Detroit Tigers – PlayerWatch

April 11, 2012|Reuters 3B Miguel Cabrera is off to a hot start in defense of his league batting title. Cabrera was walked twice, once intentionally, and had a double in two official at-bats Tuesday. Cabrera was also partially responsible for Detroit’s first run. He was at bat in the third inning with runners on first and third when a changeup by LHP Matt Moore bounced in the dirt and got past C Jose Molina, allowing Austin Jackson to scoot home. 2B Brandon Inge went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout Tuesday in his first rehab game for Class AAA Toledo. Inge, sidelined by a groin strain, served as the designated hitter Tuesday. He is scheduled to play a few innings at second base Wednesday and play seven innings Thursday. He could rejoin Detroit in time for its series this weekend against the White Sox in Chicago. C Gerald Laird gave C Alex Avila a good day off (in the cold against a tough left-hander), and manager Jim Leyland noted the backup catcher “is a perfect fit for us.” Laird threw a runner out trying to steal to end the seventh and chipped in with an RBI single in the three-run eighth that firmed up Detroit’s 5-2 win over Tampa Bay. 2B Ramon Santiago was scratched from Tuesday’s starting lineup due to an illness that is running through the Detroit clubhouse. “I’ve had it for three days,” manager Jim Leyland said, “but I don’t have to play.” Santiago, scheduled to hit eighth, was replaced by Danny Worth, who was dropped to ninth in the order behind C Gerald Laird. RHP Jose Valverde returned to form Tuesday after seeing his streak of 51 consecutive successful save chances end in Detroit’s season opener. Valverde was ill most of the weekend and might have been suffering from the early effects of his illness in the opener. He worked a three-batter ninth Tuesday to close out Detroit’s 5-2 win over Tampa Bay. 1B Prince Fielder drove 3B Miguel Cabrera home from second base with a single to right-center in the eighth inning. Earlier, he had flied softly to left after Cabrera was intentionally walked with runners at first and third and two outs. “The thing I like,” manager Jim Leyland said of both Cabrera and Fielder, “is that those aren’t just two guys who hit home runs. They’re good hitters. That’s what I like.” LHP Adam Wilk will be brought up Saturday to start for Detroit at Chicago against the White Sox. The identity of the player who will be removed from the roster to make room for the rookie won’t be announced until Friday. Wilk was one of five left-handers in contention for a Detroit rotation spot during spring training but was sent down before the last week to get more innings. He made one start for Class AAA Toledo, pitching five innings of one-hit, shutout ball with six strikeouts. He pitched briefly for the Tigers last season, posting a 5.40 ERA in five relief appearances. RHP Max Scherzer will be moved up a day to pitch Friday in Chicago, according to manager Jim Leyland, as Detroit doesn’t want two rookie lefties working back-to-back in the rotation. Scherzer, sent home before Tuesday’s game because he was ill, pitched Sunday but was ineffective. His normal day to pitch would be Friday. The move will allow Leyland to have an experienced right-hander working between LHP Drew Smyly, making his major league debut Thursday, and LHP Adam Wilk, who is being brought up to take the place of injured RHP Doug Fister in the rotation. RHP Rick Porcello is one of the keys to Detroit’s season, and manager Jim Leyland has been pumping him up all spring. “I think Rick Porcello is going to have a real good year for us,” Leyland said after the pitcher allowed two runs on seven hits in seven innings Tuesday against Tampa Bay. “I’ve said that all winter. He’s matured right before our very eyes.” Porcello noted the 42-degree weather and occasional snow bursts were something he pitched in at Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey.

