Tag Archives: 2012

Will the Knicks Regret Letting “LINSANITY” Go?

Jeremy Lin with the Houston Rockets.
(Getty Images)

Last year’s breakout star Jeremy Lin was signed by the Houston Rockets earlier this week.  Lin signed a 3 year, $25 Million deal.  The Rockets had Lin in their training camp at the beginning of last season but let him go.  The New York Knicks had a chance to match the offer given to Lin but declined.  Houston took what many consider a gutsy move for the 23 year-old Point Guard.

Jeremy Lin busted onto the Sports Scene last February when he stepped into the starting PG spot previously held by the then injured Carmelo Anthony.  Lin made the most of his opportunity by becoming one of the teams leaders.  He dominated games and flat out won many for them during his strong 3 week stretch.  Lin was silenced quit a bit when the team started facing off against teams like the Miami Heat.  Lin suffered a season ending injury in March and the “Linsanity” in New York was put on hold.

The craze that Jeremy Lin ignited in New York was incredible.  Over night the city became crazy over this young and recently unknown star.  “Linsanity” was the name and it was popping up on signs and merchandise all over Madison Square Garden and New York.  The possibilities for marketing this type of a player were endless.

“Linsanity” has moved to the great state of Texas.  Will he continue to flourish into the superstar many feel he will be.  That is hard to say but if he does the Knicks made a bad decision.  At this point the Knicks need a star with the charisma and appeal that Lin has.  He has been replaced by a few players nearing the end of their career while he is just beginning his.

If Jeremy Lin’s star continues to rise the Knicks will never forget letting him go.  The New York fans will not let them forget what a grave mistake they made.  The Knicks have been toiling in obscurity for far to long and Lin had shown during the month where he dominated the sports media that he could be the spark the team needed.  The city of New York needed a star like Lin.  The level of regret rides on how well Lin develops and evolves his game.  As of this moment it looks like a bad decision for Knicks to let this player go.  Only time will tell and we should know a lot in just 5 months.

Bryce Harper Headed to The All Star Game

The rookie phenom that is 19 year old Bryce Harper will continue his whirl wind season by going to the All Star Game.  Harper was not originally slated to attend the game which takes place this week in Kansas City.  Harper will be taking the spot of injured Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton.  Harper will be the 3rd youngest player to play in the MLB All Star Game.  While Harper will be playing off of the bench the eyes of all of the fans will be on him for sure.

Harper has had a solid start to his MLB career since his debut in April.  He is an excellent outfielder fielder with a rocket arm.  His offensive play has been very good for his experience level.  Harper has a batting average of .283, hit 8 home runs and had 25 RBI’s and scored 43 runs in just 62 games for the 1st place Washington Nationals.

Harper going deep at Fenway Park earlier this season.
(Getty Images)

Harper came in with a lot of hype and has been living up to it.  He has displayed a maturity on and off the field, the later many thought he would be able to do.  He has shown a lot of personality and has a charisma that a lot of players don’t have.  He has created great moments already in his young career, like when he hit a home run in the historic Fenway Park during his first game on that field.  He is in the right spot now to really display his skills in front of a national audience.  Harper is a strong contender for Rookie of the Year in the National League.

Harper will probably get at least 1 at bat and play 2 innings or so.  Many players have created unforgettable moments in All Star Games.  I have a feeling Bryce Harper will have a chance to make one of those moments.  When he gets he will more than likely take advantage of it.  If Harper continues to play the way he has been and develop into the player that he has been billed to be than this is just the beginning.

 

Should The Fans Vote For MLB All Star Game Starters?

The 2012 All Star Game will be held in Kansas City at Kaufman Stadium on July 10th.  The votes are in and we now know who will make up the MLB All Star Game starting line ups.  Many fans and media disagree with some of the results.

As usual there were some that got snubbed.  Players like the New York Mets David Wright for example will not be starting at Third Base for the National League team.  Wright has a batting average of .354 with 9 Home Runs and 50 RBI’s.  Wright lost the chance to be a starter in the fan voting to the San Fransisco Giants Pablo Sandoval.  Sandoval is batting .300 with 6 Home Runs and 25 RBI’s.  Wright not only has better numbers but is better a fielder.  This is not the first year there has been controversy over starters.

