A ‘perfect’ day for Mothers Day
So I know it’s probably going to surprise a few people to see me lead this blog with something other than hockey, especially on the morning of what could VERY easily be my beloved Habs’ last game of this already commendable playoff run, but I can’t help myself on this occasion.
While I haven’t said much of anything recently about baseball, other than to quickly acknowledge the hilarity that is the Blue Jays and to pretty much guarantee Roy Halladay’s place in Cooperstown now that he pitches in front of the best lineup on earth, Sunday’s best moment in sports most definitely came from the diamonds.
Everyone knows the Yankees’ superstar Alex Rodriguez but, until a couple of weeks ago, not many would claim the same for Oakland hurler Dallas Braden. At the time, Braden flipped a breaker during a game between the two clubs when A-Rod ran across his pitching mound after being called out on a play – an apparent unwritten no-no.
After the game, the ever-classy A-Rod (cough, cough) made a few comments about Braden’s no-name-ness (for lack of something clever) and basically said Braden hasn’t done squat and shouldn’t be talking until he has.
Well on Sunday, all this nobody did was face and retire 27-straight batters en route to just the 19th perfect game EVER, and he did it against Tampa Bay, who has the best record in baseball right now. I think Braden officially became entitled to his personal space on the mound from now on.
We all know this perfect game had nothing to do with A-Rod directly but the eyes of the media were on his reaction anyway, since he had to feel at least a little dumb about it. And not the normal kind of dumb either that would have many of us praying to draw his name in the opening round of a battle-of-wits-to-the-death tournament. But the embarrassing kind, where he has to actually say the kid is good and he has to do it on television.
That’s throwing in the towel of this war of words on just the second exchange. I don’t care how insignificant it is in the course of the season, that moment had to feel good for Braden.
But making A-Rod look stupid isn’t even why this was the best story of the day – and one of the best professional sports stories of the year in my opinion.
Braden lost his mom to cancer while he was in high school and was raised thereafter by his grandmother. If anyone watching yesterday was unsure of how important it was for him to accomplish this rarest of pitching feats on Mothers Day, they were off the fence completely when they witnessed the embrace between Braden and his grandma on the field after the game.
I guarantee you some grown men were weeping throughout the baseball world yesterday. Oh, and Grandma’s reaction to her boy’s perfection in the wake of Rodriguez’s comments?
“Stick it, A-Rod.”
My sentiments exactly.
On to another non-hockey topic, although this one’s pretty flippin’ close if you ask me.
Before I say this, let me clear something up. I love basketball. I generally think the NBA is a complete joke and I can usually only watch if one of maybe five players is on because it’s the biggest display of a no-teamwork-allowed league out there and it’s officiated by even more corruption and downright stupidity than the NHL, which is all kinds of hard to accomplish.
But I love basketball.
Well, if anyone else out there was fortunate enough to have game four on of the Phoenix Suns versus the San Antonio Spurs, then you saw something from Steve Nash almost no other baller could pull off. And I’m being rather nice putting in the almost.
Up three games to none on a Spurs team that has haunted Nash’s Suns for years and playing in Texas, Kid Canada took a hard elbow in the face from Tim Duncan, resulting in six stitches above his right eye to close a nasty gash, which didn’t stop it from swelling like a golf ball and sealing his eye shut within minutes.
While this type of injury would almost surely end any sharpshooter’s night – and let’s face it, 95 out of 100 NBA players of any kind – Nash acted more like a hockey player than a basketball player by receiving his stitches and getting back to the floor as quickly as possible.
And when he gets back to the game with just over one quarter to play, he somehow manages to put home 10 of his 20 points while half blind. Afterwards, and with the journalistic genius only found in the American sports media, Nash was asked what it was like to play with just one eye.
“Well, it wasn’t ideal,” he replies.
Nope. I suppose it wouldn’t be.
How does Nash’s performance make LeBron feel exactly? Mr. I-have-to-shoot-free-throws-with-my-left-hand-‘cause-I-STRAINED-my-elbow?
Now, I am no champion of pain, believe me. But if you can’t heave a 22-ounce ball of air-filled rubber 15 feet because you essentially have a cramp in your arm, which eventually causes you to miss absolutely zero game time, do you still get to call yourself King?
And now, ON TO HOCKEY!!!!!
That is all.