#SportsBits brings you the latest sports update.
The NHL season is winding down and in the Eastern Conference the race between the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers for that eighth and final spot is ferocious. Over the weekend, the Flyers held off the Ottawa Senators for a win, which put the pressure the Red Wings to come up with a W, which they did, by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs. Both teams now are at 91 points, which is one more than the Boston Bruins, who now fall out of the playoff picture.
In a scary moment at the Well Fargo Center on Saturday, many of the Flyers fans were sent falling down the escalator when it suddenly got stuck on maximum speed. Totally vindicates my fear of those things…take a look.
Tampa Bay, who is 2nd in the Atlantic division with 95 points, was rocked by the news that Steven Stamkos will miss 1-3 months after surgery on a blood clot near his collarbone on Monday. Tampa now has some big decisions to make before the playoffs. Not a good time to lose one of your best players.
Here is your NHL guide to possible playoff matchups.
Baseball season has officially started – and what a way to begin! On ESPN we saw a 2015 World Series rematch between the NY Mets and the Kansas City Royals. The American League pennant winner and 2015 World Series Champs began their season they way they ended it, by defeating the NY Mets 4-3. Royal picture Edison Volquez logged a six-inning shutout in a game that featured slick plays at the corner bases, steals and great defense…a fun way to ease back into the season.
The LA Dodgers, and their highest opening day payroll ($236million), begin their season today v. the San Diego Padres. Luckily the game is being broadcast by ESPN, otherwise the 70% of fans in the LA area could not watch the game thanks to Time Warner Cable and the Dodger organization. In 2014, Time Warner Cable and the Los Angeles Dodgers struck a twenty-five year, $8.35 billion deal giving Time Warner Cable the exclusive broadcast rights to all Dodgers games in Los Angeles via regional sports network, SportsNet LA. Time Warner Cable then turned around and demanded massive price hikes (rumored to be around $5 per subscriber) for TV providers that wanted to offer the channel. Many of the regional cable operators (including AT&T, Cox, Dish and DirecTV) balked at the hike, resulting about 70% of Dodger fans being unable to watch their local team play. This is a massive slap in the face to fans who will not only miss a third straight season, but will miss out on the last season of long time announcer Vin Scully, a Dodger treasure. In a game that thrives on community connection and loyalty, the Dodgers are blowing it, and this Dodger is finding it hard to remain a fan.
Here is your scoreboard for the opening day games.
In golf news, Tiger Woods announced he won’t participate in this year’s Masters. He has given no timetable for his return. Practice rounds and press conferences begin today at Augusta National with round one starting on Thursday. By Friday, the weekend cutoff comes down to 50 golfers (plus ties), and then we all settle in for a great weekend of golf! I know what you’re thinking… golf is boring to watch….but this is the big one. All the best players are at Augusta, and it’s a tradition like no other. Heck, we may get a magical pairing of Rory McIlroy and last year’s champ Jordan Speith on Sunday. Who knows? If you are at all considering expanding your sports knowledge to include golf, this where you begin. The battle for the green jacket is always intense. Here is your guide to the weekend TV times.
In Miami on Sunday, ATP champ Novak Djokovic won a record tying 6th Key Biscayne title, and third in a row, defeating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 in the Miami Open. Djokovic, who tied Andre Agassi’s record of 6 men’s title in Miami, recalled how winning Key Biscayne at 19 years was a “springboard for everything coming after that.” We are heading into the clay court season now, with the French Open slated for May 22nd – June 5th.
In soccer news, recently retired USWNT star Abby Wambach was arrested for driving a vehicle under the influence in Oregon this weekend after she allegedly failed to stop at a red light and failed a sobriety test. She apologized publicly, explaining that she drove home after a dinner with friends and she took responsibility for what happened. Some of the players on US men’s national team took to twitter with some swipes at Wambach, who after her retirement in December, said men’s coach Jurgen Klinsman should be fired because he “brought in these foreign guys, it’s just not something that I believe in.” Foreign-born American Alejandro Bedoya was not happy with the comments. “Must’ve been a foreign American players fault,” Bedoya said on twitter after Wambach’s arrest. I think everyone is at fault here. Wambach shouldn’t have gotten behind the wheel after a night of drinking, and her comments about foreign-born Americans were way off base. And Bedoya’s comments were just plain childish. Everyone looks dumb in this situation.
Meanwhile, top players on the women’s national team filed a federal complaint last week accusing U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination. The suit states that the women earned as little as 40% of what the players on the U.S. men’s national team earned. It goes goes on the say the women have been shortchanged on everything from bonuses, to per diems, to appearance fees. This is the latest debate revolving around equal treatment of female athletes. We’ve seen in tennis, as well as the NCAA and the financial disparities between the men and women’s basketball tournaments. Just like the concussion debate in sports, this topic isn’t going anywhere. #staytuned