Welcome back, sports fans! I’m Sebastian Maldonado bringing you all of the latest news in sports. Did you enjoy the All-Star week? This week’s headlines include the trade deadline, Michael Vick’s fate, and a shocking announcement tarnishes the game of baseball again.
The MLB trade deadline has arrived, and it has left a mark on the MLB landscape. The Phillies did not get Roy Halladay but got Cliff Lee instead. The Phillies got themselves a former CY Young winner and OF Ben Francisco for four of their top ten prospects. Thanks to this deal, they have emerged as a real threat to repeat as World Series Champions.
The Pirates unloaded more talent as they sent 2B Freddy Sanchez to the Giants and P Ian Snell & SS Jack Wilson to the Mariners. However, the Mariners sent P Jarrod Washburn to the Tigers for two other pitchers. The Red Sox got 1B Casey Kotchman from the Braves and C/1B/DH Victor Martinez from the Indians. The Red Sox are more determined than ever to become World Series Champions again.
Thanks to the moves made by the deadline, the potential playoff scenario looks a little different. The Yankees’ lead in the AL East has lost steam; the Red Sox are at least 1 game back. The NL Central has become a four-headed monster that includes the Cardinals, Cubs, Astros, and Brewers in that order. The Wild Card spots of both leagues are stacked with teams that have a lot of potential. The Phillies might run away with their lead in the NL East.
In other baseball news, there was a report from the NY Daily News stating MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was considering reinstating Pete Rose from his lifetime ban. That was not the case, as Selig squashed those rumors.
NBA Free agency for 2010 could be dying down. One of the best players on that list, LeBron James, could be signing a contract extension with the Cavaliers very soon. The Cavs have not released any details. Meanwhile, the Charlotte Bobcats have traded center Emeka Okafor to the New Orleans Hornets for Tyson Chandler. The biggest recent free agent signing was by the Los Angeles Lakers. They resigned Lamar Odom for a 4-year, $33 million deal. Odom is a key piece for the Lakers repeating as champions.
Brett Favre has made a decision. He has chosen to stay retired. The 38-year old QB has decided not to play for the Vikings, and it forces Minnesota to move on. While his legacy might be scrutinized, Tony Romo is being criticized. His combination of a high-profile (recently ex-) girlfriend and other surrounding drama has made him a target for experts everywhere. Critics are ready to take their shots at all things Cowboys. Between sunning himself on the beach with Jessica Simpson in Cabo San Lucas before a playoff game two seasons ago, golfing, downplaying ugly losses and having problems with departed wide receiver Terrell Owens, Romo has caught enough flak to fill a 15-year career. Is Tony Romo the real deal in Dallas? If he is not, the Cowboys might have to start from scratch to rebuild their franchise.
The mixed martial arts world seems to be begging for Fedor Emelianenko to sign with the UFC. He’s arguably the world best MMA heavyweight fighter right now. Yet, he’s never been tested on the world’s grandest stage: the UFC. Fans want him, UFC President Dana White wants him, but there is a catch. Fedor’s management wants him to also fight in M-1 Global. Negotiations have stalled recently, but expect the UFC to be aggressive in trying to sign Emelianenko.
Time for the issues to be heard in: The Athlete’s Court!
- 38-year-old boxer Vernon Forrest was shot and killed Saturday night in an attempted robbery. Police confirmed Forrest exchanged gunfire at two assailants. Suspects are still at large.
- Manhattan’s District Attorney Robert Morgenthau wants former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress to serve jail time, as first reported by the New York Post. Burress testified Wednesday for nearly 2½ hours. Giants LB Antonio Pierce testified Thursday and Friday. A grand indictment will be set this week.
- The authorities have ruled the death of Arturo Gatti a suicide. His wife was released from custody.
Time for the magic man to take over!
The steroid scandal has been a culprit to many events, such as the chase to pass Roger Maris’ home run total in 1998. Both men pursuing Maris were caught using steroids when Maguire would not “talk about the past” and Sosa’s test came back positive in 2003. Now, one of the greatest accomplishments in baseball history has now been tainted.
David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were arguably the best 1-2 punch in the major leagues. This past Thursday, the New York Times released their names as two of the “103.” They allegedly failed drug tests in 2003. These two helped the Red Sox win their past two championships and helped break their 86-year drought. They played a huge factor in coming back from a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees. Their names are now caught in the steroid scandal. No one is sure what drugs they took, but the Times are a credible source.
In short, Ortiz and Ramirez were once great names in baseball. Thanks to their failed drug tests, their names will be next to asterisks throughout the rest of their careers. Thanks to their heroics, their team will now suffer that asterisk as well.
- Last Monday, Nationals OF Josh Willingham accomplished a rare feat. He hit two Grand slams in one game. The Nationals went on to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 14-6.
- Mark Buerhle has a great, dry sense of humor. Buerhle was on David Letterman Monday to do the Top Ten. You could see in on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2Vbu3-YBMk. It is definitely a must-see for any sports fan.
- Dana White was honored over the weekend as 2009 Nevada Sportsman of the Year. He joins previous honorees Joe and Gavin Maloof, UNLV basketball coach Lon Kruger and boxing promoter Bob Arum as a recipient of the award. White does a lot for the Armed Forces coming back from Iraq. He has held matches for them on their bases and is constant in helping returning troops get back on their feet.
- Michael Phelps has set another world record. After setting the record for the 200m Butterfly, he set the record for the 100m Butterfly.
Michael Vick is back in the NFL, conditionally. He has former Colts and NFL Super Bowl coach Tony Dungy advising him in his quest to return playing football. He also is “very close” to signing with a professional team. The facts are clear: Michael Vick is starting to make a turn for the better.
Vick will not play a regular season game until Week 6 if he’s found a team. It’ a fair statement made by Roger Goodell. He’s willing to give players the chance to redeem themselves while providing him the fairest opportunities possible. Goodell needs Vick to be the first “high-caliber” player to make a turn-around. If he does, Goodell’s legacy will be intact. If Vick keeps changing his ways for the better, it would be arguably the greatest comeback in the NFL under the circumstances.
Well, that’s it for today. If you disagree with anything I say, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing your opinions and criticism. Until then, that’s it you KNUCKLEHEADS!!!
Copyright © 2007 by Sebastian Maldonado