Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 9, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* After winning in Boston 91-84, the Lakers lead the NBA Finals 2 games to 1.
* The Chicago Blackhawks can clinch their first Stanley Cup in 49 years with a win tonight in Game 6 in Philadelphia.
* Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg was dazzling in his major league debut against Pittsburgh.
* Following surgery, a 3 year old girl is expected to make a full recovery after having her skull fractured by a line drive during batting practice at a Dodgers game.
2. Hype Fulfilled
These days, hype is everywhere. But isn't it nice when it's all justified? Stephen Strasburg made his major league pitching debut in front of a sold out crowd in Washington last night. He struck out 14 in 7 innings, one shy of the "debut record." He allowed 4 hits, 2 runs and got the win. His fastball reached 100 mph. His curveball was nearly unhittable. Sure it was just one game and it came against the lowly Pirates, but sports is all about hope, not hype. The city of Washington has exactly one World Series title, thanks in part to another guy with a pretty fair fastball, Walter Johnson. The year, 1924. Perhaps this kid will lead the Nats to the promised land as well.
Now we're talking rivalry. Subscriber Russell S. points out that the New York Liberty in the WNBA have a sponsorship deal with Foxwoods, so they wear the casino's logo on their jerseys. Last Friday, they played The Connecticut Sun at the Mohegan Sun arena. They are competing casinos. (Connecticut won 75-68). The possibilities are endless. Can't wait for the Viagra/Cialis showdown on the court. But I'm guessing that's men's hoops.
4. World Cup of Beer
Can you have a World Cup without drinking? I'm beginning to think not. Bars in Edmonton have received special permission to open early to accommodate World Cup soccer fans. They can open at 6am and begin serving 2 hours later. Nothing beats a nice cold one at 8am. In a related story, during the National Spelling Bee there were no reports of libraries extending their hours.
5. Extra Extra
So with the World Cup in South Africa, I can only imagine how soccer is dominating the newspaper coverage down there. What could possibly be more sensational than that? Well, it seems one of the three wives of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma got pregnant from one of her bodyguards. And when she started to show, the bodyguard committed suicide. The President says it's all lies. But, when it comes to the tabloids, G-O-O-A-A-L!
Happy Birthday: Sportscaster Dick Vitale. 71.
Bonus Birthday: Actor Johnny Depp. 47.
Today in Sports: The great Secretariat ends a 25-year Triple Crown drought by winning the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths! 1973.
Bonus Event: Donald Duck makes his film debut. 1934.