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MSR’s Random Sports Thoughts, Vol. 6

Call me crazy, but Andy Roddick’s recent retirement announcement may have been the fire he needed to light to start winning again.

Now, I’m sure that he is sincere in saying that, even if he miraculously runs the gauntlet and wins it all at Flushing Meadows, he is retiring regardless. Be that as it may, It’s hard to imagine that, considering his play as of late, he would not have gotten to the Round of 16 without this all-encompassing sense of motivation.

You’d think the opposite would be true, considering he’d be going home to her.

After all, an entire country is behind Roddick, the venerable Hometown favorite, with every game, every set, every match. It is the ultimate home-field advantage, punctuated by the fact that every match from here on out could be his last.

It had that feel when he went out there today and beat his friend in tennis, Fabio Fognini, in four hard-fought sets. Now, he faces what may very well be his end, in seventh-ranked Juan Martin Del Potro.

While the task is daunting to take down one of the best players in the world, Roddick can take solace in the fact that the crowd will be by his side, win or lose.

Is it possible that Melky Cabrera’s suspension could have been the best thing that happened to the Giants as of late?

We are seeing a resurgence in the team, when many thought they would drop off the face of the Earth after the star’s rest-of-season suspension. Instead, it has brought on an offensive renaissance for a number of players, including one Angel Pagan, who has accounted for at least one hit and one run in each of the last six games.

Somehow, the Giants have generated a feeling that, no matter how many runs the opposition scores, they are still in the game – something that fans couldn’t imagine a year ago. Having won the three-game series against the Cubs, there is now even more reason for optimism – while the NL West leaders have their rival Dodgers on the docket for six more games, the boys in blue are the only team they face for the rest of the season with a winning record.

Can the Giants keep this going into the postseason? They have a month to show us.

For Jacksonville Jaguars fans, as well as fantasy football fans who currently own him, it’s about damn time.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew arrived at training camp earlier today, effectively ending his 38-day holdout with a certified whimper. As I gaze upon the situation, I – like many others– am still trying to gauge what he actually gained from the ordeal.

It certainly wasn’t his job security: in his absence, the Jaguars are now rolling with RB Rashad Jennings to start Week 1 vs. Minnesota. And it, most obviously, wasn’t a bigger contract: while Jones-Drew thought he was going to have the upper hand in the proverbial staring contest with the Jaguars higher-ups, he was the first to blink. Whatever power he thought he had at the bargaining table has essentially dissipated.

All he can do now is try to ingratiate himself with his new coaches, his teammates, and the offense. Because Lord knows he didn’t do himself any favors.

I feel like Dwight Howard may have learned from the mistakes of LeBron James after the current Miami Heat star left his original team, the Cleveland Cavaliers – or maybe, he’s copying them.

Turns out Howard, now a Los Angeles Laker, took out a full-page ad in the Orlando Sentinel on Sunday, thanking the fans for their support over the eight years he spent with the Magic.

“There! THAT should make up for getting Van Gundy fired and setting the franchise back a half-decade! ALL IS FORGIVEN!”

Now, it would be easy to say that this is just a bone to throw to the fans, after he basically threw his franchise under the bus, desperately looking for a way out of what he may have considered basketball purgatory for himself. However, I still can’t doubt his sincerity – after he was drafted first overall in 2004, the Magic was his team. He was the franchise, and he took that responsibility all the way to the NBA Finals in 2008.

Sure, he could have dealt with his departure with more maturity and grace, but the way one leaves a franchise doesn’t necessarily show what the franchise means to that person. It just means he hated certain aspects of the franchise – mainly, the business aspects – but, never the fans.

Take the parting shot for what it’s worth, Magic fans – his last attempt to make things however right he can make them.

Kings fans have gone through this before, but that doesn’t mean it’s not alarming news.

That’s right: rumors that the franchise could be finding a new home elsewhere have popped up again – this time, with the coastal town of Virginia Beach.

With talks that a new arena could be constructed there, and further stalls in talks to build a new arena in Sacramento, the City Council reached out to owners Joe and Gavin Maloof about bringing the Kings closer to one of their original residences in Kansas City. Then again, there are other rumors that could bring the Kings to Seattle, or even up further North, to Vancouver.

Frankly, I’m tired of this.

As a Kings fan, do I want to see them leave? Hell no. But the Anaheim rumors from last year burnt me out to the point that I’m tired of the Maloofs’ vague insinuations about where they might go.

Move to Virginia Beach, take the team to your home in Vegas, move the team to Mars and play in front of the Curiosity Rover every night – I don’t care. I just want a clear decision, and for the higher-ups to stop keeping us in the dark.

The sooner, the better.

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