This Penny is Worth $7.75M

March 31, 2008

Brad Penny 

The Dodgers have a brutal payroll compared to the available lineup every day. The majority of their roster is from God’s waiting room, but Brad Penny is worth every…well, penny.

Today Penny will face off against the lowly Giants, and stats can be thrown out the window. The Dodgers added Joe Torre to help smother any locker-room flair-ups, and hired their own version of Dice K. The Giants, after cashing their winning ticket, have dismissed Barry Bonds and have committed to mediocrity. They get Penny in their road opener and look to be mowed down, one by one.

 Penny is the horse and mound general that all teams in MLB wish that they had. His onions are bigger than most of the Giants heads (especially w/ Bonds gone), but he can pitch as well. I look for Penny to bear down in the first inning, where he generally struggles if at all, to help ease the rest of the Dodgers lineup. He should have smooth sailing afterwards as the Dodgers most likely gain their first win on the season.

San Francisco Giants (Zito) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Penny) ML -187 for 1 Unit, starters must go…

Top Chef. Season 3. Miami. Chopping Block 5.

July 21, 2007

Top Chef Ladies on Balcony

Guest Judge: Maria Frumkin, DUO Restaurant, Miami, FL
Quickfire Winner: Joey Paulino, Cafe des Artistes, New York, NY
Challenge Winner: Howie Kleinberg, The Food Gang, Surfside, FL
Eliminated: Lia Bardeen, Jean-Georges, New York, NY

In the 5th episode of Bravo‘s Top Chef, Guest Judge Maria Frumkin, of the acclaimed DUO Restaurant in Miami, FL, graces us with her presence. The native of Argentina has been decorated with honors as a pastry chef, a skill proven vacant in most Top Chef contestants over the past 3 seasons.

Maria Frumkin, DUO Restaurant, Miami, FL

Evidently, Padma and I think alike on many levels (some unmentionable) in her reference to last week’s “dessert debacle” by Team Dale. So, this week Padma challenged all of the chefs to create anything they wished using a frozen pie crust.

Dale really had aspirations of redeeming himself in the Quickfire, but it was Joey who snatched the immunity with his humble pastry pairing. With roots similar to Tom himself, Joey has begun to understand the competition for what it is. His complaining has never solved anything, and instead has bonded with Howie and has found his groove.

Joey Quickfire 5 Winner

Still, I believe Joey is somewhat immature under all that exterior and the pressure will most likely get to him before it’s all said and done. On the other hand, Hung‘s as immature as can be. He is still challenging the judges and honestly believes the things that come out of his mouth. I’m embarassed for him at this point.

Hung Quickfire 5 Loss

But more importantly, Casey Thompson is beginning to slip in the ranks. Since the show actually has credibility, I’m not sure how long being attractive can keep you in a competition like this. And the whole Lynyrd Skynyrd look just isn’t working either.

Casey Thompson

The problem is if we lose her, then we lose the audience. So Casey better bring her A game next week or we might have to start watching men cook.

Casey Thompson

So, the Elimination Challenge asked the chefs to cater a “Latin Lunch” for stars of the Telemundo novella “Dame Chocolate.” Originally, the chefs were allotted 3 hours to prepare their dishes. After concepts and dishes had already been initiated, Tom entered the kitchen declaring the lunch had been moved forward 1.5 hours. The chefs handled the news in a variety of ways.

Howie’s Braised Pork Shoulder with Yuca Sour Orange Mojo

Howie decided to braise his pork to maintain the juices that are lost often times in a catered lunch. Much to Tom’s dismay, the braised pork dish went over very well with the judges, and Howie triumphed.

Howie Wins Elimination 5

Upon receiving a bottle of Argentinian wine from Frumkin as a token of accomplishment, Howie then awarded the prize to his new best bud Joey. Throughout the lunch, Howie was feasting on Joey’s Bean Stew w/ Lobster, Shrimp, Chicken & Chorizo, an homage to his “Spanish” boys from back home.

Elimination 5

For the elimination proceedings, Hung, Casey, and Sara N. were all at risk, but Lia was chopped as predicted. The judges were lost to the concept of her Smoked Rainbow Trout with Polenta Cake. It just didn’t translate to the task at hand and she was asked to pack her knives.

