Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day!

I hope each and every one of you had a very happy leap day! February 29th comes but once every four years... for any of you that happened to be born on this day, well it's a rare chance to actually celebrate your birthday on your date of birth!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lakers Turn Up Heat!

There was little doubt that the Lakers would take care of business against the Miami Heat at the Staples Center tonight for their 10th straight win. The only real question was just how bad the carnage would be. The Lakers quite honestly weren't at their best, and didn't always seem focused. Then again, the Heat had only won 10 games the entire season coming in, so the Lakers didn't need to be at their best (or close to it). The Lakers had control of the game with a double-digit lead throughout, ending the game on a 9-0 run after a Dwayne Wade 4-point play to win 106-88. UCLA alumni Jordan Farmar poured in a career high 24 points, while Kobe scored 21 points, dished out eight assists and had four steals. Four Lakers grabbed dougle-digit rebounds: Ronny Turiaf, Luke Walton, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. The latter two also scored 13 points a piece for double-doubles. Tomorrow night the Lake Show travels to Portland to take on the Trailblazers at 7:30 pm.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

America's Bleeding Love For Leona!

Yes, I know it's only been four days since my last Leona Lewis update, but things are moving rather swiftly here in America as "Bleeding Love" continues to make waves EVERYWHERE!

Since I last wrote, "Bleeding Love" has ascended to #21 on the iTunes chart. Up 11 more spots the past four days! Yes, the cracking top 20 seems to be just a matter of hours away!

The radio airplay story on "Bleeding Love" continues it's slow, yet steady development. It's now up to #35 on the Mediabase pop chart, despite being played on barely half of the nation's major top 40 music stations. It's a similar story on the rhythmic chart, where it's at #47 on the chart with less than 30% of the panel's reporters playing it. Long story short is there's A LOT of room for growth for "Bleeding Love" here on American radio, and once the buzz really starts getting huge, watch out!

The video outlets are also continuing to HUGELY be into Leona. VH1 is showing the video for "Bleeding Love" twice a day, and now even FUSE TV has begun playing it!

Some of you have asked me how to best support Leona. I have received several good suggestions and ideas from many of you. I'll mix them in with some of mine and with our combined efforts, we can really make this bird fly!

For starters, if you have not already done so, please spend a dollar or so buy "Bleeding Love" off of iTunes or some similar site.

Also, if you happen to be one of the lucky ones who is hearing "Bleeding Love" on your local radio station, tell them how much you LOVE the song and also make sure to request it! If your station isn't playing it yet, politely ask them to start!

Another great way to support "Bleeding Love" is to vote for her on weekly on VH1's top 20 video countdown. The first week out, she got enough votes to be #7 in the countdown!!! Last week though, she didn't make the top 20! So, let's get to voting and get her back on the countdown where she belongs!

Leona also has a Myspace and a Facebook account, so add her as a friend and also get "Bleeding Love" on your profile so that your friends, family and other visitors can hear it!

If you happen to be a fellow blogger, make links to Leona's official website and also Leona's AMAZING fansite as I've done!!! On these two sites you can listen to all of Leona's music, see pictures of her, and discuss her on forums and much much more!

Lastly, and definitely not least spread the word to anyone and everyone not covered in the above - tell your friends and family about this GREAT new artist you've "discovered." If you can bring your IPOD to work with you and listen to it like me, make sure you let all of your co-workers get a listen to her amazing set of pipes!

Also, don't forget to mark April 8, 2008 on your calendar - this is when Leona's long-awaited Spirit album will finally be available for purchase here in the States! You can also pre-order Spirit here on


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lake Show Continues To Roll

Who needs baseball season now that we have the new and improved Los Angeles Lakers? I didn't get a chance to catch any of the action last night, other than checking on the score by my cellphone. It just so happened that I checked just as the Lakers were falling behind the visiting Portland Trailblazers by a 27-12 score with one minute to play in the first quarter. Was I worried that they might lose the game? Honestly, I wasn't. When was the last time that I was this confident about a Lakers team being able to come back from a double-digit deficit? I'd have to say the Earvin "Magic" Johnson era Lakers were the last ones that I had that kind of confidence in. Yes, this current crop of Lakers is even better and more well-rounded than the teams which Kobe and Shaq led to championships. The only question to me is, can they top the '80's dynasty? Time will tell.

Getting back to the game. After their initial problems, the Lakers would go on a 28-8 run to forge to a 40-35 lead with 5:28 to play in the first half. The Blazers wouldn't go down easy though, as they closed the half on a 16-4 run to lead 51-44 at halftime. The Lakers finally took control of the game late in the fourth quarter. After leading 72-71 with 8:11 to play, the Lakers outscored the Blazers 24-12 the rest of the way to win going away, 96-83. The win was their 9th straight and extended their lead back to one game in the Western Conference.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Ronald Reagan Library Tour

As a history buff and a big fan of our 40th President, I was quite ashamed that until today I had never visited the Reagan Library in my almost hometown of Simi Valley. Well I finally took the tour today, and I have to say it was one of the most fun things I've ever done. There is SO much history there, and amazing array of pictures covering the time from his youth, all the way through his presidency and beyond. I'll be posting pictures and lengthening this in the coming days. If you're ever out in the area, the Reagan Library is a MUST SEE!


