This and That
Each week I talk about the world of sports&
• Once again Tiger Woods made a statement early in the final round in Akron. He trailed Padraig Harrington by three strokes entering the final round, but turned things around with a great run. Harrington triple-bogeyed the 16th hole, helping give Tiger his 70th career win and his seventh at the Bridgestone tournament. Now Woods is ready to make a run at another major, playing the PGA Championship this week in Minnesota.
• The Yankees completed a four-game sweep of the Red Sox and now Boston fans have to be concerned about Texas and Tampa Bay in the wild card race. It is still August, and a 6 ½ game lead in the AL East doesn't mean the Yankees are lock city yet, though Joe Girardi's team is playing so well right now, riding a seven-game win streak. The Red Sox are simply not getting clutch hits. The Yankee rotation, led by CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, is dynamite right now. In a seven-game playoff series, they could start four or maybe even five times depending on scheduling. They would be tough to beat.
• The New York Giants are still finalizing the contract language, but it appears that quarterback Eli Manning will ink a new deal worth a reported $97 million. The Manning family is doing pretty well these days, since Peyton makes a pretty good living. Between the two of them, they make around $30 million a year! Who would have thought that Eli would make more than his brother? That will only last until the Colts give a new deal to Peyton!
• LeBron James has put a little scare into the people of Cleveland. The fans there have to be nervous wrecks since James said it is likely he will play out his contract and not sign an extension right away. I feel owner Dan Gilbert and the Cavs fans can relax, and when it is all said and done, LeBron will still be wearing that Cleveland jersey.
• Congratulations to the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was great to see Bills owner Ralph Wilson, pass-rush specialist Bruce Smith, offensive lineman Randall McDaniel, star safety Rod Woodson, and the late Bob Hayes and Derrick Thomas inducted into Canton. That is quite a class, but realize how special next year should be -- Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith are eligible for the first time. Think there is any doubt about those two?
• Isiah Thomas struck gold for Florida International, signing a Top 10 prospect. Dominique Ferguson, a 6-8 power forward, gave a verbal commitment to Thomas. It was quite a move considering the list of schools that expressed interest in Ferguson included Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana and UCLA. It was a great signing for Isiah.
• The Phillies made a great move acquiring Cliff Lee from the Indians. He has looked super in his first two starts with Philadelphia. He could be a difference-maker in the playoffs too.
• This should be a great week for men's tennis fans. The tournament in Montreal is loaded as Rafael Nadal is back for the first time since the French Open. Roger Federer also returns, playing his first match since winning Wimbledon. The field also includes Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and a host of other big names.