CMYK THE TIMES LEADER www.timesleader.com
MONDAY, MAY 28, 2012
Don’t throw in the towel on those top picks yet It takes a brave man to admit when he’s .. uhhh … well. … WRONG. I am not that brave. Every seemingly bad fantasy move I’ve made this year is not a mistake. It’s just an opportunity for a second half “I told you so!” Besides, I’m not the only one who thought Tim Lincecum was a good idea as my No. 1 pitcher in a keeper league. Plenty of other folks made that fool move too. Right? Please tell me I’m not alone. Truth is, not every preseason pitching evaluation has worked out as expected. I doubt you could find anyone back in March who would have taken the Cardi-
MAY REALITY: 1: Verlander. 2: Cole Hamels, Phillies. 3: Gio Gonzalez, Nationals. 4: Kershaw. 5: (tie) Jered Weaver, Angels; F A N T A S Y B A S E B A L L Brandon Beachy, Braves. There are a lot of the usual nals’ Lance Lynn over Roy Halladay. But which one of those guys suspects on this list. Verlander is developing into an all-time has 7 wins and a 2.54 ERA, and great, and Kershaw is right which one is 4-4 with a 3.58 behind him. So the fact they ERA? That would be Lynn. lived up to their abilities isn’t a Just as we did with hitters a shock. And Hamels and Weaver few weeks ago, let’s look at the were ranked just outside the top starting pitching ranks and see 5 before the season. where projections and reality It’s not going too far out on a meet – and what you can expect limb to say, barring arm troufor the rest of the season. bles, these four guys will remain The top five sounds like a at the top of this list all season. good place to start. Bank on it. The “newcomers” to the list, PRESEASON TOP 5: 1: ClayGio Gonzalez and Brandon ton Kershaw, Dodgers. 2: Roy Beachy, are promising young Halladay, Phillies. 3: Justin arms, but of the two, Gonzalez Verlander, Tigers. 4: Cliff Lee, is the better bet to keep up his Phillies. 5: Tim Lincecum, Gipace. ants.
Jackson honored at reunion
Johnson wins at Colonial
Roy Halladay’s 3.58 ERA and Gonzalez has been a touted 1.11 WHIP would look pretty prospect for years, bouncing around in trades for Jim Thome good – if his name was Joe Blanton. But this is Halladay, and and Freddy Garcia. But he’s becoming a star in D.C. He leads anything less than 18 or 19 wins the NL in strikeouts, has 6 wins and an ERA above 3.00 is considered a bad year. and an ERA of 1.98. Next year, Optimist’s view: He’s been the he’ll be one of the first five pitchvictim of poor run support and a ers taken in drafts. Mark that lot of that 3.58 came from a down. shellacking he took in Atlanta, Beachy also has the opportuso his numbers are misleading. nity to be a star. The only concern with him is he’s young and Pessimist: The Phillies offense isn’t going to suddenly explode, he plays for the Braves. Atlanta so poor run support will continhas a history of young pitchers ue, and he’s getting hit around having great first halves and more than he’s used to. I tend to faltering badly after July. (See think the optimist’s view is more Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens) That doesn’t mean Beachy accurate. He’ll settle in. Cliff Lee’s numbers are far will follow the same path. But better than Halladay’s except for he needs to buck the trend first one. That one is a zero. As in before he earns “stud” status. ZERO wins so far. He did miss More surprising than who some time with a strained made the “May Top 5” are the oblique and he’s also had to three guys who fell off the list.
Kahne keeps Hendrick rolling with Coke win The Associated Press
SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Roger Chapman won the Senior PGA Championship, holding on for a two-stroke victory after leading comfortably throughout the final round Sunday. Chapman led by five after 54 holes and was never really threatened Sunday. His closing 1-over 72 was his worst score of the tournament — but it was enough to give the Englishman a win at the major championship. Chapman, who had never won on the Champions Tour, finished at 13 under. He bogeyed three of the last five holes but had enough of a cushion that it didn’t matter. John Cook was at 11 under after a 69. Hale Irwin shot 68 to finish another stroke back. BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIP VIRGINIA WATER, England — Luke Donald took the top spot in the world ranking from Rory McIlroy for the third time in 10 weeks, successfully defending his title in the BMW PGA Championship. The Englishman won the European Tour’s flagship event by four strokes, closing with a 4-under 68 to finish at 15-under 273 on Wentworth’s West Course.
