Learn More About #KarmicResponsibility

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1. Further Mis-Adventures of #KarmicResponsibility

This is Pittsburgh’s Bartman.  Maybe one of the most complete teams the Pirates have ever had and some douche-nozzle comes up with THIS, AND gets a Hotel chain to produce them to pass out.  Hey, it’s #Murica and we all have that luxury – but just because we can, doesn’t mean we should and #5 is the example hillbilly fandom that screams #KarmicResponsibility.  Beyond the Nuclear-Level of OCD this fan has – he must have forgotten you never plan cheers – you’re not Duke fan and it’s never clever.  I say HE because we all know, only a man would come up with this from his mother’s basement.

Anyway, now the Cubs move on to face a team in the Cardinals that seem to be held together by duct-tape – aren’t they every year? – so now we get two fanbases, that dislike each other, to such a degree, that they both act like everyone’s drunk uncle, on Thanksgiving, at your Mom’s house, with her new boyfriend that looks a lot like Jim Tomsula…Cubs fans are excited, again.  Like a dog chasing cars – it seems like the dopamine dump, cubs fan gets, shuts off their common sense and they quickly forget/bury the destiny that they are to blow it in the worst way.  All we need now, is some clown to get a world series tattoo and complete the affront to #KarmicResponsibility – or some other nonsense that creates the cyclical train-wreck of sorrow Cubs Fan is so used to.


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2. ALDS Preview: Rangers v BlueJays

3:30 PM EST ALDS Gm 1 Rangers @ Blue Jays Gallardo (13-11) at Price (18-5) FS1 / SNET

Those plucky Rangers are back in the playoffs, and it seems they only get there when they have Josh Hamilton, and Cole Hamels – eeery.  To start the season, the 2015 Rangers found themselves without young phenom Profar and staff Ace, Yu Darvish – and further seemed out of it by the trade-deadline.  Then they traded prospects for Cole Hamels, strengthened their bullpen, got healthy and went on a second-half tear to win the division from the Astros.

For the BlueJays, you have to remember 2012, when they finished with a 73-89 record and by trades and free agent signings they brought in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey only to improve by one game.  In 2014, the BlueJays improved to 83-79, so when they were looking at a record of 45-46 at the All-Star break, the ‘Jays pushed all the chips in on Tulowitzki and David Price, to go along with 2015 free-agent signee and possible AL MVP josh Donaldson, to become an offensive juggernaut that can play D and pitch.

  • For all the talk that the Toronto Blue Jays are the obvious best team in the American League — they’re the overwhelming Vegas favorite, and ESPN’s Jayson Stark has already picked them to win the World Series — the one thing Toronto wasn’t this season was the best team in the American League. The Jays didn’t…(continue reading)

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3. ALDS Preview: Astros v Royals

7:30 PM EST ALDS Gm 1 Astros @ Royals McHugh (19-7) at Ventura (13-8) FS1

No-longer are they the Lastros – an organization that averaged 108 losses from 2011 to 2013 and are baseball’s youngest team – they beat the Yankees on Tuesday and now face their opposite in every way.  It’s Manufacturing versus Big Oil.  The steady-rolling production of the Royals, versus the Boom-or-Bust-strike-it-rich nature of the Astros.

  • Just three short years ago, the Royals went 72-90. It was their ninth consecutive losing season, and their eighth out of those nine that they had lost 90 or more games. Being a Royals fan meant unrelenting misery. It meant being unhappy on purpose. That same year, though…(continue reading)

4. Saturday Afternoon in Death Valley

If any fanbase can understand and appreciate what Gamecock fan is going thru – its Tiger fan.  What comes to mind for me is 2005 when LSU had to go to Arizona State after Hurricane Katrina for a home game in the desert.  Arizona State donated the gate receipts from the game to LSU and the Fiesta Bowl covered LSU’s travel expenses – in return, LSU will pay it forward to South Carolina, and what could have been a trap game looks a bit more fortuitous for LSU – so Saturday I’ll cheer for South Carolina before and directly after the game.

  • Because of the aftermath from flooding that began last weekend, officials felt it was unwise to play the game at the regularly scheduled site of Williams-Brice Stadium. Access to areas of the city, the safety of the infrastructure and the availability of drinking water were major concerns……(continue reading)

5. Banner Raised

Last night was the start of the NHL season if you were to busy to notice watching the Pirates and Cubs.  In Chicago they raised another banner and the Rangers started the Blackhawks off with a L.  If you do not have NHL-CenterIce package to watch all the ‘Ockey you want – I think you can find games on the NBCSN channel – I just have no idea where to find it…but anyway here is Yahoo Sports preview of all 30 teams from the Puck Daddy staff:

 

Weekend Sediment

Before we get to the weekend recap – there is a tragic news story coming out of Florida – It seems an owner of a major-league-fantasy sports team decided to hold his wedding during the baseball season and subsequently neglected his team for a honeymoon destination without wifi.  His reckless decisions have placed his teams chances for a title in serious jeopardy that they may never recover from.  If this sounds like something you might do, then stop and think of your players.  Of course you can avoid any of these scenarios by playing Daily Fantasy with us and never have to worry about taking a vacation and ruining your teams chances, because each day is a new chance to earn some fresh lettuce.  We have developed a baseball solution based on avoiding zeroes and increasing your chances to cash 75% of the lineups you enter.  So, look for our information by 2p each day based on the amount of games being played in our BASEBALL page.  Now on with the recap!


Lightning strikes

From Elias: Ben Bishop became the first goaltender in NHL history to send his team into the Stanley Cup Final with a road shutout in a Game Seven, as he lifted the Lightning into the Final by blanking the Rangers, 2-0. For Bishop, it was his second Game Seven shutout of the 2015 playoffs; he had blanked the Red Wings, 2-0, in the seventh game of Tampa Bay’s first-round series. Bishop is the third goaltender in NHL history to earn a pair of Game Seven shutouts in one playoff year. The others were Colorado’s Patrick Roy in 2002 (vs. Los Angeles and San Jose) and Boston’s Tim Thomas in 2011 (vs. Tampa Bay and Vancouver). (For Bishop, unlike Roy and Thomas, the shutouts came in the first two Game Sevens of his NHL career.)

