Normally, the tennis Championships at Wimbledon start in late June, and finish the Sunday after July 4. Not so this year, as the 2017 edition began on Monday, and will wrap on July 16, a wee bit later than normal. Come to think of it, the French Open last month might've been a little later than usual, too. Just sayin'.
So Manny Pacquiao lost a fight last weekend. As soon as I read that ESPN had assigned in-house bloviator Stephen (Screamin') A. Smith to cover the fight, if only because he's a Howard Cosell wanna-be, and boxing was one of the two major sports Cosell regularly covered, I had a feeling Smith, who wouldn't know a right lead from a right guard, was there just to get ratings. His current First Take partner, Max Kellerman, was a boxing commentator for HBO and ESPN during his first tour of duty at the latter, and would've been a better fit. I can only imagine what had happened on Monday's broadcast, because something tells me Max would've taken Screamin' A. to school again.
It must be a slow news day today, because one online piece I read this morning bemoaned the fact that, save for manager Joe Maddon and his coaches and closer Wade Davis, the defending champion Cubs won't have any of last year's World Series heroes (Davis was with Kansas City last year) in the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Miami. Kris Bryant lost out on the NL Final Vote to the Dodgers' Justin Turner. The only way Bryant or any of his mates joins Davis on the roster is by injury replacement over the weekend. It might not sound fair to Cubs Nation, but credit Maddon for not stuffing the reserve portion of the roster with his players, opting for more of a melting pot mix. I'm sure, though, that Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, et al, would be the first ones called if someone pulls out due to an injury over the next 3-4 days.
Women's roller derby doesn't get the same kind of press coverage as, say, pro wrestling, but today's Record is promoting tomorrow night's match between the Albany All-Stars and the Troy Hellions, the latter of whom play their home matches in Rotterdam because they can't afford to pay the rent on either the RPI-Houston Field House or either of the city's rinks (Frear Park and the Knickerbocker Ice Arena in Lansingburgh). The Hellions called Frear Park home their first year, but because they apparently didn't draw enough people to the games (Frear Park is off the bus line), they didn't renew the lease for the next season. As previously documented, the All-Stars now play at the new Capital Center, just up the hill from Times Union Center, where last year's game was played. Now, let's see if someone sends a camera crew.......
The Mets' NY-Penn League affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones, just wrapped their first visit to Troy last night (they return August 19-21) wishing they'd saved some of Wednesday night's offense. After blowing out the Tri-City Valleycats, 10-1, on Wednesday, the Cyclones were given a receipt last night, as the wind was blowing out to left field at Bruno Stadium. The 'Cats erupted for 5 home runs, two of them by Reid Russell, in a 13-0 rout to take 2 of 3 from the Cyclones. Tri-City is back on the road tonight, heading to Aberdeen, Maryland to play the Ironbirds. The upside to the last two games, even though they were blowouts, was that both games were played in just over 3 hours. The July 4 game, won by Tri-City, went more than 4 hours to play 9 innings, delaying the post-game fireworks show to nearly 11 pm.
Pace of play, kids. Let's get with the program.
The Mets are hoping Michael Conforto will be ready to be in Miami on Tuesday, as he comes off the disabled list tomorrow----we think. Otherwise, the Amazin's are in the same boat as the Cubs. It's that kind of year.
Meanwhile, after being rained out of the series finale vs. the Mets Wednesday, the Washington Nationals made their fans wait 3 hours and change before starting Thursday's game vs. Atlanta. Why? They thought a rainstorm headed for the DC area would land as scheduled. Someone at Nationals Park clearly had a Chicken Little moment, and the Nats are taking some serious heat for their overly cautious approach. Some jabroni on MSN.com suggested that the Nats players voted to the All-Star game (i.e. Bryce Harper) be banned from the game, but that's just being petty and stupid. Not Harper's fault, although we'd have to question his or Scott Boras' sanity for putting him in that lame T-Mobile commercial.