BILL TARUTIS/FOR THE TIMES LEADER
Former Dallas football coach Ted Jackson Sr. reacts during the Dallas football reunion in his honor at the Irem Temple Country Club in Dallas Township on Sunday evening. The event featured remarks by former players, assistant coaches, opposing coaches and video highlights of his 27-year career at Dallas.
N B A P L AYO F F S
Wade: Heat-Celtics matchup ‘inevitable’ Eastern Conference finals are a rematch of last season’s semifinals. By TIM REYNOLDS AP Sports Writer
MIAMI — In 2010, Boston ousted Dwyane Wade in the first round and LeBron James in the second round. A year later, Wade and James were teammates and turned the tables, sending the Celtics into the offseason. Here comes the tiebreaker. Celtics-Heat, one more time — with a berth in the NBA finals as the reward. For the fifth time in seven years, it’ll be Boston or Miami winning the Eastern Conference championship. Game 1 of that title series is tonight in Miami, with the Heat saying it almost seemed predestined that they would be seeing the Celtics again, and Boston’s perspective being that the team in green is exactly where it expected to be as well. “Inevitable. It’s the matchup the game of basketball wants,” Wade said Sunday afternoon. “Obviously, with the Chicago Bulls being out, this is the biggest matchup the Eastern Conference can have. So we accept the challenge and we look forward to the series.” Added Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “Was there any doubt that it’d be us and Boston?” Well, maybe a little. Spoelstra watched Boston’s Game 7 East semifinal matchup against Philadelphia without a notepad, not wanting to start game planning until the winner was decided. And that didn’t come until late in the night, when Rajon Rondo — forced into the closer’s role after Paul Pierce
UP NEXT GAME 1 Miami Heat at Boston Celtics 8:30 p.m. today ESPN
fouled out with 4:16 left — delivered time and again down the stretch, carrying the Celtics to an 85-75 closeout victory. “This is a good time right now,” Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said. “This is the cream of the cream. This is what it’s all about, you know, conference finals. We definitely didn’t like the way we left last year. So we’ll see what happens, man. We’ll see what happens. Let’s get it on.” Miami beat Boston in five games in last year’s East semifinals, and the Celtics took three of four games from Miami this season. Both sides cautioned against reading too much into any of those results. James said the game changes in the playoffs, even more so as teams get deeper into it. The Celtics know what he wants to do, he knows what the Celtics will try, familiarity born from James having already faced Boston in 18 playoff games — more than any other active player, and more than any club the reigning MVP has squared off with in the postseason. “I wouldn’t have it no other way, personally,” James said. “It’s really the only team I’m accustomed to playing in the playoffs. No matter where I go, I find a way to play Boston. ... We’ve got a lot of history.” James and the Cleveland Cavaliers lost in seven games to Boston in 2008. In 2010, the Celtics topped the Cavs in six games, one round after easily beating the Heat in a series punctuated by Wade vowing that he wouldn’t lose another first-round series for
Rich Sheposh writes about fantasy baseball for The Times Leader. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Associated Press
FORT WORTH, Texas — Zach Johnson won the Colonial for his first victory since also winning at Hogan’s Alley two years ago, pulling ahead Sunday when Jason Dufner finally faltered. Johnson was assessed a two-stroke penalty for failing to replace his ball to its original position after marking it on the 18th hole. That left him with a 2-over 72 and a one-stroke victory. “I’m going to focus on the positives, because I hit a really solid putt and it’s a good thing I made it,” Johnson said. “No harm, no foul. It was my fault.” Johnson moved his original ball mark out of the line of Dufner’s putt on the 18th green. But he forgot to move it back before his final 5-foot putt. Johnson finished at 12under 268 for his eighth PGA Tour title. Dufner closed with a 74. Tommy Gainey was a distant third at 7 under after a 67. Dufner’s only two PGA Tour victories came in the last four weeks, a stretch when he also got married.
outpitch the Phillies’ anemic offense, so it’s not all his fault. Like Halladay, expect him to start getting wins and pitching like he’s used to. As for Lincecum. Well, let’s just say Facebook isn’t the only Bay Area stock that’s fallen flat on its face. Lincecum’s been so bad, he could pitch a complete game shutout and his ERA would DROP to 5.49. It just seems like there’s something wrong here. He says he’s fine, his coach says he’s fine, his GM says he’s fine. His numbers say he’s NOT fine. Either he turns it around, or he ends up on the DL sometime over the summer. I hope he turns it around. I suspect he won’t.
