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Baseball Is Back

April 20, 2017

Major League Baseball is beginning its third week of action. Instead of making early predictions I will spend some time educating you on some milestones that will likely be reached this year. I will also throw in some thoughts of how I see the season progressing.

Adrian Beltre will be the next player to reach 3,000 hits. He will become the 31st member of the 3,000-hit club. Beltre needs only 58 more hits to join Wade Boggs and George Brett as the only 3,000 hit members who played more than half their games at third base. Beltre plays for the Texas Rangers, a team I see finishing third behind the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners in the AL West. Beltre is also close to a couple of smaller milestones that would help him become truly elite. With just nine more doubles and five more home runs, in addition to those 58 hits, Beltre would join Hall of Famers’ Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Carl Yastrzemski as the only players in history with at least 3,000 hits, 600 doubles and 450 homers. That is quite a list for someone who has had a quiet career compiling stats.

Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels is also within range of 3,000 hits. He needs  another 175 base knocks to join potentially Beltre and the other 30 legends. Pujols hasn’t collected at least 175 hits in a season since 2010, his second-to-last year with the St. Louis Cardinals, though he did tally 172 just three seasons ago for the Angels. He will likely need another year to reach the milestone. Pujols is only nine homers shy of 600 in his career, a total only equaled by Barry Bonds, Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Thome and Sammy Sosa. Meanwhile, the Angels will fall out of contention early despite having Pujols and the best player in baseball, Mike Trout. It is a shame Trout is stuck on a franchise that has not seen success in quite some time.

Now in his 40s and pitching for the Atlanta Braves, Bartolo Colon is only 135 strikeouts shy of becoming the 33rd member of the 2,500-strikeout club for pitchers. With only 888 career walks, Colon has a good chance to become only the ninth pitcher in history to finish with 2,500 punchouts and fewer than 1,000 walks. The Braves have a young and talented team with several pitchers who should watch and learn from Colon.

Detroit Tigers’ closer Francisco Rodriguez will likely  join Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman and Lee Smith in 2017 as the only pitchers with 450 career saves. Rodriguez, who’s currently sitting on 430 saves, has struck out 1,119 batters in his storied career, giving him an excellent chance to pass the career totals of Hoffman (1,133) and Rivera (1,173) in the coming season. I  see the Tigers contending for the AL Central title or a wildcard berth.

NBA Playoff Thoughts

I will spend more time with the NBA in upcoming weeks when the playoffs move from boring first round action. Here are some early storylines however.

I wonder if Russell Westbrook can take Oklahoma City deep into the playoffs? The Thunder are underdogs in their first round matchup against the Houston Rockets. But it doesn’t seem right to count out the Thunder considering that Westbrook is the most dominant force in the NBA. Westbrook averaged a triple-double this season, posting 31.9 points (first in the NBA), 10.7 rebounds (10th) and 10.4 assists (third).

Most feel the Golden State Warriors dominate the postseason. The Warriors went on a 14-game win streak before losing their season finale. That run included an impressive comeback victory at San Antonio that was sandwiched between two wins over Houston, all without Kevin Durant. Durant is back now and I believe the Warriors will cruise to their second NBA title in three years.

The San Antonio Spurs have the best chance at stopping Golden State. They topped 60 wins again and are well rested heading into the playoffs. Kawhi Leonard is a top-four MVP candidate. Lemarcus Aldridge is a consistent and steady presence at power forward, and center Pau Gasol is  averaging a double-double in over the last month or so. The Spurs also have the NBA’s best defensive numbers. I will enjoy watching San Antonio and Golden State in the Western Finals.

One has to wonder who will come out of the Eastern Conference. Lebron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers lost nearly half of their last 28 games during the regular season and were passed by the Boston Celtics as the number one seed. The Cavs rank 22nd in defense. That will not work in playoff basketball.

Allen Iverson

Where Are They Now?

Remember when Allen Iverson was one of the prolific players in the NBA? The sharp-shooting guard earned a staggering $160 million dollars during his NBA career while embracing a hip-hop and thuggish lifestyle. He is also remembered as a player who stated he did not need to practice. But as is the case with many professional athletes, Iverson’s entourage and freeloading friends helped suck his finances dry. He’s broke now but there is some hope. Iverson is lucky that he had a good agent who worked with Reebok to keep $30 million tucked away for Iverson as part of a “rainy day,” clause in his contract but he won’t see any of that until 2030. Wonder how fast Iverson will run through that cash?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ARCHIVES:

Westbrook Is My MVP

Heels Hang On For Title

Final Four

Sweet 16 Story Lines

NCAA Preview

Panthers Need Players

The Most Important Lap

Speed It Up

NCAA Hoop Time

Super Bowl Question

Super Bowl Preview

NFL Final Four

NFL Final Four

Clemson Rolls The Tide

Sid’s Top Moments In Sports - 2016

NFL Noise

NFL In December

College Playoff Controversy

What Would You Have Done?

Rivalry Week Is Here

Wild College Football Weekend

ACC Hoops Will Be Strong

Panthers Regain Winning Form

NFL & Domestic Violence

Slip Sliding Away

Another Woods Letdown

What A Game

No Shortage Of Ego

Bathrooms & Sports

NFL Hypocrisy

Carolina Panthers Preview

Why To Watch College Football This Fall

Baseball Races Heating Up

A-Rod's Non-Descript Farewell

Medalists And Taxes

Let's Follow The Money

NBA Hypocrisy

Two At Troon

Duncan Hanging Them Up

Durant's Decision

Charlotte Hornets And Free Agency

Professional Sports Coming To Vegas?