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Kobeless in Seattle

Watching the Los Angeles Lakers play basketball is quickly becoming the equivalent of watching Tiger Woods golf. Simply put, they're almost unbeatable - even if their star player gets ejected without just cause. Kobe Bryant earned his first ejection of the season tonight in Seattle with four minutes to play in the third quarter. Official Brian Forte threw Kobe out for complaining that he didn't call a foul on a Supersonics defender when he was hit hard while trying to grab an offensive rebound. It hardly mattered though as the Lakers were up 88-57 at the time and cruised to their eighth straight win, routing the home team 111-91. Kobe tossed in 21 points and dished out 10 assists in his 26 minutes of action and Pau Gasol added 22 points and grabbed seven boards. Lamar Odom had yet another double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

With the win, the Lakers are now all alone as the number one seed in the Western Conference with a 39-17 record. In the meantime, the post-Shaq trade "solar eclipse" continues in Phoenix as the Detroit Pistons just ROUTED the Suns by a 116-86 score. It got so bad that the fans were actually booing the Suns before game's end. How did Shaq-fu do? Try seven points and 11 rebounds... The seven points only told part of the story as he made only one of eight foul attempts.


Tiger Sinks Cink for #64!

PGA tour player J.B. Holmes was thisclose to earning himself the nickname "Dragonslayer" in a short span of 18 days. On February 3rd, he birdied the 18th hole and the first playoff hole to down the world's #2 player, Phil Mickelson in the FBR Open. In Wednesday's first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship, Holmes had the world's #1 player, Tiger Woods on the ropes. The 64th ranked player in the field was up on Tiger by three holes with five to play. Somehow, the Tiger wriggled free with a birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle sequence to turn the tables and move forward. So close, yet so far away... Holmes has to continue to settle for the name "Philslayer,"... somehow that just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Dragonslayer."

Tiger made it through that trial and a couple of other close calls to get into today's 36 hole final match against his good friend, Stuart Cink. Not surprisingly, Tiger displayed his typical Sunday closer form, blitzing Cink with birdies early and often. Both players birdied the first hole... and that was as close as the match would be. Tiger birdied five of the next 10 holes to take a commanding 5-up lead through 11. Cink did manage to briefly make it a match again, trimming the Tiger lead to 3-up as he birdied 12 and 16, while Tiger was in the midst of making five straight pars. Birdies by Tiger on the 17th and 20th holes quickly extended the lead back to a 5-up advantage. After both players bogeyed the par-5 fifth (23rd) hole, Tiger effectively closed out with birdies on the 24th, 25th and 26th holes. Cink did manage to have a lone highlight, curling in a long 40-foot eagle putt on the 28th hole, doing a mock "Tiger pump" in celebration. Tiger had a putt of the same length and nearly holed it as well. The match ended on the next hole as Tiger stuck his approach shot to within two feet of the pin (the birdie putt was conceded), while Cink missed his birdie putt from about 12 feet.

The win was the 64th of Tiger's career putting him in sole possession of the fourth spot on the all-time list. He's as beatable as ever, isn't he Rory? Doesn't it seem like since the infamous Sabbatini comment that Tiger has become more UNBEATABLE than ever? Tiger certainly didn't need anyone to rile him up, but it appears that's exactly what has happened and this had just made things even worse for the rest of the touring players.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Leona Lewis U.S. Update!

The buzz continues to grow here in the States about U.K. singing sensation Leona Lewis. Only 2 1/2 weeks since her single "Bleeding Love" was released to radio, it is already a smash top 40 hit, already residing at #38 on the Mediabase pop chart. Early support for Leona at top 40 radio has come from some high profile stations including WNOU 100.9 in Indianapolis and WHTZ (Z-100) in New York, where the song is already generating top five requests! Much to my surprise, Rhythmic stations are also behind Leona as she's at #51 on the Mediabase rhythmic chart and about to crack the top 50.

Perhaps more important than anything in Leona's success so far though has been VH1's support of her as their "You Oughta Know" artist of the month of February. The video for "Bleeding Love" has already risen to #7 on their top 20 countdown and is getting played two or three times a day.

All of this exposure for Leona via T.V. and the radio has of course resulted in the inevitable sales spike on iTunes and other similar sites. "Bleeding Love" has quickly risen all the way up to #32 on iTunes top 100 sales chart.

