Sports news is plentiful. In case you missed it, here's a few notable stories since our last installment.
Wimbledon crowns new champions. Serbian Novak Djokovic defeated former champ Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. His performance was nothing short of spectacular. Djokovic now sits atop fan lists as a player to watch.
Petra Kvitova won the Women's title with a hard fought straight set victory over Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4. The telling statistic from this match was Sharapova winning only 58% of first serves compared to 72% for Kvitova.
NBA follows NFL into lockout status. Money, money, money. Both sides have negotiated in good faith for 18 months with no conclusive results. Commissioner Stern states the sides are no closer now than when negotiations first began. The sides appear closer than they'll let on publicly. Perhaps to save face with union members. I have no sympathy for either party when it comes to sports related work stoppages. The fans always get the short end of the stick when all is said and done. Ticket prices, already skyrocketing, will surge again. So will game related apparel, trading cards and anything with a professional league logo affixed.
NFL lockout may delete 2011 games. Players will be nuts if they ever agree to an 18 game schedule. Careers will be dramatically cut short. Long term deals will soon evaporate and owners will walk away as fat cat champs. Add a new twist, retired players want in on negotiations. They've brought suit claiming current players and owners are "conspiring to depress the amounts of pension and disability benefits to be paid to former NFL players in order to maximize the salaries and benefits to current NFL players." This labor impasse is a long way off. Neither side has acted in good faith.
MLB All Star Game rosters were announced. Get ready for plenty of commentary when it comes to snubbed players. It's the same old song. Deserving players left off rosters receive plenty of attention from local to national sports talk networks. It's unfortunate some deserving players sit home. It happens and will continue for years to come. Sometimes there just aren't enough roster slots. Other times, fan favorites override statistical achievements. There's only one change I'd personally enjoy seeing rectified. Add at least one rising star (rookie) to each roster if they weren't already selected by fan & player voting (AL - Michael Pineda, Mariners; NL- Danny Espinosa, Nationals).
Derek Jeter is healthy and back at SS for the Yankees. Six knocks to go for career hit number 3,000. Isn't it truly amazing in the glorious history of Yankees baseball they've yet to have any player with 3,000 hits? Not Gehrig (2,721), Ruth (2,518), Mantle (2,415), Bernie Williams (2,336) or DiMaggio (2,214).
Look out, the Pirates are coming. Better yet, they're here! Pittsburgh Pirates inspired brand of baseball has them within 1.5 games of NL Central leading Cardinals. It's about time! Pittsburgh has won more than 70 games only seven times since 1993. Manager Clint Hurdle is proving he's been the right choice for the job. Go Pirates!
Get ready for The British Open. US Open champ Rory McIlroy is ready to go and is the early favorite. Tiger Woods will be sitting this one out. Fan favorite Phil Mickelson needs to work out a few kinks. His swing and short game is perfect for this tournament but he never seems to put it together here. How much of a factor will strong winds play in this years event? Wind during British Opens has been prevalent in recent years which is why this event is one of the best tests for players all around games. There are three golfing events I never miss. The Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.