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Monthly Archives: July 2010

LCD-LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade

It’s been a couple days since LeBron James has announced his decision to join the Miami Heat. I had to sit back and really absorb what had happened that night. At first and for most of the next day I was in a state of disbelief and was very upset about his decision. I couldn’t understand why he would make a move like that. Of course me being a Nets fan I wanted him in NJ even though I knew those chances were slim to none. As the days went on I started to get really excited about the move. Here is why, History.

I’m in the mood to ‘witness’ history down in Miami. 72 wins in a season broken? I’ll take it. A possible 6 peat? I’ll take it. What about 7 or 8 straight titles. Is it possible? I think not but how surreal would it be to see that done.

I’m not mad at LeBron for going down to Miami. He did what he wanted. What made him happy. Cleveland fans need to get over it. He did things for YOU guys not the other way around. He entertained YOU. He brought basketball back to YOU. It was the ORGANIZATION that didn’t do anything for YOU. You guys are all pumped after Dan Gilbert’s e-mail? Where was that passion when LeBron was there. You went out and got Antwan Jamison? Why not Amar’e Stoudemire like LBJ wanted. Cleveland it isn’t LeBron’s fault for leaving. It’s the ORGANIZATIONS and I will stand by it. So go ahead and throw you little fits and rant about how much you hate LBJ but remember he was the guy that gave it his all every night. He was the one that put on a show and gave Cleveland a name. Remember it was Dan Gilbert who didn’t do the necessary things to help LBJ to win. Know that Pat Riley will.

The Miami Heat have never looked so clear and prime to win as they do now in LCD.

-Timmy Dimas

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“First off I’d like to thank everyone for coming. This decision was a long and hard one to make. After heavy consideration from my family and friends I have decided to take my journey through the NBA else where. I’d like to thank the Cleveland Cavaliers organization and my teammates who I’ve had the great pleasure of playing with during my time here. I would like to thank the fans the most for coming out and cheering the loudest they could ever night. The city of Cleveland, Ohio has been more then just a place for me to play basketball. It has been my home since birth. Growing up in Akron made me the man I am today and I won’t forget that. I love Cleveland. It will always be my home but today I have decided to go else where. Today I open a new chapter in my career in hopes that the dreams I have, which have been overshadowed by failure, will be succeeded.

The team I have chosen to join for the next part in my career has what I’m looking for. The desire to win. The players that share the passion I have for the game. Basketball isn’t just a game. It is life to me. This team is going to help me in my life and make it a successful one. I’ve spent this past week talking to numerous teams. I would like to thank The Miami Heat, The New Jersey Nets, The New York Knicks, The Los Angeles Clippers, The Chicago Bulls and of course the Cleveland Cavaliers for all their time. They spent months I am sure getting a plan ready to sell to me for their team and not make me only apart of it but apart of their family. And so my decision has been made. I have picked the Miami Heat as my new team. I will join Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Pat Riley and the Heat organization. I felt that this would be the place I could win and I’d be happy with my decision. Again thank you Cleveland for all you have given me. I hope you will still follow me and support me throughout my career.”

My rendition of the speech LeBron James will give on ESPN when he announces his decision to join the Miami Heat.

-Tim Dimas

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As the 2010 MLB season comes to its midpoint and the Mid-Summer Classic, here are my first half awards.

MVP

Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers

The 27 year old Tigers’ first baseman is in the midst of another stellar, under-the-radar season. After six straight seasons of 100+ RBIs, he has a league-leading 71 at the break, putting him on pace for a fantastic 140. Pair that with a .339 average (tied for 4th in the MLB) and 20 HR (tied for 2nd), and Cabrera has quietly become a Triple Crown threat. Look for him to have the same success in the second half and, hopefully for him, lead his team to the playoffs.

Cy Young Award

David Price, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

Following his key role in the 2008 Playoffs, Price had a subpar 2009 season, going 10-7 with an ERA of 4.42. But, he seems to be back to fulfill the promise he showed as a rookie. At the break, Price is 11-4 with a 2.42 ERA and 90 K’s in 16 starts. The only question that remains is, can he sustain the grind of 30+ starts and, perhaps, a playoff run? With the selection of pitches he has and the fact that he’s a lefty, he should be able to.