Leona's off to a GREAT start here in the U.S., and with an upcoming appearance on American Idol on March, and her Spirit album dropping here on April 8th, I think we're only seeing the beginnings of what will truly be the "year of Leona" here in America.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Tiger, Vijay Gut Out Wins

Arron Baddeley played perhaps the round of his life today in the Accenture Match Play Championships against Tiger Woods, and still it wasn't good enough. 10 birdies and a bogey in 20 holes. Baddeley had chances to end the match on both the 18th and 19th holes, but both times he missed. With Baddeley playing so well, Woods had to bring his "A Game" today, and he most certainly did. Woods had 11 birdies and a bogey in his first 19 holes and then rolled in a 13-foot birdie putt on the 20th hole to finally end the match. Woods will take on K.J. Choi tomorrow in the round of 8.

20 holes though was nothing in terms of overtime play today. After beating "the Tiger slayer" Niklas Fasth yesterday, Vijay Singh had to go SEVEN extra holes to win his match today against Rod Pampling. In contrast to the Tiger-Baddeley match though, this one was a virtual snooze-fest. Singh only made three birdies all day to go with his two bogeys, but it was good enough as Pampling could only manage four birdies of his own. Bogeys were his undoing as he had four of them on the day including a fatal one on the par-5 25th hole.

Live coverage of the quarterfinals (elite-8) can be seen starting Saturday morning at 10:00 AM ET/7:00 AM PT on the Golf Channel. NBC takes over coverage with the semi-finals starting at 2:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PT.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Appleby Ends Lefty's Week

The fans at this week's Accenture Match Play Championship were hoping that against all odds, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods would wind up facing off against each other in Sunday's 36 hole finale. The hopes for a battle between the world's two tip ranked players was thwarted though. "Lefty" played very well today against Stuart Appleby in his second round match, but unfortunately it wasn't good enough as the Aussie was even better. Mickelson lost 2-and-1 to Appleby despite making six birdies and an eagle. Appleby made nine birdies in his 17 holes of play, including one on the final hole to end the match. As for Woods, he had a relatively easy time against Arron Oberholser getting to 4-up after 11 holes, and then cruising to a 3-and-2 win with a par on 16.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Moon, Suns BOTH Get Eclipsed!

For those of you who have not stepped outside or looked out the window tonight, you might be totally unaware that a full lunar eclipse is happening at the moment. The next one doesn't take place until 2010. So get a looksie at it if you can!!!

During the lunar eclipse, there was a sort of "solar eclipse" happening tonight on the basketball court in Phoenix as the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Suns. The Lakers had the upper hand from the get-go. The Suns led at 19-18 with 4:13 to play in the first quarter and then didn't lead again until late in the game. The Lakers took a 32-29 lead into the second quarter and extended their advantage to 65-57 at halftime. The Suns came back though, and forged to a 106-105 lead on a 3-point play by Amare Stoudemire with 7:26 to play. From there though, the Lakers regained control, as Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Sasha Vujacic poured in 23 of their next 25 points. The Lakers closed out the game with a 24-15 run to put it away. The final: LAKERS 130, SUNS 124. With the win, the Lakers clinched the season series with the Suns and by virtue of this are now in first place in the Pacific Division (both teams are tied with 37-17 records).

The Lakers 3-headed monster of Kobe, Pau and "L.O." gave the Suns fits all night long. Kobe scored 41 points in making 16 of his 25 shot attempts. Pau contributed with 29 points on similarly efficient 13-for-19 shooting. And how about Mr. Lamar Odom? Well, he was smooth as silk, tossing in 22 points (on 9-for 17 shooting) and grabbing 11 rebounds. Being the third option on offense really seems to suit "L.O." very well!

Shaq made his debut for the Suns tonight. He only played 29 minutes, but did contribute 15 points and 9 rebounds. How was Shaq at the line? 3-for-8 for a typical 37.5% And when they really needed some defensive presence at the end of the game, guess who the Suns pulled with 47 seconds left to play? You can bet that Lakers would have employed the "Hack-A-Shaq" if they had been given the opportunity.

So where do we go from here? Well, unless the Lakers suddenly lose their confidence or get a key injury, I don't see anything that's going to stop them from winning the Pacific Division and maybe going into the playoffs as the number one seed in the Western Conference!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lakers Give Big Pau to Hawks!

For about six minutes in tonight's game pitting the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks, it looked like the visitors might give the Lakers a game (again). Pau Gasol's first play at Staples Center was not a memorable one as he threw an ill-advised pass intended for Kobe Bryant. The Hawks turned that steal into a bucket and still led 4-2 one minute and 48 seconds into the game. The Lakers then went on a 10-0 run to take a 12-4 lead with eight minutes to play in the quarter. Atlanta then drew within 13-12 with 6:15 to play.

