AGASSI OUTLASTS BLAKE, INDIANS LEAD WILDCARD...FINALLY!
It's OK. You can call me Nostradamus if you would like. I know you are all dazzled by my prediction regarding Andre Agassi's thrilling victory in five sets over James Blake in the U.S. Open quarterfinals Wednesday night.
I hope you're not repulsed by this pseudo-arrogance because though I take satisfaction in knowing I was right, that's nothing compared to what I felt watching the Agassi/Blake match, which didn't finish until about 1:15 a.m. I said that Blake had the best chance to win if he was able to take it in straight sets, which he almost did. For two sets, James Blake looked dominant, Agassi was flat, and even I started to count out Andre. Lesson learned: Don't ever count out Andre.
Blake wasn't getting quite as much pace on his serve in the third set, and Agassi started playing more agressively, going for winners off of Blake's second serve. Agassi knew he was going to have to legitimately beat Blake because Blake is for real. He came to play, and it was going to take near perfection for three consecutive sets to beat him. That's exactly what Andre did.
This was a match where I didn't want to see either player lose. I wish it could have been the final, ended in a tie and we could have two deserving U.S. Open champions. Unfortunately, that's not sport. I am convinced though that Blake, who in the past year has lost his father, broken his neck and suffered from facial paralysis, will someday win a major. It could be at Flushing Meadows, too. The hometown kid could not fend off the fateful charge of Andre Agassi, though. In the post-match interviews, both players showed tremendous class. If anyone has said that American men's tennis is dead, I believe the game busted open its coffin door Wednesday night. The next challenge is for someone, anyone to beat Roger Federer in the final. It could be Agassi or Robby Ginepri for that matter, but please, somebody beat that guy!
If you haven't noticed, the new AL wildcard leaders are the Cleveland Indians. The trash talking of general manager Mark Shapiro and the organization needs to stop! They are completely legitimate contenders now. At 79-61, the Indians have won four in a row over the Tigers. Yesterday, after being no-hit for five innings, the Tribe slugged three home runs courtesy Aaron Boone, Casey Blake and Coco Crisp. This is a perfect time for that "one-through-nine" philosophy to truly come to frution. As a sidethought, the past three World Series have been won by a wildcard team. Just a thought. The Indians are at home against tonight but unfortunately have to face Johan Santana and the Twins again. Jake Westbrook will start for the Indians.
I almost forgot! Ohio State and Texas are playing this weekend! If you really thought I forgot, you highly underestimate me. It's time for Nostradamus to look into the crystal ball one more time. I'm seeing a final of OSU 28, Texas 20. I'm seeing a kick return for a touchdown by Ginn, Zwick and Smith sharing a lot of time and the OSU defense will make one huge play which will overshadow a strong but not stellar performance from Vincent Young. Hey, I was right about the tennis, wasn't I?