Bishop, who recorded an assist in his Game Seven win versus Detroit, did the same in Friday’s victory against the Rangers. The only other NHL goaltenders with even one career assist in a Game Seven shutout are Pittsburgh’s Frank Pietrangelo in 1991 (vs. New Jersey) and Colorado’s Patrick Roy in 2002 (vs. Los Angeles).

Bishop shut out the Rangers not only in Game Seven, but also in Game Five. No other goaltender had ever pitched a road shutout in a winner-take-all road game after also having earned a shutout in his previous game on the same ice.

The Lightning’s victory, on the heels of a 7-3 loss in Game Six on Tuesday, marked the first time in NHL history that a team had won a series by means of a Game Seven road shutout after having allowed at least five goals in the previous game.

Toews puts Chicago on path to victory

From Elias: The Blackhawks, on a pair of goals by Jonathan Toews, outscored the Ducks, 2-0, in the first period of Game 7 in the Western Conference Final at Anaheim. Toews is the third player in NHL history to score two first-period goals for the road team in the seventh game of a playoff series. The other players to do that were the Maple Leafs’ Dave Keon at Montreal in a 1964 Semi-Final series, and the Kings’ Ted Irvine at Oakland in a first-round series in 1969. The last NHL player to score two first-period goals for the home side in Game 7 was the Bruins’ Milan Lucic in a second-round matchup versus the Flyers in 2010.

Kane helps on three goals

From Elias: Patrick Kane assisted on three of the Blackhawks five goals in their win over the Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final. In the NHL’s expansion era (1968 to date) the only other players to record three assists in the seventh game of a Semi-Final or Conference Final series are Boston’s Jean Ratelle at Montreal in 1979 and Toronto’s Doug Gilmour versus Los Angeles in 1993, though each of them did so in a game their team lost.

Blackhawks offense comes alive in last two games of Conference Final

From Elias: The Blackhawks won 5-3 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, after posting a 5-2 victory in Game 6. It’s the seventh time in NHL history that a team won Game 6 and Game 7 of a playoff series while scoring at least five goals in each game, but it’s only the second time it has happened after the first round. The only previous instance of an NHL team winning a series in that fashion after the opening round was when Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings posted 5-4 wins over the Maple Leafs in Games 6 and 7 of the 1993 Campbell Conference Final.


Think of the Central time zone and the 4 teams that are .600 or better as the dog days begin – St. Louis Cardinals (33-17), Minnesota Twins (30-19), Houston Fir-stros (31-20) and the Kansas City Royals (29-19).  Maybe the Royals and the Cardinals are so much as a surprise as the Twins and Astros are – but no one saw this…

FRIDAY

Norris caps one-of-a-kind night with walk-off grand-slam

From Elias: Derek Norris, who had struck out in each of his four previous trips to the plate, hit a two-out, grand-slam walkoff homer in the ninth inning to propel the Padres to a 6-2 victory over the Pirates. It was the first game-ending grand-slam homer in the majors this season and the sixth such blow in Padres history, the last coming off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez five years ago. But fans at Petco Park on Friday night saw something never previously done in the history of major-league baseball: Norris became the first player to hit a walkoff grand-slam home run in a game in which he has previously struck out as many as four times.

Dodgers bring drought on the road with them

From Elias: When the Dodgers play in Los Angeles, they have to deal with water restrictions necessitated by the California drought. But now on the road, the Dodgers have experienced a scoring drought, one that reached a remarkable total of 37 consecutive road innings without a run as they fell, 3-0, to John Lackey and the Cardinals on Friday night. That total represents the second-longest streak of consecutive scoreless innings in road games since the Dodgers joined the National League in 1890. The one longer streak was fashioned during the Roosevelt administrationthat’s Teddy Rooseveltin August of 1908. In the midst of a 22-game road trip through six National League cities, the Dodgers went 41 straight innings without scoring in Pittsburgh and Chicago.

The 2015 Dodgers had lost three straight shutouts at San Francisco, May 19 to May 21, in their last road games before Friday’s contest in St. Louis. They have been shut out in four straight road games for the first time in franchise history.

Buehrle’s 204th win is unlike any of the others

From Elias: The Twins ended Mark Buehrle‘s streak of 35 consecutive innings without allowing Minnesota an earned run early and with emphasis, scoring four runs, all earned, in the first inning. But then Buehrle slipped back into form, the Blue Jays pecked away and the veteran left-hander wound up going the distance to earn a 6-4 victory. Only two major-league pitchers over the last 30 years have earned a complete-game win, going nine or more innings, after having allowed four or more runs in the first inningand even they were long ago. In 1995, Seattle’s Tim Belcher downed Cleveland, 11-5, after allowing four in the first, and in 1986, Fernando Valenzuela went the route after yielding four in the first to help the Dodgers top the Phillies, 11-4.

Buehrle’s streak, crafted over five games dating back to 2011, was the longest by any big-league pitcher against an opposing team since Zack Greinke held Seattle without an earned run over 38 innings from 2008 to 2010. It was the longest such streak crafted by a starting pitcher against the Twins since Sudden Sam McDowell sailed through 48 innings without allowing the Twins an earned run over 1968 and 1969.

Hamilton hits two in second home game of season

From Elias: Josh Hamilton homered on each of his first two trips to the plate off Boston’s Steven Wright and the Rangers took it from there, repelling the Red Sox, 7-4. Each of Hamilton’s home runs gave the Rangers a lead (1-0 and then 3-2), and they came in his second home game after re-joining the Rangers while the team was on the road earlier this week. The home runs were the 84th and 85th that Hamilton has hit in a Rangers uniform in what is now known as Globe Life Park in Arlington. He hit only one home run there in 62 at-bats over 16 games while with the Angels over the past two seasons.