From there though, it was ALL Lakers, all the time for the next 17 minutes or so. The Lakers went on a 56-16 run to take a 69-28 lead with 53 seconds to play in the first half. At the half the Lakers led 73-37. Yes, it was over, and also hard to believe these were the same Hawks who handed the Lakers one of their two losses (97-95) on their recent nine game road trip.

The Lakers cruised from there as the Hawks wouldn't get any closer than 24 points the rest of the way. Kobe and Pau got to sit on the bench the entire fourth quarter as the Lakers won 122-93.


Monday, February 18, 2008

New Year, New Result for Newman

For two years, Ryan Newman went through mishap after mishap in trying to win his 13th NASCAR race. Crashes, bad decisions and pretty much every other disaster befell him during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. For 81 straight races, Newman failed to step into the winner's circle, and after four straight years of finishing no worse than 7th in the NEXTEL standings, Newman found himself out of "the Chase" to determine the overall champion.

With one lap to go yesterday, Newman sat in third place behind Tony Stewart. Stewart too was looking for his first win at Daytona. Stewart had help in the form of teammate Kyle Busch, while Newman was being pushed along by Kyle's brother Kurt. Stewart made what would prove to be a fatal mistake as he took the low line about midway through the final lap. Kyle Busch lost touch with Stewart for just enough time to give Newman an advantage. Newman came in first, while Kurt Busch would finish second with Stewart relegated to a disappointing third place finish.

Though I'm not really a big Newman fan (I was pulling for Stewart once my Hendrick guys fell out of contention), it was nice to see him get his first Daytona 500 win. In winning at Daytona, he's accomplished every NASCAR driver's dream. With the win, he's adjusted his sights on the season and now wants to win the season championship. First things first though, he hasn't made the Chase in two years, so he'll need to be a lot more consistent if he wants to make the Chase and ultimately get to his goal.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lefty Seeing 3's!

Coming into this week, Phil Mickelson had won 32 tournaments in his PGA Tour career. At 11-under par, "Lefty" carried a one stroke lead over Jeff Quinney going into Sunday's final round of the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The match-play like battle between "Lefty" and Quinney was remarkably similar to Saturday's duel. Mickelson entered Saturday's round with a four stroke lead, only to briefly lose the lead to Quinney within six holes, regaining it and then carrying the lead a short time later. On Sunday, Mickelson extended his lead to three strokes by the third hole as he birdied the first and Quinney bogeyed the third. Quinney came storming back though as birdies on six and eight got him to within a stroke of the lead. Mickelson bogeyed the ninth hole, while Quinney rolled in another birdie to take the lead at 12-under par. Just like on Saturday though, Quinney's lead was short-lived. "Lefty" birdied the 10th hole to tie for the lead. Both players birdied the 11th to get to 13-under par. On the 13th hole, Quinney's magical putter finally deserted him as he three-putted for the first time all year for a bogey. Bogeys followed at the next two holes and on the 17th. Mickelson gave one back himself on the 15th, but with Quinney's misstep on 17, it was all but over entering 18. Quinney did manage to birdie that hole, while Mickelson parred to finish the tournament at 12-under par and a two stroke win. For Mickelson, it was his 33rd career victory on the PGA Tour. Will Phil mount another charge at Tiger Woods this year for the #1 spot in the World Rankings? With a win, a second and a sixth place finish already on his 2008 resume, perhaps the answer is YES!


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Phil Thrills at Riviera

When Tiger Woods has his "A Game" or even his "B Game," watching a golf tournament in which he is competing can get downright boring - unless you're Tiger of course. Tiger is not playing in this weekend's Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club here in Pacific Palisades, CA. So for one weekend at least, the world's #2 player Phil Mickelson and everyone else will have a fair shot at getting a W.

Fortunately for the L.A. golf fans, there have been several "Phil the Thrill" Mickelson sightings the past three days. Despite several erratic drives and iron shots, "Lefty" shot a one-under par 70 today to reach 11 under-par, taking a one stroke lead over Jeff Quinney going into the final round. Quinney started the day four strokes back, but actually briefly took the lead after birdieing two of his first five holes and then holing his tee shot on the 163 yard par-3 6th hole. Mickelson bogeyed the fourth hole, but then reclaimed a share of the lead with a birdie of his own on the 6th. Mickelson reclaimed sole possession of the lead on the par-5 11th hole as he birdies and Quinney bogeyed. The Mickelson lead remained two strokes until Quinney drained a 35-foot birdie put on the 18th hole. Final round coverage begins tomorrow at 3:00 ET/12 noon PT on your local CBS affiliate.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Why is the NBA Rewarding Mediocrity?