LSU’s Morris Claiborne stunned by Dallas Cowboys move to pick him

New York – LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne was one of the hottest commodities entering the 2012 NFL draft – multiple teams spoke with him at the combine and 8 of them flew him in for a visit. Most mock drafts had him off the board in the first four or five picks, probably to Minnesota or Tampa Bay.The Associated PressNFL commissioner Roger Goodell and LSU defensive back Morris Claiborne pose with the Dallas Cowboys jersey.One team, however, evinced zero interest. In one of those oddities that mark the draft, that team, the Dallas Cowboys, moved up in the first round Thursday night to get him, making Claiborne the No. 6 overall pick.He wasn’t sure what to make of the call.”I thought it was a joke at first,” he said. “They showed no interest at all in me, none whatsoever. You know that call you get where they just want to update your number and make sure they have it? Well, I didn’t even get that call.”The voice on the other end was the Cowboys famous owner Jerry Jones.”Once I realized who it was I looked at my family and they were like, ‘who is it?’ ‘Who is it?’ and I said, ‘the Cowboys,’ and I could just see the stunned look on their faces,” Claiborne said. “Then the voice asked me, ‘Do you want to be a Cowboy?’ and I said, ‘yes.’”The pick made Claiborne the first Tiger to go in 2012. Adding irony was the fact the second, defensive end Michael Brockers, had wanted to be a Cowboy all his life and thought Dallas might take him. Instead, the St. Louis Rams wound up selecting Brockers with the 14th overall pick.The pair, coupled with four Alabama players also taken in the first round, gave the 2012 draft a distinct SEC sheen and continued the rivalry between the two college powers that culminated last year in the BCS National Championship.Brockers laughed out loud when asked how he interacted in New York this week when he found himself, yet again, matched up against the Crimson Tide.”I think it just shows the quality of players we have in the SEC,” he said, adding that picking LSU was the highlight of his collegiate career. “I always wanted to be a Tiger.”Both men presented a smooth and engaging personality to the hordes of reporters who descended on Radio City Music Hall. But Claiborne was asked about the Wonderlic test, a 50-question kind of IQ exam the NFL administers to players at the combine in Indianapolis each February.Claiborne scored a 4 on the test, the lowest recorded score since 2000.But he didn’t shy away or bristle at the questions Thursday. For one thing, he said, the test isn’t a measure of his quality as a man. And for another, he couldn’t see how it was going to measure his quality as a player.”I came to the Combine for football and I looked at the test and I didn’t see any questions about football,” he said. “I didn’t see no point in the test if it doesn’t ask questions about football.”Indeed, he wound up answering only, “18, or 15,” of the 50 questions and thus argued the 4 wasn’t even an accurate gauge of what he’d have done if he’d taken it more seriously or spent more time on it.And certainly the score didn’t seem to bother Jones or the Cowboys who are looking to return to the playoffs but labor in a division with the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and a Washington Redskins team looking to boost its offense with the No. 2 overall selection Thursday of quarterback Robert Griffin III. Apparently, Dallas executives were more impressed with the fact Claiborne won the Jim Thorpe Award last year as the best defensive back in college football.”Aw, I haven’t played a snap yet,” Claiborne said when asked about those deep NFC East rivalries.Claiborne had his left wrist heavily wrapped. He said he tore a ligament at the top of the wrist in LSU’s regular season game against Alabama last November, but put off having surgery on it until the Tigers Pro Day in March. It will not be a factor in his training or participation in the Cowboys’ off-season program, he insisted.Again, however, the discussion drifted back to the surprise the Claiborne clan had with him even being a Cowboy. Claiborne hails from Shreveport – Cowboy country – but his mother is no fan. In fact, she told a Shreveport reporter prior to the draft, “anybody but the Cowboys.”Claiborne brushed that away with another laugh.”Don’t let her fool you,” he said. “She’ll tell you she’s not a Cowboys fan, but she is a Cowboys fan.”