This years All Star Game will have many of baseballs best players starting the game from the bench, all because of fan voting.
(Getty Images)

The debate has rage on for many years whether the fans should be allowed to dictate the starters.  The All Star Game is really just a popularity contest.  Many of the teams in bigger markets get more players voted in.  More importantly many of the teams get their players named as starters.

The All Star Game was created as an exhibition of the best players from the first half of the season.  The one problem is that it is no longer just exhibition game now.  The winning team whether it be the National League or the American League gets home field advantage in the World Series.  Who knows how many World Series Champions were crowned based on their league winning the game played in all the way back in July.  All Star teams that were not comprised of the best in each league.

Something needs to change and boy does baseball commissioner Bud Selig have a lot of things on his list to fix.  When it comes to the All Star Game the fan voting needs to be taken away if baseball wants the winner to have such an advantage in the World Series.  The All Star squads should be picked by the players and managers only.  There is way too much riding on the game for it to be up to fans that only vote for their favorites rather than the players who really have dominated the first half of the season.

Let’s think about the example of David Wright that I brought up previously.  David Wright has put up incredible season numbers and will most likely win the MVP trophy at the end of the year.  It is not right that a player that has been playing the way Wright has would not start the All Star Game.

If the All Star Game is going to be considered an exhibition it should not have important ramifications like it has now.  I am all for making it fun but if its going to be it needs to be just a game in July with baseballs best player and only that.  So Bud Selig a decision should be made.  Either you have a fan vote or a game that could dictate the next World Series Champion not both.

Top 3 Moments in June “The Greatest Month In Sports”

It’s July and that means one thing the greatest month in sports is over, for this year at least. June has held a big place in sports for many years now.  I personally consider it to be the most memorable month in sports every year.  No one can forget the O.J. Simpson bronco chase in June of 1994. Other unforgettable images pop up as well.  Michael Jordan winning his championships with the Chicago Bulls and sealing his place on sports history.  The Stanley Cup classics with greats like Wayne Gretzky capturing the cup numerous times for the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s. Numerous World Cup soccer competitions had their start in June and also brought many memorable moments with them.  Major League Baseball has some of its most exciting games matching up teams from the N.L. and A.L. in inter league play.  There have been so many great things that occurred during this month.  So I decided to give you my top 3 moments for this past month.  Let’s take a look…

#1- LEBRON JAMES WINS HIS FIRST NBA TITLE (June 21st, 2012)

Lebron James celebrates with the Miami Heat.
(Getty Images)

After 9 seasons in the NBA Lebron James showed the world that he was in fact a champion.  The Miami Heat defated the Oklahoma City Thunder and their young rising superstar Kevin Durant in 5 games to win the NBA Title.  This Miami Heat team was heavely favored going into the season to take the title.  They had some rough moments in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Boston Celtics but they came out on top and advanced to their second NBA Finals in a row.  Lebron showed a level of play and maturity like we have never seen from him before.  Lebron can have a nice relating summer and pick up the pursuit of more NBA Titles in the fall.

#2- THE LOS ANGELES KINGS TAKE THE STANLEY CUP (June 11th, 2012)

The Kings shocked the world this year in the NHL Playoffs.
(Getty Images)

The surprising L.A. Kings won the Lord Stanley’s Cup in 6 games over the New Jersey Devils.  This Stanley Cup victory will never be forgotten by the hockey world or the sports world for that matter.  The city of L.A. needed this victory at a time when the Lakers and Clippers both were knocked out of the NBA Playoffs early.  The city of L.A. got red hot over the Kings outstanding postseason run.  Many casual fans that disappeared when Wayne Gretzky left the team for the Rangers in the late 90′s were back.  The American Hockey scene needed this victory as well.  This could spark excitement and push the sport even further in the American Culture.

