Friday, June 12, 2009

Sports Memo

Just three sports notes before I forget. (If you don’t care about sports, skip to the funny Daily Show clip in the post below this one.)

1) Terrible loss for the Orlando Magic last night. Die-hard Magic fans -- if any existed -- would have to be heartbroken. I like this Orlando team. They keep the floor pretty wide open, shoot lots of jumpers, don’t depend on just muscling to the hoop and getting foul calls, etc. But there’s no question that this is more an issue of rooting against L.A. When I was a kid, it was Boston-L.A. in the finals seemingly every year. And I was an L.A. fan (on Long Island). I liked Magic, Byron Scott, James Worthy. But I couldn’t hate this current Lakers team more. Kobe is insufferable for all the obvious reasons. And for some reason, I have come to loathe Pau Gasol. He’s just ugly to watch on every level, I don’t care how effective he is. And he and Lamar Odom put on a three-act play of disgruntlement every time they’re called for a foul, no matter how obvious.

Last night was just an inexcusable collapse by Orlando, missing tons of free throws down the stretch, and inexplicably letting Fisher get an open look at a three-pointer down by three with four seconds left! When are teams going to learn to foul before the team can shoot the three?? This is infuriating.

2) I’ll always be a Yankees fan first and foremost, but I do like to see that the Texas Rangers are having a good year. Last night, they won 1-0. I was immediately struck by that score. Anyone familiar with baseball in Arlington knows that the average game is something like five hours long with a final score of 9-7. Rangers pitching usually stinks, the team's bats are normally potent, and the stadium plays like a shoebox. But I didn’t realize how rare last night was. Turns out, it was the fourth time the Rangers had won a home game 1-0 in sixteen years.

3) I got to the Mets’ new stadium earlier this week for the first time. (Forgot to bring my camera, like an idiot.) I met three others there about an hour before the first pitch so we could walk around. We all mentioned how pitcher-friendly the dimensions seemed, like 415 feet to right-center. We proceeded to watch the teams combine for seven home runs. It was a well-played back-and-forth game, and the number of Phillies fans who made the trip provided an extra intensity. The sight lines from our seats in upper right field were nothing to write home about -- a significant chunk of the right-field corner was invisible to us, and if the people a row in front leaned forward at all, the line between the mound and the plate was obscured. But otherwise, a vast aesthetic improvement over Shea (not tough to do, granted), and I look forward to going back.


Blogger Spender said...

When I was born (1954), there was no major league baseball team in Texas and so, just as my grandfather was, I became a huge Boston Red Sox fan, primarily due to his admiration for Ted Williams. That said, as a Texan, I have always rooted for the Rangers to do well and it's heartening to see them doing well again. Between Nolan Ryan, Mike Maddux and the young GM, they seem well on their way to establishing a good to excellent farm system and placing an emphasis on developing real pitching talent.
I too loathe this edition of the Lakers and had hoped that D. Wade and company could take them down because the idea of 'the Mamba' being elevated to the same level as Wilt, Kareem, Bird and Jordan is... well, fairly unbearable.
Nice post, sir. I enjoy your work.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Riles said...

Heartbreaking loss for the Magic for sure. Especially since the refs didn't call a foul against them in the 4th quarter until there was 1 minute left! How is that possible? Although the Laker foul cries are annoying, that was just unreal.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Kraig Smith said...

1) Intentionally fouling someone late in the game is not as easy as it sounds. Just ask the Dallas Mavericks who were robbed in Game 3 against Denver.

2) I'll say it now. Kevin Millwood is the Cy Young if the Rangers win the West. So glad he cut back on the beer. Not everyone can be David Wells, I'm afraid.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Kraig Smith said...

Back to back home shutouts! First time in the same homestand since 1981. There's something awfully fishy going on in Arlington...and I like it.

11:18 PM  

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