Exclusive: Carlyle Group in talks with Sunoco for Philly refinery: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP is in talks with Sunoco Inc (SUN.N) to buy its 335,000 barrel per day refinery in Philadelphia, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.Oil markets are closely watching to see if Sunoco finds a buyer for the plant, one of three refineries on the U.S. East Coast that has been threatened with closure due to weak profits.The loss of the Philadelphia plant – the largest of the three – could cause a shortfall in refined products in the region and drive up gasoline prices during the summer driving season unless a buyer is found by the July 1 deadline set by Sunoco.The deal between Carlyle and Sunoco presented challenges because the facility was losing money and so all options, including regulatory issues, needed to be explored in order for the asset to be made viable, the source said. There is no certainty a deal will be reached, it added.Carlyle declined to comment while a spokesman for Sunoco was not immediately available for comment.Another source familiar with the talks said Carlyle was an early bidder on the Philadelphia plant but had stepped out of the ring before returning earlier this year.Sunoco put the plant up for sale late in 2011. It is one of three in a 12-mile radius near Philadelphia slated for sale or closure.Sunoco is looking to exit the refining business where it has been losing money, the company said.It shuttered its 178,000 barrel per day refinery in Marcus Hook in 2011 and is looking at options for the site, including turning it into a terminal for gasoline and diesel for Sunoco Logistics (SXL.N), its pipeline and terminal arm.In late September, ConocoPhillips (COP.N) idled its 185,000 bpd Trainer refinery, about a mile away from Marcus Hook. Sources say Delta Air Lines has bid on that plant and a sales announcement could come as early as this week.Most Northeastern refineries are designed to run only light, sweet crude oil imported from Europe and Africa. That oil now is priced at a steep premium to other crude oils, a situation that has cut profit margins.Preferred Sands LLC, a unit of a privately owned Pennsylvania-based investment firm, is also in the running as a possible buyer of the Philadelphia refinery.Preferred Sands, based in nearby Radnor, is a supplier of sand and proppant to the hydraulic fracturing industry, and also operates a fleet of more than 1,500 rail cars with connections to major railroads.Also bidding is United Refining, which owns and operates a small refinery in Warren, Pennsylvania.”We are looking at it. We are not committed either way,” said John Catsimatidis, head of United Refining.A source familiar with the bid said that United was only interested in the Girard Point section of the plant. The plant comb two refineries and also has a Point Breeze section.(Reporting By Janet McGurty and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Additional reporting by Mathew Robinson; Editing by David Gregorio)

Rajon Rondo suspended for Game 2

ATLANTA — Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been suspended for Game 2 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against the Atlanta Hawks for making contact with a game official, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson announced Monday.Rondo chest-bumped referee Marc Davis with 41 seconds remaining in Sunday’s 83-74 Game 1 loss at Philips Arena, earning his second technical and automatic ejection. Rondo, who earned both technicals while vehemently protesting a foul call against teammate Brandon Bass, said after the game that the bump was unintentional, but the league apparently viewed it as otherwise.This is Rondo’s second referee-related suspension in three months. He was also suspended for two games in February after zipping a ball at an official.The NBA rulebook states, “Any player or coach guilty of intentional physical contact with an official shall automatically be suspended without pay for one game. A fine and/or longer period of suspension will result if circumstances so dictate.”Appearing on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Monday, NBA commissioner David Stern said, “We have a hard and fast rule. Unless somebody trips you and sends you into him, nobody touches a referee. That’s the proposition.”"Obviously, from a competitive standpoint we are disappointed with the league’s decision to suspend Rondo,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said following announcement of the suspension. “He plays a valuable part in our team’s success. We accept the punishment and will use it as a learning tool for our players.”Despite Rondo’s suspension, Rivers said earlier in the day that he wouldn’t be tempted to rush ailing shooting guard Ray Allen back into the lineup for Game 2.Allen sat out Game 1 due to lingering pain with a right ankle that will require surgery after the season to remove bone spurs. Rivers had dubbed Allen at “50/50″ before Sunday’s game, but he was unable to go. Allen was back on the floor getting up shots as the team prepared to practice Monday afternoon, but Rivers suggested he didn’t think Allen would be ready for Game 2.”If Ray is not ready, he’s not ready,” said Rivers. “One thing I don’t do — I’ll never do it, and maybe I’m wrong in it — I don’t ever put a guy out if he isn’t ready. I just won’t put him on the floor. If Ray told me he could play and (team trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) said he didn’t think he could play, Ray would not play. That’s just the way it is. (Allen) said he felt a little better, but I don’t see it right now.”Allen sat out the final nine games of the regular season (and 15 of the final 19 overall) due to the ankle issue (he’s received multiple cortisone shots trying to reduce the pain). Allen said Sunday that he doesn’t want to be a liability when he’s on the floor and will wait until his ankle is healthy enough to allow him to compete at playoff intensity.

