Friday July 3, 2009

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, sports fans! I’m Sebastian Maldonado bringing you all of the latest news in sports. The Ricky Rubio saga continues. Voting for the MLB All-Star race has finished, and two rookies help each other out. Plus, Pure Magic investigates the legacy of Mariano Rivera.

Ricky Rubio, the first draft pick made by Minnesota, does NOT want to be a Timberwolf. Rumors are circulating he could go back to Europe, specifically Spain and Turkey. Minnesota also has had offers from the Knicks and the Rockets, among other unconfirmed reports.

Meanwhile, free agency has begun. Two UConn alums (Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva) reunite in Detroit. Ron Artest committed to a three-year deal with the Lakers. Trevor Ariza committed to a multi-year deal with the Rockets. More rumors are circulating regarding Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson, and Hedo Turkoglu. For a list of the top 20 free agents, go to http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Av2pdGHB7AWK49asb3lZ5p.8vLYF?slug=jy-freeagentrankings063009&prov=yhoo&type=lgns.

The MLB All-Stars are all set. They are the most popular and best players voted by you, the fans. It was another tough year as nearly every position is loaded with high-caliber players. The Final Votes should be released within this weekend. Speaking of All-Stars, former All-Star OF Manny Ramirez returns to the Dodgers after his 50-game suspension. His presence alone helps the Dodgers, who have the best record in baseball right now (50-29). Plus, the NL East is as tight as ever. The Phillies and Marlins are tied in first, with the Mets and Braves only one to two games behind. The Mets take on the Phillies starting tonight at Philadelphia. Who will emerge as the leader of the NL East Division?

The NFL’s training camp is one of the hardest tasks for any player to claim a spot on their team’s rosters. Add the fact that some rookies are destined to be saviors of a franchise. QBs Mark Sanchez (Jets) and Matthew Stafford (Lions) are giving each other advice in preparing for the upcoming NFL season. Both have become “friends” as they both take steps in becoming potential starters for their teams. It started last summer, when they were counselors at the same camp for elite high school quarterbacks. They’ve kept in contact regularly since, talking about every topic imaginable. If both are successful, then this could start an interesting legacy in the NFL’s future.

Is Bobby Lashley the real deal? The former wrestler turned MMA heavyweight fighter is 4-0. His latest victim is popular MMA fighter Bob Sapp. All of Lashley’s fights have not made it past the first round. All of Lashley’s victories have been by knockout. UFC President Dana White has not made any offers to get Lashley, which is okay according to him.

Time for the issues to be heard in: The Athlete’s Court!

  1. Donte Stallworth received more bad news. He tested positive for marijuana during his DUI manslaughter case. Stallworthe was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
  2. Jets LB Calvin Pace has been suspended for the first 4 games of the season for violating the NFL’s drug policy. In a statement issued by the Jets, Pace said he took an over-the-counter dietary supplement Pace had no idea the supplement was banned by the NFL.


Time for the magic man to take over!

Pure Magic:

Mariano Rivera became the second reliever to achieve 500 saves. The Yankees closer is one of the faces of the Yankee franchise, and he’s currently on 502. He leads the American League for the most saves of all time, but what makes the man who has done the impossible tick? Is it competition, or is it the will to win? Is it his cool demeanor that hides under his vicious cutter (cut-fastball)? These are all factors that lead to Rivera’s success. Yet, it is his love for the game that answers all these questions. He loves to play and win, which is why he’s been dominant for nearly 14 years. It’s why teammates (old and new) and opponents have respected him for all these years. It’s why fans of all kinds have loved and/or hated him for his work. There is no question that Rivera is a future Hall-of-Famer. When Mo hangs up the cleats, he will be remembered for his attitude just as much as his pitching.

Congratulations To:

  1. Tony Romo joined the Star-List Foundation to grant a kid his wish. He took a boy from Albany to see the Yankees. The boy met a few Yankee players while at batting practice and saw another Yankee victory.
  2. Roger Federer is trying to make history, and so is Andy Roddick. Both men advanced to the Men’s Wimbledon Final. Federer is chasing a record 15th Grand Slam Title. Roddick is chasing his second.
  3. The women’s side is interesting. The Williams sisters will face each other in the women’s final and team up for the doubles final. One will be a double champion. It’s a very exciting time to be a tennis fan.

Final Thoughts:

The All-Star game is coming up next week, and it looks to be a special one. Last year had the mystique of the original Yankee Stadium closing. The game resulted in EVERYBODY playing at least an inning. There’s just one problem with every All-Star game: there’s always somebody left out.

Yes, this occurrence happens every All-Star game. Someone always gets snubbed. This time, many will probably be. The second base role for the American League is a problem. Three out of the top four second basemen (Ian Kinsler of the Rangers, Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox, Robinson Cano of the Yankees, and Aaron Hill of the Blue Jays) will make it, making one of them the odd man out. It’s also unlikely that some guys who are having a breakout year will make it because of the voting system. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s a popularity contest. You, the fans (generally speaking), allow this to happen. I’m not blaming the fans for the voting system. It’s just a sad state that some of the players voted in do NOT deserve it. Sure, they were probably great last year. This year, however, is not their year.

Well, that’s it for today. If you disagree with anything I say, feel free to email me at spidey23us@yahoo.com. I look forward to hearing your opinions and criticism. Until then, that’s it you KNUCKLEHEADS!!!

Yours truly,

Sebastian Maldonado

Copyright © 2007 by Sebastian Maldonado

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