Wednesday June 17, 2009

Welcome to another edition of Today’s Sports Update, sports fans! I’m Sebastian Maldonado bringing you all of the latest news in sports. The NBA Playoffs come to a close, the UFC suffers a minor blow, and interleague competition is underway. Plus, The Athlete’s Court returns.

After one of the most dramatic playoff series in NBA history, it came down to two teams. The West reigns supreme in the NBA. The Lakers have won the NBA Finals in five games against Orlando (proving me wrong, I know). History was made; the Lakers won their 15th NBA title. How can anyone explain the playoff series as a hole? For starters, the Lakers did not become weaker as the post-season went along. The battles in the East wore themselves out. The Celtics played two seven-game series and that turned out to be their downfall. The Cavs were not prepared for the Magic since they swept their first two opponents. The Magic were too young for the Finals and got dissected by the Lakers. The Lakers won not just because of experience but by endurance. They knew the task at hand and became the NBA Champions.

Interleague play is in full stride. The Yankees won their series against the Mets after Sunday’s blowout and Friday’s error by Luis Castillo. Stats are off the charts as Indians P and defending AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee took a no-hitter into the 8th against the Cardinals. Lee ended up getting the complete game victory. Pitchers are hitting home runs off of each other, such as Josh Beckett and Mark Buehrle. If you have a fantasy baseball team and you need the stats, then interleague competition is for you. However, two former Cy Young winners are on the DL. Roy Halladay (groin) and Jake Peavy (ankle) might not return when their time on the 15-day DL is up. Both the Blue Jays and the Padres have not confirmed when they will be back.

UFC loses a fighter at a minor cost. Heavyweight fighter Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has decided to leave to fight for Japan. An enraged Dana White was furious because Cro Cop was ducking competition, including the undefeated Cain Velasquez. Despite the loss, the UFC is still heading into July as strong as ever. This Saturday is “The Ultimate Finale: USA vs. UK,” which will air live on Spike TV (check local listings). July features a super-card, as the UFC will host their 100th PPV in its history. Check for more details.

In football news, Brett Favre is mulling a comeback. It might not be serious, as Favre told Joe Buck on HBO Sports’ Joe Buck Live that it was only a discussion with the Vikings. Favre commented that it was nothing serious or concrete. He also said he is working with the Vikings’ trainer to develop arm strength for his surgically repaired shoulder. Take it for what it’s worth; it appears the Brett Favre saga is far from over.

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

Football is in a lot of trouble this week as two receivers are in trouble:

  1. Plaxico Burress got his case adjourned until September 23rd, which means that teams could be able to sign him for the upcoming season. Burress is facing gun possession charges after allegedly shooting himself in the leg last fall.
  2. Browns WR Donte’ Stallworth has reached a plea deal. Stallworth pleaded guilty in a DUI case and will serve 30 days in jail. He was charged with the manslaughter death of Mario Reyes. His BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was .126, which is well above .08.
  3. Sammy Sosa is an official member of the dreaded “104.” His name was leaked from the list as Sosa failed a drug test in 2003. Sosa lied during the 2007 Steroids testimonies under oath. It is unknown whether the United States will charge Sosa with perjury.

Time for the magic man to take over!

Pure Magic:

The legacies of Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson are very different. The pressure was on Kobe Bryant from the minute he entered the NBA Draft. The pressure on Phil Jackson grew when he became one of the most prestigious coaches in NBA history. Despite making history, both legacies are very different.

Kobe’s legacy was marred by the Lakers trading Shaquille O’Neal. It was also marred when Jackson left, as Bryant was labeled as the man to blame. He wanted both out after the Finals loss to Detroit. Bryant slowly got back on track by resigning with the Lakers and patching things up with Jackson. Jackson, on the other hand, was a nine-time champion as a coach (6 with the Bulls and 3 with the Lakers, 1 as a New York Knick). Jackson came back to the Lakers waiting to become a champion again. Since both teamed up again, LA has become a storied franchise. \

The Lakers’ 15th is history for both. Kobe’s 4th allows him to be compared to some of the greatest players of all time without question. Jackson’s 10th as a coach makes him the most prestigious coach in history. The record passes Red Auerbauch as the winningest coach in NBA history. Despite one scuffle, their legacies are safe. Imagine if the band didn’t break up.

Congratulations To:

  1. Mark Sanchez gets his contract. The Jets QB has signed a five year deal worth $50 million, with $28 million in incentives.
  2. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup over the weekend. Their “savior” Sidney Crosby has finally won the big one. This great seven game series between the penguins and the Detroit Red Wings was thrilling to watch. Let’s see if they have what it takes to do it again next year.

Final Thoughts:

It would not be an interleague series without an analysis of the Subway Series. The first round was not marred by controversy but by bad blood and mistakes. Friday’s Yankee victory should have gone to the Mets if not for Luis Castillo, who dropped a popup that allowed the winning runs to score. Saturday’s Met victory was spotlighted by P Fernando Nieve, who stopped the Yankee bats for 6.2 innings. Sunday’s surprising onslaught of runs off of Johan Santana showed the Mets’ problems and the Yankees’ slumbering bats waking up. Sunday also showed a bullpen feud between Met closer Francisco Rodriguez and Yankee P Brain Bruney. Bruney criticized Rodriguez’s postgame celebration after he makes a save. Both almost fought before Sunday’s game as this feud might not die down anytime soon. The Yankees look like the better team, but the Mets are wounded. We probably won’t get the fullest extent of the subway war, but we will see these players step up for round two in Queens.

Well, that’s it for today. If you disagree with anything I say, feel free to email me at 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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