a long time to come. Last season, Miami’s five-game win was far from easy. And this time, the perception of the Celtics is that they’re old, tired and weary. The Heat dismiss those notions as “ridiculous,” Spoelstra said. “No. Get out of here with that,” Wade said. “I don’t believe none of that. No feet hurtin’, no tired, no nothing. This is the Boston Celtics. They’re all 100 percent to me because when they play the Miami Heat, different ballgame and vice versa. Ain’t no story lines, no excuses. ... Last year, yeah, we beat them in five, but man, it was like a nine-game series, it felt like.” Boston did not hold practice Sunday, instead handing out scouting reports and flying to Miami. Celtics coach Doc Rivers was packed with the hopes of making a Miami trip even before Game 7 of the Philly series, just so he could take every possible moment after the game Saturday night to watch film of the Heat, and he planned more of the same on the three-hour flight from Boston. “We’ll be ready,” Rivers said. “It’s going to be a tough turnaround, but listen, we’re not an excuse team. We’ll be ready on Monday.” His players said they welcomed the short turnaround. Ray Allen is hurting and Boston will be without Avery Bradley for the remainder of the season, but the Celtics indicated they would rather just jump into a Miami series and not wait around. “I kind of like it for us,” Pierce said. “It keeps us in rhythm. It keeps us playing. We’re an older team so we get kind of stiff when we sit around for too long. We like the fact that we’re going to go right into it.”
CONCORD, N.C. — Kasey Kahne powered to victory in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night, taking NASCAR’s longest race for the third time for his first win with Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne also gave car owner Rick Hendrick his 201st Sprint Cup series victory. Kahne crossed the finish line nearly 5 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin. Kyle Busch was third and series points leader Greg Biffle fourth. “It’s just so great to win for Mr. Hendrick,” Kahne said. As Kahne celebrated, teammate Jeff Gordon gave him a bear hug and told him, “Proud of you.” Kahne became the 16th Hendrick driver for to take the checkered flag. It was Kahne’s 13th career win and first since last November in Phoenix. Hendrick drivers were all near the top. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sixth, and Gordon seventh — just his third top 10 finish of the season. Five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson was 11th. He was in contention until the final pit stop when he left with his gas can still engaged, dragging his crew member along. NASCAR docked him with a stop-and-go penalty to end his chances. Danica Patrick, the first woman to drive in the race since Janet Guthrie in 1976, was five laps down in 30th. Still, it was her best finish in three career Sprint Cup races. Car owner Chip Ganassi flew to Charlotte after celebrating Dario Franchitti’s win at the Indianapolis 500 earlier Sunday. Ganassi, part of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, had hoped to double up with drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya. But 250 laps in, McMurray was a lap down and Montoya two behind after needing an extra pit stop to tighten a loose wheel. “The minute I walked into the garage, people were high-fiving
me,” Ganassi said. “Right now, we’ve got to get our cars up the grid.” It didn’t happen as Montoya finished Kahne two laps down in 20th and McMurray right behind in 21st. For much of this race, it looked as if Biffle wouldn’t be caught. He led 204 laps to dominate early and was clearly best as the race began in the hot, bright sunshine. Once the night cooled off the track, Biffle was no match for Kahne. “Kasey’s car was just better at night,” Biffle said. An early crash took Patrick out of contention in the season-opening Daytona 500 and she finished 38th. Patrick returned to Sprint Cup two weeks ago at treacherous Darlington Raceway and lasted throughout at the track considered “Too Tough to Tame” and crossed the line in 31st. Patrick’s goals this week were simply to be running at the end — and that she was. Starting 40th after a poor qualifying effort, Patrick quickly fell top laps down. But she held on throughout the long, long night. Patrick also kept her humor. When she was cautioned by her team to keep hydrating, Patrick cracked, “Copy that. Every time you don’t get an answer to a question, that’s what I’m doing.” Patrick’s next Sprint Cup race will be at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 25. Earnhardt had hoped to avenge last year’s heartbreaking loss when he ran out of fuel 700 feet from the finish line while leading. Earnhardt came as close to second and was drag-racing Hamlin for the lead on the final restart before as the large crowd at Charlotte Motor Speedway howled. Earnhardt, too, couldn’t keep up with his teammate and his winless drought grew to 141 races. N
