Welcome to a brand new edition of Today’s Sports Update. I’m Sebastian Maldonado bringing you the latest news in all of sports with a fresh insight. Nearly every sport is heating up, and it’s only the end of May.
Major League Baseball has stepped up in competition. The faces of the American League and National League are in trouble, but it’s still too early to tell who will rise up for October. The Rays are back and are a force to be reckoned with. They lead the AL East, but the Yankees and Red Sox are still in the hunt. The AL Central features the Twins and the Tigers fighting it out for supremacy. The AL West has every team in the hunt even the Seattle Mariners, who are the only team playing under .500 ball.
The NL East also features every team still in it. The Phillies lead the division, but their latest series in the Mets left them swept and a 2½ to 3 game lead over every NL East team. The NL Central is led by the Cincinnati Reds, with St. Louis and Chicago behind. Cincinnati seems to be living up to their potential. The NL West is being dominated by the surprising San Diego Padres. Yet, every team is at least less than 10 games behind. They are all still in the hunt.
LeBron James’ season ended when the Cavaliers were eliminated by the Celtics. This means the hottest free agent is on the move, right? Not so fast! It’s nearly four weeks until free agency week, and possible suitors are in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks, Nets, Bulls, and Heat are possible new teams for James. Even the Los Angeles Clippers are possible suitors. Many people still think James will stay in Cleveland. Both Cleveland and Chicago are frontrunners to land James.
Meanwhile, Dywane Wade told The Chicago Tribune that he will discuss his future with fellow free agents James, guard Joe Johnson, and forward/center Chris Bosh. All four are max free agents. It would be impossible for all four players to end up on the same team. It could mean that two out of the four could be teammates for next season. The only thing known for sure is that these superstars control their fate, and no one else can.
The NBA Playoffs have been showcasing the most dominant teams in a strong fashion. The Magic were down 3-0 after three games, but they came back to make the series 3-2. Game 5 showed the banged up and angry Celtics losing their cool. Celtics C Kendrick Perkins was ejected with two technical fouls but was allowed to play Game 6. One of his technical fouls was rescinded by the Commissioner’s office. C Glen Davis (concussion), F/C Rasheed Wallace (back spasms), and F Marquis Daniels (concussion) suffered injuries and will be monitored closely throughout the rest of the playoffs.
Last night, it didn’t matter. The Celtics avoided a potential collapse and closed out the Magic to end the series 4-2. Boston took an early lead and never looked back. They will play in the NBA Finals for another Championship. Who will they face? It depends on tonight and our next segment:
The Power of the DUE!!!
This segment is about who is due for either a victory or a letdown. Let’s talk about the NBA Playoffs and a pivotal Game 6. The Phoenix Suns host the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, and it’s “win or go home” for the Suns/Lakers. The Lakers have the chance to close out the series and get their 2008 rematch against the Celtics. The Suns need to rebound after their heartbreaking Game 5 loss at Los Angeles. Both teams are surprisingly even matched despite the more marquee players on the Lakers. Does the home court advantage continue for Phoenix, or will it be “win or stay home”?
Considering the Suns lost Game 5, they are DUE to win Game 6. However, this already exciting series has been too close to call since Game 1.
Time for the magic man to take over!
UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans!!! The title doesn’t do the feud justice. This is the UFC’s first mainstream feud that transcends after the league’s explosion into their household status. The feud already rivals classic UFC feuds, such as Ortiz/Shamrock and Liddell/Ortiz. Rashad “Suga” Evans has taunted Quinton “Rampage” Jackson ever since Rampage beat Evans’ friend Keith Jardine in a light-heavyweight bout. It escalated during the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, where both were opposing coaches. Rampage and Evans have never been more motivated in any other non-title bout. The hype machine has been on fire; Spike TV and the UFC have released some of the most intense training clips I’ve ever seen. The hatred between these men lasted for a year and is still going strong. Here’s hoping the fight lives up to the hype.
In good conscience, this fight is the toughest to predict. Both fighters are surprisingly similar, with Rampage being the bigger of the two and the more experienced. This fight is a Number 1 Contender’s Match for the UFC Light-Heavyweight Title. These two are going to leave everything in the ring. If this fight lives to the buildup, then expect the fight of the year.
- New York/New Jersey has won the bid for the Super Bowl. They will host 2014 and will probably have cold weather. It would be the first cold weather Super Bowl in quite some time.
- The UFC is expanding their horizons. They opened an office in Canada to allow more fights and events. It could also host native Canadian George St. Pierre’s attempted title defense against Dan Hardy.
- Congratulations to all of the inductees for the College Football Hall of Fame. Among those inductees are Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard and the late Pat Tillman.
- Florida International infielder Garrett Wittels extended his hitting streak to 52 games. The streak is the second longest streak in NCAA Division I Baseball. Here’s hoping he keeps it going.
Pitcher Jose Lima passed away this past Sunday in Los Angeles due to a heart attack. Lima was a former All-Star and played for many teams, including the Mets and Astros. He was most famous as a marquee pitcher for the Dodgers, incorporating his “Lima Time” to L.A. He was a person who enjoyed baseball as much as anyone and showed his love for the game every time he stepped on the mound.
A service was held in Queens, where current and former baseball players and coaches attended the service. His funeral is today in the Dominican Republic, in his hometown of Santiago. Jose Lima was 37.
See you next week.
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