Monday, December 04, 2006

2006: The Year In Review (Sports)

The 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star game was simply amazing. The AL continues to dominate the NL by lopsided laughers to breath taking squeakers. The 2006 contest was definitely the latter. With two outs in the ninth inning I thought the game was over. I turned off the television and went to bed. When I woke the next morning I was surprised to see that the American League won it again.
The 2006 Playoffs and World Series were also exciting to watch even though the teams that I rooted for lost. Congratulations must go out to Tony LaRussa, who proved once again he knew how to get the best from his players, especially those on the bench. On several occasions Taguchi came through with the big hit, in one game it was a pinch-hit home run. Series MVP David Eckstein exploded in the World Series after a tepid start in the playoffs. Going into the playoffs The Saint Louis Cardinals seemed to be the weakest of the six contenders. Albert Pujols got off to a rather slow start but he came out of the slump to help make the Cardinals the '06 victors. Yadir Molina was just a 216 hitter during the regular season, but was one of the stars in both the playoffs and the World Series. The New York Mets were favored but losing three top starters and a relief ace put them in hole. Pedro Martinez, Orlando Hernandez and Steve Trachsel(after being hit with a pitch in a playoff game) were unavailable for the World Series. Relief specialist Duaner Sanchez was in a car accident, making his participation impossible. Yet injuries are part of the game. We can't take anything away from the Cardinals well deserved victory. I must say that I am surprised that Willie Randolph was not given the manager of the year award. Randolph in two years took made a last place team into a contender. Once again not to take anything away from Joe Girardi but his team finished below .500 and Girardi was fired.
In basketball Pat O'Riley returned to the winners circle by leading The Miami Heat to their very first NBA Championship. The injured Shaquille O'Neal must really be savoring this one after a few near misses in Los Angeles.
In football The New York Jets and The New York Giants seem to be going in opposite directions. The Giants losing two back to back heartbreakers find themselves behind their old nemesis The Dallas Cowboys, while the New York Jets (as of Dec. 3, 2006) are ahead of their division at 7-5 with four games left. The Bears, The Colts and The Chargers look really good but we won't know who will be the champ until 2007. All in all 2006 was an exciting year in sports.

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