#3- MATT CAIN’S PERFECT PERFORMANCE (June 13th, 2012)

The Giants Matt Cain pitching perfection.
(Getty Images)

On the 13th of June the San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain threw baseball’s 22 perfect game ever.  This was the second perfect game this season, Phil Humber of the White Sox threw a perfect ball game in April against the Mariners in Seattle.  Matt Cain’s perfect game ended in a score of 10-0 against the Houston Astors.  Stat wise this could be considered one of the best perfect games ever.  Matt Cain struck out an impressive 14 batters during the game.  A feat which had only been done one time before when Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game in 1965.  The great game had a great moment at the end when Cain met his wife in the dugout to celebrate his history making performance with her.

Why You Should Watch UFC 148: Silva VS Sonnen II

One of the biggest MMA fights of the year is taking place July 7th on the UFC 148 card in Las Vegas.  One of the longest running championship reigns in the UFC is being challenged.  Also the most charismatic figure in MMA  is in this fight.  UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva will defend his title against Chael Sonnen in their second battle.  Their first fight took place on August 7th, 2010.  It was an incredible fight and one of the best fights in 2010.  Anderson Silva was losing the fight going into the 5th and final round when he was able to submit Sonnen with less than 2 minutes remaining in the fight.  It was a fight that caused many to demand a rematch.

Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at a press conference.
(Getty Images)

It has been almost 2 years since their first battle.  Many things have happened in the last couple of years to make it difficult for this fight to take place.  In 2011 Chael Sonnen was dealing with a legal battle involving fraudulent use of his real estate license from 2006.  That issue resulted in Sonnen losing his real estate license.  Almost immediately after that problem was over Sonnen had controversy with the California State Athletic Commission for using PED’s.  It was shown through urinalysis that Sonnen had elevated levels of testosterone during the fight on the 7th of August, 2010.  He was suspended and the rematch was put on hold.  He was recently cleared by the commission and the fight was finally scheduled.

Originally the fight was to take place in Brazil, in Silva’s home country.  The President of the UFC Dana White wanted to have the event held in a big soccer stadium in the country.  It would have made for great visuals and would have made the event very memorable.  Unfortunately the United Nations will be holding a convention in Brazil in July as well.  It was not in Brazil’s or the UFC’s favor to have both events there at the same time.  The UFC 148 show was moved to Las Vegas a couple of months ago to solve the scheduling conflict.

Chael Sonnen holds a record of 27 wins and 11 loses and has a good all around fight game.  Sonnen is not only an incredible fighter but also has the talking ability the world of MMA has never seen before.  He has cut some of the best promos seen in the UFC.  Sonnen has a very pro wrestling style of talking up the fights and that is what the sport needs more of.  It makes the fights feel like big events and is a very entertaining way of promotion for the events.  He is a one of a kind talent that could do very well as a champion for the UFC  and draw big PPV numbers.

Anderson Silva is a completely different man.  Silva is quiet and too himself, the language barrier does not help him being marketable in the US either.  Silva hold s a record of 35 wins and 4 loses.  He has been a UFC Champion since October of 2006 when he defeated Rich Franklin for the middle wieght title.   Silva is a great stand up fighter with good submission skills.  He has dominated most of his fights in the last 6 years.  There have been times however when matched up against lesser fighters where he has settled into a groove during the fight and not been very aggressive.  Sonnen showed in the first fight that he can get Silva out of that groove and make him fight.

Chael Sonnen pushing Anderson Silva to the limit during their 1st fight on August 7th,2010.
(Getty Images)

This fight will probably be the best selling fight of the year for the UFC on PPV.  Some are predicting more than 1 million PPV buys.  I expect it to be a great fight, maybe even better than their first contest.  I predict that Sonnen will win the fight via decision in 5 rounds.  No matter who wins we will have great stories coming out of this fight.  Either we will see Silva further cement his place as the best fighter in the UFC or we see their most charismatic champion ever.  I think Sonnen winning would be a better outcome for the UFC.  Sonnen has the potential to be one of their biggest PPV drawing buys since George St. Pierre and Brock Lesnar.  The time to find out who takes this rematch is almost here and the fans and the MMA world can wait for it any longer.