Lia Eliminated

We are really starting to get an idea of what these chefs are able to bring to the table every week. Some only cook fish and some only pork, but they will be fine as long as the weaker chefs are still around. When we get down to 5, then we will need to see Howie cook some fish, and Malarkey and Hung (if around) cook some meat. Regardless, Harold would demolish any of them in any challenge with only a butter knife.

Harold Dieterle, Perilla, New York, NY
Harold Dieterle, Perilla, New York, NY

Phillies Down Dodgers in Game 2

July 18, 2007

The Phillies dished the Dodgers a taste of their own medicine last night in Los Angeles. After the Dodgers blasted the Phillies for 10 runs on 10 hits in Monday’s contest, the most explosive team in the NL reciprocated the goodwill.

Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard, or the People’s Champ, hit 2 more home runs (24) and collected 4 RBI (72). If he’s the meat, then Chase Utley is the potatoes. He bolstered his league-leading RBI total to 79 with 3 more on the night, while going 3-6 and adding 2 doubles (39).

Chase Utley

Jimmy Rollins was 3-6…Shane Victorino 5-7…Aaron Rowand 5-6…and even J.D. Durbin, who I ridiculed yesterday, was 3-4 with a run scored…wtf?!?

These numbers look like Dwight Howard‘s field goal % at halftime. Except it’s really hard to hit a baseball, unless Mark Hendrickson is winging it in, and really easy for Dwight Howard to crush.

Dwight Howard

Unfortunately, the Phillie staff hasn’t made it hard to hit the ball, but Durbin tossed an unexpected gem. Among all the souvenirs in last night’s bout, only the lucky Dodger Fan behind the backstop saw any love from the rookie.

Alyssa Milano

Lowering his hefty ERA to 9.00, Durbin lasted 6 quality innings allowing only 8 baserunners and 1 earned run in a much needed win. He had this to say after the game,

“Every time I got the ball back, I took a deep breath. The game goes fast, and being in control is how you do things right. Less is more. I’ve always been max effort in terms of delivery. Today, I went out there and controlled myself, didn’t try to do as much. I was 88-92 today, and a couple of years ago, that was nothing. I’m not a thrower anymore. I’m trying to be a pitcher, working the ball in and out, up and down and get ahead of guys. Today, it worked out for me.”

Sounds like an inner sex monologue, but whatever works. I just assume it was a nice precursor to what Durbin would encounter later that night.

J.D. Durbin

At 25-years old, in the City of Angels, for a 3-day stint, after a dismantling of once NL-leading Dodger Faithful, this kid certainly celebrated.

In all, they collected 15 runs on 26 hits–the greatest outburst since I was a wee 9-year old lad in the summer of ’85.

3 paisons
Which wee lad am I do you think?

Fine. So I’m not 9 here (my brother looks adopted for the record), but even at 6-years old I knew Von Hayes would some day hit 2 home runs in the 1st inning of a game. Check the box score, thanks to Baseball Almanac, for the last time the Phils went on a killing spree like last night.

Baseball Almanac Box Scores New York Mets 7, Philadelphia Phillies 26
New York Mets ab   r   h rbi
Backman 2b 4 1 3 1
Johnson 3b 5 0 2 1
Hernandez 1b 2 0 1 0
  Christensen cf 2 0 0 0
Carter c 2 0 1 1
  Reynolds c 3 1 1 0
Heep cf,1b 5 1 1 0
Foster lf 3 1 1 1
Hurdle rf 4 1 1 0
Santana ss 2 1 2 2
Gorman p 0 0 0 0
  Schiraldi p 0 0 0 0
  Sisk p 2 1 0 1
  Staub ph 1 0 0 0
  Sambito p 0 0 0 0
  Knight ph 1 0 0 0
  Orosco p 0 0 0 0
Philadelphia Phillies ab   r   h rbi
Hayes lf 6 4 3 6
Schu 3b 7 2 4 2
Samuel 2b 7 3 5 2
Schmidt 1b 2 2 2 2
  Jeltz ss 4 1 1 1
Wilson rf 6 4 3 3
Diaz c 4 3 3 3
  Rucker p 2 1 2 0
  Andersen p 0 0 0 0
Maddox cf 4 3 2 2
  Thomas cf 1 0 0 0
Aguayo ss 1 1 0 1
  Gross 1b 2 1 1 2
Hudson p 3 1 1 1
  Wockenfuss ph,c 1 0 0 0
New York 0 0 3   2 2 0   0 0 0 7 13 2
Philadelphia 9 7 0   0 5 1   4 0 x 26 27 1
Gorman  L (3-3) 0.1 4 6 6 2 0
  Schiraldi   1.1 10 10 10 0 1
  Sisk   2.1 2 0 0 0 1
  Sambito   3.0 9 10 8 5 0
  Orosco   1.0 2 0 0 0 1







