IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Players, umps clash; NBA looks into Lakers
UMPIRES CALL FOUL BALL: What a tawdry string of events. Umpire Joe West declares Adrian Beltre one of the “biggest whiners in the game” and is suspended. Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler proclaims that umpire Angel Hernandez needs to “find another job,” but is not suspended. Beltre is ejected from a game for moving the on-deck circle. The umps show up with white wrist bands to protest. Commissioner Rob Manfred agrees to meet and discuss the issue. It will be interesting to see who stays in the game.
ODD STRICKLAND: Enter Hunter Strickland as the Giants reliever in the eighth vs. the Phillies on Sunday. The Giants hold a 2-1 lead on the strength of a strong Madison Bumgarner start. With one out, Strickland surrenders five straight hits. Philadelphia surges ahead 4-2. As he exits, the stats show that he has given up 49 hits in 48.3 innings on the season. The final? 5-2 Phillies, another odd-year debacle.
LAKERS TAMPER?: The Indiana Pacers request an investigation into whether the Magic Johnson and the L.A. Lakers tampered with Paul George while under contract. Johnson contends there was no wrongdoing. L.A. surrenders significant paperwork and communiques to prove their point. The NBA starts a probe. The results may well be fascinating and compelling.
MNF HOPING FOR BETTER: It is a rocky start for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Many Cleveland Browns kneel during the National Anthem. The New York Giants again fail in an attempt for a single touchdown in their second consecutive preseason game. The Browns look eerily like the team that lost 15 games last year. The result is a lackluster 10-6 Browns victory. The sports giant must believe there are better weeks ahead.
DOOMED FROM THE START: The San Francisco 49ers turn the ball over four times in the first half. They fail to get it going. Big mistakes. 20-0 at half. Ugly performance. Pitiful first 30 minutes. Ho-hum second half. Only one offensive touchdown for the 49ers. Yet another turnover. Need a better effort this week.
RAIDERS FALL VS. RAMS: Ho hum. So the final is a 24-21 loss by the Raiders. Derek Carr has a good showing. In the case of the Raiders, it is nothing more than a tune up. Much is expected of the silver and black. Let’s see what happens tonight in Dallas. It is too early to draw any conclusions.
BOLDIN CALLS IT QUITS: “My life’s purpose is bigger than football,” exclaims ex-49er Anquan Boldin. So, he retires at 36 a short time after signing with the Buffalo Bills. He wants to do humanitarian work, focusing on human rights. He has traveled to Africa in the past and spoken to lawmakers in Washington. He feels that his football background is perfect for his new quest in life. Time to get out and he senses it.
“IMPROVEMENT STILL TO MAKE”: Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr still feels he is not 100 percent. However, in a revealing interview, he states, “I fully expect to coach all year. That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.” His back, which has caused severe migraines and spinal pain, is better. He is ready for the upcoming campaign. The only questions that remains is whether he can withstand the rigors of the upcoming NBA campaign. However, at first glance, good news from Oakland.
GEORGE FOREMAN TRULY WEIGHS IN: Perhaps his glory days are behind him, but ex-heavyweight champion George Foreman has plenty to say about the recent silent protests by athletes. “I still love this country. The greatest day in my life was when I put on the colors red, white and blue,” exclaims Foreman. He goes on to call other protesting athletes who decline White House visits “sore losers.” As always, Foreman has a lot to say. He goes on to indicate that he believes the anthem protests are a cry for attention. Very interesting, yet controversial counterpoint.
FINAL THOUGHT: It is absurd that ESPN pulled Asian-American announcer Robert Lee off of the Virginia football game only because of his name. Aren’t we beyond that?
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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