Clinger’s Corner: It’s been a while


By Chad Clinger - cclinger@civitasmedia.com



I feel like it has been ages since I last graced everyone with a column. Life has been crazy, I have been busy and that’s all that I am going to say about all of that.

So, let’s talk some professional sports…

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

The playoffs are now entering the Conference Semi-Finals and most first-round matchups played out according to planned. Here’s a little recap to get everyone up to speed.

Eastern Conference

The No. 2 seeded Cleveland Cavaliers had a terrible finish to the regular season. I, for one, think that they purposely put themselves out of the running for the top seed to avoid Chicago but, what do I know? Anyways, the defending NBA champions made quick work of the No. 7 seed Indiana Pacers and broke out the brooms for a 4-0 series sweep. Cleveland now finds themselves paired up against the No. 3 seed Toronto Raptors in the semis. Toronto disposed of the resurgent No. 6 seed Milwaukee Bucks, 4-2. If I had to make a guess, I’d say Cavs in five games.

The top-seeded Boston Celtics started the playoffs off rough against the Chicago Bulls, falling behind 2-0 before storming back to rattle off four-straight wins. Isaiah Thomas is still a freak of nature and has lost his sister in a car accident and lost a tooth in battle and kept on winning. Boston is already up 1-0 in the semis, where they are playing the No. 4 Washington Wizards after Washington knocked out the No. 5 Atlanta Hawks 4-2. The Wizards got out to a huge lead in the first game against Boston but that doesn’t mean a thing when IT4 is on the court. My prediction, Celtics in 6.

Western Conference

Damian Lillard talked a big game for the No. 8 seeded Portland TrailBlazers, who found themselves locked up with the No. 1 seed Golden State Warriors. Golden State, the likely 2017 NBA Champs, wiped the floor with Portland despite not having a 100% KD. The series was a sweep and Golden State moves on (no surprise there) to face the No. 5 seed Utah Jazz. The Jazz won their first playoff series since 2010 in dramatic fashion over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clips, for the fifth consecutive year, lost a series in which they led at some point. Paul Pierce says goodbye to basketball in losing fashion but will always be a winner in my book! The Warriors will also sweep the Jazz to advance to the Conference Finals…again.

A lackluster batter at 6/3 saw the Houston Rockets (3) defeat Russ and the No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1. Everyone was pumped for The Beard vs Russ and of course it was full of triple-doubles but a snore nonetheless. Plus, I hate the Rockets. Houston moves on to play what seems like a permanent staple in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs. The No. 2 seeded Spurs defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 4-2 to advance. I didn’t watch much of this either but on a positive note, Vince Carter said that retirement isn’t even on his radar. In the battle of Texas, I have San Antonio in 7.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Holy cow, what a start to a season. There has already been multiple players hit for the cycle, walkoffs galore, a few guys hit three homers in a game and the list goes on and on. The New York Yankees (ugh) are playing some dynamite baseball and my step-father is pumped on the “Baby Bombers”. Oh, the Mets are hurting, Adam Eaton is out for the season with an ACL tear in Washington and Madison Bumgarner is out at least three months in San Francisco.

Anyways, here are the records (as of Monday May 1) through the first month of the regular season…

National League

East

Washington Nationals 17-8

Miami Marlins 11-12

Philadelphia Phillies 11-12

Atlanta Braves 10-13

New York Mets 10-14

Central

Chicago Cubs 13-11

Milwaukee Brewers 13-13

St.Louis Cardinals 12-12

Cincinnati Reds 11-13

Pittsburgh Pirates 11-13

West

Colorado Rockies 16-10

Arizona Diamondbacks 16-11

Los Angeles Dodgers 14-12

San Diego Padres 11-16

San Francisco Giants 9-17

American League

East

Baltimore Orioles 15-8

New York Yankees 15-8

BOSTON RED SOX 13-11

Tampa Bay Rays 12-14

Toronto Blue Jays 8-17

Central

Cleveland Indians 14-10

Chicago White Sox 13-10

Minnesota Twins 12-11

Detroit Tigers 12-12

Kansas City Royals 7-16

West

Houston Astros 16-9

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 14-13

Oakland Athletics 11-14

Texas Rangers 11-14

Seattle Mariners 11-15

Statistical Leaders

Batting

Average: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals- .420

Homeruns: Zimmerman and Eric Thames from the Brewers- 11

Runs Batted In: Zimmerman- 29

Stolen Bases: Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds and AJ Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks- 10

Pitching

Earned Run Average: Ervin Santana, Minnesota Twins: 0.77

Wins: Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros- 5 (5-0, 1.21 ERA)

Strikeouts: Chris Sale, BOSTON RED SOX- 52

Saves: Greg Holland, Colorado Rockies- 11

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By Chad Clinger

cclinger@civitasmedia.com