With the World Series starting tonight and the NBA season getting underway on Tuesday, a lot of big things are happening right now. In addition, the NFL schedule is just about at its halfway point and this is a magical week for us sports nuts. Which team will win the Fall Classic? What will happen to the Yankees’ roster? Will the Knicks run into trouble as soon as the season starts? Keep reading to get some answers.
While the Yankees’ hopes and dreams of winning their 28th title came to a disappointing end, it’s not as bad as most people think. Sure, they couldn’t hit a ball out of the infield in October, but fans should take a glass-half-full approach with this team. After all, they finished with the best record in the American League with a shaky rotation. Mariano Rivera, Michael Pineda, Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia all missed time with various injuries. And now that they didn’t win it all, everyone is clamoring to blow up the team? Why would you dismantle a 95-win club when they weren’t at full strength all year long? In my opinion, winning the most games in your league and falling just shy of making the World Series is a pretty good feat. They certainly need to do some minor tweaking, but what this season came down to was their bats getting cold when it mattered most. Get rid of Nick Swisher and the nine-figure deal he reportedly seeks. Bring back Ichiro Suzuki and try trading A-Rod for a bag of Cracker Jacks. Attempt to sign Zack Greinke and land a catcher not named Russell Martin. Make some moves, but don’t go overboard.
In the NBA, the injury-prone Amar’e Stoudemire has been snake-bitten with yet another knee ailment. An MRI revealed the Knicks forward suffered a ruptured benign cyst and he’s expected to miss the first few weeks of the season. When you throw in the fact that he’s had numerous knee problems and some recent back issues (not to mention that gruesome hand injury he suffered in the playoffs bullying that innocent fire extinguisher), this should worry Knicks fans. What appeared to be a great signing in the first half of the 2010-11 season has looked mediocre ever since. Look for the 40-year-old Kurt Thomas and 38-year-old Marcus Camby possibly splitting his minutes with Carmelo Anthony occasionally getting some time at PF. While the Knicks have some depth in the backcourt, this frontcourt is already going to be a big question mark heading into the season. I think the injury-plagued big man should change his name to MRI Stoudemire.
Victor Conte, the former head honcho at BALCO, appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience last week and for those wondering exactly what went on during one of the biggest sports scandals ever, this is a must watch. In the roughly three-hour-long podcast, Conte discusses how professional athletes avoid taking drug tests, estimates that 50 percent of MMA fighters are on PEDs, and flashes back to the time when former track star Tim Montgomery increased his bench press by 80 pounds in just eight weeks. He also raises questions about Usain Bolt and describes how Major League Baseball, “lacks a genuine interest in catching these athletes” because “it’s bad for business.” Conte comes off like a mad scientist and explains a rather difficult subject perfectly. You can view the podcast in its entirety at joerogan.net.
Saving the best for last, the World Series is set to get rolling tonight. At press time, the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants are going to a seventh game and whoever comes out victorious will be at home for this showdown. Regardless of who represents the National League, I feel the Tigers should be heavy favorites. Their starting pitchers have been mowing down batters at a historic rate (as their 0.66 ERA in the ALCS against the Yankees indicates) and while Detroit’s lineup hasn’t exactly flourished, they’ve done enough to get the job done. Justin Verlander is in a league of his own right now and with the way Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez are pitching, the Tigers are going to be very tough to beat. Whether it’s San Fran that represents the National League or St. Louis, both teams have shown the ability to grind out wins and can never be counted out. Whoever wins Game 7 of the NLCS will be without their ace for the start of the World Series, as both Matt Cain and Kyle Lohse will be pitching this deciding game and won’t be available until most likely Game 3. This is just another huge advantage for the Tigers. Detroit’s long layoff might pose a problem coming out of the gate but with Verlander on the bump, all they need is to score one run to have a great chance at winning.
What are you looking forward to most this week? The NBA season beginning without a lockout? A stacked weekend of NFL games? The World Series? Shoot me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo credit: AP Photo/Ben Margot)