Thursday, July 30, 2009

L.A.mar: Odom Agrees to Return to Lakers

When your simultaneously getting text messages from Kobe Bryant and Dwanye Wade, you know your a coveted basketball player.

6'10" Foward Lamar Odom is all too familar. Odom, a key part of the last season's championship campaign with the Lakers, has reportedly agreed to deal with the Lakers worth $33 million over four years. This news comes after more than three weeks of contract discussions in which Dwayne Wade's Heat tried to sway the Laker Forward to sign with Miami.

Odom provided a postseason punch off the bench for his Laker squad, averaging 12.3 points, third-best on the team, and 9.1 rebounds, second-best on the team, during the playoffs.

The Odom resigning may have saved what was almost a shaky offseason for L.A. The reigning champs lost their star defender and incredible athlete Trevor Ariza and were mighty close to losing legendary coach Phil Jackson to retirement. On the plus side, the Lakers have made a key acquisition thus far, adding Houston's fiery Forward Ron Artest.

After a potentially troublesome few weeks or so, only one question remains in L.A.

Two-peat, anyone?

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Cheating Champions: Report Claims Manny & Ortiz Part of '03 Steriod List

Let's flashback to 2004. How can we forget the year that the Red Sox snapped the 86-year Curse of the Bambino on the backs of their two golden sluggers, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. The Boston Red Sox were on top of the baseball world.

From the viewpoint of Red Sox Nation, to undermine the importance of that miracolous season would be a travesty of fanhood. Call it tainted, you've committed Cardinal Sin.

Until today.

According to sources close to the New York Times, the names of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are inscribed on the list of 103 players who tested postitive for performance-enhancers in a test conducted in 2003 -- one year prior to the year in which the Red Sox heros, Manny and Big Papi, anchored the team in their successful quest to "reverse the curse."

The accusations leave many fans scratching their heads. The tag-team, the dynamic duo, the most feared one-two punch in baseball -- the guys that were the first pair of American League teammates to yank 40 home runs, have 100 RBI, and bat .300 since Babe and Lou did it for the 1931 Yankees -- tainted? And what can we say of the rings both adorn on their fingers thanks to the '04 curse-reverse and '07 dominating run?

Amidst the chaos, Red Sox Nation is left with only one valid argument: everyone was juicing. Tell me a guy who wasn't on something during this time frame, they shout -- a credible assertion.

But for those fans who looked up to Manny and Big Papi as baseball gods -- champions of the sport -- the shouts only leave echos bouncing off the Green Monster, leaving in their wake an overwhelming aura of despondency and disappointment on America's greatest pastime.

February 2009: Ortiz: "I know that if I test positive by using any kind of substance, I know that I'm going to disrespect my family, the game, the fans and everybody, and I don't want to be facing that situation."

Like it or not, Ortiz is now facing that situation.

Video courtesy of Youtube User t10127

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MLB Clearinghouse: Phils land '08 Cy Young Winner, Halladay Still Lingers in Toronto

When 46-year-old Jamie Moyer -- a 25-year veteran who currently sports a 5.32 ERA -- leads your ballclub in wins, that usually indicates your team is in fairly dire need of some pitching help. I think the Philadelphia Phillies got the memo.

After agressively pursuing Toronto's Roy Halladay in recent weeks, the World Champion Phillies made noise yesterday by abandoning the Halladay route and opting to go after 2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee. Lee, 7-9 with a 3.14 in 22 starts thus far, comes off a 22-3, 2.54 ERA campaign last season with Cleveland.

The Phillies sent Triple-A pitcher Carlos Carrasco, infielder Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson along with Single-A pitcher Jason Knapp to Cleveland in exchange for Lee and OF Ben Francisco. When asked how he felt about the trade, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said, "We gave them four very good baseball prospects, and that hurts. When you want to acquire talent, you have to give talent, and that was part of the deal here."

The Phillies, however, are not are not going to dwell on losing quality prospects apt to bolster the team's future. With a 7-game lead in the NL East, it's fair to say the Phillies are all ready taking aim at October. There's no question that Cliff Lee will throw a curve of his own into the NL Pennant race.

Amidst all the commotion, it's 6'6" right-hander Roy Halladay who casts his steady gaze toward the horizon -- his dream of throwing a postseason pitch will likely be delayed yet another year.

Images courtesy of and

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