I haven't written a blog in a while and since I had some time, I thought I would put together my "State of Arizona Sports - May Edition."
Let's start with the only team playing right now, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Currently the "snakes" are five games above .500, 23-18 and one game out of the NL West lead at the quarter pole, or 41 games into the season. With the bullpen blowing 11 saves, Aaron Hill sidelined and the starting pitching dicey to begin the season, I would say this is a pretty good start for Arizona's baseball team. Some of the bright spots are their young players. Pitcher Patrick Corbin has been outstanding and would be an All-Star right now. He has been, by far, the best starting pitcher in the rotation at this point. Ian Kennedy is starting to come around and Trevor Cahill has been solid. If Wade Miley and Brandon McCarthy get their act together, the pitching staff should be solid down the stretch. Shortstop Didi Gregorius has also been lights out since being recalled from Triple-A Reno. There is no questioning his defense, one of the best in the league already. The knock on him was his bat, which hasn't been a problem since coming up. He's batting in the .340s and has hit safely in the majority of the games he's played in. Then there's Paul Goldschmidt. Just an awesome start. Should be an All-Star candidate and maybe even an MVP thought. There is a lot more games yet to be played, but fans have to be happy about the start to the season.
Let's move to the Phoenix Coyotes. The words "two weeks" have never pinched a nerve in sports fans more than it has with the Coyotes fan base. As of this writing, there is one group that has placed a bid to purchase the team and that is Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, made up partially of investors tied in with Ice Edge and Canadian millionaire George Gosbee. Darin Pastor submitted a bid to buy the team, with his own money, and was quickly rejected by the NHL. That group is trying to resubmit its bid, but for some reason the NHL hasn't returned their calls. The names Greg Jamison, Matthew Hulziser and Jerry Reinsdorf are still popping up in regards to this situation, but none have submitted bids to my knowledge. One this is certain, both the NHL, City of Glendale and fans want a conclusion to this four-year nightmare. It looks like everyone in play should get an answer before July 1st.
Now to the Arizona Cardinals. They are coming off a very nice draft, very surgical in nature. I also like the signing of free-agent linebacker Karlos Dansby, who makes his return to the Red Birds. This adds a very important piece to the defense, especially with Darrell Washington's four-game suspension and possibly more thanks to a current legal matter. So far, so good with the new coaching staff and management. Talk is cheap though. Let's see what happens in the preseason and more importantly, the regular season. So far, I love what I see out of Tempe.
The Suns: Well, their first move of the rebuilding effort is a good one. Ryan McDonough is bringing hard work, dedication and a wealth of knowledge to him as he takes the reigns of the Suns GM job. Now he has to find a coach. I haven't been shy about who I want to see as the next head coach of the Suns. Look no further than San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer. Mike is a native-Arizonan who has learned the tricks of the trade from one of the best coaches in basketball in Gregg Popovich. Mike grew up in basketball, watching his dad win a lot of games at the high school and college level. Personally, I've known the guy since high school. He grew up in Holbrook and I lived there for a year. We have many of the same friends and know the same people. It would make my job a lot easier. But I also agree he would be the perfect fit for what the Suns want to do. We will see what happens.
I don't want to leave out the Rattlers playing championship football right now and the Mercury, who maybe getting more buzz than ever with the drafting of Brittney Griner, which should put more butts in the seats at U.S. Airways Center, maybe even me.
Football is right around the corner, which means a big season coming up for Arizona State and what will be the most talented high school class Arizona football has seen in a long, long time. More on that on the next blog.