Thoughts Heading Into The Weekend

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.

Very strange story coming out from the NBA Draft concerning Darrell Arthur. Reportedly several teams passed on him because of news of kidney problems. Atlanta was the only team that actually tested him, though, and they gave him a clean bill of health. That news didn’t seem to get out in time, though, and he fell from a likely spot in the lottery all the way down to 27th. That will cost him a lot of money, but it also has to be ridiculously frustrating and a bit humiliating for the player. If he is the kind of guy that can use that as motivation then it could fuel a good year for him. I just can’t believe that we are getting the whole story. Surely in this age teams would have done their homework about something like that. That’s especially the case for San Antonio. THey culd have picked him one spot sooner than he was picked, but instead they went for a guy from IUPUI that no one has ever heard of that almost certainly could have been had later on. Even if the Spurs didn’t like Arthur it probably would have made sense to acquire him purely as an asset.

The White Sox crushed the Cubs today, and theĀ  Mets humiliated the Yankees. What does it say about me that I get a perverse and profound pleasure from both developments. Unfortunately, the Yankees came back and returned the favor in the second half of the double bill.

Ana Ivanovic became the latest top three seed to fall at Wimbledon today, following Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic. The third round departure was the earliest exit by a number one seed since 2001. The bloodbath at the top is bad news for bettors, but the sportsbooks must be loving it because they will be making a killing from people looking to make the safe hit. I don’t expect the disaster to continue on the men’s side. In fact, I am very confident that it will be Nadal – Federer in the final. Yet again.

The Tigers have now won 14 of 18, and they are looking pretty much exactly like we expected them to (except for Dontrelle Willis, who is toiling away in obscurity in the minors somewhere). I was about to write that Tigers fans must be relieved and thrilled, but as I think about it I just think that if I was a Detroit backer I would be pissed. We knew all along that they could play like this, so why did they insist on throwing their season away with that horrendous start? Thankfully, they play in the AL Central, so the playoffs are not at all out of the question despite the fact that they have not yet returned to .500. To win the division, though, they will have to hope that the Twins remember once again that they are the Twins. Minnesota won their tenth in a row, and 12th in 13 games tonight. Talk about a team getting it done with smoke and mirrors.

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