By Josh Kramer
“Magic” in LA?
No athlete has meant more to his or her respective city than Magic Johnson. Ten games into the 2012 MLB season, it appears “Magic” has struck again in Los Angeles. No team is playing better baseball than the Los Angeles Dodgers at the moment. Yes, the same team that the villainous Frank McCourt owned until recently. What is the difference between the 2011 and the 2012 edition of the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
After the days of Bill Russell and before the days of “His Airness,” there was Magic Johnson. Magic and the Lakers were synonymous with the word “Winning” in the 1980s. Though it is still very early, it seems that the new ownership has revived the winning mentality in a once very proud Dodgers organization.
Okay, I realize this is totally a stretch. Magic and his partners bought the troubled franchise for around two billion dollars on March 27th. There is no way they could have done much to completely transform this team into one of the MLB’s elite in just a few weeks. I believe in the power of pep talks. But ownership has to make baseball moves as well to lead a franchise to greatness. Magic and Co. have not really had an opportunity to make any baseball moves. The real “Magic” lies in the play of star center fielder Matt Kemp.
Who is the best baseball player on the planet? Most without hesitation would answer Albert Pujols. And he may be, but no player has been in the same stratosphere as Matt Kemp during the first couple of weeks of the season. Pujols is a machine, but Kemp has “Magic.” Kemp has put LA on his back, and currently has them sitting pretty with the best record in all of baseball. The Dodgers center fielder currently leads all of baseball in batting average, home runs, and RBIs. The superstar out of Midwest City, Oklahoma first entered the conversation back in 2009, during his first “true” breakout season. Since 2009, he has only gotten better to the point where he is now one of baseball’s elite.
Could Matt Kemp turn into the present-day version of Magic Johnson on the West-Coast? That remains to be seen. But we do know that his bat is currently providing some “Magic” that could possibly lead the Dodgers to the playoffs and dare I say their first World Series crown since 1988? Also, could Kemp magically become the first 50/50 guy in the history of the MLB or the first Triple Crown winner since 1967 (Carl Yastrzemski)? Anything is possible with a little “Magic.”
Aroldis “The Unhittable One” Chapman
Any questions thus far about the supposedly “helter-skelter” Cuban Missile? In five appearances, Aroldis has given up a total of zero runs and three hits. Not to mention his “kryptonite,” control issues, have been nowhere to be found. Chapman has walked zero hitters on the year and struck out an astounding 15 in just eight innings. Though it may be a little bit premature, the Cuban Missile is the closer the Reds are looking for.
Let’s make a deal
It is no secret that the New Orleans Saints are in complete disarray at the moment. Suspensions and fines galore define the main inhabitants of the Superdome. Bourbon Street’s pride and joy are heavily under the microscope of the NFL for the foreseeable future. There is one piece to the puzzle though that continues to floor me. How haven’t these guys signed Drew Brees to a long-term deal? Generally in the NFL, a franchise tag is a sorry excuse to postpone the inevitable contract battle for at least another year. But with Drew Brees, a long-term contract is an absolute no-brainer. Not only is the guy arguably the best quarterback in the game, but he is also renowned for being an even better person and teammate. If Brees does not get the contract and job-security he deserves, than nobody should.
Keystone State Massacre
When the NHL Playoffs began this past Wednesday, most people were jazzed for the 4/5 matchup in the East. Not only are the Flyers and Penguins both very good teams this year, but they also have a bitter rivalry that dates all the way back to 1967. The “Battle of Pennsylvania,” as most refer to this rivalry has occurred on five different occasions in the playoffs prior to 2012. There has never been a sweep. Sadly, it may happen this year with the Flyers turning the “Battle of the Pennsylvania” into the “Pittsburgh Massacre.”
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.