Hudson  W (2-6) 5.0 13 7 6 0 3
  Rucker   3.0 0 0 0 2 2
  Andersen   1.0 0 0 0 1 1







  E–Johnson (3), Santana (9), Hayes (3).  DP–New York 2, Philadelphia 1.  2B–New York Santana (7,off Hudson); Foster (9,off Hudson); Johnson (2,off Hudson), Philadelphia Diaz 3 (3,off Gorman,off Schiraldi,off Sambito); Wilson 2 (11,off Schiraldi,off Sambito); Schmidt (9,off Schiraldi); Samuel (11,off Sisk); Schu (3,off Sambito); Rucker (1,off Sambito); Jeltz (1,off Sambito).  3B–Philadelphia Schu (2,off Schiraldi); Maddox (1,off Schiraldi).  HR–Philadelphia Hayes 2 (5,1st inning off Gorman 0 on, 0 out,1st inning off Schiraldi 3 on, 2 out).  SF–Santana (1,off Hudson); Foster (2,off Hudson); G Gross (1,off Sambito).  HBP–Aguayo (3,by Schiraldi).  IBB–Maddox (1,by Gorman).  CS–Backman (3,2nd base by Hudson/Diaz).  SB–Samuel 2 (17,2nd base off Gorman/Carter,3rd base off Gorman/Carter).  WP–Schiraldi (2), Rucker (1).  BK–Hudson (1).  HBP–Schiraldi (2,Aguayo).  IBB–Gorman (1,Maddox).  T–3:21.  A–22,591.

Baseball Almanac Box Score

Brad Penny and the Dominant Dodgers

July 17, 2007

In what has become a formality, Brad Penny has dominated for the Dodgers every 5th day. Last night was no different.

Penny & Nomar

He was relentless through 7 innings allowing only 7 baserunners while striking out 8. The Phillies lost their 10,000th game just one night earlier, only to trek across the country to face the best pitcher in baseball.

Brad Penny

After Chase Utley knocked in Jimmy Rollins for an early first-inning Phillies lead, Penny found his form.

But the Dodger bats were waiting as well. In a team effort, L.A. quickly answered with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st. The inning was capped off by the unlikliest of scrubs, Nomar Garciaparra, whose double scored Jeff Kent.

Matt Kemp

The maylay ensued as Kent hit a 3-run bomb in the 3rd, and Matt Kemp blasted another 3-run shot in the 6th that hasn’t landed yet. It was enough for Penny to cruise to a tie for the league lead in wins with 11.

Brad Penny - Florida Marlins

In 2004, Penny was traded from the 2003 World Series Florida Marlins, along with Hee-Seop Choi and scrub Bill Murphy to L.A. for Paul Lo Duca, Juan Encarnacion and Guillermo Mota. Penny moved to L.A., began dating Alyssa Milano, and became part owner in 5 horses bred for racing. Everything seemed to be improving upon winning his first championship.

Penny & Alyssa

Penny even started last year’s All-Star Game and struck out the side. But then he injured his back. And then accused teammate Kenny Lofton of a lack of effort during a game. Things were bad in Tinseltown. When the Dodgers faced the Mets in the playoffs, they were swept as Penny amassed an 18.00 ERA.

Penny and Alyssa broke up.

Eliza Dushku

But thank the heavens above. Now he has Eliza Dushku to toss over his shoulder and the Phailures were in town when Grady Little slated his name. Penny was 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA against the Phils last year, and last night, they were just another hot mess.

