“Weekly Nickel”

Travis Hafner (pictured above) is a main reason why the Indians are shocking the baseball world and sitting atop the AL Central. Can Cleveland keep it up through October?

“TheSportsKraze” has hit a landmark.  This is post #500.  Who would have imagined when this blog was started back in October 2009, that we would already be hitting our 500th post, even with a 6 week hiatus due to a Eurotrip?  What better way to celebrate post #500 than with another exciting edition of the “Weekly Nickel.”

The NBA playoffs have started out with a bang.  The NHL playoffs have been full of surprises thus far.  Plus Major League Baseball has been full of extra inning nail biter games, with a plethora of “Web Gems” mixed in.  We have another great week ahead.

Here is a look at some of the main events.

5.  Even in the month immediately following March Madness, there is still madness sweeping the College Basketball nation.  We are just 8 days away from the deadline for players to declare for the NBA Draft.  And in an era defined by the “One and Done,” this is a major deadline.  Many teams will be sweating it out over the next few days.  UNC will anxiously await the decision of super scorer, Harrison Barnes.  If Barnes returns, the Tar Heels are immediately one of the top 2 teams in the country.  If the star from Iowa decides to take his talents to the League, UNC will still be a top 10 team.  Then you have Big Blue Nation out of Lexington.  Regardless of how good their team looked in the Jordan Classic, they are still anxiously awaiting the decision of Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight.  Amazingly, even if both of these two studs decide to take their talents to the next level in the next week, UK is still probably the top ranked team in the country come time for the preseason poll.

4.  The draft is just 10 days away.  Kiper Mania and McShay Time will be at an all time high in the very near future.  This draft will be extremely interesting, especially considering the uncertainty of next year’s season.  Stay tuned to the Brady vs NFL Case, but also keep a close eye on what Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have to say.  The NFL Draft is always a very exciting event.

3.  MLB baseball continues to warm up along with the weather.  Troy Tulowitzki looks to be the early (very early) front runner to take home the NL MVP, as he has led his Rockies to a fantastic start.  Howie Kendrick is finally playing at the All Star caliber level that many have expected from him for the past 5 years.  Cleveland is shocking the world at the moment, with a game lead over Kansas City (yes KC) in the AL Central.  While Boston is still continuing to struggle to get guys out.  They have given up a League worst, 81 runs on the year.  My top matchup of the week will take place in none other than Kansas City.  As I mentioned earlier, the two teams atop the AL Central are the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals.

Cleveland Indians vs Kansas City Royals:  I am as shocked as anyone to see these two teams leading the AL Central 15 games into the year.  Who really saw this coming?  But both teams are not looking to be a fluke at the moment.  They each sport a great run differential, and each have been hitting the cover off the ball.  Travis Hafner has been simply outstanding for the Indians, while the trifecta of Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, and Jeff Francoeur have been lethal in the middle of the order for the Royals.  Do I see either of these teams in the hunt come September?  No.  But I will admit that they are both playing great baseball for the time being.

2.  The NHL playoffs are in full swing.  Even if you are not a fan of hockey, the playoffs are a crowd pleaser.  Down to the wire games.  Shootouts.  Hard hits.  Fights.  I mean, it really is entertaining to watch, even from your home couch.  The story of the playoffs thus far is Montreal shocking the Bruins.  Do not be surprised to see the Canadians complete the upset either.

1.  The first weekend of the NBA playoffs was outstanding.  It was reminiscent of March Madness in a way.  And though I do not see the upsets continuing at this type of pace, the games have been exciting and unpredictable.  When the stakes get higher as we get deeper into the series or into the later rounds, the action gets even better.

Enjoy another awesome week ahead in all that is the wide world of sports.  I appreciate all of you for following this blog over the past year and a half and your endless support of all that is “TheSportsKraze.”  It has truly been a pleasure sharing stories regarding the sporting world with all of you.  Sports are my greatest passion and by reading each day, you all are helping me “Keep the Dream Alive.”

I cannot wait until post number 1000.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.



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