Roger Federer enters this year’s tournament with a chance at tying Pete Sampras’ record seven Wimbledon titles. The Swiss is one of the top players – if not the best – on grass court, and is favored to win this year.

Continue reading “Wimbledon Betting Odds: Mens Preview & Picks”

There’s a lot going on in the world today, so let’s touch on a bunch of it briefly:

Aroldis Chapman – This is the Cuban left handed pitching savant who defected from the Cuban national team while at a tournament in the Netherlands this week. The hype is huge on this guy – they are calling him the left-handed Stephen Strasburg. He seems to intend to come to the majors, and there will surely be a Dice-K-esque bidding war for his services. There are some strange elements to the story. First, he is being reported as being 21, yet when he pitched at the World Baseball Classic he was listed as 26. He also wasn’t particularly good against major league talent at the WBC – 5.68 ERA in almost seven innings. That’s obviously a small sample size and all, but it gives you reason to at least pause in the face of the hysteria.

Continue reading “Friday Highlights”

It continues to amaze me just how bad the American tennis players are on clay. The latest disaster came today in the French Open when James Blake was beaten in straight sets by a 22 year old Argentinian qualifier making his grand slam debut. Mardy Fish is out as well after a first round setback to another Argentinian. The Americans have three players ranked in the top 22, and only Andy Roddick survived to the second round. It’s pathetic, really. Roddick has played in seven French Opens. He has lost in the first round four times, the second round twice, and once more in the third. This was Blake’s seventh Open. He has two first round departures, four more in the second, and one in the third. Fish has only made it as far as the second round once in four tries. That’s 18 tries combined without so much as a round of 16 to show for the effort. Over the same period the players have a grand slam win, five semifinal appearances, and 12 more quarterfinal showings in the other three slams. It’s pretty clear what the problem is – clay.

Continue reading “Americans and Clay Do Not Mix”

Mondays aren’t supposed to be busy days on the sports front, but this one certainly was. Here are five things that caught my eye today:

1. It was covered here by someone else earlier tonight, but I have to touch on Jon Lester again. Impressive on a couple of fronts – Boston having two no-hitters in less than a year, Jason Varitek catching both games, Lester’s story. It would be an even better story if it had have been against a major league team instead of the Triple-A adequate Kansas City Royals. Based on what I wrote here last week I’ll be taking a very close look at Lester next time out.

Continue reading “Five Notes From Monday”

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