Bettis and Tulo have their way in Philly

From Elias: Chad Bettis threw seven and one-third hitless inningsthe second-longest no-hit effort in the 3,548-game history of the Rockies, second only toUbaldo Jimenez‘s complete-game no-hitter at Atlanta five years agoonly to see his bid spoiled when Cody Asche‘s soft grounder to the shortstop position rolled through to the outfield because Troy Tulowitzki was overshifted onto the right side of the infield. Bettis, against whom opponents had fashioned a collective .320 batting average in his 40 previous major-league games, allowed another hit later in the inning and earned credit for Colorado’s 4-1 victory at Philadelphia.

Tulowitzki did his best work with the stick in his hands, going 4-for-4, and reaching Cole Hamels for a pair of home runs. It was the second game in his career in which Tulowitzki produced at least four hits, including multiple homers, while batting 1.000; he went 5-for-5 with two circuit clouts in a game at Cincinnati two years back. Hamels is the fourth pitcher against whom Tolo has homered twice in a game; he had previously homered twice in the same game off Sean O’SullivanBronson Arroyo and John Ely.

Bettis, by the way, did keep a couple of other no-hit streaks intact: He went 0-for-2 at the plate, and is now 0-for-23 in his big-league career. Rockies pitchers as a whole are now hitless in their last 34 at-bats.

Another short start for Strasburg

From Elias: Stephen Strasburg left the mound due to an apparent stiff neck in the second inning of the Nationals’ game at Cincinnati, and the Reds later came from behind to take a 5-2 decision. Strasburg has had major problems with length in recent weeks: including his one-inning effort on Friday night, he has now thrown a total of 16 innings over his last five starts combined. That matches the fewest innings that any big-leaguer accumulated over a five-start span (with no relief appearances sprinkled in) all of last season; the Angels’ Cory Rasmus was the lone pitcher last season who amassed just 16 innings over five straight starts.

SATURDAY

Dodgers finally score on the road

From Elias: Howie Kendrick‘s sixth-inning single scored Justin Turner and ended the Dodgers’ road scoreless streak at 42 innings. That surpassed by one inning the franchise record streak of 41, set in August 1908. No major-league team had failed to score in 42 consecutive innings in road games in 30 years, since the Braves posted a 46-inning streak in May 1985.

Grandal shows power with runners on

From Elias: Yasmani Grandal‘s three-run home run gave the Dodgers the lead for good in their 5-1 win at St. Louis. Grandal’s last two home runs were also of the three-run variety, both on May 7 at Milwaukee. The last Dodgers player to drive in at least three runs on three straight homers within one season was Adrian Beltre in 2003.

Keuchel White-washes Sox

From Elias: Dallas Keuchel struck out 11 without walking a batter in a complete-game 3-0 home win for the Astros over the White Sox. No Houston pitcher had struck out more than 10 batters without issuing a walk in a complete-game shutout since Randy Johnson fanned 16 Pirates at the Astrodome on August 28, 1998.

Stanton feels at home in Queens

From Elias: Giancarlo Stanton hit two home runs in the Marlins’ 9-5 win over the Mets in New York. It was Stanton’s third career-multi-homer game at Citi Field. That’s the third-highest total by any player behind current Mets slugger Lucas Duda(6), and former New York first baseman Ike Davis (4).

Paulsen homers off Garcia again

From Elias: For the second straight day, Ben Paulsen homered off Luis Garcia as the Rockies won at Philadelphia. Only two other rookies in the last 20 years have hit home runs in two consecutive games off the same pitcher: the Phillies’ Pat Burrell against the Mets’ Armando Benitez in June 2000, and the Braves’ Brooks Conrad off the Brewers’ Carlos Villanueva in May 2010.

Goldschmidt homers off Lohse in two straight innings

From Elias: Paul Goldschmidt hit two home runs, a solo shot off Kyle Lohse in the third inning and a two-run blast off Lohse in the fourth, in the Diamondbacks’ 7-3 win it Milwaukee. It was the third time that Goldschmidt has homered in consecutive innings, having done so against the Reds in 2013 and versus the Dodgers in 2014. But the last Arizona player to go deep in consecutive innings off the same pitcher was Aaron Hill against Madison Bumgarner at Chase Field on April 7, 2012.

SUNDAY

Hamilton gives the Rangers a dramatic win

Josh Hamilton‘s pinch-hit, two-run double off Koji Uehara with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Rangers’ a 4-3 triumph over the Red Sox. It was the eighth game of Hamilton’s major-league career in which he produced a walkoff RBI, and in four of those games (all for the Rangers) his game-ender turned a deficit into a victory, three of which came in two-out situations. Sunday’s walkoff by Hamilton was the first for a Rangers pinch-hitter with the team trailing and down to its final out since June 2, 1995, when Rusty Greer‘s pinch-hit, two-run homer off Rick Aguilera with two outs in the bottom of the ninth gave Texas a 6-5 win over the Twins.

Colorado bullpen bails out injured Lyles for Philly sweep

Jordan Lyles lasted only 1.1 innings before his reoccurring toe injury forced him out of the game, but none of the four Colorado relievers who followed him to the mound was charged with a run in the Rockies’ 4-1 triumph in Philadelphia. Chris Rusin, who relieved Lyles in the second inning, tossed 4.2 innings and was credited with the victory. It was the 38th game in franchise history in which the Rockies’ starting pitcher recorded fewer than five outs, but it was the first of those games in which Colorado’s bullpen was not charged with a run.