Jamie Moyer‘s arsenal, as I noted yesterday, is not what the doctor ordered. He had this to say:

“I’ve made over 500 starts, and this just goes into the whole pile with all of them — good ones and bad ones. The score obviously makes it look a lot worse, but that’s baseball. It makes no sense to go home and cry about it. I’ve been in this game too long not to realize that one game doesn’t make a season.”

I agree that your career is a pile. Let’s leave it there.

So tonight, L.A. will feature 6’10” Mark Hendrickson, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers. He has pitched well for Dodger Fan going 4-4 with a 3.92 ERA on the year. He’ll face J.D. Durbin in a spot start featuring an 0-2 record and 13.50 ERA for the Phils.

Alyssa Espionage

At this point, I can only hope that Alyssa’s espionage is effective because the Phils can’t possibly be this bad. But Moyer is ancient and Alyssa is attracted to talent even if the efforts are solely for Dodger wins. So, there should be no way that she had anything to do with Moyer’s perphormance last night. Yet another sad, sad day for Phillie Fan. I feel a sweep coming.

A Penny for Your Thoughts?

July 16, 2007

Brad Penny

The Dodgers continued their winning ways yesterday sweeping the Giants and maintaining their lead on the rest of the NL. Led by Russell Martin‘s signal-calling and 7-game hit streak, the Dodgers have won 4 straight and now host the Phillies for a 3-game set.

Russell Martin blocks the plate

Last night, the Phillies got hammered by Albert Pujols in the ESPN game, notching their 10,000th loss in Philadelphia franchise history. As the ultimate phailures, the Phillies took it in the pujols, allowing 10 runs on 15 hits in a dismal perphormance on all accounts.

Albert Pujols

Their reward…Brad Penny in Dodger Stadium where he is 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 10 starts this year. Moreover, Penny was 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA vs. the Phils last year before suffering a back injury late in the season. He developed a blister in his last outing though, coughing up 6 runs in only 4 innings, placing the odds at a questionable L.A. Dodgers ML -152.

Brad Penny Pissed

For the Phils, the ancient Jamie Moyer will take the hill and try to keep his squad above .500 for the season. This year, Moyer is 7-7 with a 4.43 ERA over 113.2 innings. He’ll feature the changeup/meatball mix in what should be a continuation of last night’s drubbing.

Moyer’s Meatball

Dodger Fan will be hosting the Phillies for 3 and then the Mets for a 4-game set over the weekend where she’ll reunite with her co-host from this past week’s festivities. As if she needed a co-host (especially a Met) for a reason to gather, Alyssa was the Belle of the Ball all week.

Dodger Fan

The last time the Mets came to L.A., Dodger Fan had her broom out. I expect her to infiltrate the Met minds before the series begins with these facts and her natural abilities. She is a team player and will surely do her part. Let’s just hope she doesn’t have any affiliation with the Phillie minds for my sake.

The Dodgers should grab at least 2 of 3 from the Phils though. Penny tonight and Billingsley in Game 3 should be Dodger wins with Game 2 up in the air.

Cole Hamels Grabs 11th Win for Phillies

July 15, 2007

With one more loss, the Phillies will write a new record for losing one stack of high society. That’s right, the ultimate losers of all professional sports franchises everywhere. Naturally, Citizens Bank Park was sold out with 45,050 Phillie Fans expecting the worst.

“Hollywood” Hamels

But, Cole Hamels took the hill Saturday attempting to dodge the history books for the second game in a row. Allowing four runs over six innings, he grabbed his 11th win of the season. Dealing without his A game, “Hollywood” thanked the best offense in the NL for the run support,

“The team definitely helped me out. I think I was more or less giving it away to the other team. The team kept battling back and scoring a lot of runs for me. It definitely makes my job a lot easier.”

“Our team has all sorts of power, and we’re able to hit in the clutch right now. In this ballpark, with the lineup we have, there’s a reason we should and are leading in runs produced.”

Hollywood doesn’t only win on the field, but is winning in life too.

Heidi Strobel

He was told he would never pitch again after bone marrow surgery in his sophomore year of high school. Now he is married to Drexel University and Survivor Alum, but more importantly, Playboy Playmate and Phillie Fan Heidi Strobel.