Cowboys’ top pick Claiborne enthusiastic

IRVING – Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Morris Claiborne nearly let his emotions get the best of him while talking on the phone Thursday night with Jerry Jones.”Once I got that call,” Claiborne said, “it was like everything came back to me: all the hard work, all the time I put into it. And just looking at my family, knowing they are the biggest Cowboys fans ever, looking at their faces just made me tear up.”The Cowboys introduced Claiborne to the media Friday after he flew in from New York. Surrounded by his parents, son, girlfriend and other loved ones, the cornerback from LSU received jersey No. 24 from Jones and then admitted it hadn’t sunk in that he’ll be playing for the team he grew up rooting for in Shreveport, La.”It’s getting there,” Claiborne, 22, said. “It still feels like it isn’t real, but I know it’s real. I’m just so excited to get in, to get to work, to get around my teammates.”Must-have playerThe Cowboys traded up eight spots to select Claiborne sixth. In doing so, they surrendered their second-round pick (No. 45 overall) to St. Louis. “You don’t want to trade up like that every time,” Dallas vice president Stephen Jones said. “It has to be for a certain position. It has to be for a certain quality of player. A guy like Morris doesn’t come around every year. He’s got some unique ball skills you rarely see.”The high expectations don’t bother Claiborne. Speaking in a relaxed style and oozing confidence, he struck all the right notes at his introductory news conference. In 10 minutes, Claiborne took on all questions, including one about whether he shares the same Hall of Fame aspirations Cowboys 2011 first-rounder Tyron Smith admitted to when introduced last year.”I set my goals pretty high, but I know you got to take it one goal at a time,” Claiborne said. “You can’t just settle when you reach one goal. This is a goal of mine right here, getting to the NFL, and I made it. So I have set my goal another step higher, and that’s to get with my teammates, win ballgames and hopefully a Super Bowl.”Who knows what happens after that? Hopefully, the Hall of Fame.”Sanders comparisonJerry Jones has linked Claiborne to Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.”That’s awesome,” Claiborne said. “Any time you hear your name in the same sentence as Deion, you’ve got to be doing something right.” In another sign of confidence, Claiborne continued to speak frankly about his dismal performance on the Wonderlic test. The Cowboys ignored the low test score, preferring to rely on information gathered from LSU coach Les Miles, a former Cowboys assistant.”Every report from people who know him well said he’s an outstanding person,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. The Wonderlic test is administered at the NFL combine to measure a player’s aptitude for processing information and problem solving. Claiborne reportedly scored a 4, the lowest mark in more than a decade.But Claiborne said he “pretty much blew the test off” after discovering the questions had nothing to do with football.

Zach Randolph OK to start again

MEMPHIS — Zach Randolph started at power forward for the Memphis Grizzlies in their first-round Game 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.”It’s something I’m used to,” Randolph said of being in the starting lineup. “I’m close to (100 percent). I’m still getting my feel, getting my timing, but I’m close.” He missed 38 games in the regular season after tearing his medial collateral ligament (MCL) on New Years Day.He started in the Grizzlies’ finale against Orlando, a win that clinched the No. 4 seed for Memphis, his only previous start in the month of April.Randolph is matched up against Blake Griffin, who is making his postseason debut two months after starting in the All-Star Game.”(Randolph) has an unbelievable touch around the rim,” Griffin said on Saturday. “You have to account for him early and make sure he doesn’t duck in on you. You have to make it tougher for him. He’s going to make shots. That’s what he does. That’s what he’s best at. My job is to slow him down.”Griffin’s teammate, Chris Paul, will be closely monitored by the Clippers on Sunday night, as the All-Star point guard continues to nurse a mild left groin strain.”He will play,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “He will be limited, probably a little bit, just to see how he feels out there. He hasn’t really been out there for a while, so we’ll monitor it and see how he feels. We want to be smart about it. You got to win four games. You’re not going to win the series tonight. Obviously, the first game is very important. We know that every game is, but we also know how important Chris is.”Paul suffered the strain during the Clippers’ loss in Atlanta last Tuesday. Paul didn’t play the following night in New York, when the Clippers fell to the Knicks and effectively handed home-court advantage in the first round to Memphis.Since the injury, Paul hasn’t participated in any full-contract drills and has been receiving regular treatment on the groin.Informed of the possibility that his coach could limit his minutes as a measure of caution, Paul spiritedly rejected the idea.”He better not! He better not,” Paul said. “I’m ready to go.”

