Friday, July 1, 2011

Women's World Cup

The Women’s World Cup in Germany is off to a more hopeful start that the Men could have hoped for in theirs. The USA plays Colombia tomorrow morning (Saturday) to advance past the group stage. Although the media is trying to make wind of a slight line-up change, the USA are in good spirits and have such a depth on their bench to make such a move. The more interesting story will be who advances with the US. In another group, Japan has already advanced after beating Mexico 4-0, and today England escaping a scare against New Zealand, winning 2-1 in a comeback. One thing England will need to do is work on their crosses into the box and take care of their headers. Their first goal today was scored on a one-time cross into the box scoring the tournaments only second goal by header. In tomorrow’s USA matchup, the USA will try to counter attack against Colombia swift forwards. With Brandi Chastain doing media coverage, will the USA be able to win it all like 1997?


Who would you rather have pitching any Game Seven of any playoff series? If it weren’t played in October or September, rather June, I would pick between Cliff Lee or Justin Verlander in 2011. Cliff Lee sported 3 complete games while Verlander had 2, Lee’s being shut-outs. Both sported an under 0.70 ERA and both showed one of the most dominant pitching months in Major League pitching history. So the question remains, after Cliff Lee and Justin Verlander’s dominant midseason performance, while also considering their track records in the post season, if the postseason were today, who would you take? Most would say Cliff Lee. I on the other hand would take Verlander. Cliff Lee has Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay to lean on. If it were one game, pressure on you, I’d take Verlander. 


Another lockout? What?! The interesting thinking about the NBA lockout compared to the NFL lockout, is that both parties, the NBA players, and David Stern have been there before. Being that its day one everyone will be assuming that the NFL lockout will last longer than the NBA. However one interesting note would be that there are some new NBA owners since the last NBA lockout. For example, the owner of the Phoenix Suns and the New Jersey nets whether this will make the talks go faster or slower, this is yet to be determined. However, one thing to keep in mind from the last NBA lockout would be to see how the players. For example Vin Baker and Shawn Kemp both were scrutinized after the last lockout for gaining weight and getting out of shape. This after Vin Baker being an all star and Shawn Kemp signing a hundred million dollar contract with the wizard. The crazy part out of all of this is that 2 out of the 4 major American sports, are in a lockout as of today. The United states government has already gotten involved with the NFL processes, it’ll be interesting to see if the NBA follows the same path. 

Friday, June 24, 2011


Is Jimmer Fredette the next NBA all-star? The Sacramento Kings took Fredette in the first round with their tenth pick overall in hopes of not only putting fans in the seats, but expanding their team’s talent to another level. After one of the most notable collegiate season, not only in BYU’s history but comparable to all of NCAA ball, Fredette truly made a name for himself as a player and a leader. Some people are already labeling Fredette as a star, comparing him to JJ Barea and JJ Redick. Do his talents really compare to those on a professional level? I think not! How can you compare him to JJ Barea? In my opinion there is no comparison. Fredette’s outstanding basketball play was in the NCAA not the NBA. He was in for a rude awakening at 6’ 2”. Who exactly is he going to guard? The comparison to Redick is not sound either. Redick playing on a struggling Orlando team is no one to be compared with when debating about a stardom level. Redick plays a flex position without a supporting cast a star would need in the first place. Barea is a champion and an outstanding player whose skills have acquired over time still not amounting to but maybe the fourth or at best fifth best player on the Mavericks team. Barea has a lot of skill, one that very, very few players at his height can pull off…Fredette not being one of them. In my opinion, Fredette should fee grateful to have been taken that early in the draft and was probably primarily considered to fill seats in a struggling NBA town, who almost lost their franchise at the end of this last season. 

