What was that?  Did the Orioles just score a comeback win against the Rangers?  This team keeps showing glimpses of being a solid team before it either stops hitting or the pitching implodes.  Then again, I guess that’s the definition of a bad team.  You still have to like seeing Felix Pie start to hit; hopefully he will turn out to be a bright spot for a team in need of one.  However, I imagine that you were too busy being glued to the LeBron saga to pay much attention to the O’s last night.  But just in case, we will cover LeBron and more this week, so line up for the kick…

King James Building a Sand Castle on South Beach

I am not an avid NBA fan, and I don’t really have a team I root heavily for, but even I decided to turn on ESPN at around 9 to see how the Worldwide Leader would corral this circus into a watchable program.  It was almost comical the way LeBron James stared at Jim Gray as stone-faced as he could manage in answering the question “Do you have any doubts?”  James clearly did, and his nerves were on display despite his attempts at a calm, balanced demeanor.  He is certainly taking a chance by going to South Beach to play with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, along with… well, that’s the tricky part.  This team could very will wind up with the worst supporting cast in the NBA, almost like an expansion team that gets all the players it can to fill out a roster.  Unlike an expansion team however, the Heat have three of the best players in the NBA.  Many comparisons will be made between the Boston Big 3 and the new Big 3 of the Heat, but there is a key difference between the two.  All three members of Boston’s cohort were (are) nearing the end of their careers and just wanted to get a championship.  In Miami’s case, their players are all in the primes of their careers.  And let’s be honest, Chris Bosh and LeBron James are better players than Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were when they joined Boston.

But James did the right thing from a basketball standpoint.  The opportunity to get 5 years with two other elite players is one that someone who wants to win as badly as James does cannot pass up.  As for Cleveland, they failed to deliver LeBron a supporting cast worthy of his services, and he had no basketball incentive to stay there.  He will still do most of his charity work there and over time I am sure he will become a hero in his home town again.  However, he had better hope he wins a title soon in Miami, or the pressure will be on- then again, wasn’t it already on in Cleveland?


All-Star Rosters Out of Control

I understand that the only reason the Orioles were going to have an All-Star this season was because every team has to have an All-Star.  But why is that?  There certainly are teams with no players who are All-Stars of major league baseball, so why should they get the title, aside from the fact that having a player in the game will hopefully drive ratings.  Wait, I think I just answered that.  Either way, the game is bloated to the point where, including injuries, there could be almost 80 players in the game.  Yes, 80.  I understand there are a lot of great players out there, and that certain players are guaranteed to get a spot regardless of whether they have done anything of note because of their rabid and populous fan bases that vote them in (Boston, New York), but having this many player dilutes the importance of an already meaningless award.  The All-Star title is never a measure of how talented a player is- in this case, Ty Wiggington got in because Joe Girardi needed another guy who could play first.  Wow, now that’s a solid case.  Omar Infante is in the game because Charlie Manuel saw him make a clutch hit against his Phillies.  Yes, A HIT.  I cringe when I hear Hall of Fame cases that run down how many times a certain player was an All-Star, because it doesn’t matter anymore, and I am not sure that it ever did.  Like so many things Major League Baseball does, I have no faith in their ability to handle anything important.  Luckily they can’t screw up the game itself… never mind.

If a Bike Falls in France and No One is Watching…

…does anyone care?  The Tour De France is underway, and I guess they found at least a few riders who haven’t yet been found guilty of doping and decided to hold the competition this year- how nice of them.  Lance Armstrong is making what he promises to be his final go of it, his comeback starting to look like Michael Jordan coming back with the Wizards.  He is a good rider, but not where he was before.  Win your titles and go out a hero.  Instead, he is trying to force his way back into the history books and while I appreciate his drive, I hate to see an athlete compete who just doesn’t have the best stuff anymore (please prove me wrong though).  I guess the worst part of it is that cyclists seem to pop up for performance enhancing drugs more often than late 90’s home run champions or Pro Wrestlers, to the point where the integrity of the sport is questioned.  Unlike those athletes, cyclists seemingly will go to obscure and seemingly impossible means to procure the stuff and find the most untraceable drug to give them the extra push through the Pyrenees or wherever.  As if cycling wasn’t tough enough to watch already.