THE SMALL PEOPLES
The unheralded and underdogs are having their day, including Graeme McDowell, winner of Survivor: Pebble Beach, and the plucky soccer nations that have given traditional powers such World Cup fits. All hail Algeria, Serbia, Switzerland and Slovenia! (Unless we didn't have you in our pool.)
June 27, 2010
As in, the hours beginning last Thursday night, which was couch-potato nirvana: NBA Finals Game 7 (highest rating since 1998), Team USA's stirring comeback against Slovenia (most TV households for a soccer match in U.S. history) and, for a snack, the U.S. Open and its ocean views.
The weekly Stephen Strasburg ho-hummer? By striking out 10 White Sox last Friday, the Nationals righty set a record for whiffs (32) by a pitcher in his first three games. Oldnewsburg? Then we give you 20-year-old Marlins rightfielder Mike Stanton, who had nine RBIs in his first 11 games.
ONE DOWNSIZED DUSTIN
Sad enough that Dustin Johnson self-destructed at Pebble on Sunday. While the wheels were coming off, NBC commentator Roger Maltbie inadvertently referred to the 6'4" Johnson as Dustin "Hoffman" (left). Oh, great—losing your lead and almost a foot of height at the same time!
As in, Pebble Beach's hell hole, a sheer horror whose impossible-to-hold green—a ball return, really—produced such carnage as Friday's quadruple-bogey nine by Zach Johnson. "The last 100 yards are right out of a Stephen King novel," said Paul Goydos, a quad victim there in February.
Good thing Washington isn't in the AL Central: The Nats lost all six games they played last week, against Detroit and Chicago, wasting not only Strasburg's effort but also a seven-strikeout outing by second-year righty J.D. Martin. Said manager Jim Riggleman (left), "We're sticking together, though."