In case you don't have an almanac handy, the summer solstice is coming up next week. There could be understandable confusion about the season because not only is the California state legislature actually considering abolishing Daylight Saving Time, but there were hail producing thunderstorms in the Sacramento Valley over the weekend, snow in the Sierra, and professional sports teams were still playing basketball and hockey. Thank goodness that's all over now.
It will be over a hundred degrees before the end of the week, the Pittsburgh Penguins claimed Lord Stanley's cup Sunday night, and the Golden State Warriors fell one game short of perfection in the post-season, but won their second NBA championship in three years this evening, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. Regular seasons can be long, but the so-called winter sports have post-seasons that last forever (Lawmakers are still thinking about making the sun go down earlier in July, but I wouldn't lose an hour of sleep over it).
Not being an NBA fan anymore (as I have written a few times), I just tuned in to see history. I watched Game Four on Saturday to see if the Warriors could be the first team to make it through the playoffs 16-0. They didn't, and looked horrible. Actually, the whole game was horrible. Cleveland led 115-96 through three quarters before winning 137-116. All-Star games have better defense. There was even a LeBron James-passing-to-himself-off-the-backboard-for-a-dunk play. This apparently is what the fans want today. Tonight's game was only 98-93 through three, with Golden State wrapping up the championship 129-120. First-year Warrior Kevin Durant had 39 points, and was named the finals MVP.
Yes if you like defense, pressure on the ball, guarding your man, defending the pass, boxing out for a rebound, and willingness to take a charge, go somewhere else. In fact, for defense and intensity, and all-out effort all of the time, go watch a hockey game.
Like baseball, 0-0 hockey games can either be intense or lackluster. Saturday night's Game Six between Pittsburgh and Nashville was anything but lackluster, and with the first goal of the game coming with less than two minutes to go in regulation, the Pittsburgh Penguins went on to repeat as NHL champions since for the first time since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998. The Penguins added an empty net goal in the final seconds to win 2-0, and win the fifth cup in their franchise history. Patric Hornqvist got the tiebreaking goal 58 minutes and 25 seconds into the game, and got to hoist the cup after time ran out. Superstar Sidney Crosby won the Conn Smythe trophy as finals MVP.
Nothing like a little wintertime drama in the middle of June.
New star: NBA players may be past the NFL in terms of selfishness, but with all the chest thumping and trash talking, tonight's celebration may have created a new celebrity. While one of the Cleveland Cavaliers is reportedly dating a Kardashian (I don't keep up with these things), Kevin Durant's mom was right in the middle of the on-court celebration after the game, giving hugs to her baby and high fives and kudos to all of her son's teammates. Durant told his mother when he was eight years old that he would win an NBA championship, and she was there for the celebration tonight. Late night talk show producers should be booking her for a future appearance right now.
Chirp chirp chirp: Hey, I think I just learned how to play cricket! Check out Google's animation today, even if you don't have to do a search.
Almanac entry: The freaky storm on Sunday did not force postponement of the Marysville Gold Sox-Yuba City Bears baseball game, but there was a rainout less than thirty miles away. The Gold Sox won 6-2, but the Lincoln Potters will have to make up the game against the Medford Rogues. Turns out there was a funnel cloud spotted in the area. How about that weather we're having, huh?
TV listings: With Fox not offering a west coast team as one of its options for the regionalized Saturday game of the week, the network force-fed viewers in the Pacific time zone a dose of the New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles. The game was a dog with the Bronx Bombers winning 16-3 . Fox doesn't make it a policy to switch games, but we should have gotten the Justin Verlander-Chris Sale matchup in the Detroit-Boston game. That, however didn't end up much of a contest either. It was close for awhile, but Boston scored often late and won 11-3... The three-day affair known as the Major League Baseball Draft began this evening with the first round, televised on the MLB Network. The subsequent rounds will not be on the tube, but you can listen and watch online. Former Gold Sox players have been selected every year dating back to 2003. We'll see if that continues... The Colorado Rockies are 41-25 and have the best record in the National League. Do you think they'll be on national television anytime soon? ESPN? Fox? FS1? Anybody?
My f'n fantastic year continues: While I've been enjoying my new car, I've been trying to figure out what to do with my old pickup truck, parked in my parking space with no water in the radiator, no oil pressure to the engine, and a thrown transmission after trying to drive it one last time. Problem apparently solved. Someone stole it! After having a spat with my apartment manager Thursday night about being one person and having two vehicles on site, I woke up Friday morning and my truck was gone. She swears up and down that she didn't have it towed, and I believe her (she would have told me to my face), but how the hell did someone get away with a truck that doesn't run? I did want some of the stuff that was inside, and would have rather donated it to charity. A police report has been filed. Arrgh.