Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable July 4th weekend, in case you missed out, here are some of the highlights from the weekend and a look into the new week in sports.
Andy Murray is on the rise and it’s finally starting to sink in with the tennis community. Andy Murray won the 2013 Wimbledon title Sunday, defeating Novak Djokovic in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. After losing to Roger Federer in last year’s Wimbledon Final and walking off the grass courts in tears, Murray has turned his game around. Being forced to have a short memory, Murray was thrown into the Olympics where he faced Federer once again at the All-England Club, this time prevailing to bring home the gold medal. Shortly following his gold medal performance, Murray went to New York and claimed the 2012 U.S. Open title, his first grand slam tournament victory. He continued the hot steak and ran through his side of the draw in the Australian Open earlier this year, unfortunately falling to Djokovic in a 5-set thriller. After missing the entire French Open due to a back injury, Murray was primed for a run at Wimbledon this time around, and it paid off. Interesting facts from Murray’s match with Djokovic, they played on July, 7th, Murray is younger than Djokovic by 7 days (May 15th-May 22nd), and it is the first time a British man has won at Wimbledon in 77 years. Seems like the perfect ending.
After plenty of speculation, the Dwight Howard Sweepstakes are over. D12 will be joining James Harden and the Houston Rockets. The move is a 4-year, 88 million dollar deal that has Howard packing his bags and leaving the spotlight of Los Angeles. More to come on this move with in-depth analysis in the next edition of Dojo Sparring.
One of the most entertaining personalities in baseball returned last night as Manny Ramirez began his comeback tour. Ramirez went 1 for 3 with a hit and a walk for the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A team, Round Rock Express. Looking to play in the majors one more time, the 41-year old hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2011. Ramirez could be in a true Rangers uniform sooner than expected as Rangers’ designated hitter Lance Berkman was place on the 15-day DL Sunday. Although this could be the opportunity Ramirez has been waiting for, he’s insisted that he isn’t going to rush things.
If you’re looking for a game to watch tonight, go no farther than the start of a three game series between the Oakland Athletics (52-37) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (53-34). The A’s are leading the AL West by a half game over the Texas Rangers, who open up a four game series with the Baltimore Orioles tonight. The A’s also boast the second best record in the AL whereas the Pirates are tied for the best record in the MLB with their division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. These two small-market teams are turning into legitimate contenders in front of our eyes, don’t sleep on either of these teams.
A player you might not want to sleep on either is Manny Machado, third baseman from the Baltimore Orioles. If you haven’t seen his spectacular play yet, you need to. Easily clinching the top play of the first half of the season. Be on the lookout for Machado in the upcoming All-Star game.