We've reached the NBA's All-Star break and moreso than ever, one thing is alarmingly clear: the best teams are almost ALL in the Western Conference. At 33-21, the Orlando Magic has the third best record in the Eastern Conference. You know where a 33-21 record would get you in the West? How about a 10th seed and OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS! New Orleans, Phoenix, the Lakers, Utah, San Antonio, Dallas, Golden State, Houston and Denver all better the .611 winning percentage that the Magic have posted to this point. The latter three teams all have a 32-20 record and as a result, one of these teams with a .615 winning percentage would MISS THE PLAYOFFS if they were held today. Conversely, the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers with their 23-30 records are tied for the seventh and eighth playoff spots. Yes, TWO teams with .434 winning percentages would make the playoffs if the season were to end today! Am I the only one that has a problem with this scenario?

Last year only one team with a below .500 record (Orlando at 40-42) made the playoffs. However, several other very mediocre teams (Washington, New Jersey, the Lakers and Golden State) made it into the 2007 postseason. Those four teams were a combined four games over .500! The 2006 playoffs featured four teams with records that were two games over .500 or worse... 2005 thankfully produced only one such team (New Jersey). In 2004, five such teams made the playoffs including one (Boston) with a 36-46 record!

This all begs to ask two questions: Why does the NBA continue to reward teams that have played just mediocre basketball the whole year with post-season berths? Given the current balance of power, some good teams in the Western conference are going to be left out in the cold come May, and this just isn't fair. You play .600+ ball and don't even make the playoffs, while your counterpart in the Eastern Conference is sitting pretty with their .450 winning percentage??? NBA Commissioner David Stern really should look into revamping the current playoff system - the current one is in SERIOUS need of repair! I have a couple of suggestions: The first would be realignment of the divisions - make it more like the AFC and NFC in football where the teams are more evenly distributed in their respective conferences. Secondly, I would cut the number of teams making the playoffs every year from the current 16 to maybe 12. Doing the above two things would virtually eliminate all of the mediocre, near-.500 teams from making the playoffs.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lakers, Odom End Road Trip in Style!

A good argument can be made as to which Los Angeles Laker player is benefitting the most from the recent acquision of Pau Gasol. Many will say Kobe Bryant is the main benefactor as he no longer is the only consistent scoring option available. Others will say Lamar Odom is the guy gaining the most as he no longer will be criticized for not carrying enough of the offensive burden - he can go back to his traditional role of being an all-around player.

Last night, "L.O." had his fourth career triple-double, hitting on a 3-pointer to close out the third quarter as the Lakers routed the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves 117-92. In just three quarters, Odom tallied 10 points, 10 assists and 16 rebounds. Kobe (despite playing again with an injured finger) scored 29 points including a perfect 13-for-13 from the foul line, while Gasol scored 19 points on a very efficient 9-for-11 shooting night. The Lakers led 99-68 at the end of three quarters, allowing all of the starters to sit on the bench and enjoy the fourth quarter. The win gave the Lakers seven wins in nine games on the road trip - the best such performance for a road team on a continuous road trip that length in NBA History! Is it too early to say the Lakers are now the team to beat in the NBA's Western Conference? I don't think so. At 35-17, they go into the All-Star Break with a TON of momentum and confidence.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spurs, Mavs Crying Wolf at Lakers...

Is it just coincidence that coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are now complaining about the trade which brought Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers? Both the Spurs and the Mavericks had just as much of an opportunity to get Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies as the Lakers and the other 28 NBA teams. They didn't get him and the Lakers did. I think they are mad more than anything because as a result The Lakers now have to be regarded as the team to beat in the West. As Gasol gets more familiar with Phil Jackson's Triangle Offense they will only get better. In six months, Laker GM Mitch Kupchak has gone from being one of the maligned GM's in the league to one of the most praised. The fact that both Popovich and Cuban are now crying wolf speaks volumes on this. As one of my nephews would say... GET OVER IT!!!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Carrie, Meet Leona!

Leona Lewis, Clive Davis and Carrie Underwood

My good friend Jen sent me this picture from the Grammy Awards she thought I might like this afternoon... um, yeah, you could say I liked it! :) Clive Davis, can I be you for just ONE day? By the way, I just found A TON more great pictures of Leona and the Grammys on this outstanding site called Check it out!

While I'm on the topic of music here and these two talented young women, I just want to give a BIG congrats to Leona on her first top 50 U.S. pop hit. "Bleeding Love" cracked the top 50 yesterday evening, and is now sitting at #46 on the Mediabase Pop chart. It's also the most added record at pop radio this past week. In a few more days, Leona's going to have her first top 40 hit here in the U.S.!!! I truly think the sky's the limit for her.

As for Miss Underwood... well her Some Hearts album was just certified SEVEN times Platinum! This makes her album the most successful Country debut ever by a solo artist and also the biggest selling album of any American Idol alumnus - she was previously tied with Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway release at 6x Platinum. And no, I didn't forget Carrie collected her third career Grammy last night for Best Female Country Vocal Performance with the ubiquitous "Before He Cheats." Congrats to Carrie on her continued incredible success!


Monday Ramblings...

