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"I like sports because I enjoy knowing that many of these macho athletes have to vomit before a big game. Any guy who takes a job where you gotta puke first is my kind of a guy." –George Carlin (1937-2008)
MLB Interleague Highlights
- It had been so long between visits to the Bronx for the Cincinnati Reds – 32 years, as a matter of fact – that three Reds players, including rookie Jay Bruce, took the subway to get to Yankee Stadium. The only problem was they wound up in Brooklyn! After they got their geographical discrespancies in order, the Reds managed to take two of three from the New York Yankees over the weekend, in a series which saw a near-sparkling debut from Dan Giese as a starter on Saturday and a strong outing from Reds' rookie hurler Edinson Volquez the night before. Despite those two losses, the Yanks had a successful homestand, winning four of six at the Stadium.
- The St. Louis Cardinals' last visit to Fenway Park was only four years ago, and we all know how that panned out. The Cards succeeded in 2008 where they failed in October 2004: win a series against the Boston Red Sox in the Hub. The Cards came close to a series sweep, but Kevin Youkilis kept the brooms at bay with a game-winning walk-off home run in the bottom of the 13th inning on Sunday, 5-3.
- Chicago Cubs outfielder Aramis Ramirez had a walk-off winner of his own on Friday afternoon, his coming in the bottom of the ninth at Wrigley Field in a 4-3 win over their cross-town rivals, the Chicago White Sox. In all, the Fighting Lou Piniellas swept the South Siders, leading the Carlin of MLB, ChiSox skipper Ozzie Guillen to speak the truth about his team: in his words, they stink.
- Cito Gaston's last managerial win came on September 19, 1997, a 3-0 Toronto Blue Jays win over the Yankees in the Bronx, according to Baseball-Reference.com. He would be fired with five game left in that season, BTW. June 22, 2008 saw Gaston's first win in his second stint as Jays manager, an 8-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Across the Pond
- Russia looks primed for its first European title since 1960 (when the played as the Soviet Union); further edification came with a 3-1 extra-time win over the Netherlands on Saturday. Dmitri Torobinsky responded to a Ruud van Nijstelrooy equalizer with a goal 22 minutes into the extra session, and teammate Andrei Arshavin followed in the 126th minute to seal the deal.
- The Rosskies will face Spain in the semifinal; La Selección got there with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Italy the next day.
- Kyle Busch got his fifth win of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and padded his points lead over Jeff Burton at Infineon Raceway in the heart of California's Napa Valley. Quite a surprise, considering that many thought Jeff Gordon would take the first of the two series' road course races during the season.
- Brazilian Felipe Massa got his third win of the Formula One season, taking the chequered flag at Magny-Cours in the French Grand Prix. Across the Pond, Australian Casey Stoner became the second repeat winner in MotoGP at Donington Park in North West Lancashire, England.
- Speaking of the UK, Dan Wheldon scored his second win of the season at the IRL Iowa Corn Indy 250, edging out Japanese rookie Hideki Mutoh by fourteen hundredths of a second at one of the seemingly few places unaffected by recent flooding there.
- Sad news to report from the world of drag racing: Scott Kalitta, an NHRA top fuel drag racer, was killed during qualifying for the Lucas Oil Supernationals at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey on Saturday at age 46. His son, Connie, is a crew chief and former dragster himself, and cousin Doug is also a competitor in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. In addition to Connie and Doug, he also leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Odds and Sods
- Could one of the NHL's young stars be on his way out? Rumors abound that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin was offered a multi-year contract by the new Continental Hockey League in his native Russia. Maklin has denied these reports, though...
- Look for two members of the Utah Jazz to head to Beijing for the Olympics: Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams were both named to Mike Krzyzewski's Olympic squad over the weekend.
Time to pass out the honors
Comedian George Carlin, who passed on Sunday at age 71 from heart failure. What can this reporter say about him that hasn't already been said about him in tribute? He was a fan of Carlin, owning five of his comedy albums, a DVD of his "Complaints and Grievances" special from 2001, and all three of his books. Sic transit gloria mundi...
Tennessee Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse: Kearse, who recently reunited with the Titans after a four-season stint with the Philadelphia Eagles, was arrested early Sunday and, after refusing a breathalyzer test, was charged with a DUI (driving under the influence). Add another name to the list of poor-judgment guys in the NFL, even if this was his first known offense...
That's all for this week
Until next time, as always, let's all be good sports... and don't forget to vote in the ArmchairGM Mid-Year Awards polls!