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MSR’s Random Sports Thoughts: Vol. 17


Well, looky what we have here: the Giants are this week’s No. 1 team in ESPN’s latest MLB Power Rankings.

Guys! WHOA! WHOA! ... It's only JUNE.

Guys! WHOA! WHOA! … It’s only JUNE. Geez.

I mean, after a month that saw them go a league-best 19-9, and after taking three out of four games in St. Louis against the Cardinals this past weekend, the Giants are firing on all cylinders. They currently hold the league’s best record (37-20), and lead the NL West by 7.5 games.

They have been pulling this off heading into June by a combination of good pitching and surprisingly good scoring stats – especially with two outs. The former isn’t too surprising, as the Giants field a great staff year in and year out: They are in the top five in ERA (3rd – 3.04), WHIP (2nd – 1.16), and batting avg. against (5th – .237).

Not to mention that this guy is leading the staff in a bunch of statistical categories.

Not to mention that this guy is leading the staff in a bunch of statistical categories.

But check this out: as of June 2, of the top 100 players leading the league in two-out RBIs – an impressive situational stat in baseball – six of them reside in the City by the Bay, including Hunter Pence (10 RBI, t-37th), Angel Pagan (11 RBI, t-28th), and Michael Morse, who tops the list with 22 two-out RBIs. This has led to an anomaly of two-out runs that some believe cannot indicate long-term success.

Now, whether these numbers can be sustained through the summer, it remains to be seen. But, it’s no doubt helped propel a team still dealing with injuries to key players. Here’s hoping that, should these numbers likely take a dip, they find other ways to win that helped them win World Series titles in 2010 and 2012.

Too early for that kind of talk, you say? I thought as much.


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

The two best teams in the league face off in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.

"Stop."

“Stop.”

On the East side, you have what is considered the best player in the league – a player who is gunning for the rare feat of a three-peat. With a supporting cast of All-Stars, many feel he will cement his legacy as one of the greatest players of all time.

On the West side, you have a long-time nemesis with a trio of high-profile All-Stars who, when all is said and done, will likely see themselves in the Basketball Hall of Fame. They had been stung by their arch-rival from the East the year before, and they came into the season with one goal – make sure they get back to the Finals and finish the job.

They have the home-court advantage. They arguably have the more well-rounded squad. And they are coming for their revenge.

"STOP."

“STOP.”

Now, how many of you thought I was talking about this year’s Finals rematch between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs?

I was actually talking about the last time an NBA Finals rematch took place, all the way back in 1998, between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz.

Oh. Right.

Oh. Right.

I mean, I was obviously referring to Chicago’s Michael Jordan, and Utah’s Karl Malone, John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek.

It’s interesting how history – even NBA history – can find the oddest ways of repeating itself.


Speaking of Finals matchups, there’s a little championship series going on in the sport of Professional Hockey.

Now, I’ll admit – I am not much of a hockey fan, myself, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. The fact is, I think that the NHL postseason is one of the best and most exciting in professional sports. Is it appointment television? Not really – but that only applies to me during the NFL playoffs – and on rare occasions, not even then.

However, after a dramatic finish to the Western Conference Finals – an overtime shot by Kings defenseman Alec Martinez ricocheted off Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy and past goalie Corey Crawford to win the series – I can only hope to expect a spike in interest in the Stanley Cup Finals. I’ll sure be watching.

After all, we’re talking about the New York Rangers’ first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since they last hoisted Lord Stanley’s Trophy 20 years ago.

Even I remember this iconic image, and I'm not even a Rangers fan.

Even I remember this iconic image, and I’m not even a Rangers fan.

We’re talking about a bunch of Cardiac Kids in the Los Angeles Kings, that went through three seven-game series – including an improbable 3-0 comeback against the San Jose Sharks – just to get back to the Finals after a one-year absence.

We’re also talking about two of the biggest markets in America – Los Angeles and New York – that have their rabid fan bases (yes, even glitzy La-La Land).

I guess, when it comes down to it, one thing sprung to my mind when the matchup was set – if THIS doesn’t see huge ratings for the NHL, I don’t know if anything will.


She may have lost early in the French Open. She may have even unexpectedly lost a fiance (read: unexpectedly dumped).

But, at least for the past few days, she seems to be winning at life. With a little help from a fellow ousted tennis star, that is.

“Serena and the Woz” (as this Fox Sports article is calling them) sullied around South Beach last weekend, celebrating the Heat’s win over Indiana (with none other than Greg Oden):

Partaking in some Miami night life:

Taking in South Beach first-hand:

Seriously, Rory? ... SERIOUSLY?!!

Seriously, Rory? … SERIOUSLY?!!

And even (at least, in Serena’s case) crashing a beach wedding, which had to be a trip for the happy couple and their wedding party:

Wedding crasher!! Congrats!

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

The fact is, this is a woman who had been emotionally put through the wringer over the past couple weeks – a high-profile split, an embarrassing performance at one of the pinnacles of your sport – it’s gotta be tough to go through that in the spotlight. At least she looks like she’s taking it in stride.

And if wearing something like this at the beach is the best revenge over former flame Rory McIlroy:

caroline_wozniacki_beach_lover

Hello.

I have no standing objections.

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