LAst Night's Action: Angels Win Series Against Rangers
LA Angels defeat Texas Rangers 2-1. The Angels yet again got on the board in the first inning Howie Kendrick doubled in lead-off hitter Erick Aybar, but after that it was a whole bunch of nothing. A pitchers’ duel emerged between the Rangers’ CJ Wilson and the Angels’ Jered Weaver as they staved off the other team. It wasn’t an NL West type of pitchers’ duel where it was 1-2-3-strike out. It took a lot of pitches that had both pitchers making more than 90 pitches through six innings. But Weaver did manage to go seven innings without giving up a run. In the sixth inning, the Angels got to Wilson again when Mike Napoli doubled home Torii Hunter who led off the inning with a walk. Later in the inning with Napoli on third base, the Angels tried a squeeze play with catcher Jeff Mathis at the plate. It probably would have worked if Mathis actually made contact with the ball thrown on a pitch-out catching Napoli in a rundown. The Rangers tried to rally in the eighth inning thanks to Ian Kinsler singling in Elvis Andrus. But after reliever Fernando Rodney intentionally walked Josh Hamilton to load the bases, he got Nelson Cruz to pop up to limit the damage to one run. With the Angels winning the rubber game, they pull to 3 ½ games behind the Rangers.
LAKERS FANS CAN BREATHE. Phil Jackson released a statement that he will return to coach the Lakers this coming season en route to his fourth three-peat and 12th NBA Championship as a head coach. In a statement released by the Lakers the Hall of Fame coach said, “It’ll be the last stand for me, and I hope it’s a grand one.” But the real juice was in an email he sent to the LA Times. As Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner reported, Jackson wrote from his hideaway in Montana, “I got a message from on high … that said, 'Phil, you've got to come back, there is a need to fulfill the prophecy. You know 12 [titles] is a holy number and 11 just doesn't fill that.…'
"So I listened to my doctors and watched the sunrise and the sunset a few times and voila, I'm back."
Can I get whatever he’s smoking please?
Nevertheless when Byron Scott, who was rumored to be a possible replacement for Jackson in the case he didn’t return, agreed to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night, it was apparent that Jackson would be returning. So no big surprise here really.
In Lakers’ free agent news the Lakers have been on the phone with Derek Fisher trying to get him to agree to a pay cut. They are looking at something close to $2.5 million for the 35-year-old 14-year veteran while Fisher is looking at something closer to the $5 million he earned this past season. Also to address their depth issues with most of their bench not named Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic and Lamar Odom, the Lakers reported offered guard and forward Mike Miller a five-year $30 million contract.