Merry Christmas to all!
It’s my turn to gloat today, as the Lakers are the 2009 NBA Champions!
I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a few days, but I’ve just been totally consumed by the Lakers. Since they clinched last Friday, I’ve been pretty much thinking and worrying day and night about how they’re going to win this title. They have to win. Well, they rewarded me tonight with their second best effort of the playoffs (the closeout of Denver was still more dominating). Apparently, the Lakers are interested again, which is good for me because I can at least sleep good the next couple of nights. I know it’s silly, but those of you that are obsessive about your teams will understand. I think. One not so humorous thing about tonight. Well, it’s something I’m sure we’ll look back and laugh about. Tonight is the eve of our fourth anniversary, the fruit anniversary. My wife went out and got her hair done. Our son was staying with my parents today, so I went to pick him up and take him home. They live 40 miles from us, so I did not get home until the player introductions for the game. My son was cute, because he knew Kobe right away (I’ve taught him well). Well, when I came in and put my son down, I became consumed with the game and did not notice my wife’s hair or make a comment about it. (She looked beautiful, but then again she always does). Finally, when the Lakers started to open it up in the second quarter, I noticed. I apologized profusely. My wife understood. She blamed Kobe. I am so sorry, honey. I did bring home a dozen roses, however. And I did plan a great outing on Saturday to celebrate. It still doesn’t excuse it, though. Why do we get so consumed by a game on TV played far away by people who don’t know us? It’s the curse of being a fan.
The Lakers are once again Western Conference Champions!!! For the 30th time, by the way.
Yesterday I made light of the fact that Carlos Zambrano went nutso at Wrigley. It was a needed eruption to get his deflated team pumped up again. Today, I actually saw the whole footage of the outburst on TV by my parents house while picking up my son. I was at work when this game was played so I didn’t see the whole thing. What I saw put a sour feeling in my stomach. I’ve changed my tune. I still think that an eruption by a player or manager can have a positive effect on a team. However, Zambrano crossed a lot of lines yesterday. The biggest line crossed was that of the bat to the Gatorade machine. It’s scary to see how close he came to hitting Larry Rothschild in the chest. He swung the bat at the machine without any regard to the safety of his teammates on the bench. I honestly think that the Cubs themselves should suspend Zambrano. He’s out of control. He should be suspended by the team and forced to take an anger management class or get counseling. I actually saw an interview with Big Z on the news where he said with a straight face that he never got into it with an umpire before or had an out burst like that. What? No, there’s something wrong. The Cubs right now seem to be taking the stance people associated with the Red Sox took with Manny Ramirez when they would say, “It’s Manny being Manny”. However, I don’t recall Manny putting his teammates safety at risk. Would the Cubs be singing a different tune right now if Rothschild took the bat to the chest, or if the bat’s backswing caught a player on the bench in the head. Or if a piece of the Gatorade machine hit a player in the head. Or a fan, for that matter. Seeing this outburst reminded me somewhat of a scene in the Jimmy Piersall biopic “Fear Strikes Out”. If I was a Cubs player on the bench, I would have actually have been scared. We can go back to many out bursts from Zambrano. From hitting batters to the fight with Michael Barrett, Zambrano has shown time and again he is his own worst enemy. Can the Cubs really count on him? Is he really a number one starter? A stopper? I don’t know. He keeps proving that he’s a loose cannon that does more harm than good to the team at times. Why would the Cubs keep pursuing San Diego’s ace pitcher? Maybe because deep down they know that they can never know what to expect from Big Z. If Lou Piniella and the coaches are just going to look the other way, then Jim Hendry needs to step in and demand a level of professionalism. The Cubs cannot continue to apologize for Big Z’s behavior and look the other way. The need to get him help. If not, he’s only going to end up hurting the team.
As I write this, my Lakers are pasting the Rockets by 39 points in the fourth quarter. Big deal. This is what they should have done to Houston on Sunday. Do the Lakers need a smack in the face to get motivated? Not good. Totally unacceptable. They’ll end up getting past Houston, but they will definitely be the underdogs against Denver. Yeah, I said it. I don’t care about home court advantage in this next series. I’ll go with the hot team. The Lakers need to prove me wrong.
Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
Kobe needs to take command. Who cares if someone calls you a ball hog.
/ Los Angeles Times
Quit dancing and learn how to make a free throw.
Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Way to go, Bobby!
Congrats go out to Bobby Scales on hitting his first career home run Tuesday night. It was greatly appreciated.
The Cubs have five more games to go on this current home stand, two more with San Diego and three with Houston. These teams are struggling right now. The Cubs need to be opportunistic and sweep both of these series. It looks like the Cardinals offensive machine may be slowing down. The Red Birds lost Tuesday to the Pirates, 7-1. Being just 1.5 games out of first right now, the Cubs need to put themselves into position to take back the division lead from the Cardinals when they play them again next week. Are you ready for round three, Dad?
The Good: Alfonso Soriano leads off the game with a home run. It’s the third time he’s done that this year. Just let him lead off, Lou.
Associated Press / April 27, 2009
/ Los Angeles Times