I have a lot on the mind, and for some reason just haven't been able to focus on just one thing to blog about today. Sports-wise, we finally have a coach in D.C. as former Seattle Seahawks QB and offensive coordinator Jim Zorn has agreed to coach the Redskins. Meantime, the Wizards (who just a few weeks ago were doing fine without "Agent Zero") have suddenly lost seven straight games! Man I wanted them to beat the Phoenix Suns sooooo bad last night! So close! Then again, with the Shaq trade (which will soon be infamous), the Suns probably will be eclipsed by the Lakers in the standings VERY soon! Speaking of my L.A. Lakers basketball team, they beat Shaq's old team 104-94 yesterday for their fifth win in seven games on their current road trip. Just two more games to go to finish off the season-long nine game road trip before they get to come back home to the friendly confines of Staples Center - FINALLY!

I'll throw a little golf in here too since there was no tournament to concede to Tiger this weekend. Just how often to you see Vijay Singh have a meltdown on the golf course? Well, it happened yesterday as he bogeyed three straight holes on the back nine at Pebble Beach to give away what seemed to be a sure win. Steve Lowery picked up his first win (and third of his career) since 2000 as he birdied the first extra hole of a playoff.

Did any of you catch the Grammy Awards last night? Can you say TRAIN WRECK? Alicia Keys was good both with and without John Mayer. Carrie Underwood was good... John Groban and Andrea Bocelli were good (though not my thing), Kanye West (not at all my favorite person) was surprisingly good, while John Fogerty, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis put on a very memorable performance... other than that, it was the same ol' boring Grammy show we've become accustomed to - yes, Clive's party was A LOT better!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Clive Davis' Pre-Grammy Party

No, I wasn't there - oh how so I WISH I was there! Anyways, you can watch a 2 hour and almost 15 minute video of the party at this link:

Clive Davis' Pre-Grammy Party

About 25 minutes in, Leona Lewis makes her appearance and sings "Bleeding Love" (which is already at #51 on the U.S. pop chart in it's first week of release), and also "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - the Roberta Flack classic. I got chills during both performances! Imagine if I had been there!!!

Carrie Underwood and Leona Lewis in the same room...WOW!!! The Foo Fighters, Daughtry, Alicia Keys, and of course Clive Davis himself are amongst the star-studded attendants at this annual bash. The Grammy Awards are tonight... GO CARRIE!!!


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Dale Jr. Wins Hendrick Debut!

2007 was a very rough year racing-wise for Dale Earnhardt Jr. as he failed to register a win for the first time since 2000. In June of last year, he announced that he would be moving from the company his late father founded, D.E.I. Enterprises, to Hendrick Motorsports, teaming with Jeff Gordon and two-time defending NEXTEL CUP champion Jimmie Johnson. Tonight, Dale Jr. made his debut for Team Hendrick in the Budweiser Shootout. Those who are longtime fans of his must have been thrilled with the result. "Junior" led 47 of the race's 70 laps, and finished just ahead of Tony Stewart for the win. His new teammates, Johnson and Gordon, finished third and fourth. A consistently competitive Dale Earnhardt Junior (unlike the one we've seen the past couple of years) is definitely good for NASCAR and it's ever-growing legion of fans!


Friday, February 8, 2008

Kobe, Gasol Rally Lakers to Win in Orlando

I'm sure that Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson did not at all like what he saw in the first quarter of tonight's game in Orlando against the Magic. The home team poured in a ridiculous 44 points against the Lakers in the first quarter tonight! In spite of that outburst, the Lakers only trailed by 11 points at that time, and by halftime, they actually led 64-63 as Kobe Bryant tallied 22 first-half points. The Lakers extended the lead to a 98-87 margin by the end of three quarters. From there, they managed to hold on, eeking out a 117-113 victory. Kobe finished the game with 36 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds. New acquisition Pau Gasol was a presence throughout, pouring in 30 points and grabbing 9 boards. Derek Fisher pitched in with 14 points and seven assists, while three other Lakers also scored in double figures. The win moves the Lakers to 32-17 and only two games back of the Phoenix Suns for the Pacific Divison lead.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Debunking The Mitchell Report - Part II

The more I hear on the Mitchell Report and the more information that I gather, the more I believe Roger Clemens. I've never been a big fan of "the Rocket," but as I continue to do research and find articles online regarding the report, I'm not finding a thing to substantiate anything that Brian McNamee is claiming. For example, in this article on pages 2 and 3 of the January 6th Boston Globe, former major league players Wade Boggs and Mike Boddicker both seem to believe that "the Rocket" is innocent.

Boggs, who was a friend of McNamee's while a member of the Yankees, said of Clemens "It's an absolute shame that work ethic would come into question. The one thing I'll say through all of this is, as far as I can tell, only one significant big-name player has actually tested positive for steroids and that's Rafael Palmeiro. You can't hang somebody on speculation. Until they have a vial of blood and he's 100 percent guilty, then it's all speculation."

