at all, but it is when almost every game in this year’s Conference Finals has been decided in last possession of the game.

The moral of these numbers? No one player can win a championship on his own.

If Lebron still thinks his team (or lack there of) can make it to the Finals and win a championship, he can only hope that help is on the way.


Making Guarantees…Not Always A Smart Move

May 27, 2009

Guarantee: A promise or assurance, especially one in writing, that something is of specified quality, content, benefit, etc.

For those athletes who forgot what the word “guarantee” actually means, there is a small reminder.

After a heated game 3 battle between the Cavs and Magic on Sunday, which featured a boxing like bruise to the eye of Cavs point guard Mo Williams after getting “accidently” elbowed, both teams were a bit fired up and did some talking to the press yesterday.

With the Cavaliers seemingly losing momentum with every game that’s being played, the bruised and battered point guard Williams went out on a limb to say…

“[The Magic] are a good team. But we are the best team in basketball. I don’t feel that they’ve had to adjust to us one time in the series.”

When asked if he would guarantee a series win, Williams again made a bold statement…

“Guarantee we’re going to win the series? Yeah, yeah. We are down 2-1. But there is nobody on this team and definitely not myself that says we are not going to win this series. Yeah, it is going to be tough. We know that. We get this game tomorrow, go home, still got home-court advantage.”

There it is! The good-old guarantee! Oh how the sports world was due for a good guarantee to catch people’s ears.

With game 4 tonight, the guarantee will be put to test as the Magic have a chance to take a strong hold of the series with a win to make the series 3-1. The Cavs will give their best effort to try and even the series at 2 games apiece while trying to avoid making Mo Williams look like several other athletes who fell on their faces when making a guarantee.

Speaking of failed guarantees, who could forget these ridiculous sports guarantees over the years….


Matt Hasselbeck: “We want the ball and we’re gonna score.”
Oh, Matty. Maybe that was something you should have kept to yourself. There is a big difference between being confident and cocky and claiming your team was going to score probably wasn’t a smart idea. The result of Hasselbeck’s promise in the 2004 playoff game? A 52-yard interception return for a TD by Green Bay’s Al Harris. Good move Hasselbeck.


 
Nick Saban: “I ‘m not going to be the Alabama Coach”.
Amidst controversial reports of becoming the next head coach at Alabama, Saban squashed all talk when he claimed he was not going anywhere. One week later, Saban was wearing Alabama gear and preparing for the upcoming college football season. Watch the video around the 24 second mark.



Patrick Ewing: Guarantees three different times the Knicks will win.
Come on Patrick, I loved your game. A few hard dribbles in the post while backing down the defender and then the smooth high arching fade away jumper. Your guarantees though, not so much love for you there. Ewing guarantees to win the NBA Finals in 1994, a win against the Shaq and the Magic in 1995, and a championship in the 1997 during the playoffs. Needless to say, none of those happened. As the magic assistant coach this year, he did guarantee a win for the Magic over the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Semi-Finals, and it happened. Maybe Ewing should stick to making guarantees when he playing in the actual game.



Joe Glenn: Guarantees his Wyoming will beat Utah in a college football game.
You probably have never heard of this guy, and you probably would have never heard of him if it wasn’t for his ridiculous guarantee. Long story short, Wyoming got absolutely dismantled, destroyed, and just flat out embarrassed. At one point in the game, Utah decided to do an onside kick and recovered the ball. The score at that exact moment was 43-0. Check out the video and watch around 1:50 for just how Joe Glenn feels about Utah’s kick.


Okay, now for one great guarantee…


Plaxico Burress and Tom Brady: “The score will be 23-17”
Superbowl XLIII was one of the greatest sports games ever played, no question. Plaixco Burress knew his team was going to win, no question. The only question was the final score. Burress’ claim was close (the final score was 17-14) but Tom Brady was not a big fan of his prediction. If you are Giants fan, this is probably one of the best videos ever. If you are a Patriots fan, sorry guys, but sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles (a Mama Festa saying).