The Sports Weekend In Pictures ……….. Other Sundries As Well
Well we all witnessed on Sunday afternoon a tremendous win by Phil Mickelson of The Masters at the famed Augusta National Golf Club Augusta , Georgia. And for once , everyone in attendance may well have been entirely happy with the outcome. And though not to belittle the efforts of Tiger Woods . I think it’s fair to say that the world’s number one golfer met his match in Mickelson on Sunday !
That asides what else took place this sporting weekend ? Well in MLB (basball) the New York Yankees had their way with their AL East upstarts and rivals the Tampa Bay Rays . Nothing says ” know your place”…… like getting rolled and shellacked all one fail swoop. But my buddy sportschump would suggest that is but a mere minor blip on the Rays’ schedule to be beat 10-0 on their home field in front of a raucous crowd of primarily Yankees’ supporters at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida. Never mind the fact that the Rays would go on to lose the three game series (2-1) with another uninspiring 7-3 loss to Yankees once again on Sunday night.
And while it still early days yet in the season . Within the AL East you now have sitting atop of the division the rather surprising Toronto Blue Jays (5-1). With the Rays at 3-3 just atop of the bottom placed Baltimore Orioles (1-5). Sitting in second place are the New York Yankees (4-2), followed by the Boston Red Sox (3-3) . Anyone who knows how contentious AL East is , knows full well that if this Rays’ team is to have any chance of winning the division much less being a wildcard entrant into the postseason. Well they know good and well , that the Rays will have to play at a consistently high level and not give away games at the mere drop of a hat.
Slideshow gallery for your perusal. In order to view just click on the arrow to elicit the direction to be chosen
Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports
By Janie McCauley , AP Baseball Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Home run king Barry Bonds said he is “proud” of slugger Mark McGwire for returning to baseball as the St. Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach and for admitting his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
“I have a really good friendship with Mark McGwire. I’m proud of him,” Bonds said Sunday. “We’ve had a great relationship throughout our entire lives and throughout our career. I’m proud of what he did. I’m happy for him.”
While Bonds didn’t rule out also going into coaching one day, his six-minute session with the media was stopped after the question about McGwire.
In January, McGwire ended more than a decade of denials and evasion and finally acknowledged he used steroids and human growth hormone during his career, including in 1998 when he hit 70 home runs and broke the single-season record.
Bonds, who topped that mark when he hit 73 homers in 2001, has long denied ever knowingly using steroids or performance-enhancers in his pursuit of the career home run record—arguably the most prized record in all of American sports.
Bonds was indicted on charges he lied in 2003 to a federal grand jury investigating BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, and obstructed justice.
McGwire was told of Bonds’ comments in Milwaukee, where the Cardinals were playing the Brewers.
“It’s very cool. Barry is a great player, was a great player in this game, many MVPs,” McGwire said. “The guy could do it all. It makes me feel really good. It’s really cool to be back in the game. … I’m a big boy, I understand that things happen in your life and you’ve got to confront them, and you also have to move on from them and learn from them.”
The 45-year-old Bonds, back in the Bay Area for a reunion at AT&T Park of the Giants’ 2000 NL West champion team, said he doesn’t believe now is the right time to retire. Though he also insists he’s not in shape to play immediately if an interested club came calling.
“I don’t have any plans at all,” he said of trying to play again. “No, it’s not necessary at the moment (to retire). The timing isn’t that important.”
Click the above link shown to read McCauley’s article in its entirety.
Now how’s this for a story former San Francisco Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds says that he’s proud of Mark McGwire and the fact that the player has returned to baseball as a hitting instructor with the St Louis Cardinals . Bonds also went on state that he also was proud of the fact that McGwire admitted his steroid use. Pardon me for saying this, but a congratulatory welcome is the last thing a self confessed “steroid abuser” and cheat should feel welcomed about, much less cherish. Especially when one considers who is making the gesture. Less we forget Bonds is still embroiled in a federal case of involving perjury and the mere fact that he has been implicated in the BALCO scandal , hardly adds credence to the statement or the gesture forthcoming from Bonds. That’s like having serial killer John Wayne Gacy congratulate a copy cat killer on a job well done. But such is the game of baseball and the perceived lack of real star power within the game. That many of the players that are deemed stars or potential superstars , we will more likely than not have some doubts about. And at the same time it is not as if the hierarchy of the game have been proactive in cleaning up the sport’s tarnished image and credibility.
Commissioner Bud Selig has always been at a loss to explain why it is that the facade went on for so long without his office not knowing about it, or even conducting any type of preliminary investigation once the rumors were rampant or for that matter came out in print. As for the MLBPA under then Executive Director Donald Fehr and his successor, Michael Weiner . Well , let’s just say you would have more chance of hearing the truth being uttered out of the mouth of Bill Clinton , than you would from either Fehr or Weiner concerning the union’s views and policy concerning the “illicit” of steroids and HGH .
On Saturday nigh WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (26-0, 20 KO’s) defended his title against Puerto Rican Carlos Quintana (27-3-0, 21 KO’s ). The champion had been due to fight former welterweight titlist Shane Mosley . But in light of the Haitian earthquake disaster ,Berto felt it inappropriate to follow through with the bout in January. Berto’s parents are originally from the island of Haiti and he is said to have been distraught, having lost a number of relatives in the wake of this disaster and tragedy. He had made several visits down to the island to see how he best can help in providing some much needed assistance.
