Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sports this 'n' that

Entering the final days of the regular season, Troy High's boys' basketball team knew they had to run the table, and hope that Suburban Council Gray division leader Christian Brothers Academy would stumble to have a shot at their 2nd division title in 3 years.

On Tuesday, CBA clinched at least a tie for the division title in beating Schenectady, while Troy took care of business and beat Albany, extracting some payback for a first round exit in last year's sectionals. Last night, the top two teams in the division met at Ned McGraw Gym on the CBA campus in Colonie. I don't know what would be the high school equivalent of champagne after winning a division title, but the Brothers were not going to have a party after the game. Jordan King led all scorers with 20 points, but he was the only CBA player in double figures. Nazaire Merritt & Latyce Faison led Troy with 18 points each. Alonzo Alexander added 11, and Troy completed a season sweep of CBA, 53-48. The season closes on Tuesday, with Schenectady at Troy, and CBA plays Albany.
Earlier in the week, I said LaSalle was assured of at least a #2 seed in the Capital District High School Hockey League (CDHSHL) playoffs, which begin with a play-in game next Friday. The key words were "at least", it turns out, as Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa ended the Cadets' 8 game unbeaten streak (7-0-1) with a 2-1 upset last night. LaSalle returns home tonight to close the regular season with Senior Night vs. Adirondack before finishing Tuesday at home vs. Queensbury. The Spartans have moved into 2nd place after beating "Guilderville". Bethlehem, meanwhile, clinched the regular season title by shutting out Saratoga, 8-0. The Eagles will close their season vs. Niskayuna-Schenectady on Tuesday in a game rescheduled after the snow forced a postponement on Wednesday. Bethlehem leads Queensbury by 4 1/2 points, and LaSalle by 5 going into tonight's action.
The Boston Herald suspended sports columnist Ron Borges on Friday after he fell for a phone scam perpetrated by a Valley of the Stupid representative on WEEI in Boston. "Nick From Boston" pretended to be Don Yee, the agent of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, and claimed that after Brady's ex-teammate, Jimmy Garoppolo, was rewarded with a new 5 year contract by San Francisco earlier in the week, Brady wanted some more money. Borges fell for the scam, and ran with the story, which the Herald was forced to retract, issuing an apology to Yee, Brady, and the Patriots.

While Borges gets a Dunce Cap for not following his instincts on this phony story, I am reminded of a similar case a few years ago here at home. A caller to WTMM ran a scam on then-producer Brian Cady, claiming to be former major league baseball player Shane Spencer, who spent time with the Yankees & Mets. Cady lost his job, and was last heard from working for The Dynasty, a local pro wrestling promotion. Something tells me Borges may have written his last story for the Herald, which may send him a pink slip next.
Nice to see that new Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia cleaned up his image on Wednesday. Trimmed off his Duck Dynasty starter beard to look more professional. Hey, he's an RPI guy, what did you expect? Lions vs. Patriots this fall should be mighty interesting.
The NBA is still buzzing about the mid-week trade that sent Isaiah Thomas (Jr.) from Cleveland to the Lakers. Los Angeles needed some insurance with rookie Lonzo Ball dealing with injuries. I'm reading where LeBron James has expressed his desire to finish his career in Cleveland, despite repeated claims in the press about leaving as a free agent. He delivered a championship to Cleveland when the baseball Indians couldn't, and the NFL Browns can't, at least not until the next decade. Why would he still chase the money when he's got enough to buy the Cavaliers from current ownership once he retires?
And to all the jabronies whining and crying about the latest fire sale in Miami with the Marlins, and blaming it on Derek Jeter, like, step off! Jeter is the face of the ownership group, but that doesn't mean he's the one making the final decisions. Jeter aside, it looks like business as usual in Miami. Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Marcell Ozuna (St. Louis), and Christian Yelich are gone, so the Marlins will have a new outfield in 2018, but likely flushed their playoff chances down the tubes. Saw a headline the other day that suggested that catcher J. T. Realmuto wants out, too. You'd think that with Jeter and his five World Series rings on board, they'd be going in the opposite direction, keeping that outfield intact, largely because it was the backbone of their defense the last two seasons, but, nope.

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