Today in the World of Sports…
I am against anyone who says we should bury tennis legend Roger Federer’s chances of winning another Grand Slam title. Only one month away from his 29th birthday, which is elderly in tennis years, Federer can still defeat anyone on any given day. With 16 majors under his belt, Federer has the purest groundstrokes and calmest demeanor in the men’s game. After quarterfinal exits at Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year, Federer, who held the world’s No. 1 ranking for an astonishing 237 consecutive weeks, has dropped to No. 3 in the world – behind 2010 French Open and Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The real question is not whether Federer wins another slam but if Nadal, sitting pretty with eight majors, can catch or come close to Fed’s 16.
I have nearly gotten to the point where I overlook all the NBA free agency talk of where players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will be calling home for the 2010-11 season. In my opinion, the most important free agent right now is former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh. If he partners up with James or Wade, that team becomes the immediate favorite in the East. According to sources communicating with FanHouse, Bosh wants a sign-and-trade to finalize the sixth year on a maximum contract.
Even though the Raptors have listened to proposals from “half the league,” the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat are the frontrunners. It will be at least a few more days before Bosh agrees to anything because King James will, at the earliest, announce a decision on July 7. Free agents can officially sign new deals Thursday, July 8. If I am Bosh, I pull all the possible strings to play ball with Wade in Miami. However, winners on paper are not always winners on the court.
All-Star games are meant to be purely for entertainment – except when it comes to the MLB version to decide World Series home-field advantage. But, those pleading for Washington Nationals rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg to get the nod for this year’s All-Star Game, to be played on July 13 at Angel Stadium, are merely fans of the 21-year-old. Strasburg, 2-2 on the season, has not won a game in his last four outings. As the 2009 No. 1 overall pick, his pitching prowess is only matched by the over-the-top hype thrown around him. Strasburg will have plenty of years to tally up All-Star selections. Almost without question, if he had been in the starting rotation since Opening Day, he would have been a lock for the National League roster.
Glad to see Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew landing radio hosting duties on XM Sirius. It was announced Wednesday the show, due to launch in August, will be aired Fridays beginning at 7 p.m. The two-hour program will consist of Jones-Drew’s fantasy analysis and listener phone calls. With the departure of Fred Taylor and Jones-Drew taking a full load of carries last season, the vibrant and camera-friendly Jones-Drew has become a fantasy superstar. His fantasy stats and personality have aided in that growth. If the 25-year-old can stay healthy and productive, he can become one of the faces of the National Football League.
In a review of Jaguars linebacker Daryl Smith, ESPN’s Matt Williamson writes, “Not that many know it, but Smith is one of the best linebackers in the league. He does it all, but in a quiet manner.” Having started all but six games in his six-year career, Smith, 28, is a key player for the Jaguars defense. He will never be a tackle-machine or sack-master, but numbers are not everything. Williamson continues, “He is an excellent tackler and technician. Smith is especially strong against the run. Take notice of him. You will be impressed with the total package.” Jaguar fans have known of Smith’s consistency and on-field presence for the last four years. His play and talent jumps right out at you. It is nice to see credit given where credit is due.
Can anyone really say this is the slow time of year for sports?
Richard Miller is a national broadcaster for Jacksonville Jaguars’ home games on Sporting News Radio. Additionally, starting on July 10, you can hear him on AM-1530 as the host of Inside the Game on Saturdays. The program airs from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Currently, Richard is writing David Lamm’s biography entitled Lamm at Large: The David Lamm Story, which will be available in 2010.