LeBron's Legacy

Will We Get A Classic?

Braves Could Be The Worst Team Of All Time

Panthers' College Free Agent Signing

Curry Repeats As MVP

NFL Draft And The Carolina Panthers II

NFL Draft And The Carolina Panthers

When Will The Money Run Out?

Saying Wow Was An Understatement

What A Game!

Syracuse And The Madness

Hornets Quietly Buzzing

NCAA Madness

Peyton’s Place In The Game Is Set

LeBron And The Cavs

UNC Asking What Just Happened

Clemson Tops List

Panthers Got Beat Up

Why I Like The Panthers

How This Super Bowl Team Was Built

Panthers Held On For Dear Life

NFL Playoffs Continue

NFL Wildcard Playoff Matchups

Panthers Did What?

Bowling For (fill in the blank)

Rose Still Outside Looking In

College Football Playoff Pairings

Be Careful What You Ask For

Cam Getting Some MVP Play

NFL Thoughts

Who Would Have Thunk It?

Relentless Royals

Another Week, Another Win

Panthers Gain Credibility

Pitfalls For USC

Panthers Got Defensive

Panthers Are Rolling

Panthers Win Again

Panthers Win Ugly

Can Panthers Three-Peat?

College Football Preview

Just What The NFL Needed

UNC Delaying Tactics

Some Refreshing News

Deflate-Gate Revisited

The Smoltz Story

Ty Lawson Needs A Wake Up Call

Florida State Police Blotter

World Cup Win For US Women

Hornets Select Kaminsky

Goodell/Brady Have Their Meeting

LeBron & The Cavs Fall Short

ESPN Taking Heat

NBA Finals

Edwards Back In Winners Circle

NFL To Change Football Rules

Deflate-Gate Hits Pats Hard

NFL Draft News

What’s Up With Deflate-Gate

What? Tebow Again

Get Used To Spieth

Duke Claims Title

The Familiar Four

NCAA Tournament Continues

March Madness

Tark The Shark

Duke Is Gearing Up For March Madness

I Don’t Get It

Yankee Hypocrisy

Honoring Dean Smith

Common Sense

Get Your Mind On The Game

NFL Championship Sunday

Panthers Eliminated

Panthers Move On

Panthers Playoff Bound

Sid’s 2014 Bowl Predictions

Kobe vs. Michael

Where Did That Come From?

Goodell Takes A Hit

Fragile Cavs

RG III Needs To Look In The Mirror

Heels AD Still Has Williams’ Back

Bumgarner Saves The Giants

Optimism Abounds With The Hornets

An Unlikely World Series

Winston Off Field Turmoil Continues

Panthers Rebound

October Baseball

Panthers Facing New Questions

Reality With Rice

Panthers Win, Panthers Win 

Carolina Panthers Preview

College Football Preview

When Will Manziel Show Some Poise?

A Tragic Racing Moment

NCAA Football Talk

Got Off Easy

ACC Football Preseason Poll Is Out

LeBron Changes Image

LeBron Still Undecided

Game Effort By USA

The Decision II

Spurs Claim Dynasty Tag

Sour Grapes

Heat Make NBA Finals Again

Cavs Win Lottery (Again)

Nasalgate

Panthers And The Draft

Not So Sterling

NBA Playoff Action

Phelps Diving Back Into It

Shabazzzzzzzz

Final Four Fodder

NCAA Hoop Madness

March Madness, 2014 Style

One and Done

Heels Heating Up

Setting The Record Straight

Martin And Incognito

Bobcats Appear To Be Moving Forward (This Time)

A Super Letdown

Super Bowl Preview

Broncos and Seahawks Reach Super Bowl

Panthers Were Not Ready

Seminoles End SEC Streak

2013 In Review

Sid’s Bowl Picks

Mack Brown Resigns

BCS Gets It Right

Did You See The Classic?

ACC Hoop Preview

NFL Coaching Hot Seats

Panthers Are The Talk Of The NFL

Ravens Not Flying So High These Days

A Jeff Gordon Sighting

World Series Preview

Craziness Within College Football

Dissension In Tar Heel Land

SEC Football Rules

Nickname Controversy

Panthers And Rivera Lose Another Close One

NASCAR Steps Up

NFL, 2013 Style

Panthers Are Cam’s Team

Heels Sticking With Hairston

NCAA Hypocrisy

Does NASCAR Need Young Talent?

Crash & Burn?

PHIL-thy Good

An All Star Night

Charlotte Signs Jefferson

NBA Free Agency And Charlotte

LeBron vs. Michael

Major Problem For Tiger

Police Blotter Hits Tar Heel Hoop Program

NBA Finals Are Set

Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

NBA Final Four

Tiger May Be Having His Best Season Ever

NBA Playoff Action

No Draft Buzz With The Panthers

NBA Playoff Preview

Tiger Should Have Been DQed

Baseball Is Back

Final Four Fodder

Sweet 16 Madness

March Madness

He’s Back

Kelly’s A Hero

Who Said Girls Can’t Race?

Danica Is On The Pole

King James

Flacco & The Ravens Hang On


 

 

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