- After two games in Boston LeBron James is 8-of-42 shooting. Ouch. Boston is good and all, but that’s no excuse for a guy that good to be that bad
- Zab Judah hurt his arm and had to pull out of a fight against Sugar Shane Mosley scheduled for the end of the month. Boxing is in a sad state when the biggest story of the week is that we don’t get to see a fight between a couple of mostly washed up guys that nobody really needed to see anyway
- Here’s a news flash – Brandon Webb is pretty good. He made his eighth start of the year today and earned his league leading eighth win. He did it by tossing a gem – two earned runs and four strikeouts without a walk in a complete game. He’d picked on some lousy teams in his first six starts, but he’s beat the Mets and the Phillies in the last two, so the impressive factor just ratcheted up a bit.
- Dallas can start booking tee times for about 10 days from now. The Stars have only played one game against the Red Wings, but it looked like the men against the boys. The world would have to tilt on its axis for Detroit to beat Dallas.
- Sergio Garcia is leading the first round of the Players Championship by two strokes, but a stat jumped out when I saw it – the Spaniard is sitting 158th on the tour in putts per round. It’s not a wonder that he isn’t living up to his potential of late. That’s ugly.
- Chauncey Billups says he isn’t sure if he is going to play in game four after he strained his right hamstring in game three. I’m sure he ultimately will play unless he is confined to a stretcher or something, but that’s not very good news for the Pistons. Obviously.
- It’s funny how baseball works. If you had asked me six weeks ago I would have told you that Cleveland was dangerous because there rotation was so good, but if I had a guy who was going to be carrying a heavy load who I was worried about it was Cliff Lee. Now, Lee is 6-0 and giving up less than a run a game, Fausto Carmona is solid at 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA, and the rest of the rotation is 3-12. You couldn’t have seen that coming anymore than you could have seen that Detroit’s staff would be 6-16, or that Justin Verlander would be stinking it out at 1-6 with a 6.43 ERA. I was rock solid on Verlander as my Cy Young pick, and I was feeling painfully unoriginal doing it.
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- Crazy, crazy, crazy game between Dallas and San Jose tonight. San Jose needed a win in game six to survive. It was tied at one after regulation, and still tied after three overtime periods. The fourth overtime was a farce. The players were so tired that they could hardly move, and I’m sure both teams just wanted the suffering to end one way or another. Brenden Morrow finally scored the winner for Dallas halfway through the seventh period. The goal came on the powerplay, and it was a bit of a shame to see it end like that. Unfortunately for San Jose, though, the penalty was pretty blatant. Dallas has a few days to recuperate from this one – they don’t play Detroit until Thursday.
- The good news is that Tampa Bay got Scott Kazmir back today for the first time this year. The bad news is that they need him to be really good and he wasn’t. He lasted just four innings and allowed three earned runs in that time. There were some signs of hope from amongst the gloom, though – he struck out five and only walked three.
- CSKA Moscow beat Maccabi Tel Aviv Sunday to win the Euroleague championship. I love checking out the European games to see which players have ended up over there. There were some real gems in this one. Trajan Langdon, the Alaska-born former Duke star, was the MVP of the game and is one of the true stars of the league. One of his teammates is J.R. Holden. He played with Bucknell before heading to Russia, and he took Russian citizenship so that he doesn’t have to use up a foreign spot on the roster. THe losers were led by captain and point guard Derrick Sharp. He played at South Florida, but he is 36 so that was a while ago.
- Pittsburgh has one loss in two rounds, and there is no reason not to expect them to cruise through the battle of Pennsylvania relatively unscathed. They are young and have a lot to prove yet, but at this point they have to be solidly viewed as the favorites from among the four teams remaining. I’d take the youth and speed of Pittsburgh over the age and experience of Detroit.
- It won’t show up in their records because neither guy got a decision, but Johan Santana and Dan Haren had a heck of a duel today. Santana allowed one run in six innings, with 8 K’s and 4 walks. Haren responded with two runs in six innings with just one walk against seven K’s. Chad Qualls blew it for Arizona in the end with an uncharacteristically bad showing – three runs in the ninth.