Ten-hit shutout for Danks

John Danks answered Saturday’s shutout by Dallas Keuchel with one of his own on Sunday, as he scattered ten hits while the White Sox downed the Astros, 6-0. Danks became the first major-league pitcher since Minnesota’s Carlos Silva (11 hits) blanked the Angels on August 3, 2004 to toss a shutout in a game in which he allowed ten or more hits. The only other White Sox pitcher who did that in the post-WWII era is Stan Bahnsen, with a 12-hit shutout of the Athletics on June 21, 1973.

Frazier leads Reds in sweep of Nationals

Todd Frazier went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs as the Reds completed their three-game series sweep of the Nationals. It capped a four-game span for Frazier during which time he went 10-for-15 with four doubles and three home runs. In baseball’s modern era (1900 to date), the only other Reds players who produced ten or more hits over a four-game period, including seven for extra bases and a batting average as high as Frazier’s (.667) are George Crowe in 1957, George Foster in 1980, Kevin Mitchell in 1993 (two overlapping four-game spans) and Barry Larkin in 1995.

Maldonado had enough

After playing the entire game behind the plate, Martin Maldonado put an end to his long day of squatting with a game-ending home run that gave the Brewers a 7-6 victory over the Diamondbacks in 17 innings. Maldonado is the first player in major-league history who ended a game of at least 17 innings with a home run after playing a complete game in the field as a catcher.

A late comeback for the Braves

The Braves erased a two-run deficit with a four-run ninth inning that was capped by Jace Peterson‘s bases-loaded triple in their 7-5 victory at San Francisco. The Braves had lost the previous 70 games in which they trailed in the eighth inning or later (since a come-from-behind win against the Mets on June 30, 2014). That was the longest current losing streak of its kind for any major-league team entering play on Sunday (a distinction that now belongs to the Marlins, who have lost the last 40 games in which they were in that predicament) and it was the longest losing streak of that nature for the Braves since the Boston version of the franchise lost 108 consecutive games in which it trailed in the eighth inning or later from 1904 to 1905.

Kipnis reached base more often than not during May

Jason Kipnis went 2-for-5 with a walk in the Indians’ 12-inning win at Seattle and he posted an on-base percentage of .511 during May, with 51 hits, 16 walks and five hit-by-pitches. Kipnis is the first Indians player to reach base safely at least 70 times in one calendar month (via hits, walks and HBP) since Earl Averill did it 74 times in July 1934 (38 hits, 35 walks, one hit-by-pitch).

Angels win four against the mighty Tigers

Johnny Giavotella‘s infield single in the bottom of the eighth inning plated two runs to snap a 2-2 tie in the Angels’ 4-2 win that completed their four-game series sweep of the Tigers. It was the fourth time in franchise history that the Angels swept a four-game series from a team that entered the series with a winning percentage as high as Detroit’s (.583 at the time of Thursday’s series opener). The Angels’ previous sweeps of that kind came against the Indians in both 1965 and 1967 and versus the Athletics last August.

Flores takes his place among young power-hitting shortstops

Wilmer Flores, at age 23, slammed his eighth home run of the season to help Bartolo Colon and the Mets defeat the Marlins in New York. Flores’s eight homers match the major-leagues’ fourth-highest single-season total by the end of May for a shortstop under the age of 24. The only higher totals belong to Alex Rodriguez, who did it twice (ten in 1996 at age 20; 20 in 1998 at age 22), and Cal Ripken (11 in 1984 at age 23). Four other under-24 players had exactly eight homers form the shortstop position by the end of May: Arky Vaughan (1935 Pirates), Rico Petrocelli (1966 Red Sox), A-

Rod (1999 Mariners) and Jean Segura (2013 Brewers).

Rookie home-run streaks

Tampa Bay’s Steven Souza (at Baltimore) and Miami’s Justin Bour (at New York) each homered for a third consecutive game on Sunday, tying them with the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson (April 29-May 2) for the longest home-run streaks by major-league rookies this season. Souza became the third Tampa Bay rookie to homer in three consecutive games, joining Evan Longoria (two such streaks in 2008) and Kevin Kiermaier (last season). Bour joined a surprisingly long list of Marlins rookies with three-game home-run streaks, including Kurt Abbott (1994), who is the only one of them who homered in four straight games. The other Marlins rookies with three-game home-run streaks are Charles Johnson (1995), Derrek Lee (1998), Hanley Ramirez (2006), Josh Willingham (twice in 2006) and Giancarlo Stanton (twice in 2010).

Martinez extends his streak of scoreless innings

Carlos Martinez allowed only one hit during seven shutout innings as he and the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers, 3-1. Martinez extended his scoreless streak to 20.1 consecutive innings, which is the longest for any major-league starting pitcher this season. The only other Cardinals starter who fashioned a streak of consecutive shutout innings as long as Martinez’s in any of the last four seasons is Adam Wainwright, who had two such streaks last year (25 innings and 21 innings).

Tuesday Dregs

Did you know LeBron James finished with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists, and scored game 3’s last five points over the final 40 seconds as the Cavaliers moved out to a three-games-to none series lead with a 114-111 overtime win over the Hawks on Sunday? No other player has ever reached all of those totals (37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists) in an NBA playoff game.

James earned the 12th triple-double of his playoff career, surpassing Jason Kidd’s total of 11 and moving into second place all-time, behind Magic Johnson, who had 30. James achieved the triple-double with his tenth assist with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter. No NBA player had produced a triple-double within the first three quarters of a playoff game since Chris Paul, playing for the New Orleans Hornets against the Lakers, did that in 2011. No NBA player had earned a triple-double so early in a game since 2009, when Rajon Rondo achieved it with 6:15 to play in the third quarter, playing for the Celtics against the Bulls.

