Richard’s Tuesday Sports Round-up
Gentlemen, need to impress your boss or co-workers around the water cooler? Ladies, tired of getting made fun of by your boyfriend or husband for not following the major sporting events? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Richard’s Daily Round-Up informs you of the ten major happenings in the world of sports. No need to hang your head in shame. After reading the Round-Up each morning, you will impress even the most die-hard sports fans.
10. Four-time NFL Pro Bowler Jeremy Shockey was taken to a hospital Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas. Celebrity website TMZ.com first reported that he became dehydrated near a swimming pool at a party called “Rehab” at the Beach Club Pool at the Hard Rock Café Casino. Shockey was placed on a stretcher after being found unconscious. Last year, he had his worst NFL season. He played in 12 games recording 50 catches for a total of 483 yards. Shockey added 0 touchdowns to that stat line. My Take: I’m just glad he didn’t drink and drive. Maybe he has an unknown medical condition, but more likely than not he drank in excess. Word on the street is Shockey needs Amy Winehouse’s phone number.
9. Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon was signed yesterday to a three-year contract extension. The new agreement will go to 2012. Prior to this season, Maddon was 224-262 in three seasons with the Rays. That’s a .461 winning percentage. As of Monday, his ball club is 23-23. My Take: Managers are rewarded for their previous seasons. Out of the three preceding managers in the Rays’ history, Maddon has the most wins and best winning percentage. I think the 2008 American League Manager of the Year will be more well-known for his signature black-framed glasses than his managerial career. But, he deserves this contract extension.
8. On Monday, a decision was supposed to be announced on whether Rachel Alexandra, the filly who won this year’s Preakness Stakes, would be racing in the June 6th Belmont Stakes. No announcement was made, which delayed jockey Calvin Borel’s choice. He has the option of riding Rachel or riding the horse he rode to victory at the Kentucky Derby, Mine That Bird. My Take: Horse racing is enjoyable for the Triple Crown. Unless you gamble, it’s impossible to be interested in other horse races. Calvin Borel proves the jockey is essential to a horse’s success. Whichever horse Borel rides will win the Belmont Stakes. I guarantee it!
7. The Syracuse Orange defeated the Cornell Big Red 10-9 in overtime in the NCAA Lacrosse final yesterday in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Syracuse has now won the last two lacrosse championships. The Orange was down by three goals with 5:31 remaining in regulation. Kenny Nims, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, scored a goal with 4.5 seconds in the game, which sent it into overtime. My Take: Men’s lacrosse is extremely entertaining. I watched both semifinals. My major complaint with the sport is that the television commentators use lingo that the average viewer won’t understand. It makes watching the sport unpleasant at times. For sports fans, I would say it’s rugby with sticks and a smaller ball. It’s fun, but don’t expect it to compete with the major sports.
6. The eighth-seeded Florida Gators baseball team (39-20) and the Florida State Seminoles baseball team (42-16) will be hosting NCAA regionals beginning this Friday through Monday. 2005 was the last year the Gators hosted a regional. For the Seminoles, it’s very familiar territory. The Noles have played host to 28 consecutive regionals. That record has been aided by head coach Mike Martin. The Noles have hosted 32 total regionals. Miami (FL) holds the NCAA record with 36. My Take: The Gainesville Regional is an exciting one. Florida hosts Bethune-Cookman, Miami and Jacksonville in Gainesville. The Noles host Marist, Ohio State and Georgia. Don’t be shocked if FSU doesn’t get out of its regional.
5. Spaniard Rafael Nadal won his first round tennis match against Brazilian Marcos Daniel, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3. Nadal, this year’s top-seed, recorded his 29th consecutive win at the French Open. Nadal has equaled the overall tournament record of 29 held by American Chris Evert. Second-seeded Roger Federer breezed to a straight-set win over his opponent, Spaniard Alberto Martin. My Take: Rafa and Roger will meet in this year’s French Open final. Roger needs the French Open to complete a career grand slam. Rafa wants five consecutive French Open titles. It’s going to be magical.
4. David Reutimann won the rain-delayed Coca-Cola 600 Monday. It is his first win in 75 NASCAR Cup starts. The race was more than halfway over when Reutimann made his move on lap 222 of the 400-lap race to take the lead. NASCAR waited well over two hours to see if resuming the race was an option. The constant rain never let up in Concord, North Carolina. My Take: I lost interest in the race after Sunday’s rain delay. I watched most of the television coverage of the race when it was delayed again on Monday. My guess is it still received better TV ratings than Sunday’s Indy 500.
3. Former NBA player Jayson Williams is back in the news. Williams became more famous for his off-the-court happenings than his play on the basketball court. In 2002, he faced a charge of reckless manslaughter in the shooting death of his driver. Early Monday morning, authorities said Williams was outside a Raleigh, North Carolina, nightclub when he punched someone in the face. The charge was one count of simple assault. Authorities said Williams was released on $1,000 bail. According to police, he is being very cooperative. My Take: Jayson Williams cannot escape the courtroom. His wife filed divorce papers this year. She cited that he had a drug problem and was abusive and adulterous. The man isn’t getting any breaks. Still, he is paving his own path.
2. Last night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, the Denver Nuggets won Game 4 over the Los Angeles Lakers, 120-101. Nuggets Chauncey Billups and J.R. Smith led their team with 24 points apiece. Kobe Bryant scored 34 points for the Lakers. For the series, which is now tied at 2 games, Bryant is averaging 37 points per game. Nugget Carmelo Anthony scored 15 points while sitting out a portion of the first half with a bum ankle. My Take: The series will be decided by which team grabs more rebounds. The Nuggets out-rebounded the Lakers 58-40 last night. It’s virtually impossible for any Laker to shut down Nene, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen. This series will go seven games.
1. On May 30, 1868, the first Decoration Day (now known as Memorial Day) was celebrated. The founder, General John Alexander Logan, established the day in memory of those soldiers who lost their lives to perpetuate the Union. Let’s not forget the true meaning of the day. My Take: If you paused for one minute as a part of an act of national unity at 3 p.m. yesterday, you did your part to remember those soldiers who have fought and given their lives for this country. 3 p.m. is considered a time when “most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.” We live in the best country in the world. Let’s strive to keep it that way.
UPDATE: Richard's Sports Roundup will become a weekly feature for the Jacksonville Observer. Check back each Monday for Richard's take on the weekend's top sports action as well as the week ahead. Also, be sure to read Richard's regular Thursday columns every week!