Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Manchester United”

Turns out, their is an I in team

With their victory over the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat continue to disprove the old adage that there is no I in team.

By making the finals in the first year of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh playing together, the Heat are creating a new model for the NBA where the individual is more important than the team.

The Heat deserve some credit, we suppose. They manipulated the system to their advantage, the players colluded to play together, and now they have been rewarded with what could be the first of multiple trips to the NBA Finals.

As for the Bulls, the writing is on the wall. They learned the same lesson the Cavs learned the past two years: one superstar player and a supporting cast of role players isn’t going to get it done in today’s NBA.

And really, how are the Bulls any different than the Cavs of ’08-’09 and ’09-’10?

They both were led by a dominant player (Derrick Rose and James), with a group of role players (Carlos Boozer/Antwan Jamison, Joakim Noah/Anderson Varajeo, Keith Bogans/Mo Williams) and a head coach that preaches defense first (Tom Thibodeau/Mike Brown).

How long before Rose decides, rather than looking for help, that he can’t beat the Heat and leaves Chicago? Does anyone really think that in a couple of years, when Kobe Bryant is done in LA and Dwight Howard and the Lakers come calling, that Rose won’t head out west?

The Heat haven’t won the title yet; the Mavericks still have a say in this.

But we’ve seen the future and it doesn’t look pretty, at least in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.

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Former Cleveland Indians catcher Ray Fosse, who suffered the most inexcusable injury in baseball history, feels sorry for San Francisco catcher Buster Posey but doesn’t join the hoopleheads in calling for a rule change to protect catchers.

“The game has been around more than 100 years, and now they’re going to start protecting catchers?” Fosse told The San Francisco Chronicle. “I can’t see anything that can be changed. In high school, you can’t run over a catcher. But that’s high school. This is professional baseball. The idea is to score runs. If the catcher has the ball and he’s standing there, the runner has to stop? Is that the protection?

“I can’t believe anything can be done, and I don’t see how you could regulate something like that.”

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The football season comes to and end on Saturday when Manchester United takes on Barcelona in what should be an exciting final of the Champions League.

Will the game by the last hurrah for Barcelona and Spain?

Can Manchester United learn from the mistakes of 2009?

Can Edwin van der Sar go out a winner?

Finally, six of the best matches between the two teams.

And just think, with a 2:45 p.m. kickoff from London’s Wembley Stadium, we’ll be able to watch the final and only miss a couple of innings of the Tribe game vs. Tampa.

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Grady Sizemore’s bad wheel

Apparently, since Portland is out of the NBA playoffs, Grady Sizemore borrowed Greg Oden’s knees.

Sizemore, who missed most of last season after having microfracture surgery on his left knee, hurt his right knee sliding into second base last week against Tampa Bay. Now he’s on the 15-day disabled list.

Of course he his.

”Grady has progressed the last five days, but not enough for us or for him to feel comfortable about his ability to play the outfield,” Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff told the Beacon Journal. ”We feel the most prudent course of action at this point is to place him on the 15-day DL to give him the time he needs to heal.”

”As of yesterday, he was hitting without symptoms, and he was running at about 75-80 percent with only mild symptoms.”

Sizemore started the season on the disabled list, but has been one of the Tribe’s best hitters since returning, batting .282 with 10 doubles, six home runs and 11 RBI.

Hopefully this is nothing more serious and it’s probably for the best that the Tribe is being cautious. He was swinging the bat well and, with Detroit creeping up in the standings, the Tribe needs all the offensive help they can get.

Plus the Indians start a 30-game stretch on Monday where they play at Kansas City, at the White Sox, Cincinnati, Boston, at Tampa Bay, at Toronto, Texas, Minnesota, at the Yankees and at Detroit.

That looks daunting at first, until you realize the Royals are fading; the White Sox stink; Boston,Toronto and Texas are .500 teams; Minnesota is in the Central Division basement; and the Yankees are falling apart as their players are crybabies who only care about themselves, not the team.

So things are set up well for the Tribe to make a nice run into June and come out of this next stretch of games in good shape.

And then things should get real interesting this summer.

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You have to give credit where credit is due.

After seeing Manchester United claims its 19th league title – finally topping Liverpool as the most successful franchise in English soccer – United fans hung a banner at Anfield on Sunday saying MUFC 19 TIMES before Liverpool’s game with Tottenham Hotspur.

The fans who hung the banner made a quick getaway as they had cars waiting for them outside the stadium.

The banner was in response to one unfurled at Anfield in 1994 – when Sir Alex Ferguson won his first title as Manchester United’s manager – that said “Come back when you’ve won 18.”

Well, they came back, all right.

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It’s not all bad news at Merseyside, however, as top-notch goalie Pepe Reina is buying what manager Kenny Dalglish is selling.

Reina is committed to staying at Liverpool thanks in part to the team’s climb up the table under Dalglish and because of the team’s transfer plans for the summer.

“In recent weeks I believe we are going in the right direction and we have to keep it like that,” the Spain international told The Daily Mail. “Next season it will be more positive and the quicker we react and improve the better it will be for the club.”

Play like a Champion

With Inter Milan and Barcelona advancing yesterday to the semifinals of the Champions League, today’s return legs will fill out the remaining two places in the tournament’s final four.

If you’re planning to follow the World Cup this summer – and why wouldn’t you? – today’s games (Manchester United v. Bayern Munich and Bordeaux v. Lyon) and the rest of the tournament provide a perfect opportunity to catch some of the players who will be in South Africa perform for their club teams.

Wayne Rooney (although injured), Rio Ferdinand, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Frank Ribery, Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi are just some of the players still involved in the tournament who should also take the field this summer for their national teams.

If you’ve never watched a Champions League match, give it a shot. And if you happen to be one of the five people in the country who receive Fox Soccer Channel in HD, more the better because this sport is built for HD on a large screen.

You never know, you may just like it.

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