Friday August 8, 2008

Welcome back to an exciting edition of Today’s Sports Update. I’m Sebastian Maldonado bringing you all of the latest news in sports. Let’s get to it.

The trade deadline is over, and the moves are paying off. Manny Ramirez has become a hitting machine for the Dodgers. He has brought excitement to his teammates and the Dodger fans with explosive offense, specifically the home runs. Ramirez is batting .600 (12-for-20) with three homers and six RBIs (Runs Batted In) in five games. New Yankee Xavier Nady has quickly settled into the pinstripes. He was named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday, Aug. 3. Nady went 10-for-19 with three home runs and 10 RBIs. One of the players traded for Nady and RP Damaso Marte made a statement this past Wednesday. SP Jeff Karstens took a perfect game up to 7.2 innings, where Arizona OF Chris Young broke it up with a double. He got the victory against Randy Johnson, who threw the last perfect game in 2004.

Brett Favre is back in the NFL. However, he’s on a new team. The Packers traded the future hall-of-famer to the Jets for a conditional 4th round draft pick for 2009. This is a huge upgrade for the Jets. The Jets could have picked Favre in the 1991 draft but passed on him. It appears that this saga has come full circle. This also means that the Aaron Rodgers era has officially begun in Green Bay. Plus, training camp reveals some dirt. During HBO’s new season of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo is staying at a separate hotel with his girlfriend, Jessica Simpson. This is not making Cowboys fans any happier about January’s playoff loss to the Giants.

“UFC 87: Seek and Destroy” will take place this Saturday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This PPV is going to have some interesting sub-plots. Two other marquee matches help this pay-per-view card fill out its potential. Hometown amateur heavyweight wrestler Brock Lesnar will take on the seasoned veteran Heath “The Crazy Horse” Herring. If Lesnar loses, he could be out of a job within the UFC. Plus, lightweight Roger Huerta is not happy about his status in the UFC. Huerta has been undefeated in the octagon and made the cover of Sports Illustrated. Since then, no title shots have come for him. His match against Kenny “ken-flo” Florian will likely determine the number one contender for BJ Penn’s UFC Lightweight title. Good luck to all combatants as the PPV starts at 7PM Pacific time (10PM Eastern).

Time for the issues to be heard in:

The Athlete’s Court:

  1. According to an anonymous source, the Boston Globe is reporting that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has directed executive vice president Rob Manfred to contact all parties for an explanation of developments around the trading deadline regarding Los Angeles Dodgers OF Manny Ramirez. The league is looking into the matter because Ramirez was allegedly sitting out and not playing at full speed since the Boston Red Sox would not drop the two option years at the end of his contract. Scott Boras, Ramirez’s agent, called the Red Sox before the trade deadline and said Ramirez would stay and play hard for the team if they would drop the option years. Boras has denied this report. The Red Sox have not commented on the matter. The investigation is ongoing.
  2. Roger Clemens’ lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison to reject attempts by Brian McNamee to dismiss the former pitcher’s defamation suit or have it moved from Texas to New York. They said hearing the suit in New York instead of Houston would be wrong because quote, “most of the key witnesses in this case are in the Southern District of Texas, the cost of attendance in New York City for willing witnesses is substantially higher than it would be in Houston (and) the courts in the Southern District of Texas are less congested.”

Time for the magic man to take over!

Pure Magic:

The Olympics will start this weekend, but they will also have a very important message behind their games. That message could be to stop pollution. Cyclists arrived with masks over their faces to be able to breath during their arrivals. Countries might not attend the ceremony. Their athletes could train back home for their events. They could arrive on the day of the event or the day before. Plus, storms could cancel the opening ceremonies. Thunderstorms could cause the fireworks to engulf the arena in flames. NBC has a reported $1 billion insurance policy if any damages happen. The Olympic events should be exciting regardless of the ceremonies. However, this could all have been avoided if the Olympics were somewhere else.

Congratulations To:

  1. Unrestricted free agent point guard Earl Boykins signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal Tuesday to play with Virtus Bologna of the Italian league. Boykins will become the highest paid player in Italy for this upcoming season.
  2. On Monday, Carlos Arroyo announced that he has signed a one-year deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv, an Israeli club.

Final Thoughts:

I will give another example of a dream team but with MY VISION. My dream team consists of many elements. Therefore, I will come up with the ultimate New York Yankees team. I’ve been a fan of the Yankees for all of my life. The legacy of my family and the Yankees goes all the way back to my Great-grandmother Antonia, rest in peace. I hope to honor her with this list of greatness. This also includes back-ups for the positions:

C Andrew Lawrence “Yogi” Berra (1946-1963)

Why: his presence as a ring general helped the Yankees win 10 World Series rings. His personality helped his teammates deal with the circus of the New York media.

C Thurman Munson (1969-1979)

1B Lou “Iron Horse” Gehrig (1923-1939)

Why: 2 time MVP, 7 time All-Star, and played the second most consecutive games of all time. He really was “The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth.”

