Archives for: 2010, week 15

04/18/10

NBA 2010 Playoff Predictions - Round 1

Permalink 07:11:05 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

It's time. The NBA Playoffs have begun. The best of the best will take dead aim at dethroning reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers. Who will be left standing when all is said and done? Lakers? Magic? Cavs? Celtics? Mavs?

Here's a quick look at how I see the first round shaking out:

West
Lakers (1) over Thunder (8) in 4
Mavericks (2) over Spurs (7) in 6
Suns (3) over Blazers (6) in 5
Nuggets (5) over Jazz (4) in 5

East
Cavs (1) over Bulls (8) in 4
Magic (2) over Hornets (7) in 4
Hawks (3) over Bucks (6) in 6
Celtics (4) over Heat (5) in 7

04/15/10

#42

Permalink 10:09:24 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

April 15, 1947 will go down as the day Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers forever changed the game of baseball. Today, Robinson is being honored in every major league park across our country. His #42 is the only mandatory retired uniform number in the game. Today, in honor of Jackie Robinson, every major leaguer will wear #42. Tributes and pre-game ceremonies will also mark his historic accomplishments.

The year was 1945. Brooklyn Dodgers President and visionary Branch Rickey was actively scouting Negro League players. Jackie Robinson was discovered while playing for the Kansas City Monarchs. After numerous investigative background checks Rickey and Robinson met. According to various reports, Rickey grilled Robinson to test his toughness on many levels, including how he reacted to racial taunts. On August 25, 1945 Robinson was signed to a minor contract. After a stellar season in Montreal it was soon announced he would be promoted to the major league Dodgers club as the first African American baseball player.

Mixed reactions within our country soon followed. Segregation and racial discrimination were very much alive and kicking in those days. Robinson soon received numerous death threats. Often times being treated as less then human when refused admission to restaurants and hotels while enduring racial epitaphs directed at his family and culture. There were a few Brooklyn players who protested Robinson's signing. Branch Rickey laid down the law stating Jackie was here to stay. Rickey had also made clear to Robinson, how he wanted a player strong enough to handle the harsh treatment JR would receive as the leagues first African American player. Robinson responded admirably while enduring harsh reactions early in his career.

None of us could possibly fathom what it was like for Mr. Robinson. Enduring hate mail day after day, crowd jeers, racial divide, teammates not associating with him etc. It was a much different world in those days. And thru it all Jackie excelled (see Robinson's Major League stats from www.baseball-reference.com). Perhaps it was his excellence on the baseball diamond which finally won over most of his team, fans, and respect by Americans. Jackie was a star, patriot and top rate human being.

His first season was a smashing success as he was named Rookie of the Year while helping his Dodgers capture the National League Pennant. In 1949, he was selected Most Valuable Player as he won batting title honors with a .342 average. Robinson's Dodgers played in six World Series during his ten year career. He quickly became an American hero and offered hope to many young African American players around our country.

Robinson paved the way for future African American athletes... and perhaps too... players of all denominations. April 15th will always be honored each season by Major League Baseball and rightfully so. Integration into professional sports and the American way of life was long overdue by 1947. We are all created as equals ... yet, something happened along the way in our nation a very long time ago which created deep rooted hatred of our fellow man. It took many years for racial divides to be overcome and in some walks of life racism still exists today.

Jackie Robinson Day should be viewed for more than just breaking the color barrier in baseball. He should be honored for opening eyes of society, paving the way for future generations, and for what great men are made of by overcoming adversity while striving for success.

04/13/10

NHL Playoffs - Get Ready for a New Champ

Permalink 05:00:49 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Another great NHL season is now history. It's Playoff time! Washington dominated regular season play posting a franchise best 54 wins. They're the odds on favorite heading in. Never count out Martin Brodeur and his NJ Devils NHL stingiest defense. Chicago finished one win from best in the West. Has their time come?

Here's my 1st round predictions...

Eastern Conference
Washington (1) over Montreal (8) in 5
New Jersey (2) over Philadelphia in 5
Boston (7) over Buffalo (3) in 7
Pittsburgh (4) over Ottawa (5) in 6

Western Conference
San Jose (1) over Colorado (8) in 5
Chicago (2) over Nashville (7) in 5
Los Angeles (6) over Vancouver (3) in 6
Detroit (5) over Phoenix (4) in 7

04/12/10

Target Field: New Home of the Twins

Permalink 05:49:34 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Target Field. Baseball's newest stadium officially opened for games today. Minnesota fans are thrilled. Twins ownership went all out and built a beauty. Players new and old, coaches, fans, management, broadcasters and baseball enthusiasts are all giving Target Field rave reviews.

This is how it's supposed to be done. New York Mets owners take notice. Mets might have built a revenue stream. CitiField is far from a "Mets" home park. The Twins build a shrine for Minnesota baseball centering on team history and fan friendly atmosphere. Twin Cities themed foods for quick and easy to gourmet. Spectular action statues honoring Hall of Fame greats Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew & Kirby Puckett. An outdoor, true baseball field. Minnesota fans laugh at the thought of weather being too cold for baseball. Twins relics and artifacts everywhere from original team logo's to player portraits. Playing surface is adopted towards team strengths and is a true field as compared to tiny parks in Cincinnati & Philadelphia. Target Field is a true gem inside and out.

One day in the not too distant future I will make a special trip to watch a Twins game. Target Field is a must!

Magic Man Mickelson Masters The Masters

Permalink 06:00:44 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Chalk one up for the good guy! Phil Mickelson was superb this weekend winning Green Jacket number three. Phil's wife Amy has been valiantly battling breast cancer for many months. He's been by her side all the way. Most mortals would fold under pressure of the masters and personal outside influences of greatest magnitude. Not Phil. His concentration was unbreakable.

On Saturday, Mickelson had a stretch of eagle-eagle-birdie immediately taking dead aim at the leader board. On Sunday, he played gutsy golf attacking greens all the way down the stretch. Hole #13 went from near implosion to spectacular triump. With a 2-shot lead, he was stuck between two Georgia pines and had just over 200 yards to the hole. He sent a wicked smash to within feet of the cup. The gallery erupted on 18 when he tapped in to win. Phil was soon embracing his wife as he headed off 18.

"It's been such an incredible week, an emotional week," Mickelson said. "And to cap it off with a victory is something I can't put into words. It's something we'll share for the rest of our lives."

Isn't it amazing. Here's a feel good story of a husband and wife very much in love facing a tragedy no one can possibly understand without living through. He's stuck by her and her always by him. Never a negative word by fellow golfers or written in papers when it comes to the Mickelson's. So how is it Tiger Woods gets all of the attention? The press was so hot on his trail hanging on Wood's every move. So much so tv mic's picked up a mini anger outburst and blew the story into headlines. In the meantime, Phil was steadily gaining steam.

Way to go Phil!