Hello everyone,it’s been a while since we’ve done an Odds & Ends,but here we are.
We begin this week with NBA All-Star Weekend talk. First,let’s go to the Rising Stars game where the World dominated the USA 155-124 in Friday’s exhibition game. (Notice the world “exhibition” is italicized?)
Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic,the game’s oldest player at age 25, was named MVP of the game. Bogdanovic scored 26 points and made seven three point shots.
But there seems to be controversy with this for Kings fans who thought that Bogdanovic’s teammate,Buddy Hield,should have been given the award and that it may cause a rift in the locker room once the All-Star break is over. Hield scored 29 points in the contest for the World team.
Here’s what I think about the so-called “controversy”, who the hell cares?
Is it really that important who was the MVP of an exhibition game? Does anyone really think this is going to cause a lot of futility between the two teammates? I honestly think this is less about who won the honor and how much Kings fans like to bitch about anything because the team isn’t doing so hot. Get over this and enjoy the fact that three of your players got to be showcased on a worldwide stage to show fans everywhere that the future looks bright,and it does!
Continuing with basketball and NBA commissioner Adam Silver hinting that there might be a possible format change to the NBA playoffs,and I don’t think it’s a good one.
Commenting at NBA All-Star weekend regarding it,Silver said his concept would retain the best eight teams from each conference in the playoffs, but would seed those teams 1-16. In that scenario, if the top two teams were from the same conference, it would set up a possible NBA Finals meeting.
“You also would like to have a format where your two best teams are ultimately going to meet in the Finals,” Silver said. “You could have a situation where the top two teams in the league are meeting in the conference finals or somewhere else. So we’re going to continue to look at that. It’s still my hope that we’re going to figure out ways.”
A proposal as such would need 20 of the 30 teams to get approved,five of those owners would have to come from the Eastern Conference.
I honestly don’t think this is a good idea. The reason why is because I think it shuts out teams who are trying to get better and trying to get back to the postseason for the first time in decades and who want to do what the Warriors and Cavaliers are doing and a scenario like this could freeze them out. Don’t get me wrong,I do think there needs to be improvement regarding the playoff format, but this scenario is not that acceptable.
Why not do what the NHL did and have the best three records from each division and two wild cards from the conference? I like what they did with their playoff format change and it would be a great one if the NBA decides to adopt it.
Moving on to baseball and the Giants finally did something to bolster their leaky bullpen as they brought along left handed relief pitcher Tony Watson. The 32-year-old spent last year in Pittsburgh and the L.A. Dodgers and was a key arm in the latter team’s postseason run.
Watson is expected to fill a role that has been a void since Javier Lopez retired after the 2016 season.
Mark Melancon,the Giants’ closer, admitted to helping recruit Watson to the Giants.
“I couldn’t be more ecstatic,” Melancon said. “The guy is one of the most professional people I’ve ever been around. I spent three-and-a-half, four years with him. There’s not one negative thing that I can ever say about him.”
Honestly,this is a great move by the team to get their bullpen back to respectability. They’ve made other great offseason moves,but this one may turn out to be the most pivotal,especially if the Giants are back to being contenders this season. Great move by the Giants front office!
Free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer is finally off the market as he signed with the San Diego Padres on an eight-year deal worth $144 million,the richest deal in franchise history.
Hosmer,28,hit.318 last season with 25 home runs in Kansas City and was a member of both of the Royals’ World Series teams in 2014 and 2015,winning it all the latter year. He also won a Gold Glove (his fourth) and a Silver Slugger in 2017.
This move heats up what is and has been a slow offseason across the board in Major League Baseball and gives the Padres a star-caliber player which they’ve been missing for a while now.
It’s a great signing for the Padres and while I don’t think signing Hosmer along will save them from futility, it does give them somewhat of a shot in the arm in competing for relevance in the National League West.
There’s no doubt we live in tense times in this country and a reminder of that was when four Chicago Blackhawks were ejected on Saturday for their racially charged chants directed at Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly. Smith-Pelly was serving a five-minute penalty for fighting in the penalty box when the four fans were in his ear.
The chant implied that Smith-Pelly,who is black,should not be playing hockey and instead should be playing basketball. The chant was something that understandably upset Smith-Pelly as he confronted those fans behind him.
After the game, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz spoke to the media about what happened. In his statement, denouncing the fans, said that “there’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey, or in our country, for racism.”
The Blackhawks apologized for the incident and also condemned the fans who berated Smith-Pelly with the racist remarks and reaffirmed its stance that they are working toward an “inclusive environment for everyone” and that “these actions will never be tolerated.”
This is a sort of thing that’s nothing new, it’s happened before with not just hockey players of color,but also other sports as well. No matter the sport,though,it’s not okay. It’s bad enough that racism has become more acceptable in this country and it’s spilled into the stands of sporting events,something that’s meant to be a fun time for everyone,including the players. I hope Smith-Pelly knows that a few people who are being idiots know that this is no representation of all of us who enjoy the game and actually enjoy seeing players of color in the game and hope to see more of them in years to come.
That’s it for Odds & Ends this week,we’ll see you next time!