I am not and never will be a devoted fan of soccer but I do watch the two major tournaments, the World Cup and the European Championships.
The Euro, which is being played right now, is my favorite of the two because of the centuries old rivalries that exist between the nations involved. For example, Poland (one of the host countries this year along with Ukraine) played Russia yesterday and there was a clash between Russians and Poles in the streets of Warsaw before the game. It's more than soccer to these people, it is a matter of national pride and for the people of Poland, the chance to beat Russia or Germany on the pitch might not extract revenge for World War II but it makes the locals feel good to have bragging rights.
Spain is the defending European champion (as well as the defending World Cup champs) but in my casual fan opinion, I see Germany winning the championship.
The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman writes today that Kevin Youkilis is aware of the trade rumors and seems ready to move on if that is his fate.
I believe it is time for Youk to leave Boston. For one, his production at the plate has slipped the last few years and he has had trouble staying healthy. The other reason is that the Red Sox have Will Middlebrooks ready to take over at third base. The time is now to trade Youkilis and get something of value in return.
That said, it will be hard to watch Youkilis leave the Red Sox. He was a bench player on the 2004 World Series team but then emerged to be an important piece on four playoff teams including the 2007 World Series champions. Many people will be quick to write him off as a complainer and malcontent - and his recent tirades against umpires won't help his case - but don't forget about all the good things he did with the Red Sox when he is traded.
The Thunder - winners in Game 1 of the NBA Finals last night - are going to win the championship in six games.
Kevin Durant and LeBron James, the two stars in this series, will basically cancel each other out. In Game 1, Durant scored 36 points, collected 8 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists while James posted a similar stat line of 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists.
The difference will be Oklahoma City's depth. Russell Westbrook (27 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds in Game 1) is a better and more dynamic player at this point than the Heat's Dwyane Wade (19 points and 8 assists). Wade looks slow and I would bet he is hiding an injury based on his play throughout the playoffs. Beyond that, the Thunder are younger and deeper than the Heat and in the end that will make the difference.
LeBron can probably steal two games for Miami but in the end it won't be enough and Durant will win his first title.
Nice to see the Bruins re-sign forwards Chris Kelly (4-years/$12-million) and Gregory Campbell (3-years/$4.8-million) as they start the process of trying to win a second Stanley Cup in three years.
Enjoy Felix Doubront tonight.