CLIPPERS: Fall back of Grizzlies with loss

NEW YORK — The No. 7 seed is there if the New York Knicks feel like taking their talents to South Beach. It’s unclear if they do. With Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire on the bench, the Knicks nearly blew all of an 18-point, fourth-quarter lead before holding on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 99-93 on Wednesday night. JR Smith scored 21 points, including a rally-stopping jumper with 31 seconds left, as the Knicks moved within one victory of wrapping up seventh place in the Eastern Conference and a first-round matchup with Miami. But the Knicks don’t seem to care about finishing with a higher seed, with Anthony saying he doesn’t expect to play today in the regular-season finale, and players insisting they have no preference which East power they play in the first round. “Right now it really doesn’t matter,” Anthony said. “Whoever we play, we’ll have to start on the road anyway, so we just want to start just preparing for whether it’s Chicago, whether it’s Miami, just get ready to go.” Anthony scored 17 points for the Knicks, but he was on the bench the entire fourth quarter against a Clippers team that was fighting desperately for home-court advantage in the first round. The Knicks will draw No. 2 seed Miami with a victory today at Charlotte, which has one of the worst records in NBA history, or a Philadelphia loss to Detroit. If New York loses and Philadelphia wins, the Knicks would fall to the No. 8 seed and open against Chicago, which some say is a better matchup. The Knicks beat the Bulls once, but weren’t all that competitive while losing all three games against the Heat. “Chicago has had the best record in the league the last two years, so why does everybody jump ahead and say, ‘Oh, you should dodge Miami and play Chicago?’” center Tyson Chandler said. “I think both of those teams are 1 and 2, so you can pick your poison on them. I feel like we have to believe in ourselves enough that it doesn’t matter who we play.” Blake Griffin had 29 points and 10 rebounds, and Randy Foye scored 28 points for the Clippers, who played without Chris Paul and fell a half-game behind Memphis for fourth place in the West. The Clippers need the Grizzlies to lose at home to Orlando today to have the home-court advantage for their first-round series. Paul sat out after mildly straining his left groin in Tuesday’s 109-102 loss at Atlanta. The Clippers dropped three of their final four games, costing themselves any chance to beat out the Lakers for the Pacific Division title and perhaps a chance to open the playoffs at home. “It’s tough because we controlled our own destiny for this last week, lost three out of our last four. It’s tough.” Paul said. “We’ve still got a chance. I’m sure Memphis is going to come out hard and aggressive. I don’t know. Now we just got to sit and wait.” But they wrapped up their first season with Paul at 40-26 and will make their first postseason appearance since 2006 and just their fifth since 1985. The Knicks lost their slim chance of earning the No. 6 seed and avoiding the Bulls or Heat when Orlando beat Charlotte earlier Wednesday. The No. 7 spot is within their grasp — given the Bobcats (7-58) have lost 22 in a row. But it was hard to tell if the Knicks wanted it while sitting key starters down the stretch, though Chandler did re-enter in the final minutes and block one of Griffin’s shots. “I have great confidence in the guys that come off the bench. I’m a coach who wants to see who’ll make plays. I felt good about the guys that were in at the end of the game,” interim coach Mike Woodson said. The Knicks led throughout the second half, seemingly putting it away early in the fourth when they opened a 90-72 lead with 7:23 remaining as Smith threw an alley-oop pass to Landry Fields on the break. Fans began chanting “Beat the Heat!” but suddenly the Knicks — with Philadelphia having already won its game — almost couldn’t beat the Clippers. With Anthony and Stoudemire sitting down the stretch, the Clippers stormed back and cut it to 94-93 on Griffin’s basket with 52 seconds left. Smith answered with a jumper, and after Foye’s pass was broken up, Smith hit two free throws to make it 98-93 with 23.5 seconds to go. The Clippers finished 16-17 on the road, missing their first finish above .500 since moving to Los Angeles in 1984. “We’ll fight no matter how much we’re down or who’s playing or who’s not playing or who we’re playing. We’ll fight,” Griffin said. The Knicks led 24-19 after one then got a pair of 3-pointers from Steve Novak and two layups by Fields early in the second while extending the lead to 13. The Clippers cut it to one before New York pushed it back up to 48-39 at halftime. Notes: Jeremy Lin, recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, shot around on the side during the Knicks’ morning practice, moving very slowly from side to side. The Knicks hope he could return if they reach the second round. … General manager Glen Grunwald, who had the interim tag removed from his title Tuesday, said Woodson is doing a “fantastic job” but wouldn’t discuss his former college teammate’s chances of remaining. “I think we need to stay focused on the moment. We’re in the playoffs right now, we need to try and get a couple of wins here this week, and then do as well as we can,” Grunwald said. “We need to stay focused on that.”

