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”

I really don’t understand the Bucks. They traded away Richard Jefferson, so they have a lack of scoring to make up. They drafted a point guard, so they have some depth there. So what did they do? Offered a contract to their free agent point guard and not the solid scoring threat. Ramon Sessions will likely be back with the team, but Charlie Villanueva has been cut loose. Very bizarre. I was certain that it was going to go the other way. It looks like things could end up very well for Villanueva – he looks like he will take he mid-level exception in Cleveland.

Continue reading “Tuesday Quick Hits”

I want to look at tonight’s NBA Draft a bit, but first a couple of quick stories to touch on:

  • I love the Shaq trade for Cleveland. He’s obviously not the man he was, but he’ll fit well with LeBron, they gave nothing of significance up for him, and they aren’t tied to him long term. The guy knows how to win, and he’s hard to contend with inside. I could see him liking the idea of going out on top, and this is as good a spot as any outside of the Lakers or the Spurs (two places he really isn’t going) to do so.
  • I was very interested to see Lleyton Hewitt pull a big upset of the number five seed off today, and look pretty darned good doing it. He’s in a soft draw, and could easily get to the quarterfinals. He’s traditionally been good at Wimbledon, and he has rediscovered some lost form recently. He’s not going to win it, but I see him winning a few more games.

Continue reading “The NBA Draft, and Other Stuff”

The Bucks didn’t stop their wheeling and dealing, and they made a move I am a big fan of. They sent Fabricio Oberto and his serviceable contract to Detroit for Amir Johnson. The Pistons had no room for Johnson, but he’s a player I really like. When he did find a few minutes to play he made the most of them. He’s a good shot blocker and surprisingly good at stealing the ball, and he can score and rebound as well. He’ll take some of the pressure off of CharlieVillanueva, and he gives the Bucks some flexibility if they can’t or don’t want to afford Villanueva next year. This move makes the Jefferson deal look even better in my eyes than it did yesterday.

Continue reading “Wednesday Afternoon Notes”

Saturday was a very interesting day at Wimbledon. Venus Williams beat her sister, won her fifth Wimbledon title and second straight, and proved conclusively that she is without a doubt the best female grass player in the world despite her frustrating inconsistency. The sisters put their competitive differences aside a couple of hours later to cruise to an incredibly easy win in the doubles final. Finally, Canadian Daniel Nestor and new partner Nenad Zimonjic made their second straight grand slam final, but performed better this time around by winning in four sets.

Continue reading “Wimbledon Men’s Final Preview”

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 evenĀ  more attractive underdog given this news.

Continue reading “Thoughts Heading Into The Weekend”

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.

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Thoughts”

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.

Continue reading “Roger Will Be Just Fine at Wimbledon”

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