1B Don Mattingly (1982-1995)

2B Tony Lazzeri (1926-1937)

Why: He averaged 79 runs, 14 home runs, 96 RBI and 12 stolen bases including seven seasons with over 100 RBI and five seasons batting .300 or higher

2B Bobby Richardson (1955-1966)

3B Graig Nettles (1973-1983)

Why: His nickname should have been “clutch”. Nettles was a great defensive third baseman and got crucial hits when the Yankees needed him most.

3B Alex Rodriguez (2004-present)

SS Derek Jeter (1996-present)

Why: The Yankee Captain, Mr. November, has been the face of the Yankees since 1996. He is a great leader on and off the field. Fans have dubbed the new Yankee Stadium “the house that Jeter built.”

SS Phil Rizutto (1941-42, 1946-1956)

LF Roger Maris (1960-1966)

Why: He broke the original home run record of 60, set by Babe Ruth. The AL MVP won over the fans during that record breaking attempt.

OF Bernie Williams (1992-2005)

CF Mickey Mantle (1951-1968)

Why: the face of the Yankees and successor of “Joltin'” Joe. The three time MVP ranks number 14 on the all time Home Run list with 536.

CF Joe DiMaggio (1936-42, 1946-1951)

RF Reggie Jackson (1977-1981)

Why: charismatic and explosive. The “straw that stirred the drink” hit three home runs in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, earning the nickname of “Mr. October.”

RF Paul O’Neil (1993-2001)

DH George Herman “Babe” Ruth (1920-1934)

Why: need we say more? He wasn’t just the Yankee’s first superstar but baseball’s first superstar. He ranks third on the all time Home Run list with 714.

SP Edward Charles “Whitey” Ford (1950-1967)

Why: went from the No. 4 pitcher on a great staff to the No. 1 pitcher of the Yankees, becoming known as the “Chairman of the Board” for his ability to remain calm and in command during high-pressure situations. He was also known as “Slick” for his craftiness on the mound, not because he did not have an overwhelming fastball, but being able to throw several other pitches very well gave him pinpoint control.

SP Ron Guidry, “Louisiana Lighting/Gator” (1975-1988)

Why: set the Yankee record for 18 strikeouts in one game (1978). He became the Cy Young winner of that year and won 25 games, with an ERA of 1.74 and 248 strikeouts.
SP Catfish Hunter (1975-1979)

Why: In his first year in pinstripes, he won more than 20 games and was named to the All-Star team for the seventh time. Hunter would be named to the All-Star team again in 1976.
SP Lefty Gomez (1930-1942)

Why: tough as nails and unapologetic for it. Gomez set a pair of World Series records: winning six games without a loss (1932-1, 1936-2, 1937-2, 1938-1); and most walks received by a batter in the same inning (6th, on October 6, 1937). Noted for his accurate and frequent brushback pitches (also known as “throwing” at the hitter), one of the reporters asked Gomez- “Is it true that you’d throw at your own mother.” Gomez replied- “you’re damn right I would, she’s a good hitter.”

SP David Cone (1995-2000)

Why: the two-time Cy Young winner came back from an aneurysm to help the Yankees win four championships. He pitched the last perfect game at Yankee Stadium in 1999, on the inaugural Yogi Berra day no less.

RP John Wetteland (1995-1996)

Why: During the 1996 season, he led the American League in saves with 43 and appeared in the All-Star Game. Wetteland was given the World Series MVP Award that year. His four saves during the Series tied the record for the most saves in a single postseason series, and his seven saves in the full postseason were the most ever. He was awarded with the 1996 Rolaids Relief Man Award.

RP Sparky Lyle (1972-1978)

Why: became the Yankees’ bullpen ace and established himself as one of the best relief pitchers of the 1970s, helping the Yankees to three straight pennants from 1976-1978 and winning the World Series the last two years. In 1972, he saved 35 games (an American League record at the time and a major league record for left-handers).

Set-up man: Rich “Goose” Gossage (1978-1983, 1989)

Why: the recent inductee of the Hall of Fame redefined the role of the closer. He pitched in 1,002 games and finished 681 of them, earning 310 saves. Per every nine innings pitched, Gossage averaged 7.45 hits allowed and 7.47 strikeouts. He also made nine All-Star appearances and pitched in three World Series.

CP Mariano Rivera (1996-present)

Why: why not? Rivera is second on the all time saves list, and he still dominates with one pitch: the cutter (cut-fastball). Rivera currently has 28 saves out of 28 save opportunities.

I decided to do this in detail; you don’t have to do what I did. However, if you disagree with my line-up, come up with your own. I’ll put it up on the update, and you’ll get credit for it.

Until then, take care you KNUCKLEHEADS!!!

Yours truly,

Sebastian Maldonado

Copyright © 2007 by Sebastian Maldonado

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