IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: IndyCar gears up for debut; Giants, A’s open spring training | TheUnion.com
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IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: IndyCar gears up for debut; Giants, A’s open spring training

INDYCAR READIES FOR OPENER: Hometown hero Alexander Rossi will begin his quest to capture the IndyCar crown on March 10 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The good news is that eight races will be on NBC while the other nine on NBCSN. Is this the year he can dethrone Scott Dixon? With a plethora of drivers, Rossi will be hard-pressed to repeat a brilliant 2018 season. Our big “local” race will be at Laguna Seca near Monterey. Regardless, the return of the exploits of King Alexander will make for riveting sport.

GIANTS: Yes, baseball season is like a freight train roaring down the tracks. For the Giants, there are many questions yet to be answered. Will they corral Bryce Harper in light of the fact that he wants a long-term deal? What to do with manager Bruce Bochy in the final year of his contract. Can Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Evan Longoria and Jeff Samardzija have comeback seasons. What to do if Madison Bumgarner is again off his game? It will be an interesting spring for the G-Men as they begin the journey to right the ship.

A’S: Is there any way to top last season when they were the darlings of the American League? Football prospect Kyler Murray passes on the A’s. What to do with the starting rotation? Can they keep the main contributors of last year in the fold? It will be tough to repeat last season. The one positive is that Bob Melvin is known for developing talent and getting the most out of his players.



KINGS SOARING: It was a game they would have lost in previous seasons. The Kings miss their first seven shots. The Heat’s lead inflates into double-digit figures. They reduce it to seven and then go on a tear in the fourth, outscoring the Heat 27-13 while ending the game with a 19-2 run. They win this game 102-96 and newcomer Harrison Barnes quips, “I am happy to be here and we got a win.” Now, the Kings must capture the same magic on the road.

THE EAST IS THE MAIN ADVERSARY: If they make it to the NBA Finals, the Warriors will be facing one of the best the NBA has to offer. The Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers can outduel almost any NBA West team…except perhaps the Warriors. So, while we worry about standings and playoffs, the real challenge may arrive if or when Golden State faces the East.



DURANT HARASSED OVER FREE AGENCY: Kevin Durant finally comes out and states, “Y’all come in here ever day, ask me about free agency, ask my teammates, my coaches. You rile up the fans about it, Yo, let us play basketball.” It is hard for a day to pass without questioning. It is exhausting off the court. His solace seems to be performance on the hardwood. There is no end in sight until the end of the season when the decision will be made.

KNICKS HIT ALL-TIME LOW: New York’s losing streak hits 18. It is a franchise record for a lackluster, under-talented team performing at new lows. They have a lot of cap space and seem destined for the first pick in the draft. However, in the meantime, they assert that they will be making a big splash in free agency. Who wants to play there? It seems like a place players go to perform poorly. A lousy team that has not hit their low-point…if that is possible.

THORNTON’S RECORD-SETTING NIGHT: He continues his journey to the NHL Hall of Fame. On Monday night, San Jose Sharks Joe Thornton moves into ninth place in assists. He catapults to 15th for games played in his storied career. Thornton also moves into a tie for 15th for all-time NHL scoring. Coach Peter DeBoer notes, “That’s an unbelievable accomplishment, unbelievable career, and that’s something that should be celebrated.” He continues, “I am excited we were here to witness that.”

CONQUERING WESTERN CANADA: It was expected to be a tough swing. Yet, the San Jose Sharks sweep the trip through Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. It could not come at a better time as they move into first place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference. Big contributions by Evander Kane, Kevin Labanc (hat trick in Edmonton), Joe Pavelski, Martin Jones, and, of course, Jumbo Joe Thornton. They seem to have found their groove with all-star defenseman Erik Karlsson due back.

Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at adamses@inreach.com.


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