Heidi Strobel & Jenna Morasca

Phillie Fan is blazing, from Bethesda, MD, and posed with her Survivor castmate, Jenna Morasca, in the August 2003 issue of Playboy. I’d say Hollywood has a bright future in store, already leading the league in wins at 23 years old.

The Phillies have won both games since the All-Star Break and remain four games back in the East. Jimmy Rollins led off with his 18th home run of the year and Ryan Howard connected on his 22nd. Aaron Rowand added his 12th, while he and Pat Burrell were both a perfect 4-4 and 3-3 respectively.

Ryan Howard

Jimmy Rollins’ leadoff knock was the 22nd of his career and the 5th of his season. He surpassed the Phillies benchmark of 4, set by himself, Juan Samuel and Lenny Dykstra, rendering the presence of the history books worthy.

Jimmy Rollins

In what seems like a minor winning streak, the Phillies are quietly competing for their stake this season. The Phillies have scored 23 runs on 37 hits in two games and seem to be performing like Bizarro Mets. The Mets won today though on a 2-hit gem from Tom Glavine, but needed an 8th inning run to notch his 8th win of the season.

As far as history is concerned, let’s hope that no Phillie pitcher wants to be in the record books for this loss. But tomorrow, Adam Eaton will face Adam Wainwright in the twilight, where the Phillie faithful might finally earn their punishment with loss 10,000. So in moments like these, we must simply pay tribute to the greats.

Harry Kalas
Hall of Famer Harry Kalas

Top Chef. Season 3. Miami. Chopping Block 4.

July 12, 2007

Quickfire Guest Judge: Jamie Walker, Global Master Mixologist for Bombay Sapphire Gin
Challenge Guest Judge: Barton G. Weiss, Barton G., Miami Beach, FL
Quickfire Winner: Casey Thompson, Shinsei, Dallas, TX
Challenge Winner: Lia Bardeen, Jean-Georges, Brooklyn, NY
Eliminated:  Camille Becerra, Paloma, Brooklyn, NY

In the long-awaited 4th episode, Top Chef finally featured the female contestants. Last week, I offered opinions on the several ladies competing with about 50% accuracy. We’ll explore in a moment.

Casey’s Quickfire concoction

But first, the Quickfire challenge was judged by the esteemed Jamie Walker, Master Mixologist for Bombay Sapphire Gin. The test was to marry randomly selected cocktails with appropriate complementary dishes. Few flourished.

Jamie Walker, Bombay Sapphire

After receiving strong criticism, Hung naturally assumed Walker was “confused” about the effort. But then, we recall Hung suggesting that Alfred Portale “didn’t understand his dish concept” in Episode 1. I see a pattern forming.

This kid is so pig-headed that he even “called out” Walker after his assessment. Since the show is based on food though and not maturity level, I would like Hung to show evidence that he can prepare more than just seafood.

Hung claimed “sweetness always goes good with creaminess,” before adjoining his raspberry & mint martini to salmon with a sour cream & meyer lemon balsamic sauce. This being enough to hate the bastard, Walker disagreed, choosing Hung and Joey as the worst two in the Quickfire.

Hung Quickfire meltdown

Walker described Joey’s loser dish as “too robust, too heavy, a little bit clumsy…but, with the cocktail itself, it just didn’t balance.” But he could have been describing Joey or his dish.

Joey Paulino

Alas though, the Quickfire standout was Casey, who has somehow yet to be featured. She paired a French toast baguette, pecan-crusted foie gras & raspberry sauce with a strawberry balsamic rickey. With a vast liquor tolerance, Walker was so giddy over Casey’s concoction that he demanded body shots. Apparently, she had interest:

Casey Quickfire Concoction

After things got sloppy, Walker reiterated his satisfaction with Casey’s product.

The richness [of the experience] really worked. I like it. It works. It works very well.

With an afterglow from the win, Casey blissfully ventured into a threesome with Howie and Joey for the Elimination Challenge. When reality set in, Casey couragiously admitted to Howie that a threesome sounded appealing before she realized who would be participating.