Boddicker went a lot further in his defense of Clemens, stating "I tell you right now, I've seen Roger Clemens get injected with a B-12 vitamin shot. I was in the trainer's room back in Boston when the trainer injected him. Unless B-12 is illegal, I'm believing Roger. If it's this guy's word against Roger, I'll go with Roger every time. I had a locker right next to him in Boston and I can tell you this was the most dedicated athlete I've ever been around. The reason he had to take the B-12 was because he overworked himself. People say he's still performing past 40 and he must be doing something. Well, Nolan Ryan did it."

One thing I would like to make VERY clear here is that IF the Rocket is guilty of doing something wrong, then by all means he needs to pay the price. Right now, we still have nothing but speculation on him. McNamee turned in "evidence" to federal investigators yesterday that he claims will confirm "the Rocket" used steroids and HGH. My question is, can you trust McNamee? Do you know how easy would it be to conveniently mix your syringes, one with B-12 and Clemens DNA, and the other with a banned substance just to prove your point? As a result, ANYONE who McNamee injected, whether it was B-12, steroids, HGH or whatever he used could be implicated provided he has syringes from these players with their DNA.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shaq Diesel To Phoenix???

That's the rumor. If so, well then I think it could potentially slow down The Suns rather than help them. The Suns offense is predictated on speed, movement and defense. The big guy is lacking in the first two areas and is a mere shadow of the once dominant force he was. The Suns apparently are trying to do this to counter the move of the rival Lakers in acquiring Pau Gasol. If so, well then more power to them! :)


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Gasol's Laker Debut = Resounding Success!

Kobe Bryant scored just six points tonight for the Lakers in their game tonight against the New Jersey Nets. Ordinarily, when the NBA's second leading scorer gets held that much in check, you would expect the Lakers to struggle mightily. Such was not the case though as the other four starters, including the newly acquired Pau Gasol, all scored in double figures tonight. So what did the new Laker do in his first game in the royal purple and gold? Well how about 24 points, 12 rebounds and four assists???!!! The Lakers and Nets were tied at 47-47 at the halftime intermission. From there it was all Gasol, all the time as he scored 18 points and grabbed nine of his rebounds in the second half. Kobe was busy playing distributor during an uncharacteristically off shooting night (he was 3-for-13) as he led the team with eight assists. The Lakers finally started to pull away with about six minutes left to play in what would be a 105-90 victory. D-Fish led the team with 28 points including 4-for-7 on three-pointers as the Lakers won their third straight game on their longest road trip of the season. The Lake Show takes flight into Atlanta where they will play the Hawks in the second of back-to-back games. GO LAKERS!


Super Tuesday!

As most of you know, I rarely get into politics here... but if you read between the lines, then most of you probably know how I stand. That said, more than anything I hope each and every one of you that has the opportunity to vote today does their civic duty. Voting is your right and privilege and your opportunity to be heard. No matter what your affiliation, don't waste it!


Today is also a "Super Tuesday" musically as perhaps the year's most anticipated release to date, Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" officially goes for adds at radio today. 21 contemporary pop stations have already jumped the gun and added "Bleeding Love" to their rotations, good enough to get it to #62 on the Pop chart. The spins should start to rise VERY swiftly starting today! After spending seven weeks at number one in the U.K. and breaking all kinds of records there and all over the world, the sky is truly the limit here for "Bleeding Love" and the rest of Leona's music here in the States!


Monday, February 4, 2008

Is It Baseball Season Yet?

The answer to that one would be "no" at the moment, but now that David (in the form of Eli Manning and the Giants) slayed Goliath (Tom Brady and the Patriots) in Super Bowl XLII yesterday, it is now time to start focusing on the upcoming major league baseball season. I will also give some extensive coverage to fantasy baseball, draft strategies and what it takes to win your leagues. With Johan Santana going to the Mets, Andruw Jones going to the Dodgers, and the Nationals having a new stadium, there's a lot to look forward to this year in terms of both the real game and the fantasy one that I'm addicted to. I can't wait until we can utter the words PLAY BALL!!!


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Eli Leads Giants to Historic Super Bowl Upset!

I'm shocked and stunned and in disbelief at the same time - We have just witnessed perhaps the biggest upset in sports history!!! The New York Giants, led by Eli Manning's incredible fourth quarter beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII tonight by a 17-14 score. Manning, who was named the MVP of the game, drove the Giants 83 yards on 12 plays culminating on a 13 yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with just 35 seconds to play. Tom Brady could not move the ball on the Patriots final possession, throwing four incomplete passes. With it the Patriots run at a perfect 19-0 season ended.


Lakers, Kobe Rout Wizards!