The Kings Cup

The Kings Game 2 star Jeff Carter celebrates with hockey’s most prized trophy the Stanley Cup.
(Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings shocked the sports world during this NHL postseason.  At a time when NHL coverage on the news and sports channels usually takes a back seat to what is happening in the NBA’s postseason,  the Kings had all of the attention.  On Monday night the Kings won Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils. It was   their first Stanley Cup trophy in the franchises 45 year history.

It was an amazing year for the Kings who began the year with not very high expectations.  Some figured they could make the playoffs but no one had any idea what was about to occur when the season kicked off last Fall.

The Kings had an average regular season finishing with a record of 40 wins, 27 loses and 15overtime loses.  When April started and the final games before the post season were about to be played many thought the Kings would not even qualify for the playoffs.  Well they did but barely and got the placed in the playoffs as the 8th seed.  The Kings faced off against the 1st seeded Vancouver Canucks and shocked the hockey world by taking the series in 5 games.  It was their first time making it out of the first round since 2001.  The Kings then swept the 2nd seeded St. Louis Blues and the hockey world started to think, maybe these guys are for real.  It was confirmed when the Kings took game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Phoenix Coyotes by a score of 4-3 in overtime to advance into the Finals.  The Kings made history during this incredible playoff run by being the first 8th seeded team to beat both the 1st and 2nd seeded teams in the playoffs.

There were high expectations for the Kings by the time they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.  They were so dominant and seemed to breeze through the first 3 rounds.  The Kings did not lose any road games during the first 3 rounds of the NHL postseason.  The Kings had about a week off before the Cup was to begin.  Some were worried they might lose the momentum they had built up in the previous month of play.  Momentum ended up not being a problem for the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Stanley Cup Finals started on May 30th between the Kings and the Devils.  Game 1 took place in New Jersey and the sports world was on the edge of it seat to see if the Kings could keep up their incredible run and capture the cup.  The Kings took game 1 in overtime by a score of 2-1 with a goal from Anze Kopitar.  Game 2 was a similar story when both teams were tied 1-1 after 3 periods.  The Kings received a goal from Jeff Carter to win the game 2-1 over the Devils.

Games 3 and 4 took place in L.A. at the Staples Center.  The Kings would blow out the veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur and the Devils 4 goals to 0.  As game 4 approached it looked like the Kings would get the sweep and make NHL History not only for their playoff run but their Finals run as well.  With game 4 came disappointment came with a 3-1 lose as the series would then head back to New Jersey for game 5.

Game 5 was another disappointment with a close 2-1 lose.  But the good news was that the series was headed back to L.A. for game 6 and the Kings were only 1 win away from the Championship.

Game 6 brought an incredible blow out victory.  The Kings goaltender Johnathan Quick was named the series MVP for his great play during the Finals.  Quick also had a great postseason overall winning 16 games and only losing 4 over the month and a half playoff season. The Kings defeated the Devils 6-1 and sealed their place in NHL History as one of the most surprising champions to have ever come out of the NHL postseason.

This Stanley Cup victory will never be forgotten by the hockey world or the sports world for that matter.  The city of L.A. needed this victory at a time when the Lakers and Clippers both were knocked out of the NBA Playoffs early.  The city of L.A. got red hot over the Kings outstanding postseason run.  Many casual fans that disappeared when Wayne Gretzky left the team for the Rangers in the late 90’s were back.  The American Hockey scene needed this victory as well.  This could spark excitement and push the sport even further in the American Culture.

The Kings are as they proved a very talented and young team that could dominate the NHL for years to come.  I know that many fans will be waiting for next season to see if the Kings return to their 2012 playoff form.  But until then we should acknowledge how great of a team this was and how much of a story book playoff run this 2011-2012 Kings team had.  Long live the Kings!

The MLB Draft, Do You Care?

Bud Selig at the 2010 MLB Draft
(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The 2012 Major League Baseball Draft starts today.  Many baseball fans with the exception of the die hard fans don’t care about it or even know it happening today.  This will be the fourth year the 1st round has been televised.  Much like the NFL’s Draft, MLB will hold the event in New York City.  It will also start in prime time at 7pm EST.  There is however a big difference between the MLB Draft and the NBA and NFL Drafts.