Casey Levels with Howie

The power of this awkward triangle thrusted morale to the gutter, and Team Flubber faced elimination. But, Casey had the immunity, so ratings were safe while Howie and Joey were not. Luckily, Team Dale (w/ Sara & Camille) visibly pissed off the Elimination Guest Judge Barton G. Weiss of Miami Beach with their dessert debacle.

Constipated Colicchio

Again, the judges were not impressed. Tom even considers what Camille’s rubbery pineapple upside-down cake will be like on the way out. Then they chop her for having no idea how its actually made.

Camille is Chopped

It’s sad to see Camille go, but she offered no personality and didn’t have top chef skills. She didn’t seem to have very competitive blood either which is a liability among a group of selfish people.

Lia ended up winning the Elimination Challenge, showing skills I didn’t think she had. At the same time, Top Chef is set up to judge the contestants individually from challenge to challenge. Therefore, as we saw with Casey, winning a challenge could simply be the top of the roller coaster. Lia should still be watching her back.

Lia Wins Elimination Challenge

South Beach Strippers

July 10, 2007

The Flamingo, oceanside

We missed Top Chef last week due to the holiday, but I wanted to share some of the views I have when I get to visit Miami Beach.

The FlamingoMy Maryland roommate grew up in North Miami Beach and currently resides at The Flamingo in South Beach, so he knows the area very well. This is one of his pools, and those empty chairs are filled daily with South Beach’s most ridiculous strippers.

Last Labor Day was my most recent excursion to South Beach, where The Flamingo did not disappoint. He had just moved in and hadn’t even paid his security deposit yet, so I joined him for a 20 minute meeting with the landlord at around 10 am. After swindling them out of a few months rent, we had breakfast, met his former roommate, and went to the pool.

The Flamingo, North Pool

Now when I say this scene was breathtaking, I don’t mean the immediate view of the ocean 10 feet from the pool, or the clear blue skies overhead. I am talking about the cheeks that all seemed to live in this one complex.


Not only that, but I didn’t look like some dirty scumbag because my brilliant friend had equipped me with a girl for the whole week. For security purposes, we will refer to her as “Next.” 

Shower Girl

It was like never-ending softcore porn. I kid you not. I was seeing spots similar to when you look directly at the sun for too long, except these spots were asscheeks. Even Next was impressed and she is from Los Angeles by way of Miami. These strippers weren’t just on the chairs either. They were playing in the foot shower, on the beach, getting drunk and enjoying the calm before the storm.

This calm before the storm is the Thursday before the Friday of Labor Day weekend. It’s the day where the strippers get to finish up their last details before the weekend’s debauchery begins. For most, that means cleaning up tan lines, relaxing, and finally spending a day dodging dick instead of not.

Elastic Girls

But Next would initiate conversations with these ladies and it always turned back to the U. I was surprised how intelligent the strippers were when their guard was down…oh, and they seemed to be  perennially forming  pony-tails, dipping themselves in and out of the pool for hours on end in what they called a “bikini.” Such solid marketing tactics.

Girls Poolside

Many of them were educated and actually went to the U. How they found time between demonstrating crotch thrust techniques on stage and then sleeping it off is beyond me. But, I couldn’t believe where my pimp friend, let’s call him “P,” was living. No wonder he gets laid so often. It’s a pimper’s paradise.

The U

It didn’t stop there though. At night, it was no different. One of his best friends, we’ll call him “Bare Bones,” was in from New York and was “drunk off his tits” in one story after another. This guy is a modern day miracle and together, these Miami pimps revealed their empire to me.

Crobar, Miami Beach, FL

We went wherever we wanted and got whatever we wanted. The bouncer would greet us personally as he declined $500 tables to the local meatheads and tourists. And this was no small group either. P always rolls with his blazing Russian-American friend, “Red,” and several other friends, with which I had specific interests in common.

Most nights lasted ’til the wee hours of the morning, and some broke dawn like the night before never happened. For the first time, I saw more people partying and dancing at 8 am than at 6 am, each equipped with his or her own designer sunglasses for the obvious reasons.

The Delano, Miami Beach, FL

When it was finally time to leave the beach, the restaurants, the clubs, the hotels, or whathaveyou, I never had any interest. Thank you as always pimps, for I will see you again this year for a repeat performance.