James finished with 37 field-goal attempts, the most he has ever taken in any NBA game, during either the regular season or the playoffs. He missed all nine of his first-quarter field-goal attempts, becoming the first player to take that many shots in the first quarter of a playoff game and to miss them all since Tim Duncan went 0-for-10 from the field in the first quarter of Game 1 of a Western Conference Semifinal series against the Lakers in 2002. LeBron also missed his first shot in the second quarter, becoming the second player in this year’s playoffs to miss his first 10 field-goal attempts of a game. (Isaiah Thomas missed his first 10 shots from the floor in Game 4 of a first-round series against Cleveland.) Among other players who have started past playoff games with double-digit streak of misses: Duncan (twice), Carmelo Anthony (twice), Ray Allen and Tony Parker.

James Harden scored 45 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists as the Rockets avoided a sweep with a 128-112 victory over the Warriors. The 45 points is the third-most ever scored by a player for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series, behind the 51 points scored by the Warriors’ Sleepy Floyd in 1987 against the Lakers and the 46 points scored by Miami’s Dwyane Wade against the Celtics in 2010.

Only one other player scored at least 40 points, grabbed at least nine rebounds and handed out at least five assists in a game for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series: Tom Chambers for the Suns against the Lakers in 1989 (41 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists).

The Warriors (20-for-46) and Rockets (17-for-32) combined for 37 three-point field goals made and 78 three-pointers attempted. The 37 three-pointers made were the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the record of 33 set by the Seattle (20) and Houston (13) in Game 2 in 1996; and the 78 shots from beyond the arc were also the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the mark of 70 by Oklahoma City (35) and Houston (35) in Game 2 in 2013.

The Warriors are only the second team, regular season or playoffs, to lose a game in which they made 20 three-pointers. The Nets lost to the Nuggets on Jan. 11, 2012 despite making 20 shots from beyond the arc. NBA teams that made 20 or more three-pointers are 15-1 in the regular season and now 2-1 in the playoffs.


Ben Bishop posted a 2-0 win over the Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, after giving up five goals in both Game 3 (a 6-5 overtime victory) and Game 4 (a 5-1 loss). Bishop is the only the third goaltender in NHL history to record a playoff shutout after allowing at least five goals in each of the previous two games of the same series. The other goaltenders to do that were the Quebec Nordiques’ Dan Bouchard against the Flyers in 1981 (Game 3) and the Canadiens’Carey Price versus the Bruins in 2008 (Game 7).

Toews heroics are not enough

Jonathan Toews scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the third period to tie the score at 4-4 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, but the Blackhawks’ late comeback proved to be in vain as Matt Beleskey scored 45 seconds into overtime to win the game for the Ducks. It was the fifth time in NHL playoff history that a team tied a game after trailing by two goals in the last two minutes of regulation time, and Toews is the first player to score both the tying goal and the one before that. The last team before Chicago to stage a two-goal tying rally in the final two minutes of the third period was the Bruins in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs in 2013. Milan Lucic scored to get the Bruins within one goal, and Patrice Bergeron netted both the tying goal in regulation and the series-winner in overtime.


Never Before

Francisco Liriano struck out 12 batters and earned the win as the Pirates completed their three-game series sweep of the Mets. Gerrit Cole struck out ten batters in his series-opening win on Friday, as did A.J. Burnett in his victory on Saturday. It is the only time in modern major-league history (1900 to date) that a team’s starting pitchers won three straight games within one series while recording a double-digit strikeout total in each game.

Big Game James? 

The Padres averted being swept in their three-game series at Dodger Stadium behind the pitching of James Shields, who improved his record to 6-0 this season. Shields is the only pitcher who has won as many as six games for his new club after switching major-league teams during the past offseason. Since 2010, spanning his time with the Rays, Royals and Padres, Shields is 7-0 in 11 regular-season starts in games in which his team was in danger of being swept in a series, and each of those seven wins came on the road.

Historic Failure

Jeremy Guthrie gave up four homers and allowed 11 runs while getting only three outs against the Yankees on Monday. Guthrie is the first starting pitcher in major league history to give up at least four homers and allow 11 or more runs in a game in which he recorded no more than three outs.

Still doesn’t play on Sundays

Andre Ethier‘s solo home run in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and the Dodgers went on to beat the Braves, 6-3, on Monday night. It was career home run #151 for Ethier, 14 of which have been go-ahead homers in the eighth inning or later (9.3 percent).

The only active players with more go-ahead homers than Ethier in the eighth inning or later since 2006 are Albert Pujols (17), Miguel Cabrera (16), Prince Fielder(16) and Chris Young (15). Jose BautistaJustin Morneau and David Ortiz also have 14 such homers since 2006.

Not since…

Prince Fielder went 3-for-5 with a home run in the Rangers’ win over the Indians. Fielder is now batting .365 with nine home runs in 45 games this season. The last Rangers player to have at least nine homers and a batting average of .360 or better over his first 45 games of a season was Josh Hamilton in 2012 (.368 with 20 homers).

Fielder has 11 hits and 12 runs batted in over his last four games. The only other player in Rangers franchise history with that many hits and RBIs over a four-game span is Ivan Rodriguez from July 30 to August 2, 1999. Pudge had 13 hits and 12 RBIs over that four-game span.

Miss me Milwaukee?

Giants’ leadoff batter, Nori Aoki, went 4-for-4 with a home run in their win over the Brewers. Aoki is the fourth Giants player over the last 60 years to go 4-for-4 or better with a home run from the leadoff spot in the batting order. Bobby Bonds, who did it three times (once each in 1971, 1972 and 1973), Marvin Benard (1998) and Randy Winn (twice in 2005) were the other Giants players to do it over that span.

Arenado times two

Nolan Arenado has seven hits and knocked in seven runs over his last two games. Arenado is the first major-league player this season to have that many hits and RBIs over a two-game span and he’s the first Rockies player to do it since Carlos Gonzalez had exactly seven hits and seven RBIs over two games in May 2012.  That is about how long it has been since we have seen anything from CarGo.

