Running the Gamut: James, Freese and JD

In honor of our wounded colleague Zach McCrite, a stream of consciousness…

Skip Bayless is exactly right. Can you believe in a game as big as Thursday night’s Game 6 in Boston between the Heat and the Celtics, James only scored four points in the fourth quarter? Ridiculous. He never comes through in the clutch.

By the way, if Miami wins Game 7, the NBA Finals will feature the first championship game or series between two teams whose name doesn’t end with an “S,” as the Heat would take on the Thunder. We’ve had the Magic, the Avalanche, the Heat, the Jazz, the Red Sox and the White Sox in the final series in their respective sports, but never against one another.

Am I the only one who has difficulty in seeing how the Blues get better by subtracting John Davidson from the equation? Facts are facts, and the facts are that Davidson took over the team with the worst record in hockey when he joined the Blues as president in 2006; they were coming off an NHL-worst 57-point season. In his sixth season, the Blues had the second-best record in the league. He oversaw the hiring of Doug Armstrong to replace Larry Pleau as general manager, and set in motion the plan to build with youth and stuck with it. Until Davidson arrived, the Blues had never stuck with a plan in their history. I hope he isn’t going to be allowed to leave because he’s a “Dave Checketts guy.” That would be a disingenuous move right off the bat by new owner Tom Stillman.

Whenever I start to get down on David Freese for a slump in which he strikes out too much, he does something great. It happened when he went 0-for-16 but homered and had a big night against San Francisco. Then he went 0-for-14, capped when he struck out four times against the Dodgers in L.A. But he had a big game after two days off. Last night, he went strikeout, strikeout, walk, strikeout, grand slam homer, two-run homer. How can I get down on that? I hope he keeps it up against Cleveland this week. Freese is a gifted hitter who’s kind of streaky. Even with his slumps and occasional injuries, he’s still got more homers and RBIs than any other NL third baseman. He’s a legitimate, major-league power hitter.

After a torrid May, here we are a week into June and Albert Pujols doesn’t have a home run this month. Once someone points that out (me), he’ll hit a homer in each game this weekend.

As interleague play resumes this weekend, it’s notable to point out that the Reds get to play the Yankees, Tigers, Indians (twice) and Minnesota in their games against the AL. Those teams have a combined record of 139-142 heading into the weekend. Cardinal opponents Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City (twice) are 136-144. I’d rather see the Royals twice than the Indians twice. Just sayin’.

Are you aware that only the Giants, Cardinals and Texans have gone longer among NFL teams since their last player arrest than the Rams? The last Rams player reported by Pro Football to have been arrested is Jerome Murphy, who was stopped for driving without a license on July 24, 2010. The Cardinals’ Joey Porter had been arrested for DUI and resisting arrest on March 27 of 2010. In September of ’09, Jacoby Jones of Houston got a DWI, and the last Giant arrested was Plaxico Burress for his illegal firearm possession charges on December 1 of 2008, two weeks after Kareem McKenzie’s DWI.

The last violent or alcohol-related Rams arrest was of Claude Terrell in October of 2007. Here are some alarming stats for other NFL teams. Since the Rams’ last arrest, Minnesota has had nine players arrested. The Broncos have had eight. Tampa Bay has had five, and Seattle, Green Bay, Oakland and Indianapolis have had four each.

While the Rams have been historically bad on the field for the last five years, at least they’ve been good citizens. If that counts for anything.

I picked the Kings to win the Stanley Cup finals in five, so I’m rooting for a Los Angeles win in New Jersey. If I get it wrong, I’ll never remind you. If I get it right, you’ll never hear the end of it.

I’m thrilled that Maria Sharapova is in the in women’s finals of the French Open, and can become number one in the world with a win. I’m thrilled because I know who she is. Maria is an honorary American. If you saw and heard her for the first time, you’d think she’s a California girl. Tennis isn’t turning out many celebrities these days. On the men’s side, there are no Americans. It’s Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer in the semis. Same guys as always. Maria is the only person of interest to me that’s left in Paris.

Get well from that knee surgery, Zach. See you soon.