Rookie of the Year

Neftali Feliz, CP, Texas Rangers

While most of the  rookie buzz has been surrounding a certain phenom in our nation’s capital, Neftali Feliz has done a nice job closing games for the Rangers. At the break, he has 22 saves and an ERA of 3.00.

Manager of the Year

Joe Girardi, New York Yankees

The Yankees, being the only team in the MLB with 50 wins at the half-way point, have been led by their general. Joe Girardi. Girardi has done a good job this year taking on a variety of managerial calls, including developing young starter Phil Hughes, working with a struggling Mark Texiera, and, the toughest of all, defending the World Series crown with the inherent target-on-the-back that comes with it.

-Dan Martin

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With All-Star break right around the corner I decided to give out some mid-season awards for the National League players.

MVP: Joey Votto (1B Cincinnati Reds)

This guy has been on fire all season long. 21 HR’s 59 RBI’s .316 BA and is slugging .594. Tell me how you could not put this guy here. Apparently MLB doesn’t think he’s All-Star game worthy and it’s left up to the fans to choose him. In my mind as of right now Votto is an All-Start starter and the first half MVP.

CY Young: Ubaldo Jimenez (P Colorado Rockies)

To even think of putting someone else here is ridiculous. Jimenez is 14-1 with 107 strikeouts and a 2.24 ERA. He is one win away from breaking his career record of wins (15) and it’s only the first half of the season. Not to mention throwing a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves earlier this month. The kid has an incredible gift and just to think he could have turned down being a MLB pitcher to be a doctor instead makes me as a baseball fan shutter. His talent needs to be used and right now he’s Cy Young worthy.

Rookie of the Year: Gaby Sanchez (1B Florida Marlins)

A lot of people would figure to put 20 year old Braves star Jason Heyward here but Sanchez is looking like a better case. Hitting just over .300 (.309 which is better then Heywards .251 BA) with 9 home runs and 38 RBI’s. He has been a solid player on the young Florida Marlins team which includes another young talent Mike Stanton, another 20 year old call up in the majors this year. Look for Sanchez to continue his strong season.

Manager of the Year: Dusty Baker (Cincinnati Reds)

When the season started I said that the Reds could be a solid team but what I’ve seen so far is unexpected. The pitching staff filled with lots of youngsters has really emerged and the position players have found their grove. Dusty Baker has been making the right calls all year. The Reds are a top the N.L. Central with St. Louis right behind them. Dusty has to continue to make the right calls for the Reds to continue this great season.

-Timmy Dimas

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Washington Nationals rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg has come out of the gate here in his first year, living up to the astronomical hype that welcomed him. Posting a 2.45 ERA and 53 strikeouts in just 6 starts and 36.2 innings pitched, he has put himself in prime position to win Rookie of the Year if he keeps this pace.

But, below the surface, the Strasburg tale is a cautionary one. Many pitchers before him have gotten off to fantastic starts in their career, only to find struggles and/or injury down the road.

In the last decade or so, a few names come to mind. Kerry Wood, after winning the Rookie of the Year with the Cubs in 1998, has never lived up to the multiple-Cy-Young hype that surrounded him early in his career. Despite his resurgence the past few years as a solid closer for the Cubs and Indians, many still wonder what he could have been, had a series of elbow and arm problems limited his growth and success at the Major League level.

In a second stroke of bad luck in the Cubs organization,the early 2000s brought the rise and fall of young Mark Prior. After winning 18 games and finishing the season with a 2.43 ERA in 2003, injuries cut his career short at age 25.

Unfortunately, there are many similarities between Prior and Strasburg, many of which are hard to ignore. Both armed with fastballs near 100mph and killer breaking pitches, they used their repitoire to strike out a lot of batters. In Prior’s break-out season of 2003, he struck out 245 batters in 211.1 innings. Right now, if Strasburg throws that many innings, he’d end up with over 300 K’s, but expect the Nationals to take their time with the coveted arm of this flame-throwing 21 year old.

