Prime Time: Who is Ready? Who is Not?

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Not ready.

The guy rallied from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarter finals. (It was RF’s first such meltdown ever in a Grand Slam tourney.)

Tsonga appeared ready in the semis against World Numero Uno Novak Djokovic. The Frenchman broke Djokovic in the match’s first game. A love game no less. He stayed in charge and led the set 5-4.

Then weirdness appeared on the grass court. Tsonga started his service game to win the set, 0-40. At which point, he literally and figuratively loosened his collar. And rallied thrice for a deuce game. Then double faulted when he went Phil Mickelson, trying to slam a 2d serve for an ace, finding the net instead.

Essentially he was done. He lost the game. Then the set in a tiebreaker. Then the match.

Justin Verlander. Ready. Way ready.

Is there anybody pitching better now in the bigs? Maybe. Frankly I don’t pay that much attention. Never watch Baseball Tonight. Rarely stay tuned to regular season games on the telly.

You want the full picture? Check with my man Dr. Bo over at the Courier-Journal, a real, diehard baseball fanatic.

But I do follow my Detroit Tigers a bit more closely. Especially when they’re a contenda. And that they are, having caught the Tribe. Cleveland was quick out of the gate, but now finds itself a half game behind Detroit in the AL Central heading into Independence Day weekend.

Verlander won another last night, 5-2 over interleague foe, NY Mets. He’s 11-3 on the season.

Here’s what the ’06 Rookie of Year has done since a woeful outing against Tampa Bay on May 24. He’s given up 5 earned runs in 7 outings, lowering his ERA from 3.42 to 2.32. He went the distance in two of those games.

He leads the AL in wins, innings hurled and strikeouts.

National Basketball Association. Not ready.

In fact, if those really in the know are to be believed, the league might not be ready for Any Time next season.

Apparently a majority of the franchises are legitimately losing money. And, despite previous capitulations to the players and their union, are unwilling to do so this time around.

Unless there are more Antoine Walkers among the players than we expect, they should, for the most part, be able to wither the misfortune of a year without pay. They might have to drop a few homies from the payroll, but, generally speaking, these hoopsters have been making enough moolah to survive a year on the sidelines.

Thanks the b-ball dieties for the amateurism of college hoops, where only the coaches make ridiculously exorbitant salaries.

National Football League. Ready.

There will not be a regular season or post season game lost because of the current lockout. Period.

Canadian Football League. Ready.

The CFL season opened last night.

The Montreal Alouettes held off British Columbia Lions, 30-26, in the season opener.

Takera Kobayashi. Not ready.

The Babe Ruth of competitive eating, as reported here yesterday, has been banned from the Super Bowl of Competitive Eating, Nathan’s Famous July 4 Hot Dog Eating Contest.

– Seedy K

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