By Josh Kramer
Panic has struck the entire East Coast. God forbid the Red Sox and Yankees both got swept in their opening series. For just the second time in MLB history (1966 was the other), the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have started the year 0 and 3 (now both are 1 and 3). This happens almost every year where a high-profile team stumbles out of the gate. Last year, Boston was beside itself when the “Fenway All-Stars” started out the year 0 and 6. They ended up winning 90 games and missing the playoffs due to the modern-day version of the Boston Massacre and one of the wildest final nights in the history of the baseball. Back in 2009, both New York and Boston were relegated to the cellar in the AL East after six games. We all know who ended up hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy that Fall (Boston made the playoffs as well).
Baseball is by no means a sprint. It is a marathon. 162 games over a six month period is typically a wild journey with highs and lows no matter how good a team may be. People are acting as if the world has ended despite it being the beginning of April. Not to mention less than 2% of the regular season have been completed. People need to relax. New York went up against a very good Tampa Bay team at Tropicana Field. Boston took on a major contender in Detroit at Comerica Park.
One of my favorite parts about the American pastime is it is impossible to be a fraud, regardless of what Colin Cowherd believes. 162 games are far too many for any team to fool the baseball world. Either a team is worthy or they are not. Every playoff field since the strike of 1994 has featured either the Yankees or Red Sox. Do not count on that streak ending this year, especially with the expanded format. Lastly, do any of you remember the last time the Yankees began a season 0 and 3? That would be back in 1998, when the Bronx Bombers ended up winning 114 games and sweeping the San Diego Padres in the World Series.
The Clutch Gene
Many desire it, but very few possess it. Carmelo Anthony showed once again on Easter Sunday that he is a member of the exclusive club that has the clutch gene. Anthony put on a Broadway-esque performance against a Chicago Bulls team that had just regained the services of the reigning MVP Derrick Rose. During the last decade, Carmelo has shot the highest percentage from the field during game tying/go-ahead situations in the final 15 seconds of the 4th quarter or overtime (46.2%). The next best percentage in these types of situations during the past decade is 43.5% by the Lakers Pau Gasol. Many may not consider Carmelo the best teammate. But you would be hard pressed to find anybody not named Kobe that you would prefer taking the final shot in a big game.
Diarrhea of the mouth
The Ozzie Guillen press conference at 10:30 this morning is must-see television. Double the anty if Ozzie’s publicist has not scripted out a speech for the Miami skipper. This guy has been a good a manager for some time now, but he has never grasped what he can and can’t say to the media.
A good day to be a Georgia Bulldog
Sunday was a huge day for both Bubba Watson and John Isner. Bubba Watson put on a scintillating show in which he captured his first green jacket via a sudden death playoff with Louis Oosthuizen. Also on Sunday, John Isner led the United States to a huge victory against France to qualify for the semifinals of the Davis Cup for the first time since 1998. Want to know what both Bubba Watson and John Isner have in common? They both attended the University of Georgia. Definitely a proud day for Georgia Bulldogs fans across the globe.
Heart in Los Angeles
The Lamar Odom Dallas chapter officially ended yesterday (thank god). Odom has had a very respectable NBA career in which he has won two titles in 13 years. 11 of his 13 seasons were spent in Los Angeles (4 with the Clippers, 7 with the Lakers). Things never seemed right with Odom in Dallas, and it showed from Day 1, as the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year posted career lows in points, rebounds, and field-goal percentage. Your guess is as good as mine on whether the former Rhode Island star out of Jamaica, Queens will play another game in the NBA. I would gander that not too many teams will take a risk on Lamar that do not reside in Los Angeles though. I know I wouldn’t.
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.