Just To Catch Up On Things

There a few stories I want to touch up on here for the month I've been absent form posting any new stories. The first of which is the story of how Kerry Wood ended his career in movie like fashion.

Kerry Wood started out his career with huge expectations. These expectations were well warranted considering in his fifth career start he threw a no walk one-hitter which included striking out 20 of the 28 batters he faced. The 20 strikeouts tied a major league record set by Roger Clemens. In 1999 Wood had to undergo Tommy John Surgery.
In 2003 he was elected to the National League All Star Team from the Chicago Cubs and is well known for being a part of what was supposed to be one of the best pitching duos of all time with Mark Prior. The injuries continued for Wood in 2004 when he was sidelined for two months with strained triceps. Wood was plagued with injuries from 2004-2006 which led to him moving to the bullpen in 2007. Wood then bounced around from the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees until he eventually ended up back with the
Chicago Cubs starting in the 2011 season. Wood decided that 2012 would be his last year playing baseball, but he wanted to pitch one last time. The Cubs wanted to try and get Wood out there one last time in a relief appearance he would be comfortable in. On May 18 Wood got his chance as he was brought in during the 8th inning with two outs against the Chicago White Sox. Wood faced Dayan Viciedo and Viciedo would be the last batter Wood would ever face as he struck him out on three straight pitches. Wood got to walk off the mound one final time striking out the last batter he ever faced with his team mates congratulating him one last time. On his last walk back to the dugout he was met by his son who jumped into his arms and celebrated his dad's final moments as a major league baseball player. Moments later Wood came out of the dugout for a curtain call and the city of Chicago showed their appreciation for him.

Another thing I have to touch on are the NBA playoffs that are going on.

I've learned a few things while watching the playoffs. One is that the San Antonio Spurs are just great fundamentally. What they have done to each team they have played is just magnificent. Even when going up against a team who seemed impossible to stop in the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Spurs, being much older, have found a way to systematically beat the Thunder in a way no other team has been able to do these playoffs.

Next up is the Miami Heat. This is a team that is supposed to be absolutely dominant but a hard time putting away the Indiana Pacers. Well, they had
a hard time until the Heat finally got upset at Danny Granger and others for cheap-shotting them time after time. That is when the Heat finally turned it on. We've experienced a lot in the media with the Heat in the past few weeks. Personally, I find it all quite humorous. First, Mike Greenberg of ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning called for the Heat to trade Dwyane Wade which was just preposterous in every sense. Also, there has always been talk that
the Heat only have a big two instead of a big three with Chris Bosh being the odd man out. Bosh went down with an injury and the Heat seemed lost in all facets of the game. Suddenly the things Bosh did held more weight and it seemed like the Heat just wouldn't be able to win without their ostrich/raptor looking all-star forward on the court. But, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade went off and had some of the best performances in playoff history. In fact, the Heat have played so well that people now question that if Bosh is healthy enough to come back for the Heat this playoffs if he should even be inserted back into the lineup. The amount of flip-flopping I hear about the Heat is really just humorous, but I guess when you get as much media attention as those guys do something as little as reading the second installment of the Hunger Games (Catching Fire) pre-game creates a stir. (LeBron did this before game 2 against the Boston Celtics)

Something that shouldn't go unnoticed is how great the Stanley Cup Playoffs have been going.

The Los Angeles kings are the only L.A. team still standing in the post-season.
That is already a long shot, because they are the hockey team in L.A. and often forgotten with everything else that goes on in that city sports wise, and because they were 8th seed at the end of the regular season. What is more spectacular about the Kings' post-season run? The fact that they have yet to lose a road game. It's almost as if they tried to make it so there was no way they would have home ice
advantage. The team they will be facing in the Stanley Cup Finals are the New Jersey Devils led by the ageless wonder of goaltender Martin Brodeur. I remember playing against Brodeur in NHL 2003 for my PS2 and the guy was impossible to stop then. At age 40, he's still going strong.

The last thing I'll touch on is the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers started out as the hottest team in baseball, but have since hit a lull on their performance. I wanted to write a story earlier when the Rangers were on a role at the beginning of the season that people should calm down with their expectations that this team would go on to win every game this season, but its a little to late for that now. Baseball's regular season is arguably the most grueling regular season in sports. Despite the Rangers going on their impressive winning streak and the Los Angeles Angles starting out as sluggish as possible, that doesn't mean these were both indications on how the entire season would go. Currently, i am watching the Rangers losing 15-0 to the last place Seattle Mariners, and I can say that the tables have been turned and that this is not a division that one team is just going to run away with, especially before June. But, as Ron Washington would say, that's the way baseball go.



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