Last Weekend had Many Important Sporting Events
Almost every major sport had an important event happening last weekend including the Houston Astros’ 10-game winning streak, the 2015 NFL draft, the beginning of the second round of the NBA playoffs, the Kentucky Derby, a historical PGA victory, a world championship boxing match and a personal event.
We’ll start with the personal event which was driving to Jasper Friday evening to watch my only grandson Logan Smith start on the mound for Hudson High against the Bulldogs.
I asked wife Susan if she wanted to spend five hours to see Logan pitch and she was eager to get on the road. I parked the car not far from the Hudson bullpen where Logan was warming up. I was impressed with his velocity and control and hoped it would continue with a batter in the box.
I certainly wasn’t disappointed as he mowed down the Bulldog batsmen with regularity. Unfortunately, Jasper had a pitcher that was just as effective as Logan and the scoreboard showed all zeroes through the first 5½ innings.
Logan was taken out with the score 0-0, but his relief let in a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hudson tied the score 1-1 in the seventh but Jasper scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Logan had given up only three hits and issued his only walk in the sixth inning.
Hudson will be involved in the state baseball playoffs which will begin this weekend with all teams in this four-school district (Hudson, Jasper, Huntington and Diboll) eligible and also in action.
And while on the subject of baseball, the Houston Astros (18-7 through Sunday’s victory) are off to the best start in franchise history. They lead the American League in home runs and stolen bases and are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the most wins in the major leagues.
The Astros—the hottest team in major league baseball– were on a 10-game winning streak going into the three-game series with the Texas Rangers that began Monday and have won 14 of their last 15 games through Sunday.
Houston on Sunday completed a four-game series sweep of the Seattle Mariners—the first four-game sweep at Minute Maid Park since Sept. 8-11, 2008 when the ‘Stroes swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in a four-game series.
The three-day 2015 National Football League draft, which concluded Saturday night, was most successful for the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings, according to the NFL beat writer for the Houston Chronicle and got “A” grades for their selections.
The three teams most Southeast Texas pro football fans were interested in graded lower but okay compared to many teams.
The Houston Texans, which got potential starters on their first three picks, received a “B”, the Dallas Cowboys, which focused on defensive players, got a “B-” and the Seattle Seahawks were given a “C-”, although they were commended for trading up to get wide receiver Tyler Lockett in the second round.
I drove over to Delta Downs in Vinton, La. Saturday afternoon to place a “little wager” on the 141st Kentucky Derby. My $12 exacta box came through and I also had win, place and show tickets on American Pharoah that sent me back to Orange with much more money than I had brought with me.
I really believe American Pharoah has a legitimate chance of winning the Triple Crown. But it’s so hard to do with the great crop of three-year olds out there now.
The second round of the NBA playoffs began Sunday with the Washington Wizards upsetting the Hawks in Atlanta 104-98 and Golden State out-classing Memphis 101-86. Our Houston Rockets played at home Monday night against the LA Clippers.
Saturday night’s world championship welterweight bout which was won by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. over Manny Pacquiao wasn’t a big surprise. It turned out that both fighters earned more than $100 million each which made history with the richest single payday any athlete of any sport has made.
The victory upped Mayweather’s record to 48-0 and he said he will fight once more in September and then hang up his gloves. If he wins, he will have tied the late, great Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record. I don’t believe he’ll want to retire tied with Marciano.
And Rory McIlroy reminded the golf world why he is the No. 1 golfer in the world by beating Gary Woodland 4-2 to win the Cadillac Match Play World Golf Championship for the second time in his young career.
It wasn’t an easy task as McIlroy was two down with two holes to play Friday and rallied to win in 20 holes against Billy Horschel. McIlroy was one down on the 17th hole to Paul Casey Saturday and wound up winning on the 22nd hole that spilled over to Sunday morning.
McIlroy was one down going into No. 16 in Sunday’s semifinal round against Jim Furyk and proceeded to go birdie, birdie and eagle to win 1-up.
Sunday’s victory put McIlroy into elite company with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, who are the only golfers to have 10 wins in the U.S. before the age of 26. Ironically, McIlroy turned 26 on Monday.
KWICKIES…And while on the subject of Tiger Woods, he and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn are no longer dating. “After nearly three years together, Tiger and I have mutually decided to end our relationship. I will always cherish the memories that we’ve created together, and I will always admire and respect Tiger,” Vonn wrote on her Face book page.
The Lamar Lady Cards concluded the regular season in fine fashion by sweeping a doubleheader from Nicholls State Saturday 9-7 and 10-2 to clinch the No. 5 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament that starts today (Wed.). The Lady Cards open the double-elimination tournament against fourth-seeded Southeastern Louisiana today at 11 a.m. at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La.
The Lamar men’s baseball team didn’t fare as well, losing a three-game series last weekend to Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond. Lamar, 8-16 in the Southland Conference and 19-28 overall, will play their last SLC series at Vincent-Beck Stadium starting on Thursday against Stephen F. Austin and will need a miracle to get into the SLC Tournament when the regular season concludes.
Former West Orange-Stark and Lamar standout wide receiver Mark Roberts accepted an invitation to the Kansas City Chiefs’ upcoming mini-camp after not getting drafted in the late rounds as expected. However, he’s going to a team that was very short on talented wide receivers last season and should get a long, hard look by the Chiefs’ coaching staff.
The Milwaukee Brewers fired their manager Ron Roenicke Sunday hours after the team’s 5-3 victory over the Cubs in Chicago. The Brewers are a major-league-worst 7-18 after a horrible 2-13 start. Roenicke was 342-331 over four-plus seasons.
JUST BETWEEN US…Two female journalists, who each have detailed the domestic violence history of undefeated welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. wrote on Twitter Saturday morning that they had been denied credentials to the evening fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, according to an article by the New York Times Service. Rachel Nichols, a reporter with CNN said that she and Michelle Beadle, who works for ESPN and HBO, were not able to cover the fight. “Mayweather’s team told my producer the camp was blocking my credential,” Nichols said on Twitter after Beadle posted a message saying the two had been “banned from the MGM Grand Arena.” Mayweather Promotions, which controlled distribution of the media credentials, denied the reports. Mayweather had been arrested several times for domestic violence and spent two months in jail in 2012 for beating the mother of three of his children.