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Frankly Frankel: June 6, 2015

06 Jun

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Kyrie Irving and Cleveland go down in Game 1, American Pharoah is looking to make history at the Belmont Stakes, the Blackhakws will steamroll to the title, and since when do people care who wins an ESPY award? This is Frankly Frankel on this Saturday, June 6, 2015.

  • Game one of the NBA Finals could not have been going better for the Cavaliers, until the final 2:38 of regulation and into overtime where everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong for Cleveland.
  • First, Kyrie Irving went down after suffering a fractured kneecap late in overtime. He’s done for the Finals, needs surgery, and is expected to miss 3-4 months.
  • The disappointing part about this was Irving looked to be 100 percent prior to getting hurt. He scored 23 points to go along with seven rebounds, six assists, four rebounds, and two blocks, including a major rejection of Steph Curry who thought he had a gimme go-ahead lay-up with 24.1 seconds remaining in regulation.
  • The critics in the NBA Universe are saying the Cavs playing Irving 44 minutes contributed to him getting hurt. I completely understand where those people are coming from. I mean Irving was battling a left knee injury all post-season long, and had reportedly suffered a set-back just before the Finals were set to begin.
  • Watching Irving’s minutes may have been a wise choice, but with how effective he looked all game long, I have no problem with how Cavs coach David Blatt played it. If the guy is feeling good and playing great, keep the guy out there. Now if he looked terrible and was clearly in pain, then that would have been a different story.
  • The reality is freak injuries happen all the time in sports, and unfortunately for Irving and the Cavs, the timing could not have been worse.
  • In even worse news in my humble opinion for Cleveland, the Warriors may have found someone who can contain LeBron James maybe better than anyone else in the NBA, and that man is Andre Iguodala who was giving James headaches all game long on the defensive end.
  • When you take into account Irving is done for the Finals, J.R. Smith’s inconsistency, and the fact the Warriors have someone who can contain LeBron, finding consistent offense will be a tremendous challenge the rest of the way for Cleveland.
  • I was confident about the Cavaliers chances before the series, and now I have a hard time seeing how Cleveland comes away on top in this series.
  • Later today at the Belmont Stakes, American Pharoah will look to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown. There have been 13 other horses since then who have entered Belmont with the chance to complete the Triple Crown, and all have failed.
  • The biggest obstacle for American Pharoah is the fact that its the only horse in the 7-horse field to have participated in all three Triple Crown races, meaning every other horse will be significantly fresher. In the grueling 1.5 mile Belmont racetrack, stamina will play a crucial role, which is something American Pharoah may not have a whole lot of.
  • Despite that obstacle, I say this is the year of the Triple Crown, and American Pharoah will get the job done. Book it.
  • There was a lot of backlash this week when it was announced the ESPY’s would give the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner. Does Caitlyn Jenner deserve the award? Yes. Are there more deserving candidates? 100 percent yes. My only question is since when do people actually care who wins an ESPY award?
  • Seriously, in the entire time the ESPY’s have been around, I can’t remember a single person complaining about anyone that was chosen for an award during ESPN’s annual award’s showcase. But now, in the show’s 23rd year, people finally care. I guess that’s just good for ESPN.
  • If we do want to argue about this, the person that most deserves the award is the late Lauren Hill who fulfilled her dream of playing college basketball after being given months to live with an incurable form of brain cancer. That would have gone over much better with the general public than the Jenner selection.
  • Just because Hill wasn’t chosen for this award, I would still expect the ESPY’s to pay homage to her with a special tribute.
  • As a sports fan, certain things happen that affect how you look at a series, and the way the Tampa Bay Lightning lost Game one of the Stanley Cup Finals tells me the Chicago Blackhawks are poised to run away with this series.
  • I just think the fact that the inexperienced Lightning were so close to winning and setting the tone with a Game one home victory, only to see the gritty, championship experienced Blackhawks steal one late, is a blow Tampa Bay is unlikely to recover from.
  • Rex Ryan will never ever ever learn. Every time Rex takes questions from reporters, he always says his team will make the playoffs. I have no idea why he feels the need to consistently do this? Why can’t the man just let his players do the talking on the field? If this continues, Rex will always be looked at as the man who could never back up all his talk off the field. That’s not the kind of reputation any sports figure should be proud of.
  • I like Rex. I love his bravado and confidence, but this is exactly why I’m glad he’s no longer the coach of the Jets.
  • By the first week of the NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers may run out of players. On Friday, offensive lineman Anthony Davis joined Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, and Chris Boreland as 49ers to retire this offseason. Aside from Smith who was getting up there in age, these players were in the prime of their careers and suddenly walked away from the sports.
  • The fact this is becoming a theme in 49er land has to raise some eyebrows. Something fishy is going on out there, and I would love to know what because in all the years I’ve been watching sports, I’ve never seen anything like this.
  • A big congratulations to Alex Rodriguez who passed Barry Bonds Friday night for 2nd place on the all-time RBIs list after driving in his 1,997th run. A-Rod is now just 3 RBIs away from becoming the 2nd player in history to drive in 2,000 career runs, and is nine hits away from 3,000.
Yankee Stadium acknowledged A-Rod passing Barry Bonds on the all-time RBIs list during Friday night's game.

Yankee Stadium acknowledged A-Rod passing Barry Bonds on the all-time RBIs list during Friday night’s game.

  • A-Rod also passed Stan Musial for 8th on the all-time runs scored list by scoring his 1,950th run. It really puts into perspective the career A-Rod has had when he’s routinely passing names like Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and Stan Musial, as legit or illegitimate you think his career stats are.
  • Last night’s Yankee game almost turned into by far the worst loss of the season. The Yankees went into the 9th inning up 8-1, and the Angels had conceded defeat by taking Mike Trout and Albert Pujols out of the game.
  • Still, Esmil Rogers, who should be designated for assignment any moment, had arguably the worst pitching performance of the season. He did not record an out, and when he left the game, had already given up two runs and left the bases loaded forcing Joe Girardi to go to Dellin Betances.
  • Betances was not on his game last night, and at one point, the Angles were down 8-6 with the bases still loaded and nobody out. But that was when Betances found it again striking out two of the next three hitters to allow the Yankees to survive 8-7. You don’t recover from a loss like that. You just don’t.
  • One last note on this Saturday morning. My thoughts and prayers go out to the woman at Fenway Park and her family who was struck by a broken bat last night and is reportedly facing life-threatening injuries.
  • Make sure to tune back next Saturday for another edition of Frankly Frankel and be sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel.
 

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