Here's some random opinions on things going on in a lovely Friday in Ohio:
-Coco Crisp vs James Shields: Well, no one could say they didn't see it coming. Coco's over aggressive slide on Wednesday caused Shields to put one on his hip. Surprising to everyone, Coco charged the mound...and nearly paid for it. While I don't advise fighting in baseball (injuries, suspensions...not much good can come from it), this fight might rejuvanate Tampa Bay. They just got swept by Boston, disrespected by them and had to do something about Coco Crisp. Jonny Gomes was landing blows to Coco when he was on the ground and I don't blame him. Shields missed with a haymaker and Dionar Navarro took Crisp down after that. Overall, this was less of a fight than the Kemp/Torrealba escalated incident earlier in the week and we should see some suspensions coming from this.
-The Celtics did what I thought they would do last night: win Game 1. They are the better team while LA has the best player on the court. That best player looked pretty angry after his 9-26 performance but I expect him to play at a higher level at some point in this series. Remember, my prediction has Boston winning the first two games so their going to need to bring the intensity again on Sunday night. Pierce was heroic, Garnett was solid (too many jumpers, go down low and bang with Gasol....he doesn't want any piece of you) and Allen looked as good as he has all playoffs. For the Lakers, their near useless bench (other than Vujacic, who continues to annoy everyone when he's one the court) was exploited again. The Lakers only chance of winning games is Kobe 35 points or more. This became more evident last night.
-The Indians and Tigers are playing an interesting series this weekend in Detroit. Both teams are playing terribly while the Indians just allowed Texas to score 9 runs or more in each game against them. I thought this team was based around pitching? Their offense showed up one night with 15 runs but I expect a high level of tension in Detroit tonight. The Tigers are close to be passed by the Royals and they really need to pick it up on offense. Pitching has certainly been their main issue but I expect them to take 2 of the 4 games from Cleveland.
-MLB names to keep an eye on in the next couple of weeks: Carlos Gonzalez (OF-Oak), Jerry Hairston Jr. (SS-Cin), Radhames Liz (SP-Bal), Shin-soo Choo (OF-Cle).
-In the French Open, Rafael Nadal may never lose in this tournament. He's won three in a row and is in the Final on Sunday again. His opponent looks to be Roger Federer (Fed's up 2 sets to 1 on Monfils as we speak). For me personally, I'm a huge Federer fan. He's the best player in the world who just can't beat this giant on the clay courts. Nadal crushed Djokovic in straight sets this morning. To me, Federer has a huge hill to climb on Sunday (assuming he gets there). Nadal is 27-0 at this tournament. He's not winning close matches either; he's dominating the competition. Federer is one French Open title from the career Grand Slam, 13 Majors (Australian, French, Wimbledon, US) and a chance to erase the one question mark on his legacy at this point. We shall see if he can overcome the odds on Sunday.