Monday, June 09, 2008

Blam!! Bam!! Ka-Powe!!

And the beat goes on here in the Hub of All Sports. Since we last chatted, nothing much has happened - unless you count Paul Pierce being wheeled off the court in a wheelchair in Game 1 of the Finals at the Garden, Coco Crisp igniting an all-out brawl against the Rays across town at Fenway, Manny and Youk going at it a bit in the dugout during the same game, and the C's going up 2-0 last night on the Lakers, who suddenly find themselves in desperate straits - as nothing much.

Let's cover the high points:

The Coco thing had been simmering from earlier in the Rays' series, when he slid into second on a steal and the shortstop was covering the bag with his leg. Evidently, this is one of those no-no's in baseball etiquette, and Coco let everyone within earshot know about it. He then chose to take matters into his own hands, and almost decapitated Akinori Iwamura later with a hard slide into the bag. It was definitely a slide with a purpose - the only problem is that it wasn't Jason Bartlett, who had angered Coco on the other play. This got the Rays pissed off, and on Thursday night James Shields decided to plunk Coco with his second pitch (he missed him on his first try). Coco knew it was coming, paused a moment (he said to 'get the catcher off him a little bit') and then charged the mound. Shields unleashed a huge right hook that Coco miraculously ducked away from - and thank God, because he would have been seriously hurt. Shields is a bid dude, swinging downhill. After that, Dioner Navarro had Coco wrapped up on the ground, and a couple of cowardly Rays took multiple punches, most notably Jonny Punkass Gomes and Carl Crawford. Suspensions will be forthcoming.

As for the Manny-Youk flare-up, it was originally speculated that Youk was all over Manny because the dredlocked one was quite late to the pile at the mound after Coco got smothered. It came out the next day, however, that some players have been on Youk this year for his antics after striking out or making an out. The Sox could be up 10-0, and if Youk K's on what he feels is a bad pitch, you'd think he just got word that his dog died. I can see how some players feel it makes him look selfish. We'll see if there's any improvement in the histrionics.

And finally, keeeping with the Sox for one last moment, they swept the Rays and then bid them good riddance for the lowly Mariners this weekend. Sox took 2 out of 3 from Ichiro & Co. and have leapfrogged over the Rays for the division lead. Off day today and then back into action with Baltimore at Fenway tomorrow night.

Okay, onto the NBA Finals, where the Celtics have built up a shocking 2-0 lead on the heels of their tenacious D. The first game was pure drama, with Pierce getting hurt early, being carted off in a wheelchair and then bounding back onto the court moments later as if nothing had happened. The Lakers - particularly Phil Jackson - were dubious, but here's my take. Pierce has waited 10 years for this. He heard a pop in his knee. He was scared, and they took every precaution possible. Sure, it looked embarrassing as hell - but in the end, who cares? Of course, if that was Kobe, we'd be all over him so call me a hypocrite.

Naturally, Pierce led the charge in the fourth quarter of Game 1 and he was on his game last night as well, even after a couple days of wondering whether he'd play. He was nailing threes and driving to the basket, but it was Leon Powe (rhymes with 'eat CROW' Phil Jackson) who was the hero of the night in Game 2. Powe - who was banished to DNP-CD status for much of Rounds 1 and 2, was fully unleashed last night and he showed off his strong inside game. In the end, Powe finished with 21 points, and as Jackson pointed out in the post-game presser (after mispronouncing his name) Powe shot more free throws in 14 minutes of play than the entire Lakers team did all night. That, my friends, is downright startling and you can bet it will change in LA. If you're into that sort of thing - betting, that is... you might be inclined to place a Mike Donaghy Memorial Wager on Game 3 because Kobe will be reacquainted with the charity stripe many times in Game 3. Bank on it.

johnny goon get your skates on ms
How did Pierce respond so quickly to his knee injury? I have a friend who injured his knee 27 years ago this week, and he still can't breathe on his own, eats via feeding tube and has a colostomy bag attached to his hip. I don't get it.
"Mike Donaghy Memorial Wager" - nice one.

Clearly 'knee repair by Jake' was at the Garden on Thursday night and fixed Pierce up in minutes.
Yeah, but I tellya one thing - I was never carted around in no stinking wheelchair...
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