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Lots to get to, so away we go!
- Joe Torre made a return visit to New York, the site of his past glory, and the Mets made it a visit he won't look back on fondly anytime soon. The Mets managed to break out of their current funk against Giuseppe's current employers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, by taking three of four in their wraparound series which saw the Amazins come back from a 2-0 shutout on Saturday (which the Mets won, 3-2) and the 100th win of Johan Santana's career the following night in a 6-1 rout.
- Manny Ramirez went only 1-for-5 on Saturday night, but the one hit was notable as it was the 500th home run of his great career. The Boston Red Sox outfielder reached the milestone in the top of the sixth inning by clubbing a Chad Bradford pitch over the right field wall at Camden Yards in the Sox' 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
- Earlier that day, Manny's Cincinnati Reds counterpart Ken Griffey Jr. neared a milestone in what may be the quietest fashion of any athlete in the history of American sports, coming within a tater of 600 lifetime against the Atlanta Braves. However, it was rookie sensation Jay Bruce that stole the spotlight in the bottom of the tenth with a walk-off shot in the bottom of the tenth to give the Reds an 8-7 win.
- The big comeback of the weekend came on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, where the Chicago Cubs had the wind at their back and big bats on their side. During the sixth and seventh innings, rookie Kosuke Fukudome, hired hand Jim Edmonds (who also doubled in the rally), and veterans Henry Blanco and Mark DeRosa all contributed longballs in a 10-9 win over the Colorado Rockies. On top of that, the Cubs ended the weekend with the best record in the majors, something that hasn't happened since 1908. What else happened that year, this reporter asks...
Back in the Finals again
That's where the Boston Celtics find themselves after Friday night's 89-81 come-from-behind win over the Detroit Pistons. Paul Pierce scored 27 points and came within two boards of a double-dip, leading the way to the C's first Finals appearance since 1987. Their opponents then, as it was throughout much of the '80s and will be in '08: the Los Angeles Lakers.
Wings on the brink
After Wednesday night's loss to a suddenly resurgent Pittsburgh Penguins team, the Detroit Red Wings looked to make sure that lightning wouldn't strike twice. It looked like it after the Pens got a 1-0 lead, but the Wings came back to win 2-1, a Jiri Hudler goal sealing the deal early in the third period, and now stand within one game of the 11th Stanley Cup in team history. BTW, 11th-hour prep is underway for Game 5 as this is being pounded out...
MMA two weeks in a row?!
Unfortunately, such is the case because of the first-ever US network TV appearance of the sport, featuring someone who was widly known thanks to YouTube: Kimbo Slice. His birth certificate actually says Kevin Ferguson, but he lets his fists do the talking. Kimbo's first televised bout came against James Thompson, and while it didn't exactly live up to the pre-fight buzz, Kimbo did come out on top when he busted open Thompson's cauliflower ear in the third round.
As a sort of appetizer, Robbie Lawler took on Scott Smith for the EliteXC middleweight title, and the "Hands of Stone" may not have had a retina of stone that night. While Lawler was trying to defend himself from Smith's onslaught of punches, the latter got an inadvertent poke in the eye. That led referee Dan Miragliotta to pause the fight for a few minutes to let Smith try to recover, but the medics showed concern for Smith and ordered the fight stopped right then and there, and thus Lawler got to keep the belt. A rather controversial ending to a great match...
BTW, there'll be MMA three weeks in a row in the AWIR, as UFC heads across the Pond. Look for that next week...
Take a train to Happytown...
- Kyle Busch didn't resort to tomfoolery in taking his fourth win of the year at Dover International Speedway in the Best Buy 400, but he did survive an early wreck which involved 11 cars, including Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Denny Hamlin. Also, Busch assumed the points lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
- A week after his run-in with Danica Patrick on pit road at the Indy 500, Ryan Briscoe got his first career IRL win at the Indy 225 at the Milwaukee Mile.
- Rafael Nadal made history on Sunday at the French Open; he extended his winning streak to 25 games on the clay of Roland Garros by dispatching fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in straight sets. Also, unheralded Latvian Ernests Gulbris punched his ticket to the quarterfinals by making short work of Martin Llodra.
Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, who became the world's fastest man on Saturday in New York when became the newest record-holder in the men's 100 meters race. Bolt set the bar at 9.72 seconds, breaking the record held by fellow countryman Asafa Powell for almost three years.
The Williams sisters: Remember when Venus and Serena where two of the hottest female stars on the planet? Well, it seems like part two of their salad days have ended. Venus crashed out of the French Open in straight sets against Italian Flavia Penetta on Saturday, while Serena met the same fate against Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik.
That's all for this week
Until next week, as always, let's all be good sports...