Sunday July 13, 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. We got a lot of news to cover with brand new material. Get caught up with football and basketball, baseball overkill, and honoring a former player.

During my hiatus, the Celtics beat the Lakers in 6 to become NBA Champions. The draft happened afterwards, with Memphis PG Derrick Rose and Kansas St. PF Michael Beasley being selected by the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, respectively. Plus, Rose has a knee injury during the summer games in Las Vegas. During this event last year, it sidelined Blazers C Greg Oden for the entire season. It is unclear whether Rose will be out for that long.

Apparently there is a conspiracy within the Green Bay organization. QB Brett Favre wants to come back from retirement. The Packers don’t want him back, and Favre asked for an unconditional release. Yet, the Packers are NOT granting him the release and told him he could return as the back-up QB. Ouch!!! What will Favre do? Will he stay retired or come back once more? Stay tuned…

The baseball season has developed three cases of the dreaded “three-headed monsters”. The AL East has the Boston Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the New York Yankees in that order. The Rays and Red Sox have switched places, but the Yankees are slowly creeping up (very, very slowly). The NL East has the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Mets, and the Florida Marlins. All three teams have tons of momentum going for them. The NL Central has the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Milwaukee Brewers in that order. All three teams have quickly become tough opponents, especially with new acquisitions. The Brewers acquired AL Cy Young winner CC Sabathia, while the Cubs picked up young pitcher Rich Harden. Which of these nine teams have the endurance to take over their divisions?

All-Star weekend is upon us. Yankee Stadium hosts the All-Star game for the last time on Tuesday. Injured all-star outfielder Alfonso Soriano (who was voted in by the fans) will be replaced by Mets 3B David Wright. Injured Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood will be replaced by fellow teammate P Carlos Marmol. Texas OF Milton Bradley will start at DH for the American League, replacing DH David Ortiz. The rosters are questionable, but the fans did not screw up the voting. The right people were voted in, even though Soriano was hurt. Tomorrow will be the Home Run Derby, featuring:

2B Chase Utley (25 Homers)

2B Dan Uggla (23 Homers)

OF Ryan Braun (23 Homers)

1B Lance Berkman (22 Homers- likely to bat right-handed

OF Grady Sizemore (22 Homers)

OF Josh Hamilton
(21 Homers)

3B Evan Longoria (16 Homers)

1B Justin Morneau (14 Homers)

The contest will be on at 8PM eastern standard time (5PM Pacific).

July 5, 2008 was a historic night for the UFC. It was the heavily anticipated fight for the Light-Heavyweight title, featuring defending champion Quentin “Rampage” Jackson and challenger Forrest Griffin. Not many experts and fans (including myself) expected this classic bout to go the distance. Both men attack their opponents relentlessly. Yet, this fight went the full five rounds, as both men left it all in the ring. Rampage was not in the best shape of his career, but he still put up a valiant effort. It was Forrest’s time to be champ, and he won via unanimous decision. Will Forrest have a long title reign, or will it be a fluke? Despite the speculation, Forrest Griffin’s first title defense will be fun to watch.

Was last weekend’s Wimbledon match-up between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal the greatest tennis match ever? In this era, it is. This does not include the days of Borg, McEnroe, Aggasi, and Sampras. It went down to 5 sets, including 2 tiebreakers. The match went on for 4 hours and 48 minutes. Even if you do not like tennis, it’s something to appreciate.

Time for the magic man to take over!

Pure Magic:

Dominance is a word that has been overused in the world of sports. Yet, if there is one man that sums up the word dominance, then Mariano Rivera is that man. Rivera is one of the three Yankees going to Tuesday’s All-Star game, with 23 saves and an ERA of 1.06. Many baseball experts call him an old-school pitcher, fanning out batters with only two pitches: the fastball and the cutter (or cut-fastball). Yet, would have Mo survived in the good old days?

Last Friday, 1050 ESPN radio’s Max Kellerman brought up how dominant Rivera is, especially during the “steroid era”. He thought about how dominant he could be during the days of Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax. Back then, the mound was raised, and stadiums went as far as 430 feet long! Wow, that seems to be unfair for those hitters. Look at today’s fields. The average length for the deepest part (center field) is at least 410 feet. The mound is a little above ground level. The hitters are playing on their terms.

Would Mariano Rivera have dominated in the old school era? If he was a relief pitcher, he might not have been used at all. All starting pitchers threw at least 1 game, while some threw doubleheaders. If Rivera WAS a starting pitcher, then he would have been Superman. Think about it; Rivera is revered and feared in today’s generation of players and fans. He would have been respected and hated at the same time by his opponents. Rivera would have been one of the greatest pitchers of that era. Yet, he is one of the greatest pitchers of OUR era.

Congratulations To:

  1. Dara Torres set the women’s American record for swimming in the 50m freestyle. She broke her own record with 24.25 seconds, which is .28 seconds off the world record. She will compete in that event in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
  2. Michael Phelps also broke the record for the individual 400m freestyle and the individual 200m freestyle. This qualifies Phelps for the Olympics as well. Phelps looks to add even more gold medals in his resume.
  3. Current WCAU-TV sports director and former Philadelphia Eagle Vai Sikahema knocked out Jose Canseco last night. Canseco went down in the third round, and many people enjoyed his defeat (including someone very familiar…).
  4. NBA Free agents:
    1. Elton Brand- $82 million 5 year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.
    2. Chris Duhon- $12 million deal with the New York Knicks.
    3. Corey Maggette- $50 million 5 year deal with the Golden State Warriors.

Final Thoughts:

As we all know, the Yankees lost a great person and a man that will always be part of their family. Bobby Murcer passed away yesterday after a long battle with brain cancer. Murcer was the nicest individual anyone could ever meet. Many Yankee fans know him as a player and announcer for them. The players remember him as being a positive man throughout his life. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Murcer was his hero. That is who Bobby Murcer was and will be remembered for: someone we could all look up to.

Until then, good night everybody!!!

Yours truly,

Sebastian Maldonado

Copyright © 2007 by Sebastian Maldonado


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s