Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The MLB on TSC: The Rich Get Ichiro

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As we all know there's an old adage that says, THE RICH GET RICHER-- and in the case of the New York Yankees, they are no strangers to this adage. They've been getting richer for almost a century now with no end in sight. And now the franchise known as "The Evil Empire" can add a new adage to their illustrious resume. Let's call it, THE RICH GET ICHIRO.

Yes, the Yankees have acquired future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners for two minor league pitchers. At 38, Ichiro may not be the hitting machine he once was but with the potent Yankee lineup, if they can get half of what Ichiro used to do, it can be deadly. Ichiro is the perfect man to fill the void left by the injured-speedster Brett Gardner-- a singles hitter with speed is the perfect compliment to the homer-happy Yankee lineup.

Here are some FUN FACTS about Ichiro the Yankee, according to the Elias Sports Bureau:

From Elias: Ichiro Suzuki made his Yankees debut last night against the Mariners after being acquired from Seattle earlier in the day. Ichiro, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez became the first set of three teammates with at least 2500 career hits to start a game together in over 85 years-since July 13, 1927, to be exact, when Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, and Zack Wheat started for the Philadelphia Athletics. (Cobb, Eddie Collins, and Tris Speaker were teammates on the 1928 Athletics, but they never started in the same game.)

Ichiro batted eighth for the Yankees on Monday night. He was the leadoff hitter in 1751 of his 1828 starts for the Mariners, and he batted either second or third in his other 77 starts for Seattle.

Ichiro had 2533 hits in 12 seasons with Seattle. That's the third-highest total by any player at the time of his debut for the Yankees, behind only Paul Waner (3151 in 1944) and Ivan Rodriguez (2584 in 2008).

Ichiro recorded 2060 singles for the Mariners. Only one player reached the 2000-single mark for the Yankees: Derek Jeter (2388). The second-highest singles total in team history was 1545 by Bernie Williams.

At the other end of the hit continuum, Ichiro hit 99 home runs for the Mariners. As such, he failed on Monday night to become just the second player in major-league history to hit his 100th career home run in a team debut. Richie Zisk hit career homer number 100 in his first game for the Rangers in their opening game of the 1978 season (against the Yankees).

GREAT STUFF!

Friday, July 20, 2012

On The Prowl!

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With 3 PGA Tour wins (Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Memorial Tournament, AT&T National) under his belt in 2012, it's safe to say Tiger Woods is back! And now he's making a run at his 15th major with a 6-under, third-place performance after 2 rounds at the 2012 British Open.

The 2012 Open Championship (British Open) after 2 rounds:
  1. Brandt Snedeker (66, 64) -10
  2. Adam Scott (64, 67) -9
  3. Tiger Woods (67, 67) -6
  4. Thorbjorn Oleson (69, 66) -5
  5. 5 players tied at -4
He is also closing in on regaining the World No. 1 ranking (currently No. 4) which he's held for most of his career until his now-infamous 2-year collapse. But forget his past troubles because-- he's baaaack!

UPDATE (7-23-12): Ernie Els (-7) wins the Open Championship. Adam Scott (-6) finishes second. Tiger Woods (-3) finishes tied for third with Brandt Snedeker (-3). With his third place finish, Tiger moves up to No. 2 in the world behind Luke Donald. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Roger Federer: 287

IT'S OFFICIAL!

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MOST WEEKS AT NO. 1:
  1. Roger Federer - 287 (active streak)
  2. Pete Sampras - 286
  3. Ivan Lendl - 270
  4. Jimmy Connors - 268
  5. John McEnroe - 170
  6. Bjorn Borg - 109
  7. Rafael Nadal - 102
  8. Andre Agassi - 101
  9. Lleyton Hewitt - 80
  10. Stefan Edberg - 72
MOST CONSECUTIVE WEEKS AT NO. 1:
  1. Roger Federer - 237 (Feb. 2, 2004 - Aug. 17, 2008)
  2. Jimmy Connors - 160
  3. Ivan Lendl - 157
  4. Pete Sampras - 102
  5. Jimmy Connors - 84
  6. Pete Sampras - 82
  7. Ivan Lendl - 80
  8. Lleyton Hewitt - 75
  9. John McEnroe - 58
  10. Rafael Nadal - 56
Oh and not to mention, a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles and 75 overall career titles (4th most in the Open Era).

