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. Let’s start with the NBA Finals.
The Lakers have a 1-0 lead over the Celtics. They showed up to play, led by a determined Kobe Bryant. IF they play like their Game 1 effort, the Lakers could go back-to-back once again. The Lakers do not have C Andrew Bynum at 100 percent thanks to another knee injury. The Celtics might be showing fatigue at the worst time. Ray Allen fouled out, and concerns of Kevin Garnett’s health are being raised. If they play like their performance in Game 1, they’re in trouble.
The NHL Stanley Cup is winding down, as the Chicago Blackhawks needed one more victory to make the series 3-1. Yet the Philadelphia Flyers won Game 4, making the series a 2-2 tie. They took a 3-1 lead in the first period of Game 4 and closed it out with a 5-3 victory. Game 5 is Sunday night in Chicago, but the momentum has to go to the Flyers.
The standings in the major leagues are pretty much the same except for the NL East. The Braves are in first in their division. They seem to be motivated considering this will be the last season of manager Bobby Cox, who is in his 20th season as the Braves’ manager. It’s also his third term in that position. In other baseball news, ballots for the All-Star game have officially opened. Twins C Joe Mauer is the leading vote getter for the American League, while Phillies 2B Chase Utley leads all National League players. Make your votes now!
NBA Commissioner David Stern swears that free agency is not overshadowing the NBA Finals. He even told reporters the “summit” led by free agents LeBron James and Dywane Wade will be held after the NBA Finals. Tell that to every speculator ranging from ESPN to Larry King. While free agency begins July 1st, the Finals is still on. This means it’s time for…
The Power of the DUE!!!
Tomorrow night, the Lakers once again host the Celtics in LA. They want an early 2-0 hole to put the Celtics in. If the Celtics can take this game, they will have a huge advantage over the Lakers. The Celtics will host the next three games after Sunday night. A potential 1-1 tie in the series could lead to another Boston title. However, the Lakers need the game more. They need to win this game because of the trip to Boston after Game 2. Therefore, the Lakers are DUE to win tomorrow night.
Time for the magic man to take over!
This is the scene at the Tigers/Indians game: top of the 9th, 2 outs. The Indians have not gotten a hit and Jason Donald is up at the plate. Galarraga deals. A ground ball is hit towards the right side, Miguel Cabrera fields it cleanly, throws it to Galarraga at first and is…OUT! It should have been his moment of perfection and immortality. Instead, Armando Galarraga and all of baseball was robbed.
Umpire Jim Joyce was at first and ruled Donald safe. The replay showed he was clearly out. Nearly every man, woman and child in that arena erupted. Cabrera and manager Jim Leyland were irate at Joyce. This would have been the first perfect game for Galarraga and in Tigers’ history. Joyce’s bad call ruined it for everyone. Everyone wants blood, calling for Joyce to be fired, wanting the call to be reversed. This is marred as one of the worst calls in history. Yet, something amazing happened. The only person not angry was Armando Galarraga.
Galarraga went on to finish the game and get his second victory, a 3-0 Tiger win. After the game, he told reporters that nobody’s perfect (ironic). He understood why the call was made and did not argue Joyce’s call. Joyce, on the other hand, saw the error he made and was devastated. He immediately apologized to Galarraga, the Tigers and all of baseball for the call. Galarraga not only accepted but also handed out the lineup card the next day to Joyce, who was umpiring home plate. A peaceful exchange between the two took place, and both men have put this incident behind them.
Because of his attitude, Armando Galarraga is a household name. Because of how he handled the situation, Armando Galarraga is a household name. He became something more important than an immortal: a role model. Galarraga took the worst thing to ever happen to his career and brushed it aside. He took that moment which could cripple a person’s career and dignity, and he threw it in the trash. Jim Joyce may have screwed up, but he owned up to it and did the right thing. He apologized to Galarraga face-to-face and has the support of his peers and everyone in the baseball community. This was the worst mistake to ever happen in either man’s career, but they turned a horrible call into “perfect” responsibility.
- Florida International infielder Garrett Wittels extended his hitting streak to 56 games. If he were in the majors, he would have tied Joe DiMaggio for the longest hitting streak in professional baseball. Wittels’ streak is the longest streak in NCAA Division I Baseball. Keep it going, kid!
- Ken Griffey Jr. retired this past Wednesday after 20 seasons in Major League Baseball. The outfielder called it quits after one of his worst seasons yet. Griffey leaves the game with 630 home runs and is a 13-time All-Star.
UCLA Coach John Wooden passed away last night at the age of 99. Arguably the greatest coach in college basketball history, Wooden built the greatest dynasty in UCLA history. Wooden guided the Bruins to seven consecutive titles from 1967 through 1973 and a record 88-game winning streak in the early 1970s. From the time of his first title following the 1963-64 season through the 10th in 1974-75, the Bruins were 330-19, including four 30-0 seasons. Wooden has had the pleasure of coaching many greats, including Bill Walton and Lew Alcindor (Kareem-Abdul Jabaar). Wooden will be sorely missed not just in the world of college basketball but the world of sports.
Stay tuned this week as the umpires aren’t off the hook yet.
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