Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 4:16 PM
OUR JIM SEZ WEEKEND REPORT—
WE ZIP ‘ROUND THE NFL DRAFT, NBA PLAYOFFS AND MLB WITH LATEST NEWS/NOTES/RUMORS
By Jim Hurley
Say this for the ultra-exciting first round of the National Football League Draft…it had a little bit of everything including two QB-needy teams getting their “franchise quarterbacks” with their second picks in Round I.
Okay, so all’s well that ends well with the Cleveland Browns, who scooped up Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel with the 22nd overall choice in the draft— Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert was the Brownies’ top pick at #8— while the Minnesota Vikings traded back into the very end of Round I to snap up Louisville slinger Teddy Bridgewater but please— puh-leeze— can we not have representatives from those two clubs claiming things pretty much “fell as expected”?
Meanwhile, if you go purely by a “prospect rankings” chart we eyeballed prior to the draft then the highest-ranked players not picked in Round One were USC wide receiver Marqise Lee and Notre Dame DT Louis Nix, and remember back in the day when a “name player” from either of these two schools would have skyrocketed up the draft charts as opposed to skydive out of the opening round.
Go ahead and raise your hand if you thought nearly six full weeks into this 2013 campaign that Milwaukee Brewers closer RHP Francisco Rodriguez would be leading the bigs with 14 saves.
The man once-upon-a-time known as K-Rod has come back from the baseball graveyard— do remember that he is still only 32 years old— and he’s converted all 14 of his save opportunities while sporting a spiffy 26-to-4 K-to-BB ratio while owning an 0.65 WHIP.
Rodriguez is a major reason why the now banged-up Brewers entered this Mother’s Day Weekend tied with San Francisco for the best record in the National League (22-13) …
The American League’s hottest side while entering weekend play was the Toronto Blue Jays (18-17) who exited Thursday’s 12-6 beat-down of Philadelphia with five wins in a row— true, the last four of them came against the beleaguered Phillies as the Jays clubbed the NL East crew by a composite score of 31-11 this week and that’s helped Toronto sport the best run differential in a division that could stay packed in tightly with at or near .500 teams all season long …
Wondering if there is any truth to the rumor mill that Chicago Cubs RHP Jeff Samardzija will be traded sooner rather than later following his rant about the subject of his personal pitch count?
Samardzija— who threw 126 pitches in last Monday’s 3-1, 12-inning loss to the Chicago White Sox— didn’t like front-office folks commenting on the pitch count matter, and so don’t be shocked if the Cubbies begin to field offers for the 29-year-old starter.
Think any/all of the AL East teams would have any interest? You betcha.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to rake in the profits in this year’s NBA Playoffs and we’ll continue to rock-n-roll through the post-season all this weekend long.
Go online right here at www.jimhurley.com or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day and cash in with all the NBA Playoffs and remember there’s Major-League Baseball on tap every day too!
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No doubt the NBA got a major bang for its buck with the first round of the playoffs with five of the eight series going the distance but through the first eight games of these conference semifinals it’s been blowout city with six of the eight games decided by twin figures and the average margin of victory being a whopping 14 points a game.
Let us take a moment to remind you that the Western Conference’s top-seeded San Antonio Spurs entered their series with the Portland Trail Blazers as 4-to-1 series favorites while in the East the Miami Heat was listed as a 6-to-1 choice to best Brooklyn … so should there really be any great surprise that those two series are 2-zip heading into weekend play? …
Finally, when you check out this weekend’s NBA Playoffs action let’s see if those “supporting role” players for the Spurs and Heat can draw their teams one win closer to a sweep.
San Antonio’s Boris Diaw (5-of-6 FG shooting for 12 points and 4 rebounds in Thursday’s 114-97 win/cover against 6-point pup Portland) has been a real underrated factor this post-season for Gregg Popovich’s club— who can forget his clutch triple late in a playoff win against Dallas?— while note Heat F Rashard Lewis rebounded from a scoreless Game 1 in this series with 6 points and 3 boards in Thursday’s 94-82 win/cover against 6 ½-point dog Brooklyn.
Neither is as important to his respective team as, say, Tony Parker or LeBron James (of course!), but a little energy jolt from these so-called supporting role players could get the Spurs/Heat closer to a sweep or at least a shorter five-game set.