MOST GRAND SLAM SINGLES TITLES (ALL TIME):
  1. Roger Federer - 17
  2. Pete Sampras - 14
  3. Roy Emerson - 12
  4. Bjorn Borg - 11
  5. Rafael Nadal - 11
  6. Rod Laver - 11
  7. Bill Tilden - 10
MOST CAREER OVERALL TITLES (OPEN ERA):
  1. Jimmy Connors - 109
  2. Ivan Lendl - 94
  3. John McEnroe - 77
  4. Roger Federer - 75
  5. Bjorn Borg - 64
  6. Pete Sampras - 64
  7. Guillermo Vilas - 62
  8. Andre Agassi - 60
  9. Ilie Nastase - 57
  10. Rafael Nadal - 50

The records just go on and on and on for new World No. 1 Roger Federer, a.k.a. The Greatest.



Monday, July 9, 2012

2012 Wimbledon: The Final: Roger Federer, Still The Greatest!

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The Final: New World No. 1 Roger Federer defeats World No. 4 Andy Murray (4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4).

ATP World Tour/Facebook

For the great Federer, what more can be said? His ownership of the record books goes on and on and on and on....

For Andy Murray (now 0-4 in Grand Slam finals) and Great Britain, well, the wait continues....

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Still 76 years and counting....

Saturday, July 7, 2012

2012 Wimbledon: The Final: Simply Serena!

CONGRATS TO SERENA WILLIAMS
2012 WIMBLEDON CHAMPION

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The Final: No. 6 Serena Williams defeats No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska (6-1, 5-7, 6-2)

For the legendary Serena, this is her 5th Wimbledon title and her 14th overall Grand Slam title. Amazing!

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Simply LEGENDARY! What else is there to say?

2012 Wimbledon: The Final: No. 3 vs. No. 4

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The Semifinals:
  • No. 3 Roger Federer defeats No. 1 Novak Djokovic (6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3)
  • No. 4 Andy Murray defeats No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5)

The Final: World No. 3 Roger Federer vs. World No. 4 Andy Murray
  • For Roger Federer, this is his 8th Wimbledon final, an Open Era record. He is looking to tie Pete Sampras' record of 7 Wimbledon titles. If he wins, this will also be his 17th Grand Slam title in 24 career Grand Slam finals, both Open Era records. He will also take over the World No. 1 ranking from current No. 1 Novak Djokovic. It will be Federer's 286th overall week at No. 1 tying Pete Sampras' all-time record. For the great Federer, the list of mind-boggling accomplishments goes on and on.
  • For Andy Murray, this is his first-ever Wimbledon final. It's also his 4th overall Grand Slam final, currently he is 0-3. But perhaps most importantly, he is the first host-countryman to play in the Wimbledon final in 74 years. Yes, 74 years. He is looking for Great Britain's first Grand Slam title (of any kind) since 1936. There's no doubt the 25-year old Briton has the weight of an entire nation on his shoulders. 
But regardless of who wins, lots of history will be made.

As for current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic--

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You may ask, how can anyone who's won 4 of the last 7 majors be at risk of losing their No. 1 ranking? Well, the way the system works, Djokovic has to defend all the ranking points he accumulated in his out-of-this-world 2011 season. He was so dominant last year that no mere mortal can keep up with that pace, not even him. As a result, he's losing ranking points rather than gaining. Federer (if he wins Wimbledon) would catch up to him and pass him by 75 points (11,075 to 11,000). Fair? Maybe not, but that's the nature of the business.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 Wimbledon: The Final Two

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  • World No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. World No. 6 Serena Williams
For the 23-year old Radwanska, this is her first-ever Grand Slam final. If she wins the title, she will be the new World No. 1. If she loses, she will be No. 2 and Victoria Azarenka will be No. 1 (again).

