IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Controversy on ice; Angels reel in Trout with massive deal
THE VIOLENT WORLD OF FIGURE SKATING: It could be a made-for-TV mini-series. It is the World Figure Skating Championships in New York. Intrigue develops as U.S. Skater Mariah Bell skates by Korean Eun Soo Lin during practice and slashes her on the left leg with her skate blade. Lin is in pain. The International Skating Union declares, “There is no evidence that Ms. Bell intended to harm Ms. Lin.” However, a Korean news article rants that it was “premeditated” and continues, “Bell has been bullying Lin for months.” Where is Tonya Harding when you need her? Someone get a stretcher!
“C” FOR POSEY: “When Buster talks, everyone listens. He always comes from somewhere, and it makes sense,” says Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Posey is the leader in the clubhouse and on the field. He goes the extra mile in earning respect. He has experienced three World Series conquests. With Bruce Bochy departing after this season, isn’t it just time his leadership is recognized by being named captain of the San Francisco Giants?
LA ANGELS LAND BIG FISH: It is a red-letter day for Mike Trout. He becomes the highest paid player in all sports with the signing of a 12 year contract worth $430 million. Was there no signing bonus? A power hitter who is talented defensively, Trout is set for life. In return, it appears as though the Angels have locked him down for the rest of his career.
FINALLY: Sunday was a time to relax and rejoice. The Sacramento Kings take on the Chicago Bulls and orchestrate an impressive 129-102 win. Harrison Barnes, Da’Aron Fox and Harry Giles combine for 48 points. The Bulls are outscored 80-56 in the paint. The comforting part of the conquest is that the game was not even as close as the result. Perhaps. Just perhaps, it is a preview of things to come.
WARRIORS VULNERABLE: The Monday tilt with the San Antonio Spurs may be an indication of how suspect the Warriors have been this season as they fell into a tie with Denver for the top spot in the West. In the first quarter, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry went 0-for-12 until the closing moments of the frame. With 2:30 left, they were shooting at 28-percent. They started 3-for-12 from the field. Thompson was scoreless deep into the second and the combo was 4-for-22. It is largely another lethargic performance and they lose 111-105.
ROCK BOTTOM: Heading into Sunday’s game against the last place and lottery-bound New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers were six games under .500. Could things be more hopeless than their 124-123 loss at Madison Square Garden? The answer is yes if you consider that LeBron James had a chance for the win on the final possession before being rejected by Mario Hezonja. It is rock bottom for the Lakers. It cannot look much worse than this.
LIFE WITHOUT KARLSSON: The San Jose Sharks had brought back stellar defenseman Erik Karlsson too early from the groin injury that has held him back for the last two months. Now, they are at a crossroads. It is a very tough and tight Pacific Division in the NHL. The team says he is not close to returning. However, they need him to bolster what has become a leaky defense corps of late. Going into Friday night, they had lost four straight games without Karlsson. However, he must be ready for the playoffs and this is on the top of the agenda for the Sharks.
EXCITEMENT IN CLEVELAND: Fans have to be wondering if the Cleveland Browns really can contend for a playoff spot next season. With the acquisition of Odell Beckham they have their sights set on big accomplishments. This is a team that has regained respectability and now they have Beckham as yet an additional tool. Perhaps most enticing is that he got out of the NFC East where he has driven opposition crazy for years.
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR KAEPERNICK?: As the Miami Dolphins trade Ryan Tannehill, they appear to be in the market for a new quarterback. Could Colin Kaepernick be standing in the wings? There are no rumors or reports of contact, but Dolphins owner Stephen Ross looks at things differently. Regardless, it is a tantalizing possibility for the much-maligned Kaepernick.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.