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Mar 30

The Front Page and Other Shenanigans: Your weekly guide of what to look for, and what to look away from 03/30-04/05

MLB Opening Night is Sunday, with the official Opening Day slated for Monday, April 4. Sunday night, St. Louis will be at Pittsburgh, Chicago Cubs will be at LA Angels, Toronto will be at Tampa Bay, and NY Mets will be at Kansas City. In case you were wondering when the last time the previous season’s World Series opponents faced off the USATSI_8899075-431x320following Opening Day, it has never happened in the history of the league. Both the Mets and Royals have legitimate shots at repeating their championship appearances, though neither are the favorites in their respected leagues. The Cubs are Vegas favorites, followed by the San Francisco Giants, Blue Jays and THEN the Mets. Opening series are packed with great matchups, but it is worth a simple reminder that each team will play 162 games this season, and this series will comprise of three. Three games. In addition to the four that begin on Sunday, Monday features Houston at NY Yankees, Seattle at Texas, Minnesota at Baltimore, and Boston at Cleveland. This season, five managers are starting or changing jobs. There are also two new rules of note this season. Rule 6.01 has defined the criteria for a legal slide to break up a double play. Additionally, infielders will need to actually touch their foot on the bag, eliminating the “ghost tag.” The second rule limits managers to 30-second pitcher’s mound visits, yet another rule attempting to shorten the length of the game. Every team has a chance Opening Day, so enjoy the unofficial beginning of spring!

The Final Four compete this Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The early game will feature #2 Oklahoma facing #2 Villanova. The later game will be #1 North Carolina versus #10 Syracuse. North Carolina leads all NCAA programs with 19 Final Four appearances. Syracuse has six, Oklahoma has five, and Villanova’s fourth appearance. The championship game is set for April 4.

The NBA regular season will wrap up on Wednesday, April 13, with the NBA Playoffs set to begin on April 16. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and Oklahoma City Thunder have clinched their respective divisions, with the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers having clinched a playoff berth. No team has yet to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Nine teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention, with the Philadelphia 76ers on their way to the worst record of the season. Again. If the season were to end now, Stephen Curry would be the scoring champion, averaging 30.0 points/game. Curry would also be the runaway league MVP, for the second season in a row. 

The NHL regular season ends on April 11. In the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers have clinched the President’s Trophy, for the team with the most points in the NHL regular season. Tampa Bay, Detroit, Washington, New York Islanders, Ottawa, and Pittsburgh have all clinched playoff spots. In the West, the Anaheim Ducks have clinched the best conference record. St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago, Vancouver, Calgary, Minnesota, and Winnipeg have all punched tickets to the postseason.

This week in theaters is awful. This week is Cindy Crawford being out-acted by Billy Baldwin in the 1995 movie Fair Game, awful. The one shining star in a weekend of garbage is Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! The same writer/director that brought you Dazed and Confused (yay!) and Boyhood (boo!) brings the story of a group of college baseball players navigating their way through unsupervised adulthood. This sounds like what Linklater does best and the reviews have been largely positive. In limited release, Don Cheadle tries his hand at directing, as he also stars in Miles Ahead, the Miles Davis biopic. Davis deserves a biopic, but it appears this version will not be nearly as cool as the musician… but then again, what is?

Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is. ~Bob Feller

Cheers! Cha Cha

About the author

Chad

Chad has a Bachelor's Degree from Marquette University in Broadcast Journalism & Electronic Communications. Currently living in Seattle, WA, he takes every opportunity he can to go to a game, partake in the nightlife, laugh with friends & family and root for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.