Standing O’s and Heck No’s: Last week’s best and worst
Each in week in sports comes with the good and bad. Last week, we had some events that deserved standing ovations and some that make you say, “Heck no.” They range from athletes coming together to pool their monetary and emotional support for those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings, to poor sportsmanship conduct in the heated NBA playoffs.
- Last Friday, the Celtics honored first responders to the Boston Marathon bombings in their first home game after the tragedy. A home game originally slated for April 16 against Indiana Pacers was canceled due to the April 15 bombings. Doc Rivers, whose father was a former police officer in Chicago, voiced his support for the officers. “They’ve been through a lot,” Rivers told the Associated Press. “I think they can’t get enough support; they can’t get enough love. So I think it will be wonderful for them and for the fans as well.”
- Major League Baseball and players donated over $600,000 to One Fund Boston last Sunday. The Red Sox pitched in $100,000, and the Red Sox Foundation gave $46,500 as donations were collected from fans at Fenway Park over the weekend. Other monetary amounts were donated in checks collected by Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner and David Ortiz to Boston Mayor Tom Menino.
- The Knicks never liked the Celtics, especially in the playoffs. Knicks’ J.R. Smith took that up a notch by throwing an elbow at Jason Terry’s face in the fourth quarter in Game 3 of a best of seven series in the first playoff round on Friday. Smith was charged with a flagrant foul, and later was suspended by the NBA in Game 4, an elimination game for the Celtics. This is a bummer for fans because Smith just won NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. Smith, who had been averaging over 16 points a game in the series, was the second most effective scorer in Knicks uniform behind Carmelo Anthony. Jason Terry later saved the Celtics from elimination by scoring nine important points in OT on Sunday. The Celtics won 97-90. The series is now 3-1, with the Knicks needing just one win to eliminate the Celtics. Game 5 will be on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
- Pitching for the Pittsburg Pirates against the St. Louis-Cardinals, Jonathan Sanchez threw a controversial pitch at Allen Craig on Saturday. Sanchez drew a six-game suspension. The three hitters ahead of Craig totaled two home runs, and a single. Analysts called out Sanchez for venting his frustration on a defenseless hitter. Craig was hit with a 92 mph fastball in the shoulder area, just below his head.Home plate umpire Tim Timmons told the Associated Press, ”You got two home runs and then you got a line drive single up the middle,” Timmons said to a pool reporter. ”Then the very first pitch (to Craig) is up around the shoulder and head area. In that area, I deemed that intentional, and he’s done. Very dangerous.” Meanwhile, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle tried to douse the flame. ”Timmons thought he was throwing at his head and we disagreed,” Hurdle said. ”You guys are going to have to figure out your own thoughts and speculate. I’m sure you already have. My comments will be made to the people that got an ear that need to hear.”
- In Game 4 between the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, Bull’s Nate Robinson pushed C.J. Watson into the scorer’s table. Chicago was up 44-38 with a little over seven minutes to go in the second quarter. Watson bumped Robinson twice to back him off. Then Robinson responded by tangling up Watson and pushing him into the table. Players from both teams and the referees swarmed to separate the two. The incident was a blemish on what was a fantastic playoff game. The two teams went head to head to triple overtime, which the Bulls won 142-134.