Capitals Advance: Having grown up in Virginia, the Washington Capitals became my favorite hockey team. In their forty-one years of existence, they've had periods of strong play, but never much post-season success. In fact, they've only advanced to the Stanley Cup finals once, getting swept by the Red Wings in 1998. I've witnessed a lot of heartbreaking moments over the years, even a four overtime loss in a game seven to the Islanders, the team the Caps finally defeated last night 2 - 1 in the seventh game of their opening playoff series. Next comes a series with the Rangers, but for today I'll bask in the glow of a rare game seven victory for my Washington Capitals.
No Love in Cleveland: The Cavaliers' sweep of the Celtics came with a high price: Forward Kevin Love is probably out for the rest of the postseason. What was originally diagnosed as a dislocated shoulder appears to be a more serious injury that is still being evaluated. According to Cleveland's General Manager, David Griffin, we shouldn't expect to see Love for the rest of the playoffs. Do I totally believe that? Probably not, unless surgery is absolutely necessary. There has been rampant speculation about Love's future with the team, and this injury will do little to quiet that talk. In addition, though, Cleveland will be without J.R. Smith for the first two games of their next series, presumably against the Bulls, unless they continue to struggle against an overmatched Milwaukee team. Without Smith and Love, I expect Lebron James to take a more active role on both ends of the floor for the Cavs. He's going to need to if they're going to win the Eastern Conference.
Aging Fighters Creating Boxing Buzz: Weighing in at a combined 74 years, Manny Pacuiao and Floyd Mayweather are giving us the match-up, but not the fight we've been wanting for years. Even though Mayweather is undefeated, that record is suspect because he dodged Pacquiao when both fighters were in their primes. Now we'll get a lot of hype with what I predict will be very little in the way of action. Mayweather's defensive style combined with Manny's diminished punching power will most likely end up in a boring series of holds and releases. The only winners will be anyone with financial interests in the fight. It's time for boxing to get with the program and develop a fan base through regularly scheduled fights that aren't on Pay-per-View. I doubt this fight will generate enough widespread interest in boxing to revitalize it among sports fans.
Fallen Angel Back to Texas: The Los Angeles Angels agreed to eat $65 million owed to Josh Hamilton in a deal that will send the former All-Star back to the Texas Rangers. Hamilton admitted earlier this year that he had relapsed in his battle with substance abuse. He'd underperformed since signing a $100+ million deal with the team a couple of years ago after a successful stint with the Texas Rangers. Now his old team, for only a couple of million dollars a season, gets to take a relatively risk free stab to see if he can become even a shadow of his former self on the field. And the Angels? It must be nice to be able make $100 million mistakes. Me, I'm must happy when I find an extra couple of dollars in my pocket.
Draft Day Approaching: I've never found much entertainment value in the NFL draft, but I must be in the minority among sports fans, particularly those that follow pro football. I don't know how many times Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr. of ESPN can put up a new mock draft, now on version 17 or 18, or something like that. Unlike signing day in college, where teams restock over a fourth of their team, the impact of one draft for most teams in the NFL is minimal, with the exception of the first or second round. I find it much more efficient to read about it the next day. But that's just me.
Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK
Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel",
available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords.