The Boston Celtics will finally begin their 2009-2010 campaign tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena. Both Celtics and Cavs title quests were stopped by the Orlando Magic, despite finishing the regular season with the two best records in the East.
Unsatisfactory playoff basketball resulted in both power house organizations to shake things up this offseason. The trend that bigger is better seemed to be in full effect after witnessing deals for Rasheed Wallace and Shaquille O’Neal.
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has been extremely excited to welcome Sheed to Boston. “He’ll spread the floor offensively, something we’ve never had,” said Rivers. “Heck, most people don’t have a center sitting behind the 3-point line. Defensively, he’s been terrific. He’s also going to give us some post play on the offensive end.”
Along with Wallace, Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams were added to the roster to give the C’s the necessary depth they were in need of last year in the playoffs. Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis was re-signed but will be missing a good portion of the season due to a broken right thumb.
Shaquille O’Neal is producing already for the Cavs this preseason with a handful of double digit nights. The three-time MVP made clear that he is ready to “help the ‘King’ win an NBA championship.”
The Cavaliers have won 11 consecutive games at home over Boston. The Celtics last beat them in Cleveland in December of 2004. Tonight’s contest could very well be the first regular season preview of the 2010 Eastern Finals. Game time is set for 7:30 PM.
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In an absolutely improbably turn of events, Cleveland Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo got a walk-off hit off of a seagull in centerfield. The chaotic scene resulted in a bird crashing to the ground, the ball zooming past a dejected Coco Crisp, and the Indians having a celebration in the middle of the infield. Destined for jumbotron blooper reels for years to come, the video is already one of the most-watched clips on the MLB’s website.
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League MVP LeBron James had a benign growth removed from his jaw on Tuesday. The Cavaliers superstar had tissue removed from his parotid gland, where the body produces saliva. The procedure took five hours; requiring delicate work in an area filled with blood vessels and nerves. Doctors say that the procedure was a success, and that James should make a fast and complete recovery. Reports seem to indicate that the condition should not have affected his play. James averaged 38.5 points, 8.3 assists, and 8 rebounds in a losing Conference Finals series against the Orlando Magic.
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Boston Red Sox games have been running pretty long lately, and Wedesday night’s matchup against the Cleveland Indians was no exception. Coming off of a tough extra-innings the previous night (on a Javier Lopez fielding error), the Sox found themselves in extras again. Jon Lester had a tough outing, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, in 6 innings of work. Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona, who has had a tough 2009 season so far, only gave up 2 runs in 2 2/3 innings.
The real story was the continued dominance of the Sox bullpen. Javier Lopez, Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, and Jonathan Papelbon combined for four scoreless innings; allowing only one hit and 5 walks while striking out 5. Cleveland’s Rafael Betancourt allowed three baserunners, all of which would score to tie the game in the 8th. Jonathan Van Every, who only had one plate appearance on the seasib before Wednesday, made the difference. Already having an RBI single in the 8th, Van Every hit a solo homer to deep center, giving the Sox the lead in extras.
The Sox travel to Tampa Bay for a four game set against the Rays starting on Thursady night. Boston Red Sox tickets are available now!
The luck of the Boston Red Sox ran out Tuesday night in the 9th inning against the Cleveland Indians. With the score tied up at 8 and Mark DeRosa on third base, Javier Lopez fumbled the play at first, and the Indians walked off with the victory. “It’s a play a pitcher makes a thousand times in his career,” Lopez said in a post-game press conference. “I just took my eyes off it. There’s no real excuse for it. It’s a tough way to break a winning streak.”
Sox started Brad Penny had another tough outing. Penny gave up 7 runs (4 earned) through 2 2/3 innings on 7 hits and three walks, only striking out one. Spot closer and de-facto set-up man Takashi Saito blew his first save of the year. On the positive side, Hunter Jones threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and as-yet-unscored-on Ramon Ramirez threw a perfect inning and a third.
The Sox and Indians will match up for the rubber game tonight at 7:30pm.
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Tim Wakefield delivered again for the Red Sox last night, giving up only one hit in 7 innings against the Cleveland Indians. He is playing his best baseball to date and flirting with the no-hitter milestone in his last three outings. Red Sox manager Terry Francona assures that Wakefield is capable to shut out the opposing team any time he steps out on the mound. “I’ve seen him in some unbelievable runs,” said Francona. “He’s been a good pitcher for a long time.”
Though Wakefield’s start was nothing short of phenomenal, he was not alone in contributing to the 11th straight Red Sox win. The key play came in the top of the 9th, when Jason Bay belted a three run homer to produce the first runs in the game. It took Boston to score their runs so late in the game due to the pitching on the other end. Cliff Lee started on the hill for the Indians and allowed just five hits in eight innings.