Elias Sports Bureau with the assist…

Einhorn is Finkle; Finkle is Einhorn

It’s gonna be a Rugby Sunday ’round here…

Hi, I’m Logan Cartwright. You may remember me from such educational films as “Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun” and “Firecrackers: The Silent Killer“.

Earlier this week when the Wells Report came out, I was transported back to a time where we celebrated the takeover of the New York, New York Hotel in Las Vegas, to honor a golden-gilded-god of football and rename it the Boston, Boston – sure there was every reason to believe we were headed for trouble, maybe we had pushed our luck a little to far – certain liberties were taken – we had abused every rule Vegas existed by – burning the locals, abusing the tourists, terrifying the help – our only salvation was the possibility that we’d gone to such excess, that nobody in a position to bring the hammer down on us could possibly believe it was all for “Tohm Fah-Q-ing Bray-dee!

So it was written, and so it was done.  As was the Wells report, it has shamed and tarnished a legacy that further puts into question – what happens now?  Do we ever get to set foot in the Boston, Boston Hotel and parade around as disciples of Tom the Terrific again?  Will there be a reckoning because of this?  We must face again, the answers to questions we should never have had to ask; like will the wives of Olympic gold medalists ever get us ice again while we are held at gunpoint by Persian pimps drinking flower garnished moonshine?  They will, but that’s not the point – what about Tom and our annual cosmopolitan diaspora of bacchanalia?

A lot of theories and reflections have been trotted out like show ponies recently – the outrage!  The evil empire of the Patriots caught again!  Tom Brady is the new Whitey Bulger and should be banned from the Hall of Fame, or suspended until the 1st game, or a full year suspension, they decree.  Let’s slow it down.

Before we jump to the sentencing phase of this non-hearing, non-court proceeding and also temper the opposite over-reaction of “innocent until proven guilty” talk – that exists only in the court of law, not the court of public opinion.  Someone break down what advantage does an under-inflated football have?  Is there proof of that advantage?  Was it not during the 1st half of the game against the Colts where the footballs were under-inflated, and in the 2nd half they were proper?  Tom did better in the second-half than the first right?  So please someone quantify the advantage for us.

There are those that say he broke the rules.  Would these be the same rules that seem to change every 5 years?  The Immaculate Reception was an illegal play, and it doesn’t stop the myth of that moment.  Franco Harris is not called into question about when it was he knew he was just gonna run with it – he should have just stopped right, gave up?  You could probably make a case for several highlights involving the RaidersThe Holy Roller, The Tuck, etc…all legal then made illegal now by the rules.  The NFL has changed so dramatically the last 10 years that it’s not even the same game we grew up with.  So, to make a case based on the rulebook is absurd, especially on a rule that none of us knew anything about or cared.

For Haters and supporters alike it all turns into 3rd Century theological discussions:

person 1: I believe in X
person 2: I believe in Y
person 1: Why don’t you believe in X? I would love to explore your belief system further in hopes of bridging our — HAHAHA, just kidding; I’ve already set you on fire!

So, are we hurt because he lied?  Do we really jump to lying with terms related to “more than likely” with no smoking gun?  If this was a criminal proceeding – he’d be found, “not guilty”.  But public opinion is a civil case where all you have to prove, is reasonable doubt – it does not have to be beyond reasonable.  Really, we know he did, we know he was complicit – he was the architect of the heist – maybe he didn’t pull it off – but those guys don’t walk into the bank without Tom’s plans on how to rob it.  It’s called being an accomplice, it’s also called conspiracy.  It’s also not the same thing.

So what’s the punishment?  If Marijuana use and Ray Farmer gets 4 games for sending text messages during games, then Tom gets at least that right?  Rich McKay got suspended for the Falcons piping in crowd noise.  So clearly we have to find a comparative, a value in over/under inflated balls and their meaning towards the outcome of a game.

The NFL opened this door long ago allowing QB’s to have control of game balls (Tom Brady led the campaign to change that rule) and lets not forget that the success of the league is founded on point spreads and information – and as long as that’s honest, then truly the only thing that should be punished is the fraud in withholding that information – everything else is fair game when we talk about brutes in the coliseum.

More than Hizzoner’s righteous judgment, Tom Brady should be more concerned that he lied to Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft – they should dole out the punishment themselves if they had any integrity. HAHAHAHAHA, just kidding the league has already set us on fire.

This Saturday, May 9th we’re excited to host an MLB $3 entry contest with the 1st place prize being a trip for two (2) to this year’s MLB All Star Game!  This includes airfare ($1,000 credit), hotel accommodations, two (2) tickets to the Home Run Derby and two (2) tickets to the MLB All-Star Game (please note that the winner and participants must be 21 years of age or older.)

Enter here:  http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=1446&aff_id=284742

It’s unlikely that any Rockie will earn themselves a trip to the All-Star Game this year.  Typically a team that can’t win at home or in an entire region like SoCal, and are also winless on the weekends, ever deserve that honor.  Anyone seen Tulo or CarGo?  We were told if they were healthy this team could contend. According to my sources, these are the facts!

someone should ask if he can pitch

Meanwhile, the Red Sox just fired their pitching coach because they are slightly above terrible in team ERA – terrible is the Rockies – nevermind the songs of praise the Red Sox gave him for turning the staff into World Series Champions in 2013.  They are beer-leaguers now and too close for comfort in the basement with the Rockies – in Boston that gets you a pink slip.  In Denver that gets you…free excuses, and a coupon for one free hot dog (redeemable only during $1 hot dog night).  Mgmt., and Weiss clearly have no taste for metrics – because if they were paying attention, they would not have sit Justin Morneau against James Shields when he has .320 average against him or not start Drew Stubbs against lefty fly-ball pitchers when he has an .834 OPS – as examples.  We are seeing the same clap-trap we saw when Jim Tracy rested everyone on the weekend, before he quit playing nurse-maid – paying major league prices for minor-league talent.

