Eric Gagne is off the DL. He has been there since May 21 with tendinitis in his rotator cuff. He passed a 30 pitch bullpen test and will be active starting tonight. Milwaukee fans sitting in the outfield will want to be sure that they have their gloves with them when Gagne hits the mound. This guy seems to have forgotten how to pitch.
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The NBA draft is over and it is pretty much time for us all to move on from that and from draft fascination for another year. Before I do that, though, there is one last thing that I want to touch on – a personal pet peeve. The second round of the NBA draft is ridiculous. A total waste of time. It should be eliminated immediately.
After a great tournament full of action, upsets, and surprises, the final is set and we will see Spain and Germany meet up on Sunday for the final. There were some surprising teams in the elimination round, and one that few predicted in the semi-finals, but this final comes as little surprise. Indeed, Germany was expected, and Spain was one of the handful of realistically contenders from their side of the draw. SPain goes into the final favored. I like Germany. Here are six reasons why:
Spain suffered a damaging, and potentially fatal, blow as they prepare for the Euro 2008 finals against Germany. Striker David Villa will miss the finals thanks to a sore hamstring. Villa is the tournament’s leading scorer, and he has been dynamite both when he is scoring and when he isn’t, so his loss is a real blow to both the team’s chances and their confidence. Spain is still fairly heavily favored to win it all (surprisingly heavily, really), but Germany becomes an even more attractive underdog given this news.
The NBA Draft has arrived. It is the last of the four major drafts that fall in an unofficial two month draft season. It seems like what I should do is to make a mock draft, but that’s pretty much a waste of time – I stand no chance of being right, and there have already been trades, and there will likely be more, that make an accurate prediction of what will happen practically impossible. Instead, I’ll just look at a few notes:
Novak Djokovic is an absolute moron, and I suspect that there is no one more embarrassed on the planet right now. If you missed it, he spent a great deal of effort last week telling everyone who would listen to him that Roger Federer was vulnerable. Since Djokovic was set to play him in the semi-finals at Wimbledon if they both made it that far, the clear assumption was that Djokovic was going to beat him. I have no problem with a claim like that. You have to back it up, though. Djokovic didn’t even come close. He came out in the second round of the tournament and fell in straight sets to Marat Safin. Safin used to be good once, but those times are a distant memory. Djokovic should have been able to win the match in his sleep, but instead he looked lethargic and unfocused. Even worse, he whined his way through the whole match. Terrible. This is one more reason added to an already large pile why I don’t buy into the prevailing theory that Djokovic is a future number one.
I’m not an American, but my Canadian basketball team didn’t make the Olympics (it’s hard to do when Steve Nash is your only decent player and he isn’t playing on the national team any more), so when it comes to Beijing I will have to make due with cheering for the Americans. As a bandwagon fan, then, I have to say this – if the team doesn’t win the gold medal they should all retire from basketball immediately. This team is ridiculously dominant. I know that the world is catching up with them (or has mostly caught up), but it is completely impossible for a team to be as deep as the one just announced as the next version of the Dream Team.
Wimbledon gets underway today and goes on for the next two weeks. For once, the mens’ side holds some intrigue. For the last five years Roger Federer has won the title, and he has done it with ease bordering in ridiculous. This year, though, things are a bit different. He hasn’t had the dominating year he has had recently, and people aren’t nearly as scared of him as they used to be. Bjorn Borg said perhaps the most ridiculous thing in history when he suggested that Federer was done and that if and when he lost at Wimbledon he would probably retire. Novak Djokovic is only the third best player in the world, and he hasn’t had any more success beating Federer than he Rafael Nadal, but even he called out Roger this week. Their is definitely the smell of change in the air.
The Fresno State Bulldogs have made the finals of the College World Series in Omaha. To do so they knocked out North Carolina, a finalist the last two years. UNC was ranked second in the country. Fresno State was the first fourth seeded team in a regional to make the CWS, so it is certainly the first to make the finals. They were the longest shot in the field (15/1) at the start of the CWS, but they just won’t quit. Remember, before they knocked out UNC they had to eliminate Arizona State, the number three team in the country. The story gets even more Disney-like – the team is playing without their top pitcher, Tanner Scheppers, who was injured late in the regular season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning made Steven Stamkos the number one pick in the NHL Draft. Stamkos is a high scoring center from the Ontario Hockey League. If you live in Canada or a hockey town elsewhere then this comes as no surprise – Stamkos has been pegged as the top pick for five years or so. He’s got a ridiculous scoring touch, he’s strong and versatile, and he is frequently compared to Joe Sakic. He’ll make the team next year as the second center, and he is already the heavy favorite to be rookie of the year.