Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Was this last week for real?

Let me start off by saying that I would be perfectly alright with never having to witness another Game 6 in any playoff variety for the rest of my life. Last Tuesday I had to watch my San Antonio Spurs choke in an unfathomable fashion in a Game 6 that would have won them the NBA Championship. I’m not going to go into details to save myself from having to mentally relive it, but we all know what happened and he goes by the name of Ray Allen.

Fast-forward 6 days and we arrive at Monday night, Game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Besides the Providence College Friars the Boston Bruins are the only other hometown team I root for and last night with about a minute and a half left in the game I was in pretty good spirits with the Bruins up 2-1. So much so that when my friend turned to me and said “Looks like we are heading for Game 7” I could only nod my head in agreement. Then the unspeakable happened mere seconds later. In true San Antonio Spurs fashion the Bruins chocked on their biscuits and it was bad. With 1:16 left in the period and Corey Crawford barely even off the ice in an attempt to give the Blackhawks a man advantage the tying goal was scored. I thought to myself; well damn that sucks, but hey overtime will be exciting. Ha, sick joke. 17 seconds later the Blackhawks decided to put the ultimate cherry on top of their historic season with another goal, this one to clinch Lord Stanley.

Two completely different sports and events, but yet two very similar “Did that really just happen?” moments. The two teams sporting the best records from the year in their respected sports with their back up against the wall and both of them somehow, miraculously, flip the scales. And for the city of Boston, things only got worse from there, but we will get to that a little later.

Shifting gears over to baseball there was no hotter team throughout the NBA and NHL Finals than my Toronto Blue Jays. That’s right I’m a Blue Jays fan too. Welcome to the blog of a man with obscure taste when it comes to favorite teams, don't hate. Before dropping the last two games to the Tampa Bay Rays the Jays had won 11 straight games, tying a franchise record. The team is clicking on all cylinders and is finally playing good team baseball.

Before the season started many had predicted the revamped Jays to cruise to their first AL East pennant since they won the World Series in the 92-93 season. People thought that the AL East was going to have a “down year” because of the epic Red Sox collapse of 2012 and all the injuries on the Yankees roster. Well people were wrong. First, the Jays started the year off horrendously winning only 10 of their first 31 games and lost Jose Reyes to a sprained ankle only a few weeks into the year. Not to mention he was the only person who even knew how to make contact with the baseball at this point. Then the Jays were dealt another blow when promising young third basemen BrettLawrie also went down with an injury and found his way to the DL. R.A. Dickey,Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson might as well have been pitching in a slow pitch softball league. Then to add injury to more injury, J.A. Happ took a line drive off the head and Josh Johnson also elected to take his yearly DL stint at the same time. It was essentially rock bottom for the Jays.

Things have started to work in favor of the Jays now though. They went out and found Chien-Ming Wang working at a starbucks or something and brought him back into the league. In three starts he has a 2.18 ERA. Adam Lind decided that he no longer wanted to be terrible and as of now is playing like his 2009 self where he posted a .305 batting average with 114 RBI’s and 35 home-runs. Yeah, he had THAT good of a year at one point. One of the other major reasons for the surge has been the Jays pitching. Buehrle looks like he has finally figured out pitching in the division and Josh Johnson has shown promise of also returning to his former 2010 self. The most unlikely source for the surge though was from a man who was called up from triple-a as a temporary replacement for Reyes. Munenori Kawasaki, no affiliation to the jet skis and dirt bikes, didn’t necessarily perform like a star, but he game his best effort day in and day out. With his effort and hard work he won over the affection of his teammates and more importantly the fans. He rallied the fans around the team and really helped bring some excitement to the club house. Which is why it is a bitter sweet moment today as Reyes was activated from the DL and will be in tonight’s starting lineup. This means Kawasaki’s motorcycle ride in the bigs has temporarily come to an end. Manager John Gibbons, who for the record I do not like, even called a team meeting to announce that he was going to be sent back down to the minors. In most cases, the team just arrives to the facilities and sees the locker empty and knows the jig, but this was a special case.

The hard thing now is going to be not slowing down. As I said before many thought the AL East was going to have a down year and boy has it been anything but that. The East in the only division in baseball that doesn’t have a team with a losing record and as of right now there are 13 total teams that fit that bill. As of today the Jays are on the cusp of being under .500 at 38-38, but let’s see how that stacks up in the rest of the divisions. If the Jays were in the NL East or West they would be in second place. In the AL Central and West it would be good enough for 3rd place. In the NL Central they would be in 4th place.  The East is the only division to have just one team with a negative run differential. That team is the Jays and their run differential is negative one. Hopefully they can keep it up and lessen the gap between them and the first place Sox and turn this division into the most fun division baseball has seen in years.

Now back to the bad and it seems all the bad these days has found a nice home in Boston. Earlier this week the Celtics traded their beloved coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a 2015 first round draft pick. The man who brought the Celtics to the promise land had very little interest in a rebuilding project and was instead sent to the Clippers as they hope to secure Chris Paul and sign him to a max contract.
Then if that wasn’t bad enough for a city, star tight end for the New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez killed a man. Then he thought that life was like CSI and that if he destroyed the evidence nobody would notice or care.

Here’s the recap for you in short; Ray Allen the ultimate Boston trader since Jonny Damon win an NBA Championship and it would not have happened without him. The Bruins handed the Blackhawks the Stanley Cup. Doc Rivers took his talents, and presumably CP3’s as well, to LA. Worst week for Boston sports fans ever. Wait, I think I’m forgetting something……..ohhhh yeah that’s right, Aaron Hernandez killed a guy and then basically told everyone he was guilty by destroying evidence because he was scared of Horatio Caine. 

Oh right, if all that wasn't crazy enough, Rafael Nadal fresh off his French Open championship lost in the first round of a major event for the first time in his career. Some person who I don't even care about getting his name right because he is so irrelevant beat him in STRAIGHT SETS. What is going on in the sporting world?

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