Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Even though the summer's typically quiet, this year doesn't bring that slow, laid-back feeling. In fact, this week alone gives us enough to think about, laugh about, cry about and ask about.

For a few minutes, think of me as the 'Linda Richman' of sports. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic... or five.

The Alex Rodriguez saga has already been addressed here, so we can skip that.

Yet, staying with baseball, the CC Sabathia deal is absolutely great for not only Milwaukee Brewers fans and the city itself, but for the sport. It seems as if despite the obvious desire to have Red Sox-Yankees play every night, baseball is reminding folks that other teams do play in other cities besides "the major markets". Metro Milwaukee may be the smallest TV market in the league, but a trade like the one involving last year's AL Cy Young winner not only gives real hope to the team's first playoff appearance in 25 years, but it gives the Midwest an even greater stronghold in the game. Every team between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains has some sort of intrigue and promise. The Brewers have already become a team to notice in the last two-plus seasons, but adding someone of Sabathia's caliber gives the big city Chicago Cubs and historic St. Louis Cardinals a major run for their money. (Thoughts from Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports)

Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s comments about HBO Sports' boxing commentators are rather biting and present sone serious charges of alleged racism by the men who are somewhat responsible for promoting the sport of boxing. Whether he may be right or wrong about his claim of bias is up to you, but what he said about Kelly Pavlik was intriguing for one reason; as cool as he was in person, you'd swear that from all reports that Youngstown, Ohio is the only place to have ever endured hard times. Sometimes, it's a bit overplayed in sports media and personally, I can see how Pretty Boy feels a racial slight, even if I may not agree. However, what's undeniable is that Floyd will always keep at least his eye and mouth on the sweet science.

Speaking of commentators, there is already a crowded room when it comes to NBC's "Football Night in America". Yet, the addition of Dan Patrick (and hopefully a happier one as you read Richard Sandomir's report), actually gives some sort of levity to the group. Already with Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth, Tiki Barber, Peter King, Jerome Bettis and old friend Keith Olbermann, you'd swear that NBC wants to host a kegger full of ex-jocks and boisterous sports talkies. However, the one thing with Patrick that none of the others add is a somewhat self-effacing personality that unlike the others, will actually do well with adding humor to his scripts.

Sticking to TV, does anyone know when (because it's is an instant classic) the men's Wimbledon final will be re-aired? Whether anyone likes him or not, for John McEnroe to say that it was the greatest match he had ever seen says a lot about the skill level and aura that both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer brought to the All-England Tennis Club. The New York Giants' Super Bowl win and Tiger Woods' performance at the US Open may be the most talked about sports events all year, but if there was anything that exceeded fans' expectations in any other sport, tennis gave it to us on Sunday. Though, if you believe William Rhoden's New York Times piece, you knew that the Williams' sisters weren't too shabby, either.

Expectations might be a little tempered right now if you're a Clippers fan.

Finally, if possible, go to your neighborhood bar, hijack your friend's cable or order the package yourself. If you do not live in the Los Angeles area, do yourself a favor; order MLB Extra Innings. Could you imagine someone handling play-by-play of an entire baseball game solo as Vin Scully has done for decades?

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