Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sportsville update: Way up and way down

The news from Sportsville today is more bad than good. However, the good is so good that I think it outweighs the more abundant, but less surprising, bad.

On the bad side of the ledger, we have the little Mavericks and the inconsequential Rangers, both of whom lost last night.

The Rangers, dropping ever further from the realm of the relevant, lost to Kansas City (Kansas City!) 9-5. This puts them at 9-18 for the season thus far, the worst record in baseball. Oh, and they also lost another starter (Jason Jennings) to injury.

Can we just forfeit the rest of the season now?

For my part, I will not venture into the confines of the Ballpark (unless Ed invites us to join his fam in the suite again; I'll make an exception for that) for the duration. I may even swear off games on TV, except I don't know what else I'll do on a random mid-July Tuesday night.

God, they are terrible.

The little Mavs completed their third giant choke in as many years, losing Game 5 to New Orleans 99-94 and dropping the first-round series three games to one. It is clear to everyone that drastic changes are necessary. The really bad news is the Mavs total lack of options, mostly as a result of giving up half the roster and two of the next three first-round draft picks in the (now-obviously failed) J. Kidd trade.

It's always hard to say what Cuban will do, but the vote here is trade anyone and everyone who can bring any sort of future return. Blow the thing up completely, get some expiring contracts (or, better yet, draft picks), suck for a couple of years, and start over. This includes Dirk.

And there is no way Avery is back.

Thinking back to the halcyon days of June 2006, didn't we all think the Mavs were a dynasty in the making? Didn't we all think, "So what if they choked against Miami? They'll be back!"? I sure did.

What a disappointment.

We like to finish on a positive here at CIT, so let's move to the most positive of all, the biggest, most pleasant surprise of all: your Dallas Stars.

A 2-1 OT win over San Jose last night gives the Stars a death-grip on the second-round series with a 3-0 lead. Our boys withstood the expected San Jose everything-but-the-kitchen-sink onslaught in the first two periods and emerged down only 1-0, due primarily to Marty Turco's continued larceny (thanks, Razor) in goal.

Once the third period started, the Stars took over the game. Zubov's seeing-eye liner from the point on a power play tied it, and unlikely hero Matty Norstrom scored on a weird and wonderful mis-directed pass four and a half minutes into OT to win it. Brendan Morrow continued to play like a man possessed, hitting everything in teal, and Mike Ribeiro found more hockey wizardry in his bag - is he the greatest 170 lb player in this generation?

A sweep is now possible, and, while I expect the Sharks to win Game 4, I don't discount the chance of confetti raining down from the rafters of the AAC tonight either.

The bad news is the Stars are all we've got this summer. The good news is they are earning the respect and attention in all the right ways.

Go Stars!

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