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The Front Row with JASON ELLIOTT June 23, 2010

| June 23, 2010 9:00 PM

There isn't much anymore that you could argue that isn't great about the current state of sports. Between the NBA finals concluding and some intriguing interleague baseball series about to start, it is a great time to be a fan of baseball.

WHETHER YOU love them or hate them, the NBA finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers was one of the better series to settle an NBA title in a couple years.

In the final game of the seven-game series, the Lakers rallied from a 13-point deficit and had to hold on late to get a second straight championship.

After the teams split the first two games at the Staples Center, the Celtics went on to take two of three games in Boston to return to the Los Angeles area with a 3-2 series lead.

Many critics thought the Lakers were on verge of losing the series, played their final game and that the series was going to end last Tuesday.

Los Angeles, even though the Lakers looked terrible doing so, went on to take the next two games, routing the Celtics in Game 6 and battling back from a deficit to win again on Thursday for the championship.

The final game may have left a lot to be desired for many fans, but considering the history between the two teams, it's safe to say the rivalry added another chapter.

AS BASEBALL teams continue the interleague portion of the 2010 schedule this week, the Seattle Mariners are playing host to the Chicago Cubs at Safeco Field for the first time in eight years.

The last time the Cubs paid a visit to Seattle in 2002, the M's manager was Lou Piniella and the Cubs right fielder was Sammy Sosa. Piniella brings the Cubs into town this time with another Japanese phenomenon Kosuke Fukudome in right field for Chicago.

More importantly to fans of both teams, both were in the playoff hunt at the time.

Right now, neither team is playing like a playoff team and both could end up becoming sellers in the trade market when the deadline hits on July 31.

In the old days, when I'd watch the Cubs, you'd see players such as Shawon Dunston, Ryne Sandberg, Leon Durham and Andre Dawson playing every day.

Those teams didn't win as much, but the talent level and the fact that Sandberg was from Spokane was enough to draw my attention.

It was only in recent years that I began watching Mariner games, mainly because those other players began to retire and I couldn't find another team I wanted to watch.

Regardless, I'm hoping it will be a good series between a two teams that I enjoy watching whenever I can find them on television.

There doesn't seem a better time to sit back and enjoy some baseball this week to me with two of my favorite teams facing off in Seattle.

Someone has to win, don't they?

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d'Alene Press. He can be reached via phone at 664-8176, Ext. 2020, or via e-mail at jelliott@cdapress.com.

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