Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spygate-Free Zone

After getting rained out last night, the Sox and the Brewers will play two today, with Game 1 starting at around 4 and Game 2 at 8:30. Gonna be a long evening of baseball, which is always a good thing. There's also a big playoff basketball game at the Garden tomorrow, but unfortunately it's another Game 7 as LeBron and the Cavaliers once again beat the C's in Cleveland last night.

Some quick thoughts on all the sports news swirling around:

- The biggest subject in the NBA playoffs so far is the incredible home-court advantage that teams have had. Going into last night, I think visiting teams were 1-18 or something like that, and for the Celts that trend continued. The Lakers, playing in Salt Lake City, bucked the trend and beat the Jazz to advance to the West finals. Why the big discrepancy? It's hard to ignore the difference in the calls the refs make depending on which arena they're in. The Cavs last night got the better of the late calls - one a goaltending that should have been whistled; another the Pierce/LeBron collision where James got the call. In all, Cleveland went to the line 25 times to the Celts' 13, and that's a pattern that has been pretty consistent so far in the playoffs. It would be interesting to see if David Stern's guys are looking into this, because it's starting to become patently obvious.

- Before the day off Thursday and the rainout last night, the Sox were struggling, having lost 3 of 4 in Minnesota and both games in Baltimore. The problem has clearly been the bullpen, with even Okajima looking mortal so far this year. He's been especially piss-poor with inherited runners, though to give him some slack, he's also come into some hellish situations. Either way, you can bet Theo's trying to figure out a way to reinforce the 'pen because the trend can't continue. The first game today is on Fox at 4:00 with Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-0, 2.45) going against Jeff Suppan (2-2, 4.63). Nightcap on NESN at 8:30 has Tim Wakefield (3-2, 4.25) vs. Dave Bush (1-4, 6.06).

- Everyone knows the NBA is a star league. You need the one guy who can absolutely take over a game for stretches of time. Kobe in LA. LeBron in Cleveland. Chris Paul in New Orleans. Based on what you've seen so far in the playoffs, is KG one of those kinds of guys? He's clearly been our best, most consistent players, but has he shown spurts of dominance? I say no, only because he just hasn't established his presence down low. It's easy to see why he might be conflicted between the inside and outside game, though - he's got an unreal touch for a 7-footer.

- Wally Sczerbiak recently had a son and named him Maximus Jack Sczerbiak. Just something I thought you might want to know.

- How about the Yankees' abrupt turn to mediocrity? Their pitching has been positively atrocious, A-Rod's been out with an injury, and ol' Hank Steinbrenner is starting to voice his frustratoins publicly. It will add some salt to the wound when Johan Santana faces them today, the guy they could have gotten for the disappointing Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.

- Had to love the Manny high-five play in Baltimore. If you haven't seen it, the Orioles have guys on first and second with one out. Manny tracks down a deep fly to left, and runs up the wall in the process. At the top, he briefly slaps hands with a Red Sox fan, then comes down and fires the ball back in and they double the guy off first. Incredible.">.

best in game slam dunk i've ever show boat...just pure fun in the middle of the baseball game...shows how slow the game is to the pro' bout the duggout highlite when they watch the reply
that was the best part - six guys crowded around the camera, all laughing hysterically - tough loss for the Rays today
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