SportsNet - April 2012
Ever since he was given the job in the offseason, Bobby Valentine's job in Boston has been surrounded by Red Sox fans against the manager coming to the city.
In a city like Boston, a 4-10 start isn't exactly how to become a fan favorite, but in reality the slow start isn't all Bobby V's fault. For starters, you have to look at each game individually. The only game that he has made a questionable decision thus far in the season was the last game of the series against the Rays, leaving Bard in with the bases loaded and 2 outs with over 100 pitches and eventually walked Longoria to bring in the only run of the game. All this being said, the following areas are where blame should be taking place: owners, Theo Epstein, Ben Cherington, pitching.
Sebastian Vettel finished first at the Bahrain GP this weekend to post the first win for Red Bull this season, with team mate Mark Webber finishing fourth.
The race was without incidents as there were continued protests in the troubled Gulf kingdom. 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen finished second in his Lotus while teammate Romain Grosjean finished third to earn his first podium finish. Kimi drove an excellent race to get past the highly competitive field to finish second after starting ninth on the grid. Kimi got past Webber, his teammate Grosjean in nicely timed smart moves. Next, he was closely in pursuit of the race leader Vettel who was told to conserve his tires. Both pitted at Lap 40 and then the pace of the Red Bull was too good for the Lotus to get near it eventually ending Kimi's challenge.
They are the prime medal prospects for India in London. But forget about the medal, now their chance to have a place in the summer Olympics is in complete disarray.
With the June 11 deadline for naming the doubles pairings for the Olympics fast approaching, it is not sure whether Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza will be able to take the London flight this July.
For Sania, it is sheer bad luck, but for the rest of the two, it is lack of consistency, battle of ego and internal politics.
Paes and Bhupathi began their clay season last week at Monte Carlo Masters.
Unseeded Serb-Swiss combination of Viktor Troicki and Stanislas Wawrinka stunned the sixth seeded Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in the second round on Wednesday.
It took just 56 minutes for the hot favourite Indian pair to go down in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Rated at number six in the ATP World Doubles Rankings, the Indian duo utterly failed to put up a fight.
Paes, pairing with Radek Stepanek won their first match 6-3, 6-3 against Juan Sebastian Cabal and Eduardo Schwank.
But the fifth seed pair lost to top seed Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 6-2, 6-0.
Jon Jones faced his stiffest competition yet in Rashad Evans at UFC 145, and walked away with another dominant victory. It was a night designed to showcase some of the UFC's best young talent, and elsewhere on the card, several prospects shined, others couldn't live up to the hype, and some established veterans were upset and will have to go back to the drawing board.
A look at the main card fights:
Jon Jones defeated Rashad Evans via Unanimous Decision
Jones improved to 16-1 in what's becoming a historic MMA career Saturday night by thoroughly outclassing his former teammate and friend, Evans (17-2-1). Jones exploited a nearly ten inch reach advantage throughout the five rounds, landing successfully from the outside with selective straight punches. Whenever Evans managed to close the distance, or when Jones chose to close it himself, he landed vicious elbows that proved to be the most significant shots in the fight.
It was expected that the king of clay may prevail again, but the one-sided story of just 1.19 hours is not anticipated at all.
Rafael Nadal won the Monte Carlo Masters for an eighth consecutive year with a comprehensive 6-3 6-1 victory over Novak Djokovic.
The 25-year-old is now unbeaten at Monaco in 42 matches. Nadal, who becomes the first player to win 20 Masters, did not drop a set this week in Monte Carlo.
After loosing his previous seven finals against the world No 1, Nadal was in control from the start. It is also Nadal's first title since his French Open triumph last year, making him the clear favorite to conquer Roland Garros again.
Djokovic won the first game of the match to love, but slowly lost control at the cliffside club on the shores of the Mediterranean.
From the moment Nadal broke him in the third game of the match, the result seemed one sided.
In contrast, Djokovic, who has lost his grandfather last Thursday, struggled to find a rhythm, making 25 unforced errors to just 11 winners.