Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Serena Williams

Wimbledon: Serena Williams won her first-round match Tuesday and cried what she called her first tears of joy, ever. From Wimbledon champion to grateful first-round winner -- who knew? As her opponent, Aravane Rezai, so eloquently pointed out, Serena is also human. And -- we're not surprised -- impressive. Williams is now 44-0 in first-round matches at Grand Slam events in her career. Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick all won in straight sets to advance.
NFL: Owners perused a working agreement Tuesday and agreed commissioner Roger Goodell should proceed with banging out the rest of the issues to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the players. The crux, of course, centers around what profit portion the players will receive -- down to 48 percent from about 60 percent. That sounds onerous, but with new TV revenues, the financial rollback for players shouldn't be as big as it sounds. While owners say there is still a long way to go, it's now (hopefully) become a negotiating game of inches.
NBA: Will the NBA meet its June 30 deadline and avoid its own lockout? Doubtful. Still at the beginning of their process, the NBA owners and players have a big sticking point in each side's definition of the salary cap. Get ready for lots of tedious discussions of hard caps, soft caps and flex caps in the next few months. Hopefully this won't bite too much into the upcoming season. It has to be aggravating for the players who go to the draft Thursday. They may not have their first season. What a gyp.
MLB: The Twins tied a major league record Tuesday, when their first eight hitters hit without recording an out off the Giants' Madison Bumgarner (this has only happened six times before!). Hate to get Dickensian but BUMgarner. Wow. The Twins won 9-2. ... The Marlins are thankful as they ended their 11-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Angels. Jack McKeon's tough love must have worked on Hanley Ramirez who went 2-for-4 with two runs.
Side note: More mudslinging from Frank McCourt. In the wake of Bud Selig's announcement Monday not to approve a Dodger's TV deal with Fox Sports, McCourt's lawyer questioned Selig's intentions, saying that there was "a predetermined result to drive Frank out of baseball without a good faith basis." Oh, for heaven's sake. Put down the mud and step away from the dirt pile, Frank. It's over.
College World Series: Cal dug deep and beat Texas A&M 7-3 in Tuesday's elimination game. The Bears rallied for three unearned runs in the top of the fifth, then three more in the sixth. The heart of this team knows no bounds. Cal will play again Thursday against top-seeded Virginia, who lost to South Carolina 7-1. (An error-filled first inning doomed Virginia.) Florida and Vanderbilt also returned Tuesday to finish their rain-delayed game. Florida, under the steady pitching of Steven Rodriguez (who gave up no hits in 4 1/3 innings over two days), won in just 44 minutes.