C O C A - C O L A 6 0 0 R E S U LT S Sunday At Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, N.C. Lap length: 1.5 miles (Start position in parentheses) 1. (7) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 400 laps, 135.5 rating, 47 points. 2. (8) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 400, 112.7, 43. 3. (17) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 400, 119.2, 42. 4. (4) Greg Biffle, Ford, 400, 135.5, 42. 5. (24) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 400, 99.6, 40. 6. (12) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 400, 94.5, 38. 7. (23) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 400, 100.2, 38. 8. (14) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 400, 100.9, 37. 9. (28) Carl Edwards, Ford, 400, 88.1, 35. 10. (20) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 399, 93, 34. 11. (3) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 399, 111.2, 33. 12. (15) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 399, 84.2, 32. 13. (5) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 398, 85, 31. 14. (16) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 398, 75.3, 30. 15. (9) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 398, 73.2, 29. 16. (1) Aric Almirola, Ford, 398, 82.1, 29. 17. (10) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 398, 72.5, 27. 18. (18) Landon Cassill, Toyota, 398, 65.3, 27. 19. (22) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 398, 71.6, 25. 20. (29) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 398, 64.9, 24. 21. (31) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 397, 76.3, 23. 22. (25) Casey Mears, Ford, 397, 53.9, 22. 23. (19) Joey Logano, Toyota, 397, 57.4, 21. 24. (13) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 397, 59, 0. 25. (21) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 397, 60.6, 19. 26. (39) David Gilliland, Ford, 397, 53.8, 18. 27. (42) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 396, 54.3, 17. 28. (26) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 396, 46.7, 16. 29. (37) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 395, 46.7, 15. 30. (40) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 395, 42.9, 0. 31. (41) T.J. Bell, Ford, 390, 34.2, 0. 32. (2) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 367, 93.6, 13. 33. (11) A J Allmendinger, Dodge, 361, 67.2, 11. 34. (6) Mark Martin, Toyota, engine, 338, 81.2, 10. 35. (30) David Ragan, Ford, engine, 281, 47.3, 10. 36. (32) Michael McDowell, Ford, engine, 228, 38.5, 8. 37. (38) Scott Speed, Ford, fuel pump, 136, 35.6, 7. 38. (35) David Stremme, Toyota, rear gear, 86, 30.9, 6.
39. (34) Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, vibration, 74, 29, 5. 40. (36) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, engine, 54, 35.6, 4. 41. (43) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, vibration, 47, 30.9, 0. 42. (27) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, vibration, 33, 27.4, 0. 43. (33) Josh Wise, Ford, vibration, 15, 27.3, 1. Race Statistics Average Speed of Race Winner: 155.687 mph. Time of Race: 3 hours, 51 minutes, 14 seconds. Margin of Victory: 4.295 seconds. Caution Flags: 5 for 23 laps. Lead Changes: 31 among 11 drivers. Lap Leaders: M.Ambrose 1-2;A.Almirola 3-5;M.Ambrose 6-8;G.Biffle 9-14;M.Ambrose 15-22;G.Biffle 23-113;M.Ambrose 114-120;Ky.Busch 121-124;G.Biffle 125-134;J.Gordon 135-138;Ky.Busch 139-171;D.Ragan 172;Ky.Busch 173-190;G.Biffle 191-219;K.Kahne 220-221;G.Biffle 222;L.Cassill 223;G.Biffle 224-280;K.Kahne 281-307;D.Hamlin 308;G.Biffle 309-315;K.Kahne 316;G.Biffle 317;K.Kahne 318;G.Biffle 319-320;D.Hamlin 321-332;K.Kahne 333-353;B.Keselowski 354;K.Harvick 355;J.Gordon 356;K.Kahne 357-400. Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): G.Biffle, 9 times for 204 laps;K.Kahne, 6 times for 96 laps;Ky.Busch, 3 times for 55 laps;M.Ambrose, 4 times for 20 laps;D.Hamlin, 2 times for 13 laps;J.Gordon, 2 times for 5 laps;A.Almirola, 1 time for 3 laps;B.Keselowski, 1 time for 1 lap;K.Harvick, 1 time for 1 lap;L.Cassill, 1 time for 1 lap;D.Ragan, 1 time for 1 lap. Top 12 in Points: 1. G.Biffle, 453;2. M.Kenseth, 443;3. D.Hamlin, 437;4. D.Earnhardt Jr., 435;5. J.Johnson, 405;6. M.Truex Jr., 404;7. K.Harvick, 398;8. Ky.Busch, 391;9. T.Stewart, 388;10. C.Edwards, 372;11. B.Keselowski, 368;12. C.Bowyer, 366. NASCAR Driver Rating Formula A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race. The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, LeadLap Finish.
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader 05-28