St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Chris Carpenter boasts a 73-25 record and a 2.92 ERA, during his seven seasons in Missouri. This season, the trend has continued, as Carpenter stands at 5-1, with a 3.09 ERA.
Because of these remarkable numbers, many baseball fans forget that Carpenter was once a .500 pitcher, when he threw for the Toronto Blue Jays. Carpenter spent six seasons in Canada, compiling a record of 49-50, with a 4.83 ERA.
Aside from Carpenter’s injury plagued years of 2003, 2007 and 2008, his Cardinals’ career has been an unbridled success. In addition to his stat line, Carpenter won the 2005 National League Cy Young Award and was the best pitcher on the Cardinals’ 2006 World Series championship team.
While the current version of the Detroit Tigers are best known for their offensive productivity, the rock of this era of Motor City baseball is and has been the right arm of pitcher Justin Verlander.
Not coincidently, Verlander’s rookie season of 2006 exactly coincides with the team’s return to baseball respectability. Certainly, Jim Leyland’s ’06 arrival is hugely significant to the Tigers’ fortunes, but when it comes to getting it done between the lines, Verlander has been Detroit’s top performer.
Drafted second overall in the 2004 Draft, out of Old Dominion University, Verlander surged onto the scene winning the ’06 American League Rookie of the Year and hurling a no-hitter vs. the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007.
One of the pleasant surprises of the Milwaukee Brewers 16-25 season has been the continued stellar play of third baseman Casey McGehee. Going into Friday’s game vs. the Minnesota Twins, McGehee is batting .325, with nine homeruns and 37 RBI. In fact, during McGehee’s first 164 games in the big leagues, he is hitting .302, with 25 homeruns and 108 RBI.
The Brewers claimed McGehee on waivers, from the Chicago Cubs, after the 2008 season. Because of McGehee’s brief major league service time, the Brewers are getting a tremendous bargain. This season, McGehee will earn $427,500.
While the Brewers are certainly happy with the development of McGehee, the folks on the North Side of Chicago maybe regretting that they gave him away for next to nothing.
New Orleans Saints’ running back Pierre Thomas was one of the most important contributors to his team’s Super Bowl championship season. Even though fellow RB Reggie Bush receives much of the attention, Thomas’s worth absolutely supersedes that of the former Heisman Trophy winner.
Last season, Thomas rushed for 793 yards, catching 39 balls, scoring a total of eight touchdowns. This is compared to Bush, who rushed for 390 yards, catching 47 balls, tying Thomas with eight TD’s. Bush is exciting, but Thomas is simply more valuable to the Saints’ efforts.
Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones is among the most recognizable team owners in all of professional sports. Jones has joined the ranks of New York Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner and Oakland Raiders owner’ Al Davis on this illustrious list.
Since Davis turns 81 years old and Steinbrenner turns 80, amazingly both on July 4, Jones has no doubt become the most public of these legendary figures. Ironically, Jones’ newest competition, regarding sports ownership notoriety, might be his fellow Metroplex resident, Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban.
It is no secret that Boston Celtics’ guard Rajon Rondo has emerged into the best player on his team’s deep and talented roster. Whether it is getting the ball inside to Kevin Garnett, creating space for Paul Pierce, spotting up Ray Allen or getting it done on his own, Rondo is most certainly the Celtics’ catalyst.
Rondo averaged 21 points,12 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals in Boston’s 4-2 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. As the Celtics prepare to face the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals, all eyes will be focused on Rondo, as he attempts to bring his club back to the NBA Finals.
Chicago Bulls’ guard Derrick Rose is one of the NBA’s rising superstars. Rose, the first overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, has absolutely lived up to his advance billing.
The Chicago native averaged 21 points and 6 assists, during his second NBA campaign. Rose has also displayed signs of future playoff success by averaging 22 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds, during his first two postseason appearances.
Rose and the Bulls will be a force to reckon with for many years to come.
Since debuting with the Chicago Bulls in 1999, the life and career of Los Angeles Lakers’ forward Ron Artest can be described as the combination of impressive, sad and bizarre. Artest’s wacky road has included All-Star and All-Defensive accolades, the most famous player/fan altercation in sports history and a claim that he used to consume Hennessy cognac during halftime of games.
Via a myriad of on and off-the-court occurrences, Artest can easily be considered one of the most infamous men ever to set foot on the NBA hardwood.