ACT legal aid review reveals good service

A review of legal aid services in the ACT has found it has providing essential help to the community's most disadvantaged and vulnerable.The report called, “We Can See There's A Light at the End of the Tunnel Now: Demonstrating and Ensuring Quality Service to Clients” was researched by ANU legal academic Dr Liz Curran.The research involved surveys and interviews with clients and staff.It found a high level of satisfaction with the service provided.Dr Curran says one of the key factors for a successful outcome is early intervention.”Because if you can get to people earlier, and you can understand the story, and you can tell the story earlier,” Dr Curran said.”It means that perhaps the Director of Public Prosecutions realises they don't have a case earlier, so we don't have to waste lots and lots of resources.”Or it means that a woman in a domestic violence situation knows how to protect herself and her children.”Legal Aid ACT commissioned the research to help improve its services and inform public debate.Dr Curran says there has been very little research into the quality of legal aid services in the past and more needs to be done.

Athletics Vs. Red Sox: Oakland Hopes For More Boston Bullpen Meltdowns At Fenway

The Oakland Athletics are fresh off of a series loss that really stung. They were two outs from defeating the Baltimore Orioles behind their most solid pitcher, Bartolo Colon, when things fell apart on Sunday and the surprising first-place O’s hastened Oakland out of town with a defeat.The A’s will head to Fenway Park on Monday to kick off a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox, whose early-season woes are already legendary. The A’s are attempting to take advantage of the extremely suspect Sox pitching — in particular, their bullpen. The A’s have reportedly claimed Brandon Inge off of waivers, so they may have a new face on the roster as the team rolls into Beantown.Probable Pitchers & Television Information:On Monday, lefty phenom Tom Milone will take the bump for the A’s and will look to improve upon his 3-1 record and 2.00 ERA. He’ll face off against Clay Buchholz, who is 2-1 but like nearly all members of the Red Sox staff, has struggled and currently holds an 8.87 ERA. The game will begin at 4:10 p.m. PT and will be televised on CSN-California. You can find the radio broadcast on 95.7 FM The Game.Tuesday’s game will pit youngster Jarrod Parker against Felix Doubront. Parker has no record and an 1.42 ERA and will be making his second start against the Red Sox. Doubront is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA. The game will begin at 4:10 p.m. PT and will be televised on CSN-California, as well as on the MLB Network. You can find the radio broadcast on 95.7 FM The Game.In the finale on Wednesday, Brandon McCarthy will go for his second win against closer-turned-starter Daniel Bard. The two pitchers match up well on paper, with McCarthy holding a 3.23 ERA and Bard holding a 3.72 ERA. The game will begin at 4:10 p.m. PT and will be televised on CSN-California. You can find the radio broadcast on 95.7 FM The Game.For all news and information regarding the Oakland A’s, please visit Athletics Nation. For updates and perspective on the Boston Red Sox, check out Over the Monster or head on over to SB Nation Boston.

Lakers, Clippers and Kings in the playoffs, but is the Lakers’ victory overshadowed by an elbow?

For the first time since the Staples Center was built in 1999, three professional sports teams that call it home, the Clippers, the Kings, and the Lakers, have qualified for their respective playoff seasons. The Clippers are the latest Los Angeles team to break into the playoffs, ending the second-longest active postseason drought in the NBA; the Kings maintained a five-game winning streak in overtime against Vancouver’s Canucks in an upset victory; and last night the Lakers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in double-overtime. The Lakers victory, however, was overshadowed by Metta World Peace’s ejection from the game after he elbowed Thunder’s shooting guard James Hardin in the back of his skull. The impact knocked Hardin down onto the court and prevented him from playing for the remainder of the game. World Peace has since apologized for the incident, but is likely to face a multigame suspension. World Peace was previously suspended in 2004 for his participation in a brawl while playing for the Indiana Pacers. Will you be attending one or more of the playoff games? How excited are you for L.A.’s sports teams? Do you think World Peace’s elbow was an unintentional accident or a malicious act? J.A. Adande, senior writer, ESPN.com; adjunct professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism Sam Betesh, executive producer, “The Loose Cannons” AM 570 FOX Sports LA