South Beach Nightlife

South Beach is such a spectacle and possesses an amazing aura that DC could only wish to replicate. That being said, my comparative research on the subject will begin this week.

Basel Dazzle

July 9, 2007

Roger's 5th

Sunday seemed like it would be another walk in the park for the 4-Time Defending Wimbledon Champion. Where his home has grown to be the grass, the Swiss native Roger Federer would be called upon to mow down his neo-nemesis.


In a sport as irrelevant to the masses as hockey nowadays, tennis’ greatest showcase was Sunday’s brunch buzz. Would Roger Federer attain Bjorn Borg‘s previous feat of 5 consecutive titles? In today’s terms, this means nothing. But, to yesteryear’s tennis fan (baby-boomers) this was drama in its finest hour.

Federer, Borg, & Nadal

Early, the top seeds traded games, then sets, with Nadal breaking Roger in 4 out of 7 chances. Nobody accomplishes this, and John McEnroe deemed Nadal to be Roger’s “kryptonite,” only this time it wasn’t on clay.

Suddenly, Nadal was plagued by soreness in his knee, and Roger was arguing calls with the ump–two rare occurrences.  Nadal earned two more chances to break Roger for what would seem to be the decisive time. But Roger fought off two 15-40 situations and Nadal fell to the sleeping giant in 5 sets, 3 hours, and 45 minutes.

Rogr Federer's 5th

NBC’s ratings were augmented this year by 10% over last,  as the contestants delivered an unexpected thrill. McEnroe and Carillo were as charismatic as ever, serving up the best product this sport has to offer. McEnroe however, in one of his best moments below, displays how the sport was once enjoyed.

Nadal still dominates on clay though and stands as the lone soldier preventing Roger from his real goal of winning the French Open. Roger’s best shot at the French should be next year when he attempts to win the Golden Slam.

Nadal on clay

Although I don’t expect tennis to pick up anytime soon, Wimbledon is an event that I would love to attend one day. For the Brits, they haven’t had a British champion since Fred Perry in 1936. The fact that they still like tennis is fascinating in its own right, but the RSN loved their Red Sox, and Cub Fan loves the Cubs, and I unfortunately love the Phils. Some things never change.

Phillies Ball Girl

Phillies Ball Girl Jennifer Scanlan

Same Lowe Down Dirty Shame

July 3, 2007

Alyssa Stuff 

Tonight, Dodger Fan hosted John Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves in the first of a four-game set. Without his best stuff, Lowe was still dirty allowing only one run over five innings in an 8-2 victory.

Derek Lowe

In what was expected to be a stellar contest, Smoltz flaked out in the follow-up to his shutout performance just five days ago. He struck out six over six innings while earning three of the runs.

But it was the young Dodger nucleus that catapulted the faithful past the Braves tonight. Matt Kemp blasted a 2-run bomb to break the tie in the sixth, and Russell Martin collected a career-high four hits extending his hitting streak to 12. Satisfied, Dodger Fan never looked back.

Matt Kemp launching a bomb

Though L.A. should have expected a win on Sunday after losing the first two to San Diego, tonight was a nice offensive outburst. Martin (.306) is settling into the 3-hole, James Loney (.393) and Matt Kemp (.397) are playing beyond their years, and Luis Gonzalez is on fire with 2 more hits tonight.

Luis Gonzalez

But, Nomar miraculously found a hit tonight which saddens everyone. If Grady Little could just have the balls to bat him 8th, L.A. might just snatch the edge they need to propose a Freeway Series.

But the true story is Russell Martin. This kid commands his entire staff’s attention and has taken on a leadership role. Like Pudge, Martin imposes his will to win on his opponent while instilling it in his own teammates. And Dodger Fan has a crush on him which is what really matters.

Russell Martin has 16 steals

Martin’s success is great but are the Dodgers even the best in the West? or in L.A.? It appears they could acquire another bat before the break for the middle of the lineup, but that is the obvious wish factor.

Derek Lowe on Boston

And it appears to still  be a Lowe down dirty shame for Red Sox Fan, who have been on the skids of late. With every game soldout before the season even starts, wouldn’t RSN just lock down the guys that actually got them their title? It is getting interesting leading into the break…