IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Team USA rises to the top; Warriors find stride again
TEAM USA VANQUISHES PUERTO RICO: The World Baseball Championship culminated three weeks of scrappy play by Team USA. Consecutive, hard-fought wins versus the Dominican Republic and Japan set the stage for Wednesday night. Marcus Stroman pitched a gem. He no hits Puerto Rico through six innings and then leaves the bullpen to chalk up a nifty 8-0 whitewash for the tournament clincher. Brandon Crawford played very well both offensively and defensively. Buster Posey shows he is ready. Puerto Rico saves their worst for last. Proud to be an American where baseball should be King!
ARIZONA OUT OF NCAA BASKETBALL: The Pac-12 is down to two teams after Arizona loses to Xavier in the closing moments of Thursday’s game. The field is down to eight, but it does include Oregon, UCLA, and Gonzaga. Who is the favorite? Well, it will be an exciting weekend as we all figure that out.
GOLDEN STATE BACK ON TRACK?: Three efficient wins against Milwaukee, Dallas, and Oklahoma City highlight the week. They are all by double digits. Steph Curry seems to have found a groove again. They begin to show scoring prowess minus Kevin Durant. ESPN reports Durant is experiencing great improvement. The Dubs hold a three-game advantage in the NBA West and appear poised to make a positive playoff run.
KINGS TRYING TO FIND IDENTITY: The post-DeMarcus Cousins era has been tough. Sacramento struggles to stay in games. Losses to Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Milwaukee punctuate the week. They lead after the first quarter in San Antonio before the collapse. Willie Cauley-Stein tries to exert his prowess. It appears a preparation for the next campaign. Management will have to find solutions for 2017-18. They find it difficult to compete for 48 minutes. Still, Dave Joerger is doing well with what he has.
BALL OUTLANDISH: Steve Kerr says, “He’s so outlandish.” LaVar Ball, father of UCLA basketball player Lonzo Ball, says that his son is better than Steph Curry and that he could beat Michael Jordan in a one-on-one in his prime. He challenges Charles Barkley to a one-on-one match. He claims he will have a $1 billion shoe deal for his sons soon. This does not bother his sons; Alonzo, LaMelo and LiAngelo. Some are best served by remaining quiet. However, LaVar loves the spotlight focused on him.
ABC ROASTS CLEVELAND DURING LOP-SIDED LOSS: The Cavaliers decide to “rest” LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love for ABC’s Saturday Showcase vs. the L.A. Clippers. The result? A predictable 108-78 Clippers victory. ABC’s Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson call it “an absolute joke.” Jackson continues, “Who is protecting the fans? Who is protecting the game of basketball? Something’s gotta be done.” Karl Malone quips, “Get your (expletive) out there.” This is a week after the Warriors rested their marquee players in a big loss to San Antonio on ABC. It is very hard to understand. When earning outrageous salaries, why shouldn’t they play?
WORLD OF CONFUSION: Toronto’s Josh Donaldson crushes a long bomb in last Friday’s Spring Training exhibition game. Instead of running the bases after the homer, he returns to the dugout. Sean Allen, Assistant baseball coach at University of Texas tweets, “This might be the worst video I have ever seen. So much disrespect for the game of baseball.” Hold on, Sean! The reason he did not run the bases is that he has been struggling with a calf injury. He was instructed not to run the bases. So, he followed orders. Too many tweets, too much ignorance.
OLYMPIC TUG OF WAR: Paris has been a three-time loser in 1992, 2008, and 2012. They are one of two cities left for 2024, Paris and Los Angeles. Paris tells the ISOC that if they are denied in ’24, they will not be available in ’28. It puts the Olympic Committee in a quandary. Watch for a September announcement where they may name both ’24 and ’28 cities. Watch for it to be Paris and Los Angeles.
SHARKS BITTEN: It is rare for Team Teal, but the San Jose Sharks hit the skids this week. Three one goal losses against Anaheim, Dallas, and Minnesota. The Dallas one was especially tough…a 1-0 loss. The lead in the Pacific Division is dwindling. Teams are finding a way to defend Brent Burns, and that has a big impact on scoring. The Sharks are in desperate need of a healthy winning streak. Good teams, contenders need to find a way to win the close games.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Golfers Jackie Hill and Bonnie Marvelli teamed up to take top honors in the 2021 Partners Best Ball Championship of the Nevada County Country Club Women’s Golf Group.