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The US Open Debacle.

On Saturday, the women’s final for the US Open tennis tournament was held between 20 year Naomi Osaka and arguably the greatest female player of all time, Serena Williams.

Osaka won the championship 6-2, 6-4 becoming the first person of Japanese descent to win a major tennis tournament. Osaka is young, polite, softspoken, and doesn’t have an orgasmic shriek each time she hits the ball. She is just what tennis needs – a rising star for people to emulate.

Sadly, Osaka’s win will not be remembered for the actual victory, but the “controversy” surrounding it.

It all starts with Williams up 1 – 0 in the second set after losing the first set:

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos gives a code violation to the people sitting in Williams’ coaching box for “coaching.” Tennis is one of those sports where the governing body wants the matches decided on the court between the players and not by getting input from coaches. To get around the rule against coaching, coaches have taken to using hand signals. At the 0:28 mark of the above video, you can see Williams reacting to the violation saying all the coach was doing was giving her a “thumbs up.” Later, Williams makes the claim that the umpire was calling her a “cheater” by saying she was getting coaching. She even brings her young daughter into the picture saying she wants to be a “role model” and she would “rather lose than cheat.”

There’s a real problem with this outburst from Williams: her coach admitted they were giving her coaching from the stands.
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Lacrosse Championship Weekend!

It’s here. Finally.

The Division I NCAA National Lacrosse Championships are this weekend with the semi-finals today and the finals on Monday. There is still time to get up to Boston to take in the games, if you want.

The party starts today at noon with Albany taking on Yale.

Albany has looked really great as of late yet Yale spanked them earlier in the year 14-6. The caveat to that win was that Albany was missing their best player Conner Fields and even though he is back, he still isn’t 100%. Yale is favored by 1/2 a goal (is that when only half of the ball goes in the net?) and the thought is that this should be a really close, high scoring game.

Albany / Yale is the warmup for the Maryland vs. Duke at 2:30. Maryland used to play in the ACC and the rivalry within the conference was heated. Now that the Terps are in the Big 10, they don’t play the Blue Devils as often and so the rivalry has gone from “heated” to abject hate and loathing. Duke is favored by that same 1/2 goal (maybe that is where the other half of the ball from the Albany / Yale game went…) and should not be as high scoring as Albany / Yale game as Maryland is has more of a deliberate style of offense. Still, even with the line as it is, Maryland is the defending champs and one of two thing will have to occur: You have to beat the best to be the best, or heavy is the head that wears the crown.

No matter what, it should be a great weekend of lacrosse and it all can be seen on ESPN2

FEAR THE TURTLE!

UPDATED BRACKET:
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On To Round Two.

In case you were out of town or otherwise dealing with other things, the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament this past weekend was great.

Our beloved Maryland Terps looked like turtles in the headlights at first, but came won over a very stubborn and game squad from Robert Morris, 14-11. Maybe the pressure of being the defending champs got to the Terps, but they have to do better if they want to lift the trophy again, or even to make it to the Championship Weekend.

Maryland will play Cornell in the second round, who beat seeded Syracuse 10 – 9. Neither team looked great, but a win is a win.

Seeded Notre Dame lost to Denver 9 – 7 in a game that the Irish should have won. Fundamental play wins and loses games in any sport, and Notre Dame turned the ball over, couldn’t pick up ground balls, or make on target passes.

Facing Denver in the second round is Albany who looked really great in beating Richmond 18 – 9. Albany has great attack men who play inside, a great overall offense and a good defense. It is going to take a huge effort to beat those guys.

Round two will also have the battle of the dogs – the Yale Bulldogs who beat UMass 13 – 15 and the Loyola Greyhounds who played a sloppy, weather delayed game but beat Virgina 14 – 12. Virginia used to be a powerhouse in lacrosse and something has happened to them They are still good, but not where they used to be.

Duke crushed Villanova 17 – 11 and for their troubles will face rival Hopkins.
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It Starts Today.

The month of May brings spring, cherry blossoms, the end of school and most of all, the NCAA Lacrosse Championships. The 17 team field this year is deeper than it has ever been and the road to a championship is not going to be easy.

Our beloved Maryland Terrapins are the number one seeds in both the men’s and the women’s tournament and both are hoping to duplicate the championships they won last year.

The tourney ends on Memorial Day in Boston this year and so for the three weeks, we will be binge watching the greatest sport in the land as all of the games on the men’s side are carried on the ESPN networks.

