We begin Odds & Ends this week with the passing of Muhammad Ali who died Friday at the age of 74 from septic shock in Scottsdale,Ariz.
Ali was regarded as not only one of the greatest boxers of all time,but one of history’s greatest sports figures,heralded for standing up for what he believed in (especially when it came to being drafted for the Vietnam War,which went against his religious beliefs) and backing up what he said.
Ali won a gold medal in the 1960 summer Olympics in Rome as well as won three heavyweight boxing championships and had a record of 56-5 and retired in 1981. In 1984 it was revealed that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,a condition that led to Ali’s gradual decline,even to the point where he could barely speak.
In the past several days,the thoughts and perspectives have come from everywhere regarding Ali, including personal experiences with the man and stories they have of him as well as how they genuinely felt about him. While I myself was not alive when Ali fought,I know his story and I know how courageous he was. He stood up for himself for what he believed in during a time where that was heavily frowned upon. He never backed down and in the end he was right. He always stood by what he believed in and even how great he was. He said enough times and it had to be true. It indeed was.
I wish we had more athletes and people like Ali today. We sort of do,but nowhere near the caliber. He was truly one of a kind and we may never see the likes of him again in our lifetimes. He’ll be truly missed. Rest in peace,champ!
The Giants will now have to figure out how to live life without Hunter Pence in the lineup for two months or so after the right fielder injured his right hamstring. He is expected to have surgery performed on it this coming Thursday.
Over the weekend,the Gisnt lost two out of three games to the St. Louis Cardinals on the road,both losses were games in which the Giants had an early lead only to have it evaporate away in the middle innings.
It’s been rumoured that the team is looking at possible names like Ryan Braun,Josh Reddick and Jon Jay of the Padres to bolster the outfield and give the Giants another bat in the lineup,a possibility considering the length of time Pence is scheduled to be out as well as Angel Pagan being in and out of the lineup with injury wose of his own. Unless a guy like Jarrett Parker or Mac Williamson can fill in and deliver with the bat on a regular and consistent basis, acquiriing someone else may be the best solution.
Beyond that the team does need to bolster their bullpen which has been a mess at times,especially with Sergio Romo still hurt and Jeremy Affeldt retired. It makes me wonder when,if ever,Chris Heston’s going to see some action again at the major league level. It seems like he could be a spark plug for the pitching staff because of how versatile he is and has been. He could start,he can pitch long relief,he can come in for an inning or two and shut it down. Only time will tell if Heston gets called back up to San Francisco and only time will tell if the team can overcome injury woes and keep their lead in the division the way things stand right now.
Next month is when free agency for the NBA starts and the free agent I want the Kings to land the most is not the biggest superstar and he’s not the smallest,he’s kinda in between,but he’s pretty good.
I’m talking about Ryan Anderson,of course.
The Pelicans forward will be a free agent this coming season and I see no reason the Kings shouldn’t sign him. He comes at great value and he is coming off of a season where he averaged 17 points per game off the bench. He made just over $2 million last season and rumor has it that the Kings have wanted to bring him back home (he is a native of El Dorado Hills) and Anderson himself has expressed interest in playing for his hometown team at some point before his career comes to a close.
With a new arena opening and fans wanting Vlade Divac and the front office to make some moves to better this team,who better to bring on board than a hometown boy who actually wants to be here? I hope this happens.
One more thing before we close,I will be appearing on SportsTalk 916 tonight at 8pm Pacific time. To listen,go to their website at sportstalk916.com! I hope you guys tune in to hear me and the great Greg Boehl for the latest and greatest in the world of sports.
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