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Cook & Company head to the finals

By Jeff Mayfield          Send a link to a friend

[JUNE 1, 2004]  Like I said from the beginning, Los Angeles was not my first choice for Brian Cook's professional career. I wanted him to go somewhere either close to home or to a non-media market where he could learn the NBA game while being respected by the fans. However, since he ended up in LA, our hope was that he would at least win a ring in his first season as a pro. Good things seem to happen wherever this kid goes. A high school trip to state, some Big Ten titles and one deep run in the NCAAs, and now the chance for a world championship. It was also nice to see that one of the players that he has befriended, Kareem Rush, nailed the coffin shut on Minnesota. Whatever happens, the LDN is pulling for Cook and the Lakers to add more hardware to the trophy case!

The St. Louis Cardinals, on the other hand, used the holiday weekend to heat up. Taking two out of three down in Houston has kept them in the race about a month longer than this would-be reporter envisioned. The aces are not acing, but the kids and the newcomers have pitched better than advertised. If the lineup can start hitting -- that is, everyone other than Rolen, who is on fire -- then the Birds might really have something.

The Chicago Cubs turned a near disastrous weekend into a little bit of hope. After losing three of four to those pesky Buccos, they rebounded to avert the sweep and then followed the Cards by playing Houston after St. Louis had really softened them up. The result was a huge 3-1 Cubs win and the hope that Greg Maddux is not hurt worse than he says he is. The good news for Cub fans is that Mark Prior will again be toiling later this week. That alone will pay huge dividends for Chicago. I still don't believe that the Reds are for real even though they are trying to make liars out of us all.

I told you that playoff hockey was exciting. Tampa Bay went into Canada and handed Calgary a 1-0 loss that squared the series at 2-2, thus returning home ice advantage to the Lightning. Though the Flames have been a great road team through these playoffs, if TB can hold serve from here on out, they could claim their first Stanley Cup ever. I would sure like to see ol' Stanley get a tan!


[to top of second column in this article]

Congratulations to Mount Pulaski and coach Gale Clark for winning their first sectional baseball championship ever and for nearly taking the super as well. No reports were phoned in regarding Lincoln's baseball or softball scores.

Buddy Rice became the first American since Eddie Cheever in 1998 to win the Indianapolis 500. I believe he also won the pole and his team took top crew honors. That's what I call a sweep! No report from Lincoln Speedway… I suspect a washout.

A BIG thank-you to all veterans and to all who currently serve our country! You enable us to work, go to school, spend time with our families and participate in sports, among other things, in relative peace. I don't think our thanks is ever enough but it is a start.

"Happy Birthday" to this reporter's lovely and wonderful wife!

[Jeff Mayfield]

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