by Troy A. Sparks
Every once in a while, I may go all over the map with different sports topics in a single column. This is one of those times I throw a concoction of topics at you.
We’ll start with right fielder Corey Hart of the Milwaukee Brewers. Hart rubbed fans and team management the wrong way in the offseason when he asked for more money. His 2009 season was cut short by injury.
The Brewers offered Hart around $4.2 million. When he turned it down, the Brewers took the offer off the table. Hart went to arbitration and was awarded $4.8 million. Hart is giving the people their money’s worth.
Now Hart is knocking almost everything out of the park. He leads the National League with 17 home runs.
Unfortunately, Milwaukee can’t gain any ground on the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. It seems that every time the Brewers win or lose, the Cubs win or lose.
On top of all that, the club finally got rid of former starting pitcher Jeff Suppan. The St. Louis Cardinals, Suppan’s last team, took him back. The Brewers are responsible for some of the $10 million that’s still owed to “Soup.”
He’ll come back and haunt the Brewers when they play the Cardinals next time.
A mistake haunted England’s Robert Green, probably for the rest of his life, even after he’s done playing football.
Football is what they call soccer outside of North America.
The English goalkeeper lost the handle on a shot by the United States’ Clint Dempsey, which crawled into the net in their Group C first round match of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. That gave the U.S. a 1-1 tie and a point each for both teams. A win equals three points.
Over in the States, that’s a victory for us, but most people who aren’t soccer fans could care less. They’re paying attention to the NBA Finals.
I’ll get to that topic in a minute to prove MCJ sales representative Jimmy Johnson wrong. He’s a Lakers fan.
Green’s teammates forgave him for the mistake. The UK papers didn’t.
Some of the players blame the new Jabulani soccer balls that Adidas produced for the World Cup. They say that the air in the ball deflates sometimes. Others blame the high altitude in South Africa for the ball losing its shape.
I’ll call it like I see it. Green bobbled the ball. We’ll take the tie.
Before the mishap, England was ahead 1-0.
I can hear the British saying, “By golly, the keeper couldn’t keep a clean sheet.”
A “clean sheet” in soccer lingo means a shutout.
One of the UK papers showed a picture of the ball getting past Green and touching the goal line. They linked his mistake to the BP oil spill crisis. That’s really cold.
Keep in mind that Green got notice two hours before the game against the United States that he was in goal.
Now let’s get back to the NBA Finals series between the L.A. Lakers and the Boston Celtics.
Jimmy probably thought the Lakers would win the series in five games.
He might say what the rest of us want to say. The Celtics are too old.
That’s what the Cleveland Cavaliers said before their playoff series with Boston.
The Lakers thought they had answers for Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. They also didn’t know what to do with Nate Robinson or Glen Davis.
With the 2-3-2 format in the Finals, I bet it drove the Lakers stir crazy.
But spending a week in Boston to play three games would drive anybody crazy.
What is there to do in Boston?
I think we have more to offer than Boston does. We don’t hear Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks dissing Boston.
I’m putting Jimmy on the spot. The Celts will celebrate their 18th NBA title.
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