The NBA and NFL have both had televised drafts for many year.  Both leagues have been really successful with their drafts.  Building fan excitement every year when the NFL draft approaches.  The NBA also has a lot of fan attention leading to their June draft every year.  Baseball wants very much to bring the same excitement to their draft.

The MLB draft will not reach the level of the other sports drafts anytime soon.  There are many things baseball has going against it.  One of the blaring problems is lack of star power and players the fans can connect with.  Many of the top players come out of the high school level.  Unlike football,  high school baseball is not followed as closely by many fans and usually only the die hard fans keep up with that level.  The other players come from college baseball which like the previous topic is not followed by fans has much as football or basketball’s college level.  Nor does college baseball get the same media attention during their season. There have been a few players that carried a lot of attention going into baseballs June Draft.  Two of the most recent “big hype” national media type stars where the Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg in 2009 and Bryce Harper in 2010. We won’t be seeing any baseball players going into the draft with the same media attention anytime soon.

When the stars are selected most don’t see the big leagues for at least a year.  Some players need 2 to 5 years to develop to be major league ready.  The NBA and NFL have the ability to excite fans with their drafts because the players will be on the field with the big clubs within months.  Many player go on to a lot of success even in their first year in the other leagues.  Baseball cannot do anything about this particular problem.  Its a system that has worked for many years, it just does not cater to the draft.

For decades baseball held their draft non televised.  In 2009 they started to air the 1st round on their MLB Network.  Many fans won’t watch because they just can’t.  The MLB Network is carried in far less homes than the networks that air the NBA and NFL Drafts.  If fans did tune in they would see a room with very charismatic (I am being sarcastic) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and a bunch of team representatives and only a couple of players if any in attendance.  You would be better off just checking the internet to find out and not waste your time watching the broadcast.

MLB has a lot they need to work on to make the Draft watchable and to increase excitement for it.  The first thing they need to work on is getting more players involved in the event.  Having player in attendance would help the broadcast, with the players showing emotion and excitement when selected by the clubs.  The MLB needs to also work on getting the names and faces of the upcoming draft prospects out there.  They could broadcast high school games featuring top prospects.  Finally baseball needs to get a deal with a better network to air the event.  That probably won’t happen until they improve the first two problems I previously stated.

Baseball is a great game and the draft deserves just as much fan fare as the other leagues.  Until baseball can make the fans care we are going to have an event like we will see tonight, an unwatched and mostly unknown happening.

Player Report: Bryce Harper’s 1st Month In The Bigs

Bryce Harper
(Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Highly touted Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper was called up to the big league ball club on April 28th.  He was drafted 1st overall in the 2010 June MLB draft.  Harper has had a lot of hype and promise around him ever since he was featured in a 2009 edition of Sports Illustrated magazine.  He has been called a future legend by many in the sports media.  Harper has also been called immature and egotistical during his 2011 Minor League run.  Now we get to see how the 19 year old phenom develops into what could be an incredible baseball player.

Bryce Harper Has been at the Major League level for a month now.  So I figured it is time to take a look at the numbers and see how he has done.  The stats mentioned are compiled from his first 31 games at the big league level and took place between the 28th of April and the 2nd of June.

Harper has had 115 appearances at the plate.  From those at bats he has 32 hits, 16 base on balls and has been struck out 21 times.  His batting average is at .278,  at the plate he has fared pretty well for a player that just got to the show.  He has shown some power amassing 10 extra base hits and knocking 4 ball out of the park.  He has produced a good number of runs with 21,  Harper has also 11 RBI’s.

His debut came on the 28th of April in Los Angeles when his National faced off against the Dodgers.  Harper went 1 for 3 that night, the hit was for a double and he also batted in a run.  The Dodgers won that game by a score of 4-3.

Harper’s best game at the plate came on May 2nd against the Arizona Diamondbacks at home.  Harper went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs and 1 RBI.

He has been a really good part of the Nationals offensive production.  He has also been an asset to the club in the field.  Harper was brought up through his amateur playing years as a catcher but once drafted was converted to an outfielder.  Harper currently occupies the Right Field and has a rocket arm and really good fielding.

