With those and many more happenings, I feel it's time to let some steam out of my system as I rant, rave, and opine about what is in my craw regarding sports.
Here we go!
Congratulations Graeme McDowell, but...
The 110th playing of the U.S. Open golf championship at Pebble Beach crowned Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell as it new champion, the first ever from his country and first European since Tony Jacklin in 1970. However, Graeme was not the best player amongst the leaders on the final day. France's Gregory Havret, the 391st ranked player, carded what was to be a nifty one-over par 72 with the steadiest play of all. While big stars Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, and Phil Mickelson along with McDowell stumbling along, Havret seemed cool as he made many pars and the few bogeys he made actually didn't deter him greatly, including the the 17th hole bogey...everybody else did the same. Had Havret birdied the stunning par 5 18th, McDowell's strategy changes from a second shot lay up to going for the green in two where anything could have happened.
Kudos to Gregory Havret!
Highway Robbery in South Africa!
The U.S. Soccer team played an extremely poor opening half against underdog Slovenia to trail 2-0. But goals from Landon Donovan and Mike Bradley knotted the game at 2-2 with the U.S. Seizing complete control. Then on a free kick, Maurice Edu scored what appeared to be the game winner and all was well, until the referee from Mali called a phantom foul on the U.S. nullifying the goal. To this moment, nobody knows what the foul was and who committed that foul. Algeria is the U.S. Soccer team's final round robin opponent and a win is crucial to say the least.
The ref's a bum!
Kobe is King
The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in decisive game 7 83-79 to capture NBA title number 16, one fewer than the Celtics. Kobe Bryant, the playoff MVP, now has a championship ring for his thumb (5) and has cemented his place in NBA history. Bryant is the NBA's best player, proving that he can help the Lakers in other ways when he is having a poor shooting performance. His defense, rebounding, and ball distribution was vital to victory in the game 7 showdown.
Long live the King!
A Team Built on Run Prevention
The Boston Red Sox are currently the hottest team in Major League Baseball. Since losing 9 of 13 to begin the season, the Red Sox sport a big league best 39-19 record since. Boston General Manager Theo Epstein built the club on run prevention...giving up fewer runs with better pitching and defense while sacrificing offense. The additions of Gold Glove third sacker Adrian Beltre, shortstop Marco Scutaro, and past Gold Glover center fielder Mike Cameron were to bear this approach to fruition. Apparently, this is working wonderfully well.
Or is it?
Defensively, Boston is 4th in the AL in fielding percentage,but yet are in the middle of the pack in errors as they have committed forty-three and have given up a whopping 75 stolen bases, easily the most in the majors.
In the pitching department, the Sox have a 4.22 ERA which is only 19th in baseball and given up 325 runs, 11th in baseball, 5th in the American League. That isn't great but not too bad either.
Now for the sacrificing of offense;
Boston has scored 390 runs, slugged to a .468 percentage, have 275 extra-base hits, and an OPS of .821...all major league BESTS! The Red Sox are also 2nd behind Toronto for the most home runs,2nd in average to Kansas City in batting average in all of baseball, and are 3rd in all of baseball in on-base percentage. As a Sox fan, that's a sacrifice of offense I can handle.
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