Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quickie Sports Chowdah Update- Grimm Prognosis for Rangers in Game 1 at Fenway; MLB Expected to Dish Out Suspensions Over "BALCO East" Clinic; Fit For a King- LA Shows Signs of Life in Western Conference Final

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

RED SOX- If Ryan Demptser was worried about getting some run support in pursuit of only his third win of the season, the Red Sox bats put those concerns to rest quickly on Tuesday night's home game against the Rangers.

Rookie Texas starter Justin Grimm lasted only 1⅔ innings and surrendered eight earned runs, and the Red Sox were just getting started. Among the second inning highlights was rookie Jackie Bradley Jr hitting his first career homer- a 2-run blast to make it 4-0 at the time. After Grimm gave up a single to Daniel Nava and walked Mike Carp, the Rangers starter got Dustin Pedroia to fly out before Big Papi belted a 2-RBI triple off of him into the triangle at center field. Ortiz hardly had time to catch his breath from ambling around the bases before coming home on a Mike Napoli sac fly. Grimm would then give up a double to Saltalamacchia before getting the hook from manager Ron Washington.

Boston would jump on top by an 8-0 margin in the second inning and never look back from there. After getting swept by the Rangers in Arlington last month, the Red Sox teed off on Grimm and the Texas bullpen, notching 19 hits in their 17-5 win over the Rangers. There were literally too many hits to count, but the highlights included a slumping Stephen Drew going 4-5 with a homer and 2 RBI, Mike Carp going 3-4 with a homer and 3 RBI, Jackie Bradley Jr's going 1-5 and with 3 RBI- including his first career homer- and Big Papi's first triple since 2011. The 17 runs represents a season best from the Red Sox.

Dempster went 7 innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs and striking out six for just his 3rd win of the season and Jason Frasor is the only pitcher out of the Texas bullpen who didn't allow a hit on Tuesday night.

As gratifying as the win was, it still only counts as one game and the two teams will go back at it on Wednesday night. John Lackey [3-5; 2.96 ERA] is scheduled to get the start against Alexi Ogando [4-2; 3.08 ERA]. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 ET and the game will be televised on NESN and ESPN2.

ELSEWHERE IN MLB- The head of a Miami-area clinic accused of supplying performance enhancing drugs to MLB players has agreed to be interviewed by the league, which will likely result in some big-name suspensions according to ESPN.
Tony Bosch, founder of the now-shuttered Biogenesis of America, reached an agreement this week to cooperate with MLB's investigation, two sources told "Outside the Lines," giving MLB the ammunition officials believe they need to suspend the players.

One source familiar with the case said the commissioner's office might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Braun and other players, the penalty for a second doping offense. The argument, the source said, is the players' connection to Bosch constitutes one offense, and previous statements to MLB officials denying any such connection or the use of PEDs constitute another.

Sources said Bosch will meet with MLB officials in New York on Friday to begin sharing information and materials. He is expected to meet with lawyers and investigators for several days. The announcement of suspensions could follow within two weeks.

Sources said discussions between Bosch and MLB were delayed while Bosch's lawyers spoke to the U.S. Attorney's office to get a sense of what sort of legal jeopardy Bosch might face. Before he would agree to a deal, sources said, he wanted an assurance that MLB could help mitigate any criminal exposure. MLB officials promised to do what they could, but do not have the power to stop a federal criminal investigation.

Investigators have had records naming about 20 players for more than a month. But without a sworn statement from Bosch that the records are accurate and reflect illicit interactions between the players and the self-described biochemist, the documents are little more than a road map.
Besides Rodriguez and Braun, other players named in the Biogenesis client list include Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero and many others who are identified by codename.

A spokeswoman for Yankees 2B Robinson Cano's foundation also appears on the client list, but according to MLB sources, the New York infielder is in no immediate danger of suspension.

The New York Yankees likely anticipated the news about the Biogenesis client list- at least as far as A-Rod was concerned. Over the weekend, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner made comments expressing his disappointment in the third baseman who signed a new 10-year $275 million contract in 2007. Yankees GM Brian Cashman also stated in an interview that A-Rod clearly hadn't lived up to his massive contract. It's likely these statements were made during the series against the Red Sox over the weekend to preempt any announcement from MLB regarding A-Rod's involvement in the Biogenesis labs scandal.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS- Although they fell into a quick 0-2 hole in the Western Conference finals, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings remain undefeated at home in the postseason, and Tuesday night was no different.

Like Game 1 of the western Conference Finals, the Kings got out to an early 1-0 lead. However, unlike Game 1, Los Angeles was able to maintain their lead- although it looked somewhat tenuous in the 3rd period.

Justin Williams put LA on the board just 3:21 into the game and Slava Voynov got what would prove to be the game-winner six and a half minutes into the second period. Midway through the second period, Chicago's Duncan Keith hit Jeff Carter with a high stick. Carter would leave the game and require multiple stitches while the Blackhawks are waiting on word from director of player safety Brendan Shanahan on whether or not Keith will receive a suspension.

Chicago got on the board and cut the lead in half in the closing seconds of the second period on an unassisted goal by Bryan Bickell. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick would be kept busy in the third, but Dwight King would clinch the game late for LA as he tallied an empty-netter to put the Kings on top 3-1.

The series will resume will LA trailing 2 games to 1 on Thursday night. Wednesday night's NHL action will feature the Game 3 of the Eastern conference finals from Boston as the Bruins look to go up 3-0 on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

NBA- After a decisive 7th game against the Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat are the Eastern Conference champions. The Heat bested the Pacers by a 99-76 final in Game 7 on Monday night. Miami's LeBron James led scoring for the Heat with 32 points, 8 rebounds and four assists on the night.

The Heat will face the San Antonio Spurs, who completed a sweep of the Memphis Grizzlies a week prior to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Game one is set for Thursday night in Miami and will get underway at 9:00 ET. The game will be televised on ABC.

OTHER NBA NEWS- Point guard Jason Kidd has announced his retirement from the NBA this week. Kidd was named co-rookie of the year along with Grant Hill back in 1995 and was an all-star ten times throughout his 19 year career. In addition to leading the NBA in steals in 2002 and assists per game in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004, Kidd also won a gold medal with the US Men's Olympic basketball team during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

After playing for the Cal Golden Bears, Kidd played for the Mavericks, Suns, Nets and most recently, the New York Knicks.

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