BASEBALL DIARY: things are going pretty well for the favorite teams right now. The Tigers finished off a sweep of the Indians by winning yesterday, 5-3. Once again, we saw solid pitching from Rick Porcello, and effective hitting---note that Magglio Ordonez had two hits; maybe his slump is ending. If the Tigers keep getting solid pitching from pre-season question marks like Porcello...
The Texas Rangers beat the White Sox yesterday, 7-1. Again, a key was another outstanding outing from a Rangers starter, this time Vincente Padilla. And note two home runs coming from Hank Blalock--if he can regain his injury-free All-Star form, so much the better for this team.
The Cubs salvaged the final game of their weekend series with the Brewers, winning yesterday 4-2. Yet concern remains for their bullpen--Carlos Marmol almost blew the lead in the 8th inning when he managed to get the bases loaded thanks to a double and two walks. Luckily he got out of it. The bullpen, combined with Cub injuries to for example Aramis Ramirez, suggests that the Cubs will just have to hope to stay above water until the all-star break...and then, in the second half, they can put things together.
FAVORITE TEAMS UPDATE--the Detroit Red Wings won yesterday, 4-1. They now lead their grueling 2nd-round series, 3 games to 2. You do get the feeling that the Wings are wearing the Ducks down, as the linked article suggests--they outshot Anaheim yesterday, 39-17, and would have had more goals had they not clanked their shots off the post several times. Can they end this difficult series tomorrow night? They could sure use the rest.
The Dallas Mavericks tonight, of course, face elimination from the playoffs, fresh off that frustrating loss in game 3. They were indeed ripped off--it was a bad non-call by the officials Saturday, and even the league has admitted it. But they shouldn't have been in that position--they had a 4 point lead with 30 seconds to go Saturday...you have to wrap that game up, and not have it come down to a last-second shot. Hopefully they can indeed play for pride tonight, and show everyone that they'll go down fighting. That probably is all they have left.
Will the NBA realize, though, that they need better officials? It's time they did.