The Red Sox have two more games at Cleveland today and tomorrow at 7:05 pm before they head to Tampa Bay to face off against the defending AL champion Rays. Boston Red Sox tickets are now available!
Lebron James scored 42 points to help the Cleveland Cavaliers come back last night in Miami from an 11 point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 107-100. Mo Williams scored 15 out of his 30 points in the final seven minutes to lead the Cavs rally. Despite Dwayne scoring 41 for the Heat he was unable to get it going in the final minutes of the game. Miami shot 2 for 17 from the floor and turned the ball over four times in the last eight minutes.
Lebron James supplied the dagger with 43 seconds left, cruising past Jamario Moon for a huge right handed dunk to put Cleveland ahead 100-95. The Cavaliers are now 35 games over .500, marking the most successful season in their franchise history.
Lebron James reflecting on the game stated “It was Tough. It’s probably one of the better wins we’ve had all year.” This was the second time James and Wade scored 40 plus points in the same game. The last was on April 1, 2006 in Cleveland where James had 44 and Wade
44. “We don’t want each other to have bragging rights,” said James. “We definitely go at it when we play each other.
Wade and the Heat will be looking for revenge soon as the Heat travel to Cleveland to square off again.
Miami Heat tickets and Cleveland Cavaliers tickets are available now!
With Jason Bay on second and Jason Varitek on third, the Sox were poised to make a comeback against the Indians on Monday night. Instead, a ball that seemed like it was headed for the left field corner bounced off of third-base umpire Gerry Davis. Indians 3B Jamey Carroll made an easy play, and caught the scrambling Sox off guard.
Bay, who had seen Carroll grab the ball and throw to home, headed back to third base. Unfortunately, Varitek was barreling to third with his head down. Bay, with nowhere to go, was tagged out to end the threat.
“At that point, like I said, it was already messed up” Bay said to Ian Browne at MLB.com “It was unfortunate. It’s part of the game. Nobody is trying to do that. We had more opportunities later on to score more runs. You can’t look at that as the only chance.”
The other big chance for the Sox was in the Seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia had both gotten on with singles. Kevin Youkilis hit a high double to score a run, and Bay worked a walk to load the bases. Facing Indians reliever Rafael Betancourt, Jed Lowrie had a chance to give the sox a lead. Lowrie struck out looking, and Mark Kotsay flew out to end the inning.
Lowrie also had a chance to give the Sox a win in the ninth. With Bay on second and Youkilis at third, it would have only taken a base hit for the Sox to walk off with the win. Lowrie struck out on three pitches to end the game.
Baserunners being stranded was the name of the game Monday. The Sox stranded 12, and only managed two hits with runners in scoring position (both by Youkilis). With Jed Lowrie cooling back off, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz ramping up their offense is important with the Sox knocking on October’s door.
Josh Beckett had a less than stellar outing, going 6 innings and giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, a walk, and uncharacteristic 3 hit batters. Javier Lopez, Justin Masterson, and Hideki Okajima combined for 3 scoreless innings of relief with 1 hit and three strikeouts. The Sox still need just one win (or a Yankees loss) to clinch a playoff spot.
Starting Aces 9/23/08 – Cliff Lee, (CLE 22-2, 2.41) vs Tim Wakefield, (BOS 9-11, 4.18). Game is at 7:05pm ET on NESN/WRKO.
The Cleveland Indians‘ 2008 season is not going so well. The Indians are 45-58 after 103 games, and are currently in last place in the AL Central. After unloading ace CC Sabathia, the Tribe opted to continue dealing players. Third baseman Casey Blake was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor-league catcher Carlos Santana (no relation) and RHP Jon Meloan. Santana has a .323 average with 14 homers in single-A ball. Meloan is 5-10 with a 4.07 ERA at AAA with the Las Vegas 51′s, but has an impressive career K per 9 of 11.5.
Blake hit a paltry .234 in the first two months of the season, but exploded since then, hitting .352 with 29 RBI since the end of May.
“Casey Blake is a gamer,” said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti “His experience and character will be a plus as we head down the stretch in the final two months of the regular season.”
The trade leaves few veteran players left on the rebuilding Indians team.
2007 Cy Young winner, C.C. Sabathia is headed to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Indians completed the trade with the Brewers on Sunday night, getting four top prospects in return. The deal ends weeks of speculation about where Sabathia and his expiring contract would end up. To land C.C. the Brewers gave up left fielder Matt LaPorta, pitchers Rob Bryson and Zach Jackson and a player to be named later.
For the Brewers the move signals their intent to make a push for the playoffs this season. The Brewers haven’t been to the playoffs since 1982. Milwaukee is currently in a tight race with the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals in the strong NL Central Division. The Brewers and Cardinals both trail the Cubs by 3.5 games.