Berto has made it a rallying cry amongst the Haitian-American community not to forget their loved ones or for that matter those in need of the utmost of help. In a disaster which has taken tens of thousands of lives in one fail swoop. One can only hope the fighter’s words resonates within the community Haitian-American community in Florida. South Florida is home to the largest community of Haitians outside the tiny island nation’s capitol of Point-Au-Prince . And the efforts being put forth by the community there has been nothing short of miraculous. That being said this will not be an overnight resolve to bring to bring the country back to semblance of being. It may well take close to a decade for that to happen. So each step taken will be an incremental one on that journey.
The title bout itself between Berto and Quintana took place at the Bank Atlantic Center, Sunrise,South Florida. Berto acquitted himself well , in disposing of the challenger with an 8th round stoppage of the fight. Now all that awaits the champion is an eagerly and highly anticipated matchup against “the winner” of the Floyd Mayweather vs Shane Mosley bout taking place in early May (1st May) at the MGM Grand Hotel Resort & Casino in Las Vegas , Nevada..
I don’t know that any of you out there are mixed martial arts’ aficionados who follow the sport aggressively and with a great deal of passion ? Personally with the waning decline in the popularity of boxing . This is now one of my great sporting passions ! I think that probably comes about from having trained in the martial arts (karate) and then teaching it to the members of the military while in the British armed forces (Royal Marines). UFC the major governing body for the sport here in the United States , staged a major international card over the weekend in the tiny Emirates’ nation of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Yas Island. This was the first such professional card be staged in the region. Although the Emirates’ nation has staged world championships at the amateur level in the genre. Specifically, in jujitsu and in the format of submissions holds.
My own interests however lay in the fact that the champions in the following weight categories were defending their UFC titles. In the lightweight division you had B. J. Penn defending against Frankie Edgar . At the middleweight division you had the Brazilian martial arts and jujitsu specialist Anderson ‘Spider’ Silva defending against his fellow countryman, Demian Maia . My own feeling is that Silva along with the Canadian Georges ‘Rush’ St Pierre are the “two most dominant” and exciting fighters in the mixed martial arts genre today ! Especially within the UFC domain ! Granted, there are other “promotional bodies” out there with their own self professed lineage of champions. But in the true sense of the word , those bodies and the fighters that they have within their organizations are “nowhere as talented” as the practitioners within UFC !
As I alluded to earlier the main featured bouts were the lightweight and middleweight title defenses. Both Penn and Silva were highly favored to win their bouts as they both had successfully defended their respective titles multiple times. Silva for his part was looking to further cement his name in the annals of UFC history by become the first fighter to make six successful defenses of a title in MMA. And the Brazilian (26-4) did not disappoint , though there are those who felt that the fight was a great deal closer than the judges’ verdict would suggest. Through five rounds of intelligent striking , technical prowess. The champion showed why he’s the best middleweight practitioner in the world . He simply left you in no doubt that he could’ve took it up to another level and would have been able to withstand anything that Maia could have possibly thrown at him.
And as gallant a performance as it was coming from Demian Maia. You simply knew that he had been beaten by the better man on the night. But that’s not to say that Silva at all took the challenger lightly. As nothing could have been further from the truth. The two fighters have healthy and mutual respect of each others’ abilities and I’m sure that at some time in the future we are liable to see a rematch !
B J Penn more commonly known as “The Prodigy” was looking to stamp his legacy within the division as the premiere lightweight in UFC history. The one thing that I totally find annoying with Penn is his reluctance to take his opponents seriously. At times he’d rather trash talk and denigrate them for no apparent reason. I’ve always been of the opinion to let your deeds in the ring do your talking then after-wards you can do all of the trash talking you want ! Specifically that’s if you give the opponent that “ass beating” that you think he thoroughly deserves.
In Frankie Edgar he found an opponent that would bend but not break. And it would prove to be Penn’s own undoing . He took Edgar far too lightly and at no time in the bout was he able to intimidate the challenger , much less was he the more dominant practitioner either in the stand-up or groundwork. And despite Penn’s grappling abilities and alleged jujitsu prowess . Edgar was more than a match for the Hawaiian on that score. And though the fight ebbed and flowed over the five round of this title bout. In the end the challenger would prove to be victorious because of his technical prowess both on the ground and in the standup aspect of the bout. Edgar was declared the winner in a unanimous verdict and is now the new UFC lightweight champion of the world .
Well that’s it for me as far as the weekend’s sports events were concerned. My attention will now be turned to the upcoming NBA playoffs. If “the fix is in” concerning the postseason officiating then we’ve no one to blame but David Stern and the entire NBA hierarchy . They know how inconsistent the officials have been during the regular season . Now when it matters the most, we’ll once again have to deal with asinine notion from Stern that these are the very best of the best when it comes to the NBA’s referees. Who the hell is David Stern kidding ? Tim Donaghy was one of the NBA’s “very best” ?
What sporting event if any , did you enjoy this past weekend ? As and when you’re ready I’ll look forward to reading your comments !
Picture gallery for your perusal . Click on each picture to view in its original
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………… 🙂 _ 😀 _ 😀
Will Smith aka Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff ……….. “Summertime”
Actresss Kellitta Smith co-star of the Fox hit comedy (sit-com) series ” The Bernie Mac Show “. The show starred the late comedian Bernie Mac. The show was canceled after a five year (2001-06) run on the network and is now in syndication with affiliate and independent networks as well as having been sold overseas to a number of countries around the globe .