At the end of the first quarter of today's game at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., you could have just taken Kobe Bryant's four Lakers teammates out of the scoring mix and they still would have been winning! Pau Gasol's sore back prevented him from playing his first game as a Laker, but it hardly mattered as Bryant outscored the Wizards 19-15 by himself in the first quarter as the Lakers built a 30-15 lead. Kobe added ten more points in the second quarter to help give the Lakers a 63-41 halftime margin. From there, Kobe let the rest of the team got involved in the scoring. By games' end four other Lakers reached double-digits in the point column, with the Lakers cruising to a 103-91 victory to take their second straight win on their crucial nine game road trip. The Lakers fly to New Jersey to take on the Nets Tuesday night. First though, they will make like the rest of us and take some time to watch Super Bowl XLII pitting the New England Patriots and New York Giants.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bruins Rip Apart Wildcats!

It was almost over before it started. The Wizard of Westwood, 97-year-old John Wooden was onhand to witness the slaughter as the UCLA Bruins jumped to a 23-8 lead just minutes into their game against the Arizona Wildcats at Pauley Pavilion. From there, the Bruins just put it on cruise control the final 31 minutes as they raced to their sixth straight win in an 82-60 victory. Freshman Kevin Love continued to lead the way for UCLA, scoring 26 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season. The Bruins now stand at 20-2 and look to improve on their current #5 national ranking.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Lakers Get Gasol(ed) Up!

The instant message from my friend Jim came across my phone just before noon Pacific Time today... it said "Gasol traded to Lakers." I was in shock, disbelief and amazement all at the same time!!! One of the leagues' premier forwards in Pau Gasol was coming to my Lakers? I had to pinch myself. I figured that GM Mitch Kupchak must have given up an arm and a leg to the Memphis Grizzlies, but to my amazement, that was not the case. The Lakers gave up two first round draft picks, rookie Javaris Crittenton and Kwame Brown - yes, the Kwame Brown who has been the source of Laker-fan ire ever since the Lakers acquired him in the infamous Caron Butler trade. Well, Laker fans, Kwame is gone!!! And in his place is a perennial all-star. Gasol's been remarkably consistent in his first 6 1/2 NBA seasons, scoring 18.8 points per game, and grabbing 8.6 rebounds per contest. He also blocks 1.8 shots per game.

Kobe Bryant said the trade for Gasol "shows a great deal of commitment from the organization," and that "it's a great step." I would whole-heartedly agree with that remark. Kobe and the rest of his teammates certainly played inspired ball tonight. Bryant scored 46 points on 19-for-28 shooting, including four three pointers as the Lakers routed the Toronto Raptors by a 121-101 score. There was a time when the second game of back-to-back games on the road was a killer for the Lake Show. This is certainly not the case these days as the Lakers covered the spread for the fifth time in six such outings this year.

This was supposed to be a time that the Lakers were going to have to just tread water as Andrew Bynum rehabbed and got back to health. Now, the Lakers just might be able to challenege the Pheonix Suns for the Western Division lead before Bynum comes back. One thing is certain - barring injury, the Lakers will definitely keep the Suns in their sights the rest of this season and beyond. This trade may go down as one of the greatest in all of Laker history!!! I have to say it's been a VERY long time since I've been this excited about the Lakers. Yes folks, SHOWTIME is coming back!!!


Leona Lewis Hits U.S. Airwaves!

Every once in a while, a music talent comes along that just blows me away from the first time I heard their voice. I still remember seeing Carrie Underwood on American Idol a few years ago and knowing from the first time I heard her that she was going to do great things. Way back in 1990, a woman named Mariah Carey came along with her song "Vision Of Love." From the first time I heard that amazing voice, I knew we'd be hearing from her for a very long time... "Vision" would be the first of an unprecented 10 consecutive #1 hits on Radio & Records' top 40 chart! In 2005, Mariah scored her 13th and 14th #1 pop hits including "We Belong Together" which spent 11 weeks at the summit.

When you first hear Leona Lewis and her music from the Spirit album, it does remind you a lot of Mariah, particularly her early stuff. Leona's first single, "Bleeding Love" already spent seven weeks at #1 in the U.K. and is set to be released to U.S. radio on Super Tuesday. The anticipation for this song has been so strong that no less than 18 stations here in the States have already added the song to their playlists. As of this morning, it already stands at #66 on the Mediabase CHR/Pop chart. When I first heard "Bleeding Love" a little over a month ago, I have to admit I was hooked from the very first listen. It's truly an amazing piece of work, engaging and melodic. Simply put, a musical masterpiece! Being someone who is pretty picky when it comes to music, that very rarely happens with me. Watch for the song to rocket up the charts here in the coming weeks. Leona's debut album Spirit will hit the stores here in America on April 8th. The album I think only touches on Leona's potential, though there are several other songs which should become hits here. I think we will be seeing a whole lot of Leona Lewis for many years to come!