Each week I'll talk about the world of sports…
• It was a really depressing week for sports fanatics. Think about it, and I love all sports, but you have to be crushed when the integrity of the game is questioned. The FBI investigation into the conduct of former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who allegedly bet on games, is an absolute blow to the league. David Stern has done a remarkable job marketing the league, making it global. He has been selling it, and now he has the toughest task he's had to face. In all the major sports, this has never happened. Yes, in America you are innocent until proven guilty but with the information coming in, it is scary. My friends, this is so, so sad.
• What about Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his name being so prominent in the news? This situation is humiliating for him, as well as the team. Again, he is innocent until proven guilty, but when you study, analyze and evaluate the situation, it is unbelievable. As the old saying goes, where there is smoke, there is fire. Vick clearly was dealing with some shady, shady people. You wonder what makes a guy, who makes millions and has all kinds of talent and ability get to the level of the things he's accused of. The beauty of America is that a court will decide his guilt or innocence. Personally, I feel the Falcons should ask the quarterback to step away from football until this is resolved one way or another. If not, the NFL should suspend him; his is an absolute nightmare. There were reports of inhumane treatment of dogs, beating some, drowning some … how low does this go? It is another very sad story.
• At the British Open, Paddy Harrington came through and won in a four-hole playoff. It looked like Sergio Garcia would finally break through and earn his first major championship. He had come close before, and he had a shot to win in regulation but missed a putt on the 18th hole, leading to the playoff. Garcia will get his major title one of these days. Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson failed to make the cut. Mickelson was not up to par, and he was not in position to challenge for the title. He came up empty.
• In boxing, Winky Wright lost for the first time in nine years when he was beaten by 42-year old veteran Bernard Hopkins in their light heavyweight showdown in Las Vegas. He came up short as all three judges gave Hopkins the decision, by a wider margin than many expected. Now the question is, will Wright be able to secure other big-money fights as he wanted? He wanted the big names for big dollars, guys like Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, etc. How much does this loss diminish Wright's value?
• The Yankees have been playing well since the all-star break. Look at the last two games, totaling 38 runs and 45 hits against the Devil Rays. Tampa Bay's pitching looked flat-out terrible. Hey Red Sox and Indians fans (AL wild card contenders), watch out. Meanwhile Alex Rodriguez is closing in on career home run number 500. What an amazing season he's having, also about to get his 100th RBI and we are still in July!
• The Phillies sent a message by winning three out of four at San Diego. The last three games were easy wins for the road team, outscoring the Padres, 28-7. Ryan Howard has been on fire. Consider this: in the first 26 games of the season, the Phillies slugger was batting .198 with four home runs and 17 RBI. In little more than 50 games since, he has 23 home runs and raised his average almost 80 points!
• What has happened to San Diego pitcher Jake Peavy? In his first 15 starts he was 9-1 with an ERA under two. Most figured he would be NL Cy Young for sure. He is 0-4 in his last five decisions, though the Padres are right in the NL West hunt despite his slide.