Odds & Ends-Volume 100

OddsEnds100

AllStarVotingI’ve talked about this before and I’m here to do it again. Fan voting in the MLB All-Star Game needs to be changed.

As of press time, seven Kansas City Royals are leading vote-getters to start in next month’s midsummer exhibition in Cincinnati. Royals fans everywhere are stuffing the ballot boxes for their guys like there’s no tomorrow, and something has to be done about the process.

Four years ago, I suggested that fans should not be allowed to vote for starters. I still stand by that statement. Don’t get me wrong,I’m not against fan voting. If you’re a fan in Kansas City or any city that wants to see their favorite player in that game, then by all means, vote for them as much as you want. I think,however, that the manager should have the right to choose the starting lineup as he best sees fit. After all, this game does count for home field advantage in the World Series.

I think with the seven Royals holding onto the starting spots as of right now it robs guys who may be more deserving of those nods to start a disadvantage. I doubt that fans are dying to see Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon starting in lieu of Nelson Cruz and Miguel Cabrera. Also,the Royals have been known to be quite an unlikable bunch of players this season and if a bunch of guys that fans don’t like are starting,what does this say about the process?

The man who is managing the National League All-Stars as well as the Giants is challenging his team.sfgiants1

Bruce Bochy has told his guys that they need to put “their big boy pants on”. The team has lost eight straight at home following getting swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. The Giants only scored a total of two runs that entire season and fans got to see Casey McGehee hit into another double play,which was followed by the boo-birds at AT&T Park. The eight-game losing streak at home is the team’s largest since 1993.

“(We need to) play better baseball,” Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said. “Play like we do on the road. We just haven’t gotten any hits with guys in scoring position. Today we didn’t.”

The Giants have no time to look back on how bleak their play has been. They welcome the Mariners in for two games before visiting them for two more on Wednesday. Fans are hoping the team breaks out of their slump soon, that and McGehee gets released once and for all.

Stephen Curry was electric with 37 points in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday.
Stephen Curry was electric with 37 points in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday.

The Golden State Warriors are one win away from locking up their first championship in 40 years.

Sunday night was Steph Curry leading the way with points and hitting three after three,even when the defense was strong with a guy like Matthew Dellavedova in his face. Curry was able to knock down shots when it counted. His 37-point performance in Game 5 may very well be his signature moment in the Finals as well as this postseason.

“It was a fun moment, but it will only mean something — and I’ll probably have a better for that question after we win that championship — but signature moments only come for players who are holding the trophy,” said Curry, who added seven rebounds and four assists.

LeBron James and the Cavaliers appear to be overmatched, but I think they’re still in this series. They hung in there most of Sunday night’s game and I expect them to do the same tomorrow night.

Corey Crawford makes a glove save in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday.
Corey Crawford makes a glove save in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday.

The Chicago Blackhawks may win their third Stanley Cup Finals in six years tonight when they come back home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning. The series has no doubt been a great one,with each game being decided by one goal and each team playing remarkably well.

I think the difference makers for the Blackhawks have been Corey Crawford who has been magnificent minding the net and saving some great shots. He has bounced back ever since he was benched in the first round of the playoffs against the Predators.

Duncan Keith has had a remarkable series and has been a workhorse,logging more ice time than anyone this postseason. But everyone knows as well as I do that this series is far from over.

“I think everyone’s pretty excited about it,” said Crawford, who made 31 saves on Saturday. “But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. There’s a lot of work to do here, and it’s going to be a harder battle.”

I think this series is going seven,kids!

Fans in Vancouver weren't too kind to their city following the Canucks' loss in the '11 Cup Finals
Fans in Vancouver weren’t too kind to their city following the Canucks’ loss in the ’11 Cup Finals

Whatever the outcome is in these series, I hope fans in the Bay Area, Cleveland, Chicago,and Tampa can keep things civil.

In recent years, fans have become out of control when celebrating a championship and even in defeat. It’s happened with the Giants in each of the three years they’ve won a World Series, it happened in Vancouver when Canucks fans torched police cars and other items following their team’s loss in the Stanley Cup finals in 2011. Even Lexington, Ky. saw some destruction following the University of Kentucky men winning the NCAA tournament this year when fans got into fight and set fires. Thirty-one people were arrested.

I love celebrating a championship as much as the next person,but I’m not intrigued by setting someone’s car on fire after tipping it over or breaking a window of a local business in the name of it. There are better ways to celebrate than that and I hope fans in each of the four cities,win or lose,will be sensible and praise their team’s win by doing it responsibly.

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