A carpenter is slowly constructing his team’s path to the playoffs. St Louis Cardinal ace and probable NL Cy Young Award winner, Chris Carpenter, has earned himself a 16-3 record and a miserly 2.16 ERA. He ranks second in the NL in wins (16), second in WHIP (0.97), third in complete games (3) and first in both ERA and winning percentage (84%). Carpenter has been nails lately, winning his last eleven decisions, going no less than six strong in each of those outings. Last time he took the mound, he one-hit the Brewers and they’re one of the best hitting teams in baseball. Someone please give this carpenter his hardware already.
Some top drafted quarterbacks have been brought along slowly, having the luxury to learn from a more experienced mentor. Others have been thrown to the Lions immediately. Chalk Matthew Stafford up among the latter. The Detroit Lions have pegged the former Georgia Bulldog as their opening day starter, edging out Daunte Culpepper. The bright side for Stafford is that the Lions can do no worse than last year’s dreadfully imperfect 0-16. Their first win this season might just bring about a parade, or at least the traditional rioting Detroit is used to when celebrating their sports victories. If Stafford learns to get in sync with future superstar, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, that celebration might come sooner than people expect.
The only American men attending this weekend’s US Open quarterfinals will be those who bought a ticket. Americans Andy Roddick, James Blake, Sam Querrey, Jesse Witten and Taylor Dent were all eliminated in the third round. With second seeded Andy Murray also eliminated, the weekend sets up nicely for another possible Federer-Nadal Finals: the Ali-Frazier matchup of our generation. Federer would be trying for his sixth consecutive Open title while Nadal would be gunning for his first. In the women’s draw, the story of the tournament has been unseeded, 18-year old Melanie Oudin from Marietta, Georgia. Oudin has already beaten 13th seed Nadia Petrova, 29th seeded Maria Sharapova and 4th seeded Elena Dementiieva. At least American women can still play tennis.
When you’re mentioned in the same breath as Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, you must be doing something right. That’s exactly what Derek Jeter has been doing in the Bronx for fifteen years. Jeter, who is only 35 and shows no signs of slowing down, only needs four hits to pass Lou Gehrig’s all-time Yankee hit record. As if that weren’t enough of an accomplishment, Jeter needs just over 1500 hits to catch all-time hit leader, Pete Rose. At his present pace, Jeter will have to play until the age of 43 to catch Rose, who played until he was 45. And as far as we know, Jeter never bet on baseball.
Silence struck Norman, Oklahoma last weekend as a season of promise came crashing down with one Mormon tackle. In the first half of Oklahoma’s season opener, BYU linebacker Coleby Clawson tackled Heisman trophy winner, Sam Bradford, spraining his throwing shoulder and forcing him out of the game. The Sooners lost 14-13 and dropped from 3rd to 13th in the AP rankings. Early reports indicate that Bradford will not need surgery but could miss anywhere between 2-4 weeks. Redshirt freshman Landry Jones, who was 6-for-12 for 51 yards after Bradford’s injury, now has huge cleats to fill. To make matters worse, the Sooners have also lost their starting tight end Jermaine Gresham for the season due to an injured knee. Oklahoma’s next difficult road test comes at Miami on October 3, but with a freshman quarterback and an inexperienced offensive line, even the September 19 home game against Tulsa should not be overlooked. If their defense and rushing attack cannot circle the wagons until Bradford’s return, any hopes for a return to the BCS title game are as good as over.