It’s amazing to me how uncompetitive this round of the NHL playoffs is. I felt confident that the finals this year was going to be a rematch of last year, but I thought that Detroit and Pittsburgh would at least have to fight for their berth. The game this afternoon was so one-sided it wasn’t even entertaining. I actually felt bad for the Blackhawks. Yesterday was just as bad – Pittsburgh never gave Carolina a chance. You never want a team to look past their current opponent, but I’m certainly looking to the next round. I definitely like Pittsburgh to win it all – Detroit is beat up, and Pittsburgh’s top two players are playing truly spectacular hockey right now.
I don’t watch a lot of open wheel racing anymore (does anyone?), but I did catch the tail end of the Indy 500 today. It was a total cake walk. Kind of ugly, actually. The only thing Helio Castroneves had to focus on was not hitting the wall. It was impressive, if a little boring. I didn’t watch any of the Monaco Grand Prix, but it was even worse. There have been six Formula 1 races this year, and Jenson Button has won five of them. In four he has gone wire-to-wire. It’s hardly even a sport anymore. There must be something about the open wheels that drains competitiveness these days.
I was interested to see what Lleyton Hewitt did at the French Open today. He came into the tournament ranked number 50 in the world, but he’s obviously a better player than that, and he has shown some signs of life this year – including a win on clay already this spring. He got down two sets early to the 26th seeded player, but he fought back to win it all. That showed both a stamina and a determination that he had lacked in recent years, but which he used to have so much of. It’s about time that he makes a real showing in a tournament again, so I’ll be watching him here. Or at least I would be watching him if he weren’t on track to play Rafael Nadal in the third round. That won’t go well.
Brad Lidge blew against the Yankees today. It was his fourth blown save of the season, and he has just eight saves. He was playing so well last year, but he clearly isn’t as effective this year. I certainly wouldn’t bet that he’ll still be closing in September.
A couple of days again I talked about Scott Kazmir and how hard it was to believe the claims of both him and the Rays that nothing was wrong despite his lousy performance. It turns out I was right to be skeptical – he was put on the DL this weekend. That doesn’t happen to healthy players. I suspect that this isn’t the last we have heard of this story.