The Dodgers have used 30+ different players so far this year, more than anyone in baseball and are in first place – so the Rockies have no more alibi’s and might have also missed their window to trade CarGo – who looks more like Josh Hamilton in LA, than what we are used to.

Thank goodness for StrikeZone, the Astros, Royals, Mets, etc…Because everywhere else there is some good baseball and great young talent to watch.  So, keep reading for our baseball lineups in our baseball page and good luck with your chance at winning the All-Star game contest – thoughts on who to play for Saturday’s tournament will be up later today.  Mahalo.

Clear as Mud

Adam Schefter has been working on an URGENT news story about Dez Bryant.  He says he has been working on it since September.  That he knows what is on the video, but has yet to see it.  Some rumors say that it will be released soon and is 5x’s worse than Ray Rice’s.  The only thing that could be “5x’s” worse in my mind is sexual-assault on a woman passed out – other than that is NFL re-runs.

I have several problems with the radio-statement that “Schefty” made.

  1. you’ve known since September and this is the first mention of it?
  2. you still havent seen it?
  3. you said, “what we are working on is not ready.”
  4. you know what’s on it – so what is it?!
  5. how is it not ready?
  6. who is we?
  7. how has the NFL not been involved, if you’ve been working on this since September
  8. September? No charges?
  9. If it is that bad that his football career is in jeopardy than how do you expect him to be back with Dallas?

The Cowboys have until March 10th to decide on the franchise tag – so expect to see the video shortly.  Hopefully, Adam Schefter isn’t trying to set us up like Geraldo and Al Capone’s vault.


 

Hi, My name is still Logan, and I am still a flagrant degenerate gambler — despite those jackass rumors out of Springfield. No. I have not converted to Jediism or any other power-sect. And I have never worshipped bulls. It is not in my nature — and I was not born to live in the dismal grip of Ala’tucky, under any circumstances.

Nor was I born to live in the rotten month of February, which is almost over, and good riddance. It is an evil month, with evil energy. Everything about it is Wrong.

Whoops! The storm is moving in. This might be our last chance to speak rashly for the public record — or at least the last time until sMarch…Math has been proven to show the existence of a higher entity – and while Charles Barkley scoffs at analytics – he just continues to show what an education from Auburn is worth, because I raise him a Shane Battier from Duke, #KobeStopper.  Shane, now an ESPN analyst (the disciple of analytics that the Chuckster is also) produced a video with BIG Think, that acts as an online forum.  His thoughts transcribed here:

“I was lucky to grow up in the golden age of analytics as it pertains to basketball and the emergence of big data in sports,” Battier said. “The way I look at it, it’s just another way – like honing your jump shot or honing your jump hook or getting faster or stronger – to gain a competitive advantage on the basketball court.”

He goes on to explain quite simply that guarding Bryant was based on forcing him to take left-handed shots, something that reduced the Los Angeles Lakers’ points-per-possession average.

“Every time that he went left and shot that pull-up jumper, he was generating .88 points per possession,” Battier said.

Nowadays is it really a surprise with how often players watch video? Teams employing tape-jockeys to break down other teams’ game footage?  Is that not what Spoelstra did before moving up the ranks to become head ball coach?  The point being Chuck, is that the war is over – metrics have won and we use them to win.


 

Craig and his Amazing-Technicolor-Dreamcoats are back tonight for the Thunder-Bulls game.  After missing March Madness and the NBA playoffs last year due to his battle with acute leukemia, the man of a thousand outfits returns for both, this year.  He won a temporary injunction on his illness, thanks to his son being a bone marrow transplant.  Good to see a man that has no fear when it comes to fashion, doing what he loves – a second chance to appreciate being a NBA sideline guy who has to talk to Popovich – but gets to celebrate the Madness we all have for March, welcome back sir.


Addiction is a bitch that anchors you ever-closer to Davy Jones’ Locker.  Word is that Josh Hamilton had to talk to MLB officials about a relapse a couple months back that involved “at least cocaine”.  There’s no word of a failed test but he still could face discipline on top of his expected one to two month absence of the season because of surgery to his right shoulder last year.  Josh Hamilton is 33 years old and is showing the normal decline of an aging superstar.  Numbers and performance aside, here’s hoping he finds balance with his life – but too often the devil whispers.


maninironmask

‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ – the ‘Must-Haves‘, the ‘Sleepers‘ and those that might find themselves on the trainers table for your FanDuel NBA-delights each night.  We will post these DiRTy plays, everyday by 1p MST – so check back in the afternoon.  ‘Click’ the picture for the days plays.


 

This day in History…

We were warned…

From the history channel:

A bomb explodes in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York City on this day in 1993. Six people died and 1,000 were injured by the powerful blast, which also caused the evacuation of thousands of people from the Twin Towers.

An informant later identified a group of Serbians in New York as the culprits. However, when the FBI conducted surveillance of the gang they found not terrorists but jewel thieves, putting an end to a major diamond-laundering operation.

Fortunately, investigators at the bomb scene found a section of a van frame that had been at the center of the blast. The van’s vehicle identification number was still visible, leading detectives to the Ryder Rental Agency in Jersey City, New Jersey. Their records indicated that Mohammed Salameh had rented the van and reported it stolen on February 25.

Salameh was already in the FBI’s database as a potential terrorist, so agents knew that they had probably found their man. Salameh compounded his mistake by insisting that Ryder return his $400 deposit. When he returned to collect it, the FBI arrested him. A search of his home and records led to two other suspects.

Meanwhile, the owner of a storage facility in Jersey City came forward to say that he had seen four men loading a Ryder van on February 25. When this storage space was checked, they found enough chemicals, including very unstable nitroglycerin, to make another massive bomb. Investigators also found videotapes with instructions on bomb making that led to the arrest of a fourth suspect.