Here’s the bracket in case you are interested. (And we know that you are interested because our readers are intelligent and therefore should love lacrosse.)

Game on.

Fear the Turtle!



Best 8 Out Of 15?

We are loving it.

Absolutely loving it.

The 2017 Baseball World Series between the Las Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros has been magical. Simply magical.

Except for a relative “blow out” of a 6 – 2 Dodgers’ win in game four, (and even that was a tight game until late) the games have all been edge of your seat, hang on every pitch, what is going to happen now, did that just happen games that restore in us the reason why we love sports.

All images in this post courtesy of the AP

The love started years ago, playing catch with dad along the side of the house. We played Little League and marched in opening day parades. We followed our home team religiously and listened to the broadcasts games on little AM radios.

And the first time we saw a major league field? Well, the only thing better than that was the Coke, peanuts and hot dog we purchased at the game. It was stunning and as a child, filled us with awe. (And don’t forget the program so you could tell the opposing players and best of all, keep score using a little golf pencil they gave you.)

People talk all the time as to how the pace of baseball is too slow and too boring. That may be true in some cases as we wish batters would stop stepping out of the batter’s box and adjust their batting gloves after every single pitch. But baseball is a thinking game. Part of the joy is asking yourself and those around you “what would you do here? What pitch? What location?” The same is true on offense. Do you bunt? Put the runner in motion? Try to steal a base?

The questions are endless and it is easy to get immersed in a game.

This is especially true when it seems that each play, each out, each pitch seems to have the game hanging in the balance.

Such has been the Dodgers – Astros series.

It’s been brilliant.
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It’s Not Enough.

There’s a lot going on in the world today that others far more capable than we are covering. For example, London (and all of England for that matter) is dealing with yet another attack on citizens who were just minding their own business. The Brits know the names of the attackers and information on them but have not released that information because of “operational concerns.” Fair enough. We suspect that when the information is released, the people won’t be Amish from Pennsylvania or Methodists from Dry Ridge, Indiana. Draw your own conclusions.

President Trump used his pen and his phone to withdraw the US from the Paris Accords on climate change. We have two thoughts on this. First, the Accords acted like a treaty, enjoined countries as if the agreement was a treaty and other countries approved the agreement as if it was a treaty. One country that did not approve the Accords as a treaty was the United States. President Obama decided at the time to sign his name to a Special Executive Order committing the US to the Accords and bypassing Senate approval of treaties as required by the Constitution. Trump is well within his rights as President to subvert and stop the end run around the Constitution that Obama started.

One of the staff here said that those on the left screaming about the withdrawal are saying that Trump and people who are against the Accords are against clean air and clean water. How they get to that conclusion is a mystery because no right thinking person is for polluted water and air. It is hyperbole in order to change the debate on whether the massive amount of money redistribution required by the Paris Accords would 1) make the world a better, less polluted place and 2) is more show than go.

This blog is premised on the notion that “all politics is local.” (Thanks Tip O’Neill!)
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Charges Dropped Against Catfish Thrower.

The charges against the guy who threw a catfish onto the ice during the Stanly Cup Finals have been dropped.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala said in a Facebook post Wednesday that Waddell’s actions “do not rise to the level of criminal charges” so the charges “will be withdrawn in a timely manner.”

Thank goodness as we were worried about the catfish being an “Instrument of crime.”

“You….step away from the fish! Don’t go near the flour or the pan! Just step away….”

But with the new day comes this from the guy who threw the fish:
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Is That A Catfish Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?

There are a lot of weird and odd things that come across our electronic desk, but this one is right up there:

Predators fan Jacob Waddell charged for throwing catfish on ice in Game 1

A Nashville Predators fan who threw a dead catfish on the ice in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is facing criminal charges, the Pittsburgh Police Department said in a statement Tuesday.

There’s a bit of a backstory to this that the staff was talking about last week. It seems that in 2003, in order to start some sort of tradition, the fans of the Nashville Predators took to throwing catfish onto the ice during hockey games. The act is similar to the tradition that happens in Detroit where people throw octopus onto the ice. The Detroit tradition started because at one point in time, it took eight game victories to win the Stanley Cup.

The fans of the Predators seemed to say “this is the south. We are throwing catfish.”

It takes all kinds.

We understand that you cannot have seafood flying through the air at sporting events. Frankly, some of the catfish people have thrown are rather big and we can see someone getting hurt if the fish doesn’t make it onto the rink.

However, instead of just removing the guy from the arena and telling him to never come back, he was charged with a crime – multiple crimes in fact:
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