The NBA draft kicked off last night to what was probably one of the worst drafts in a very long time. However, there were great outlooks for the University of Texas having had three former members taken in the first round, Tristan Thompson, the power forward from Texas having gone in the top five, going to the Cleveland Cavaliers who also had the overall number one pick. Kyle Irving, point guard from Duke, will hopefully provide the longing stardom left behind by LeBron James to the Cavs. The Timberwolves selected Derrick Williams, a power forward from Arizona, as the number two pick to add on big man play with Kevin Love. The Lakers first pick was Darius Mooris, point guard from Michigan, who might not have an immediate impact in the game, but should learn plenty backing up Derek Fisher. With Mike Brown being new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, hopefully the exit of Phil Jackson will make its place in the history books for past championship and ones soon to come. Either way, we are looking at a new Lakers team with familiar faces in the upcoming season. 


Should Mark Cuban own a major league baseball team? Some say the time is now, while managers across the league, as well as league executives, feel it is not such a good idea.

In my opinion, give the man a team. Mark Cuban is exactly what the sport of Major League Baseball needs. Look at how Cuban has changed the face of the Dallas Mavericks. Why should that stop at basketball?  Before Cuban, the Mavericks were the New Jersey Nets of today. When Cuban came into play, Dallas had the luxuries and benefits that the Los Angeles Lakers did. Every team member was treated like a king, and every fan could be proud of his or her team. It took a number of years, but look where they are now… the current champions of the NBA. 

     If he wasn’t revamping the locker rooms to have personal lockers for every player, then he was on the floor screaming at the referees and making his face known across the nation. Even if you have never been to Dallas or didn’t like the team, you knew of Mark Cuban. This is what Major League Baseball need. Teams like the Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets, to name a few, could really use a manager with motive, enthusiasm, and life to give the team a memorable physical appearance and face behind the scenes. Wait a minute; the Houston Astros just did that! Recently the Astros were bought by Jim Crane who has a lot of work to do, but Crane is no Cuban.

 So who to buy? The Los Angeles Dodgers sure seem like a good fit. Frank McCourt left one hell of a mess to clean up in Los Angeles. Cuban was apparently tired of “chasing” baseball teams in search of new ownership. But recently, talks of new Dodgers ownership have sparked everyone’s interest, and what could be better for baseball than Cuban’s highly energetic and over-excited personality?


The Phillies bullpen is riding one hell of a roller coaster. Within the past three days, starting pitcher Cliff Lee threw his second complete game shutout of this 2011 season, both being back to back. It is the first time Cliff Lee has accomplished such a feat. Immediately following Lee's stunning performance, starting pitcher Roy Oswalt suffered a back injury that may have a severe impact on his season. Roy-O has been placed on the fifteen-day DL list and is awaiting results from his back exams. 

Are the Phillies in that much trouble? Most would think not behind Cliff Lee’s red-hot arm, Cole Hamel’s newly introduced cutter, and Roy Halladay’s reliability (being the leader for the most complete game shutouts over the past four years (10!). 


The Philly Flyers are making some big waves within the National Hockey League. They have recently signed former Phoenix Coyote goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to a $51 million deal over the course of the next nine years. He now ranks among the top ten highest paid in the NHL. Their previous four seasons have recorded great point standings within the league, all 88 and over. Not only does it feel like there is a rise in the overall strength of the Flyers, but also they are making moves to secure a dynasty-esque team already, since their major problem in the last few playoffs has been goalie reliability.

Speaking of new deals, Devin Setoguchi signed a three-year, $9 million extension with the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks have certainly found a way to make ends meet when it comes to re-signing key players. Setoguchi says he was excited to sign the contract extension saying, “All the way from players to management, it has been one of the best situations I could have come in to. San Jose is such a great place to play. The organization is great and the team is top-notch. All the way through, it’s the best place to play in the NHL. I couldn’t be happier.”

        Including renegotiation deals within the past year, the Sharks have now locked in Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Devin Setoguchi for the next three years. With help from their young players like Logan Couture and Jason Demers, the Sharks veteran players will have an elite squad to contend with in the Pacific. They will continue to be a team that grows and amazes NHL fans, and a threat to other NHL teams.