Other evidence showed that one of the terrorists had bought hydrogen tanks from AGL Welding Supply in New Jersey. In the wreckage under the World Trade Center, three tanks marked “AGL Welding” were found. In addition, the terrorists had sent a letter to theNew York Times claiming responsibility for the blast. Portions of this letter were found on a computer desk taken from a suspect’s office. Finally, DNA analysis of saliva on the envelope matched that of the suspect.

The wealth of evidence resulted in easy convictions, and each of the men was sentenced to 240 years in prison.

On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center was again attacked, when terrorists linked to Osama bin Ladin and al-Qaida hijacked and flew one jetliner into each tower. Within hours, both towers had collapsed, killing almost 3,000 people. A third jet was crashed into the Pentagon, killing almost two hundred people, including those on board the plane. A fourth hijacked jet, apparently bound for a second target in Washington, D.C., crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers–aware of the attacks in New York and at the Pentagon–attempted to wrest control of the plane from the hijackers. All aboard were killed.


 

 

 

Loose Sediments

…your move Mr. Johnson

Get it?

So the PGA Tour suspends Dustin Johnson for cocaine use and he maintains that he does not have a problem, but will admit to excessive drinking.  Dustin has not played since last July when he left the tour for “personal reasons” – he received a six-month suspension for failing MULTIPLE drug tests.  Dustin who is engaged to the Great-One’s daughter Paulina Gretzkywho has her own issues up to this point – and both are expecting their first child in the coming weeks.  He says that he dealt with his problems by drinking and partying to cope with the hard-core-golf-lifestyle.  Golf is hard and maybe he has or is trying to grow up from being the guy who slept with other tour player’s wives, and wants to put the gangsta-lifestyle behind him – winning something may speak louder than his spoken reformation.


So the people at Grapey Gaming Network put together a TECMO Bowl simulation of Superbowl XLIX that has the Patriots defeating the Seahawks.  If nostalgia and gambling take you back to the glory days, then watch how it all unfolds here.


With 76 days remaining until MY holiday, I thought we could talk about over-priced handbags:

Alex Rodriguez: 3rd/DH, New York Yankees

With a base salary of $21,000,000 for 2015 and someone already hired to play his position, A(f)Rod is a very expensive DH that cannot hit anymore.  His previous-antics aside, he alone will be worth the price of admission this year as his trava-sham-ockery-comedy-a-palooza unfolds all year – spring training can not get here fast enough – I hear the 3:10 to Tampa a’blowin…

Josh Hamilton: OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

In 2010, Josh was 33yrs old, led the majors with .359 BA, a WAR of 8.7 and won the AL MVP.  Then went to Anaheim…sorry Los Angeles…to do his best impression of a power lifter cycling off.  He finished 2014 with a .250 BA, 144 hits and 21 HR’s.  Offensively he has been a lead weight in a wet paper bag, but let’s not feel bad for him; because the $23,000,000 in base salary he’ll make this year, can quiet a lot of the cacophonous barbs.

Ryan Howard: 1B Philadelphia Phillies

Since 2004, Ryan Howard has played in 1,331 games, has 1,303 hits, 334 home runs and 1,058 RBI.  He is currently 35yrs old and has a base salary of $25,000,000 for 2015 and for that we got a .265 BA last year.  In fact, Ryan has not hit .300 since 2006, of which is the year he won the NL MVP.

C.J. Wilson: SP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Somehow he gets endorsements or maybe Head and Shoulders is the new Chunky Soup curse, because this 34yr old pitcher has not been worth the $18,000,000 he’ll make this year.  He threw the fewest innings of his career as a starter last year and has been nothing short of average.  That means he probably will be traded to Colorado to become the ace of the staff.  Here’s CJ’s stats from last year that are making the Rockies use a bib when thinking of trade scenarios: 4.51 ERA, 175.2 innings pitched, 169 hits, 85 walks (most in AL) and a 1.45 WHIP.


Knicks Killer talks about Carmelo

So Reggie has something to say about whether or not Carmelo should shut it down or not; prior to January 15th Carmelo has not played since December 31st or a span of 6 games.  Here is what Reggie told the New York Post:

I don’t know what the doctors have told him…but they have nothing to play for this year.  If you are just playing to play in London and the All-Star Game then I would say shut it down.  To me, that’s selfish.  I know the All-Star Game is in New York this year and you are the face of that, but to me that’s very selfish.  The team is tanking, and to have a guy just to represent your organization, I have a problem with that.  You have to take care of yourself and your body long-term.  Shut it down now, rehab and get ready for next year.

Some of us know the real reason why Carmelo is in New York, why he demanded a trade from Denver and why LaLa is out tastin’ like honey nut cheerios…The man loves his twinks.


Blast from the past

The Browns must be desperate.  Mike Martz?!  The arrogant play-caller – that believes he is a west-coast-system-guy that prefers to run the ball more than Bill Walsh – must have a screw loose as anyone who remembers this joker, remembers his QB’s getting killed with 7-step drops and never running the ball as effectively as he could have – must be were Andy Reid learned it.  Remember Mike in 2003 when you had the ball on the Panther 15yd-line in the divisional playoffs?  You had 42 seconds left, down by 3 and chose to run out the clock and settle for a field goal, only to lose in OT.

How about your wonder years in Detroit as their Play caller – granted you had Jon Kitna, but why are you having him drop back so much when he clearly could not read defenses.  How about 2008 when you never made it the whole year and were fired by Mike Singletary, after he replaced fired head-coach Mike Nolan, because you wanted J.T. O’sullivan to throw the ball more – get used to your past 49ers fan as it becomes your future once again.  The best was in Chicago when Martz lasted only two years and got Jay Cutler constantly killed, leading Cutler to say after the Minnesota game: “Tell him I said fuQ him!”  Martz has been out of the league since 2012 and I doubt this old dog knows any new tricks, but then again it is Cleveland.