Odds & Ends-Volume 69

OddsEnds

TonyGwynn19First off, I gotta mention the passing of Tony Gwynn on Monday. Gwynn as many of you know was one of the greatest players baseball has ever seen. Not just a great player, but a great hitter, a great gentleman to the game, and a great person. Gwynn was only 54 years old. Many baseball fans, myself included, were shocked and saddened about his death.

I never got to see him play in person, but saw a great deal of him on television and I always liked the way he played and approached the game. Even if you weren’t a Padres fan you could always root for Tony Gwynn. He is the best hitter of my generation and it’s going to be a long time before we see another player like him play the game of baseball.

Two things I will remember about Tony Gwynn are the 1994 year where he had the best chance to break .400 for the season for the first time since Ted Williams in 1941, only to have that season shut down by a strike. I also remember 2001 when he and Cal Ripken, Jr. had their farewell tour. Gwynn was one of a kind and his spirit, his knowledge, his passion and love for the game will be missed greatly. It already is.

Giants fans, it may be time to panic a little bit. Not a lot,just a little.Giants

I mean,did you see how bad they lost that entire series to the Rockies over the weekend? They didn’t just lose,they shit the bed. Both Friday and Saturday’s games were lost in the ninth, both losses could be blamed on Sergio Romo and Angel Pagan, and to an extent Bruce Bochy for even going with Romo in the first goddamn place.

I texted my friend Josh on Sunday and actually wondered how the Giants would lose that game. Well, in the eighth inning I got my answer. It’s amazing to see a team go from doing nothing but winning to slumping badly.

Is it enough to warrant a panic button to be pushed? Probably not,but if things continue to go south, they may have to make some moves to save their season, a season up until now that has gone great for them. I’m still confident that they’ll get off of their latest slump, but part of you worries that they won’t.

FinalsThe NBA Finals are over and the San Antonio Spurs did what they set out to do; take care of last year’s unfinished business and beat the Miami Heat.
Not only did they take care of business, but they annihilated the Heat. They outplayed them in every which way, proving that they were the better team this season. The way Kawhi Leonard battled LeBron James was marvelous, earning him Finals MVP honors. Tim Duncan at age 38 played well. Also to be mentioned is the excellent coaching of Gregg Popovich who is the best coach in the league in my opinion. He is why this team was motivated to win this year and is part of why this franchise has five NBA championships.

I always expect something big to come from the Spurs year in and year out, so it shouldn’t come to a surprise that they won this year’s championship. They may do it next year.

Speaking of the Miami Heat, where do they go from here in regards to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade,and Chris Bosh staying with the team? The trio has spent four seasons together in Miami, going to four straight NBA Finals, winning two of them. It may be the end of the Big Three in Miami as all three players are eligible to opt out of the final year of their deals this offseason.

I’d honestly surprised if these three didn’t stay together. I think collectively they all give one another the best chance to win. The problem lies with the depth of their bench and having a weak supporting cast. I also think adding a player like Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love may help get this team back to the Finals and back in the winner’s circle come mid-June. If Bosh and Wade left, that wouldn’t surprise me. What would do so is if James took his talents somewhere other than South Beach.

The Stanley Cup Finals have ended and the Los Angeles Kings are champions for the second time in three seasons, beating the New York Rangers in five games. stanley-cup-final-2014I’ll be honest, this was one of the better five game series I have seen in a long time. They were pretty exciting games from start to finish, especially the final game that went to two overtimes and the Kings getting the series-clinching goal from Alec Martinez was the icing on the cake.

I thought the Kings were going to win the Stanley Cup the moment they got past the San Jose Sharks. My thought was that if they could overcome that 3-0 deficit, they could overcome anything and they not only did so, but thrived on it. They have shown that they’re among hockey’s best when it matters most and I think there’s more to come with this team in seasons ahead.

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