The most publicized event for Harper came May 6th when the Nationals played the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Phillies star pitcher Cole Hamels nailed Harper in the back with a pitch.  It looked intentional but Hamels left no doubt that it was on purpose when he admitted it after the game.  Harper handled the situation with all of the maturity in the world and shrugged it off.  When Harper was asked about it later he just said that they were both competitive players and sometimes that happens.

This last month of watching Bryce Harper play has shown us a few things.  He was indeed ready to be called up from the minor leagues.  He has been the player the Nationals need to continue to compete in the tough N.L. East.  He has played well on both the offensive and defensive side.  Most importantly he has shown that he can be as humble as he needs to be right now to develop and improve.  I believe Harper is going to continue to get better and in a couple of years could in fact be one of the best baseball players around.

Perfect Phil

The White Sox Phillip Humber throws MLB's 21 prefect game.
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Chicago White Sox pitcher Phil Humber pitched his way into the history books on Saturday.  Humber pitched the White Sox to a perfect game win over the Seattle Mariners with a score of 4-0.  Humber amazed the baseball world with incredible pitching against a decent Mariners ball club.  He performed this incredible feat in just 96 pitches and had 9K’s.  This was his first win of the season, and what a great way to way to do it.

Humber is probably the last guy anyone would have expected to throw a perfect game.  He went 9-9 last year with a 3.75 ERA in his first full year in the show.  He was drafted 3rd overall by the Mets in 2004 and had elbow issues by 2006.  He was bounced around the league for a few years and ended up in Chicago off of waivers in 2011.  Humber’s performance is inspiring due to the fact he underwent Tommy John surgery 7 years ago.  Many pitchers never return to for or develop into a player that can perform such a feat after major surgery on their arm.

Here are some facts of where this perfect game sits in the history books.  This was just the 21st perfect game in MLB history.  The first one since the Phillies Roy Halloday did it in 2010 against the Florida Marlins.  It just the 7th perfect game ever pitched on the Road. The most impressive stat of them all is he did it the earliest in a season ever.  Beating the previous record of April 30th by Charles Robertson in 1922.

This season has been very entertaining already, and it isn’t even May yet.  I am sure we will see more history going forward.  As far as Humber goes, he is in for a wild ride.  He will be followed very closely the rest of the year to see how he fares during the grueling season.  Can he do it again? That is going to be the fun question that we will be waiting to find the answer to.  All eyes will be on him during his next start against a Boston Red Sox club that has been struggling this year.  No matter what he does for the rest of the season he has made his mark, and his outing on Saturday will never be forgotten.

Dolphins QB!

With Peyton Manning being officially released by the Colts today and the possibility they might go after him I thought I would address the subject of the Dolphins QB spot. Let’s start with Matt Moore, replace him! While he did okay for the most part he is no long term QB for the Dolphins. I as a fan am tired of the revolving QB door since Dan Marino retired after the 2000 season. We have had the likes of Chad Pennington, Cleo Lemon and John Beck to name a few. I am sick of it! Find a new long term QB now Miami!

Let me touch on the Manning possibility now. No one can deny how great of a QB Manning is but with his age, and injury issues I don’t see him as a long term fix. I feel the dolphins need and have needed a long term fixture at the QB position in order to be consistently successful again.

That brings me to Robert Griffin III or RG3, which could be a possibility if the dolphins traded up from their 8th pick over all to the 2nd pick held by the Rams who have shown interest in trading it for the “right deal”. I think the dolphins should trade for the pick and bank the filigree on that kid. He is the complete football player like we have never seen before. He looks like he could be even greater than Cam Newton was this past season.

But there is a problem with the RG3 scenario that I have laid out. In order to get that pick from the Rams, the dolphins would have to do something they have never been comfortable doing before and that is to trade a few first round pick possibly 3 to make a deal come to life. I think they need to take a chance and pull the trigger o. This one. If there ever was a time to make a trade to move up in the draft it would be now.

We will have to see what happens in the next month with the Manning situation to get an indication as to which way the dolphins might go. I feel that the only real option us to get RG3. Not any other free agent not even Manning. The dolphins have been dragging their feet for too long and the fan wants to see it end immediately!