Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sports this 'n' that

The Toronto Blue Jays went into Citi Field in New York on Monday riding an 11-game winning streak. The Mets, who had baseball's other 11-game winning streak back in April, took care of that in dramatic fashion, beating the Jays in 11 innings, and giving rookie reliever Hansel Robles his 1st major league win, the 2nd rookie in as many days to do so, after Sean Gilmartin on Sunday.

Aside from scoring 2 runs in the top of the 11th off Robles, the Jays' offense consisted of two Jose Bautista homers, one each off starter Noah Syndergaard, and closer Jeurys Familia. Familia has blown two saves, but his mates have bailed him out both times.
For the 3rd time in six years, the Chicago Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup on Monday, dispatching Tampa Bay to win the best of 7 series, 4-2. While the word "dynasty" will get tossed about with these 'Hawks, much like baseball's San Francisco Giants, this night was bittersweet for the 'Hawks and their fans.

You see, one of Chicago's greatest players, Stan Mikita, according to media reports, is dealing with dementia, and has lost his memories of his playing career. A wire service article making the rounds today suggests that this might be Lewy's Body Syndrome, the same disease that claimed radio & cartoon legend Casey Kasem a year ago this month. Understandably, Mikita wasn't in attendance for the finale, but as fans learned of his ordeal, the joy of their Blackhawks winning another Cup was tempered with sadness. Today's generation might remember Mikita only from a cameo appearance in "Wayne's World" back in 1992, having never seen him play. I barely remember seeing him on TV myself.
The winter sports season will end either tonight or Thursday, depending on how the remainder of the NBA Finals play out between Golden State and Cleveland, two teams whose fan bases have waited years for a title.

It's been 40 years since the Warriors, who moved west from Philadelphia, Wilt Chamberlain and all, many moons ago, were NBA champs. We all know the story in Cleveland. 51 years since any Cleveland sports team won a title. The closest they've come was when the Indians were beaten by the then-Florida Marlins in the 1997 World Series. LeBron James came home to bring a title to Cleveland, but has practically been forced to be a 1-man team due to injuries to teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Golden State, whose 1st year coach, Steve Kerr, knows something about winning championships from his days in Chicago with some guy named Jordan, leads 3-2 going into tonight's game in Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena, which has hosted the WWE the last two nights. I will not be surprised if they go to a game 7 in Oakland on Thursday.
More Mets: The team finally cut bait on pitcher Dillon Gee on Monday, designating him for assignment after diminishing returns, due largely to injuries over the last three seasons, counting this one. Gee had been the subject of trade rumors the last several months, but there were no takers. The Mets have 10 days to release Gee (likely), trade him, or put him through waivers before sending him to their AAA team in Las Vegas (doubtful). Reliever Akeel Morris was called up Monday, all the way from their A team in Port St. Lucie. Anything, it seems, to avoid calling up another young gun in AAA in Steven Matz until such time where arbitration/free agent issues will not be a factor (see also Kris Bryant and other rookies).

The funny thing was, throughout Gee's tenure in New York, no one with any of the papers even thought about nicknaming him "Marshal", in reference to Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke, perhaps afraid some of today's readers might not get the reference, despite Gunsmoke being readily available on cable. Where's the fun in reading the papers these days?

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