LAst Night's Action
Gene Upshaw Dead of Pancreatic Cancer at 63. AP Photo/Morry Gash
LA Dodgers defeat Colorado Rockies 3-1. The final game of their successful 10-game homestand ended with a well pitched game between Derek Lowe and the Rockie's Jorge de la Rosa. Lowe just gave up the one run in the first inning and went on to pitch 6 1/3 innings giving up four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Meanwhile the Dodger bats did just enough getting three runs on five hits and two generous errors given by the Rockies. The bullpen seemed to shore things up with Hong-Chih Kuo and Jonathan Broxton giving up two hits and getting five strikeouts combined. And get this. Manny Ramirez in his press conference when he first came to LA jokingly said that he would start stealing bases now that he was with the Dodgers. Well he came through on that promise stealing second standing up on what was supposed to be a hit-and-run play with Russell Martin at the plate. Whatever works. The Dodgers now go on the road for 10 games in 10 days at Philadelphia, Washington and Arizona.
Minnesota Twins defeat LA Angels 2-1 (12 innings). Whenever the Angels blow a very tight game, it really does seem like Angel's reliever Justin Speier is somehow responsible for giving up a key run, doesn't it? This game was a ridiculous pitcher's duel with the Angels getting their only run on a Mark Teixeira solo shot in the first inning. John Lackey went eight strong innings giving up an earned run on five hits and two walks while fanning six.
Chicago Fire defeat LA Galaxy 1-0. Bruce Arena's first match as head coach and general manager of the Galaxy ended in defeat with the Fire's John Thorrington scoring the only goal in the 65th minute. With Landon Donavan and David Beckham out of the match due to playing Wednesday with their national teams, the Galaxy did all they could to keep in the match. But against the stiff defense of the Fire the could not come through in the end. Perhaps even more intriguing was Arena's first move as general manager. He acquired US national team midfielder Eddie Lewis, and in order to make space on the roster traded Carlos Ruiz to Toronto FC.
In a complete shock, NFL Player's Association executive director Gene Upshaw died of pancreatic cancer early yesterday morning. After complaining of stomach problems, Upshaw was diagnosed on Sunday.
Upshaw's legacy is a dichotomy unto itself. For one, he was a hall of fame offensive guard that broke the mold for guards up to that point. In his 15 years all with the Oakland Raiders, he helped lead the team to two Super Bowl rings.
As executive director of the NFLPA, he helped usher in free agency giving players unprecedented prosperity. Despite that he was often criticized for not being firm enough with the league and the owners. Bryant Gumbel remarking about Upshaw's close relationship with former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue on his show "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" on HBO said,
"Before he cleans out his office have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash. By making the docile head of the players union his personal pet, your predecessor has kept the peace without giving players the kind of guarantees other pros take for granted. Try to make sure no one competent ever replaces Upshaw on your watch."
In more recent years Upshaw has come under heat for not doing enough for retired players.
Regardless of which side you fall on with regards to Upshaw, there is no doubt he has been one of the most influential people in the NFL. Upshaw was 63 years old, the same number he wore with the Raiders.
LA Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies. Greg Maddux gets his first start for the Dodgers this season against 10-game winner Kyle Kendrick. 4:05 pm KCAL9, AM 790 KABC.
Minnesota Twins at LA Angels. Glen Perkins goes to the hill against Joe Saunders. 7:05 pm KCOP13, AM 830 KLAA.