So what is to be learned? A combination of things, some of which have become cliched in the past few years.

Firstly, save his arm.

There is a correct and an incorrect way to go about that, though. What the Yankees have attempted to do with Joba Chamberlain has turned out to be a disaster. Stretching out and shortening his arm has done nothing but put him back in the bullpen where he probably should have been all along.

Thus far, it seems the Nationals have it right. In six starts, Strasburg has thrown just over 36 innings, or 6 innings per start. That is smart on their part because, at 21 years old, it is a long career that lies in front of him and, in a crowded NL East, it doesn’t seem the Nats are going anywhere this season.

The second aspect to look at is the hype and exposure he’s endured so far and will in the future. Every one of his first six starts has been nationally televised, he has been on Letterman, and he is a constant talking point on television and radio broadcasts across the country. To me, he seems seasoned enough with the media and being a star at every level to handle it, but he is only six starts into what is hopefully a long career for him.

Until we can tell for sure what exactly will come of him, enjoy his fastball, if you can see it, and his curve, if you can follow it.

-Dan Martin

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Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle returned last night to their MLS careers looked upon as hero’s. Every time either player touched the ball the crowd would erupt in chants of the players names or USA.It didn’t take long for the two to hook up for the LA Galaxy’s first goal of the match.

In the 18th minute of the game, Donovan swung a beauty of a pass into the box off a corner kick to Buddle who picked up where he left off before going to South Africa and heading the ball into the back of the net for his 10th goal of the season. Buddle who was a no show at the World Cup playing very rarely had many chances when in S. Africa to score. He couldn’t then but he could for his club team last night.

The goal of the night though had to be given to Juninho who rocked a missile 30+ feet out from the box into the upper right hand corner of the goal. A beautiful shot by the 21 year old Brazilian for his first goal of the season.

The Galaxy would go on to defeat the Seattle Sounders 3-1 and continue their dominance of the league. For Buddle and Donovan, their World Cup dreams are over for now but they still have a chance to capture a title.

-Tim Dimas

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Back to the practice field he goes

 

 

Who would have thought we’d see a World Cup where three of the top players in the world, Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres, and Christiano Ronaldo would all add up their goal totals to just one. I wouldn’t have but it’s looking like that is how it will end.

Ronaldo, the only one of the three to score, and Messi are both out of the tournament after their teams lost this past week. Ronaldo’s goal came during the group stage where Portugal routed Korea 7-0. If Ronaldo didn’t score in that game 2012 would be something I’d take more seriously. Messi took 23 shots through his tournament games and didn’t seem able to put one in the back of the net and Torres has taken a backseat to David Villa who has scored four more goals then the three players combined with 5 total for the world cup.

 

As scene on TV

Question now is why are these players so noneffective? Is it that the teams they face have set out a defensive scheme to keep the ball away from them or is it that the world stage has gotten them a little nervous. Either way Ronaldo and Messi are both out and Torres is left to fend for himself in this poor world cup performance. Portugal was very upset at Ronaldo’s performance as I’m sure Argentina was with Messi’s and Spain is on the brink of benching Torres in their match up against Germany this upcoming week. We could even throw in Kaka from Brazil who seemed to have disappeared from the soccer pitch as well. Wayne Rooney did no good for England as they were eliminated in the first round. It seems that the players just don’t know how to perform when it counts the most. The only difference between Spain and the other countries listed is that they don’t have a player by the name of David Villa that can pick up the slacking star in Torres.

 

 

Maybe the hair change affected his game

Villa has 5 goals in 5 games leading the tournament in goals and now has 8 for his career. 8 away from breaking the record. His foot will be much needed against this tough German team who is only the third team in world cup history to score 4 goals in 3 or more games during the tournament. Torres ironiclly was the only scorer for Spain when they faced Germany in 2008 Qualifying games for the World Cup. Now he might be brought off the bench.

 

 


-Timmy Dimas

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