• SCREAMIN’ FROM THE CHEAP SEATS : JUNE 29

By Leo Haggerty

Been going through some crazy times with some family situations.  Hopefully, they have run their course and I can get back to the business at hand and that’s giving you my unabashed opinion on sports along with other issues I deem as pertainent.

I’m going to cover the gamut of what has transpired so far in June. Some athletic and some entertainment.

Enjoy and your commentary is readily accepted.

DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE

OUTCOME OF THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP

I went on Tan Talk Radio with Peter Blake and, when asked my prediction on the outcome of the NBA Championship Series, I responded, “Golden State in four but no more than 5.” For that, I was vilified by other so-called media pundits through the country.

No respect for the defending champs I was told.  Lebron will never let that happen I was told.  Golden State is soft I was told. My response to all those queries is, to borrow a phrase from Toby Keith, “How do you like me now?”

Let me refresh the memories of the non-believers.  The Warriors of 2016 won a regular season record 73 games.  They were up 3-1 in the finals against Cleveland but lost after C Andrew Bogut got hurt in Game 5 and F Draymont Green was suspended for Game 6 and the Cavaliers played their behinds off to win Game 7.

To that scenario, Golden State added MVP F Kevin Durant.  Why would anyone be surprised when the Warriors ran roughshod over the Western Conference in the regular season?  Why would anyone be shocked when the Bay Area guys went a perfect 12-0 in the playoffs?  Finally, why was anyone baffled by the ease the Cavs were dispatched in the finals to the tune of 4-1?

This, my friends, was a no brainer.  The fact that very few people, other than myself, saw it coming is the most surprising aspect. For that, I get to pat myself on the back and just say, “See, I told you so.”

WHAT’S HOT

NATIONAL LEAGUE WESTERN DIVISION

Ok, I know the Houston Astros have the best record in Major League Baseball with a 52-26 log.  I also realize that they are running away with the American League West with a 12.5 game lead over their closest pursuer, who are the Texas Rangers, but that’s not the big story with the Big Leagues.

Lets just shoot on over to the National League West were there’s an old fashioned shootout in progress.  The Los Angeles Dodgers lead the division with a 52-27 record but the Arizona Diamondback are only 1.5 games behind and in hot pursuit. Plus, you can’t count out the Colorado Rockies who are only 5.5 games off the pace.

How good is the National League West right now?  Let’s just say, other than the AL West, that any the three NL West contenders would be leading any of the four other divisions.  They are that good right now.

The question is can all three NL West leaders keep up this torrid pace?  I’m saying no and that at least one will fall of the pace just due to the fact that they will play each other so many more times.

No matter how you slice it, the NL West race will be a very interesting one that should go down to the wire.  Whoever survives this meat grinder will definitely be battle tested for October and the playoffs.

WHAT’S NOT

BILL MAHER

Billy, Billy, Billy.  You just learned the hardest lessson, my Jersey brother.

Rule Number 1.  White boys, no matter how many black friends they say they have, can NEVER use the N-word.  Period. End of conversation.

Still, I am going to defend Mr. Maher on these grounds.  You cannot condemn an individual, no matter what the color of their skin happens to be, when black comedian Katt Williams has made a career out of using the N-word hundreds of time during his stand-up routine.

If African Ameticans are offended by the use of the N-word, it shouldn’t matter who uses it.  You cannot act offended if a non-black person uses the N-word and then have African Americans, especially males, use it like a greeting.

The Hollywood Reporter has said that Bill will have trouble recruiting guests after this incident.  They reported that Senator Al Franken has already declined an invitation to be a guest on an upcoming episode of Real Time.

Memo to the good senator.  Shame on you! Mr. Mahar had you on his show when you were at the bottom of the list of influential senators.  Senator, there’s such as thing as loyalty as well as friendship and you need to take a minute to look up those definitions.  Condemn the word but stand by the person.

By the way.  Bill, if you are having trouble finding guests, I am always available.  In fact, my daughter works in flight for JetBlue so you would save on the air fare.

LOOKING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL

THE OPEN

The Crystal Ball sees the third golf major of the 2017 season as another surprise winner. In fact, after veteran Sergio Garcia broke through in The Masters with his first major title and 6-year pro Brooks Koepka ran away with the United States Open, an unexpected winner of a major has become the rule rather than the exception.

The Crystal Ball sees two things clearly. The first is that the winner will not be a American.  Look for someone who had played a lot of golf “across the pond” to take home the Claret Jug.

The second is The Open will go to extra holes. The Crystal Ball sees a three-way four hole playoff on Sunday.

The Crystal Ball is a little hazy on the winner.  To me, it looks like either Martin Kaymer or Lee Westwood or Tim Clarke but I can’t be totally sure.

With that, the Crystal Ball rests.