Spain Reigns, Tiger Roars, NBA and NHL Free Agency + Free Plays for Monday, July 2, 2012

Spain crushes Italy 4-0, greatest ever ???

Sunday, Spain laid claim to being the greatest soccer team ever by waxing Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 Championship in Kiev. David Silva opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a header, Jordi Albi made it 2-0 just before the half connecting on a brilliant breakaway pass from Xavi. At that point, the deal was sealed. Italy was forced to play a man down for the final 27 minutes when Motta went down with a torn hamstring after the Italians had already used up all their substitutions. Two window dressing goals in the final six minutes turned the game into a rout.

The Spanish are now the first team to win three straight major tournaments (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010) and the first team to win back-to-back European championships. Spain is now tied with Germany with three Euro Championships and the first team to score four times in a Euro final. The four-goal margin was the biggest of all time and the Spanish ended the tournament on a run of 509 scoreless minutes. With just three or their core nucleus older than 30, Spain has to be considered the prohibitive favorite at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Tiger passes Jack with 74th career win

Tiger Woods became the first PGA tour player to win three times this year after taking down the AT&T National at Congressional by two strokes over Bo Van Pelt. Tiger finished the tournament eight-under capped by his Sunday two-under-par 69. Adam Scott finished with a rush to finish third. The win, the 74th of Woods career, moves him ahead of Jack Nicklaus on the all time win list, just eight behind Sammy Snead. Woods is still ranked No.4 in the world but on top of the money list and in Fed Ex points for the first time since September of 2009.

Tiger talks about his win at Congressional

NBA News and Free Agent Happenings

Free agency began in both the NBA and NHL on Sunday at 12:01 AM EST. While there were no “blockbuster” signings, there were several players on the move. here’s the latest.

The Toronto Raptors have reportedly offered Steve Nash a three-year $36 million dollar deal. That’s far and away the most Nash (a Canadian) could hope to get on the open market. He’s also reportedly being courted by the Knicks, Mavs, and Heat.

The Nets and Gerald Wallace have agreed to terms on a four-year $40 million dollar deal. Wallace averaged 15 points, six rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes per game last year for the Nets.

The Atlanta Hawks have reported turned down a straight up Josh Smith for Pau Gasol trade. Atlanta knows that Smith, a native, wants out but thought that Gasol (who has $38 million due the next two years) was too expensive. The Lakers are looking to get younger, tougher, and more athletic.

The Houston Rockets, desperately seeking to land a big man, have reported offered Bulls back up center and restricted-free-agent Omer Asik a three-year $25 million dollar offer sheet. The Bulls will have three days after July 11 to match the deal or let Asik go.

The Portland Trailblazers have reportedly offered Pacer center Roy Hibbert a four-year max deal worth $58 million dollars over four years. The Pacers can add a fifth year if they want. They’ll have three days after the July 11th signing moratorium to match.

NHL News and Free Agent Happenings

The big winner on Day One of NHL free agency was Jason Garrison who went from the Panthers to Vancouver on a six-year $27.6 million dollar year. Garrison is off a breakout year with Florida where nine of 16 goals came on the power play.

The World Champion Los Angeles Kings resigned one of their playoff heros to a one-year $3.25 million dollar deal. Penner actually took a 25% pay cut to stay in LA after a brutal regular season that saw him score 7 goals with 10 assists. Penner had three goals and eight assists in the playoffs including the series winner in Game Five vs. the Coyotes.

MLB Baseball Diamond Dust

The have been announced for the 83rd MLB All-Star Game to be played July 10th in Kansas City

The American League

American League Starters

C: Mike Napoli, Rangers
1B: Prince Fielder, Tigers
2B: Robinson Cano, Yankees
SS: Derek Jeter, Yankees
3B: Adrian Beltre, Rangers
OF: Josh Hamilton, Rangers
OF: Curtis Granderson, Yankees
OF: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox

American League Pitchers

Matt Harrison, Rangers
Joe Nathan, Rangers
Felix Hernandez, Mariners
Ryan Cook, Athletics
Justin Verlander, Tigers
CC Sabathia, Yankees
C.J. Wilson, Angels
Jered Weaver, Angels
Jim Johnson, Orioles
Chris Sale, White Sox
Chris Perez, Indians
Fernando Rodney, Rays
David Price, Rays

American League Reserves

OF Adam Jones, Orioles
C Matt Wieters, Orioles
DH Adam Dunn, White Sox
1B Paul Konerko, White Sox
SS Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians
1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
DH Billy Butler, Royals
OF Mike Trout, Angels
OF Mark Trumbo, Angels
C Joe Mauer, Twins
SS Elvis Andrus, Rangers
2B Ian Kinsler, Rangers

The National League

National League Starters

C: Buster Posey, Giants
1B: Joey Votto, Reds
2B: Dan Uggla, Braves
SS: Rafael Furcal, Cardinals
3B: Pablo Sandoval, Giants
OF: Matt Kemp, Dodgers
OF: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
OF: Melky Cabrera, Giants

National League Pitchers

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Craig Kimbrel, Braves
Aroldis Chapman, Reds
Gio Gonzalez, Nationals
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
Cole Hamels, Phillies
Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies
Wade Miley, Diamondbacks
R.A. Dickey, Mets
Lance Lynn, Cardinals
Huston Street, Padres
Matt Cain, Giants
Joel Hanrahan, Pirates

National League Reserves

SS Starlin Castro, Cubs
1B/OF Bryan LaHair, Cubs
OF Jay Bruce, Reds
OF Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
2B Jose Altuve, Astros
OF Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
OF Ryan Braun, Brewers
3B David Wright, Mets
OF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
C Yadier Molina, Cardinals
SS Ian Desmond, Nationals
C Carlos Ruiz, Phillies

Free Plays

(MLB) Houston (Lyles)/Pittsburg (McDonald) Under 7.5

(MLB) Atlanta (Hudson) -1.5 +128 over ChiCubs (Samardzija)

(MLB) Milwaukee (Greinke) -159 over Miami (Zambrano)

(MLB) Baltimore (Hammel) -130 over Seattle (Iwakuma)