For the legendary Serena Williams, this is her 7th trip to the Wimbledon final. She is looking for title # 5. Regardless of the outcome, she will be World No. 4 when it is all said and done. Current World No. 1 Maria Sharapova will drop to No. 3.

It's on!

2012 Wimbledon: The Final Four

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  • World No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. World No. 3 Roger Federer
  • World No. 4 Andy Murray vs. World No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

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  • World No. 2 Victoria Azarenka vs. World No. 6 Serena Williams
  • World No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. World No. 8 Angelique Kerber

Monday, July 2, 2012

2012 Wimbledon: The Ladies' Quarterfinals

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We are down to the "Elite 8" on the women's side at the 2012 Championships at Wimbledon.

It'll be:
  • No. 2 Victoria Azarenka vs. unseeded Tamira Paszek
  • No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. No. 17 Maria Kirilenko
  • No. 4 Petra Kvitova vs. No. 6 Serena Williams
  • No. 8 Angelique Kerber vs. No. 15 Sabine Lisicki
Absent from the party is World No. 1 Maria Sharapova who lost in the 4th round to the up-and-coming Sabine Lisicki of Germany. The loss was a dagger for Sharapova as she had to defend 1400 points for being a finalist last year. She only managed 280 (fourth round points) which means she will lose a staggering 1120 points from her overall total. She now has 8370 points. In short, she has already mathematically lost the No. 1 ranking to former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who by reaching the quarterfinals, has assured her total to be (at least) 8400 points. If Azarenka falters in the quarterfinals or semifinals, World No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska would take over the No. 1 ranking if she wins the tournament. Azarenka is assured the top spot is she's a finalist. Yes I know, it's a complicated system, but in the end it works. It took me a couple of years to understand it.

No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, the 2012 Australian Open champion, is looking to make the semifinals for the second year in a row. She has never reached the Wimbledon final and the 2012 Aussie is her only Grand Slam title to date. The key words there is-- to date.

No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska is looking to make her first semifinals appearance of any of the 4 majors, let alone Wimbledon.

No. 4 Petra Kvitova (the defending champion) is looking for her second consecutive Wimbledon title, which would put her with some very elite company. Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova, just to name a few, have won two or more consecutive Wimbledon titles.

No. 6 Serena Williams, well, her story is legendary. Serena is looking to win her 5th Wimbledon title and her 14th Grand Slam title overall. Legendary? You betcha.

No. 8 Angelique Kerber has been impressive in 3 of the 4 Grand Slams in recent times. She was a semifinalist at the 2011 U.S. Open, a quarterfinalist at the 2012 French Open and now a quarterfinalist at the 2012 Wimbledon. Only the Australian Open has been her Achilles heal where she has never made it past the third round. But who knows, maybe the 24-year old German is due for a breakout tournament? She certainly has been positioning herself to do so.

No. 15 Sabine Lisicki is proving that grass-courts are her cup of tea. Not only did she oust the World No. 1 but she is looking to make her second consecutive Wimbledon semifinals. Last year she made it all the way to the semifinals as a wild-card entry and, unless Kerber plays the match of her life, it looks like she's going to make it back-to-back semifinals appearances. At only 22, it looks like Lisicki is going to be a force at Wimbledon for years to come.

No. 17 Maria Kirilenko and the unseeded Tamira Paszek are both looking to be the next Cinderella story. For Kirilenko this will be her second-ever Grand Slam quarterfinals. She was also a quarterfinalist at the 2010 Australian Open. Paszek, like Lisicki, is proving that she is dangerous on grass. This is quietly her second consecutive appearance in the Wimbledon quarterfinals and at only 21, she may have a bright Wimbledon future. She may not play a lick on any other surface but on grass this young lady from Austria is pretty impressive.

And finally--

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As for Sharapova, like Rafael Nadal on the men's side, something tells me they'll both be two very angry and driven players at the upcoming U.S. Open. I wouldn't want to be in their bracket. Gosh, even when she's angry she looks like a queen, doesn't she?