The Yankees Keep Winning

Hot dogs cost a dollar on Thursday night, which could be one reason why the largest crowd since the Indians’ home opener flocked to Progressive Field. Another, this one more plausible, involved the desire to see a singular event, a home run slugged by a certain third baseman, before the Yankees skipped town for a more meaningful series against Tampa Bay.

Cleveland has played host to milestone homers before — Babe Ruth hit No. 500 at League Park in 1929, and 31 years later Ted Williams followed at Cleveland Stadium — but, despite the best efforts of the Indians’ pitchers, Alex Rodriguez will hit No. 600 somewhere else. NY Yankees

In six plate appearances Thursday against six pitchers, Rodriguez had one hit, a two-run single that capped the seven-run seventh inning that guided the Yankees to an 11-4 victory against the Indians. After his final at-bat, when he struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the eighth, Rodriguez banged his bat against the dirt, as if he had missed a pitch he felt he should have clobbered.

“I think the thing to remember is that when I hit this, nothing’s going to change,” Rodriguez said. “We’re in the middle of a pennant race, and we’re just trying to play good baseball.”

Since hitting No. 599 last Thursday at Yankee Stadium, a span of 30 at-bats and 34 plate appearances, Rodriguez has rarely shown any frustration. He can retain his equanimity because the Yankees keep on winning, receiving contributions Thursday from Dustin Moseley, who allowed one run over six sturdy innings; Curtis Granderson, who had two hits for the fourth time in five games and also drove in two runs; and Colin Curtis, who had two hits and scored three runs. Continue reading

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WNBA Betting Preview

Two WNBA teams that have been cashing for bettors collide in Connecticut Tuesday when the New York Liberty meet the Sun in a contest televised on ESPN2.

WnbaThe Connecticut Sun have a 3-0 spread record in their last three games, including a 2-0 SU run since the WNBA’s All-Star Break.  Mike Thibault’s crew puts its winning streak on the line in a Tuesday night tip against the New York Liberty, who are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight.

Sports books opened the Sun as seven-point home favorites, while first setting the WNBA betting ‘total’ at 155 ½.  Early action on the Liberty and ‘over’ pushed the numbers to 6 ½ and 157, respectively.

Connecticut overcame an early 10-point deficit in Saturday’s 96-80 win as six-point ‘chalk’ against the Atlanta Dream, who ran out of gas in the second night of a back-to-back.  The Sun entered the fourth quarter with a three-point lead and out-scored the Dream, 31-18, in the final period.

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For the Reds’ Rhodes, Pitching Becomes a Tribute

Arthur Rhodes will leave tickets for five people at the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Anaheim. His mother will be there, and two sisters, a niece and his 16-year-old daughter, Jade. Five women supporting a 40-year-old rookie All-Star. Baseball-Field

A boy will be there, too. Rhodes, a left-handed reliever for the Cincinnati Reds, is sure of it. Rhodes’s son, Jordan, was 5 when he died in December 2008 of an undisclosed illness. Whenever Rhodes pitches, he scratches the initials “J R” in the dirt of the mound. He will do so again at the All-Star Game.

“I feel like he’s right behind the rubber, watching me pitch,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes spoke softly at his locker Tuesday before a game with the Mets at Citi Field. He rarely says much, anyway. He signed with the Reds the week his son died, but club officials never knew of his pain. On Sunday, when Manager Dusty Baker told Rhodes he had made the All-Star team, he said Rhodes was stoic. Continue reading

College Football Odds

College Football Odds: Handicapping the Big Ten

College FootballThough it wasn’t always the sexiest college football conference to watch take the field in 2009, the Big Ten was one of the most competitive leagues in the land. The Ohio State Buckeyes reigned supreme in the Big Ten once again and went to the Rose Bowl, where they knocked off Pac-10 champions Oregon.

The Buckeyes are back again to try to win the BCS Championship, and head coach Jim Tressel has to like what his side will be faced with this year. The two games to really keep an eye out for are against Iowa and Wisconsin on the road.

However, with a good chunk of a defense coming back that ranked fifth in the country in total defense at 262.3 yards per game and fifth in scoring at 12.5 points per game, Ohio State has a lot to look forward to. Continue reading