Posted: Monday June 20, 2005 10:03AM; Updated: Monday June 20, 2005 12:17PM
Why didn't Michael Keaton participate in the Batman Begins 400?
Scott Quintard/Getty Images
1. Maria Sharapova will defend her Wimbledon title while wearing Nike tennis shoes flecked with 18-karat gold. Nike officials realized that may be the only way fans notice Sharapova's feet.
2. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter hit his first grand slam on Saturday after 136 career at-bats with the bases loaded, which had been the most among active major leaguers. Yes, it's about time the hard-luck Jeter finally caught a break.
3. If you're looking for a keepsake of this year's NBA Finals, how about a piece of gum chewed by the person who has logged the most time on camera? We're referring, of course, to Eva Longoria, the girlfriend of Spurs guard Tony Parker. ABC cameras have cut to her repeatedly in the stands, which might have something to do with the fact that she is a star of the network's hit show Desperate Housewives. Given that this is the best chance that most American males have of swapping spit with Longoria, it might be surprising that the eBay bidding appears to have closed with no suitors. (Thanks to 10 Spot reader Josh of Front Royal, Va., for pointing out the auction.)
4. Greg Biffle held off Tony Stewart on Sunday to win the Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Still, most NASCAR purists agreed that Biffle didn't perform as well as Michael Keaton would have.
5. There was a great moment of unintended hilarity during NBC's broadcast of Sunday's final round of the U.S. Open. As Tiger Woods strolled off the 14th green with a big grin on his face, Dan Hicks started the usual waxing-poetic on all things Tiger: "Is that a smile that has lit up this sport?" Just then, with the camera still on Tiger, the golfer spit enough saliva to drench one of Pinehurst No. 2's lightning-fast greens. Presumably, though, that was better than Tiger unleashing one of his patented f-bombs.
6. Formula One's planned invasion of the U.S. market will have to wait a few years, or perhaps forever, after a disastrous weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Leading up to the event, F-1 chief Bernie Ecclestone was lauding the recent Indy 500 performance by Danica Patrick before he wrapped his foot around his tonsils. "You know," he told reporters, "I've got one of these wonderful ideas that women should all be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances." Then 14 of the 20 cars in Sunday's "race" refused to participate, pulling off the track just before the start because F-1 officials declined to allow them to replace their Michelin tires, which were deemed too dangerous for Indy's high-banked final turn. Many in the crowd of 100,000 headed for the exits soon after, and police were called in to prevent a near-riot from fans demanding refunds at the ticket office. It's nice to see that the ineptitude of those running sports leagues isn't limited to North America.
Have a question or opinion for Pete? He might answer/address it in his mailbag.
7. The Seminole Tribe of Florida unanimously supported a resolution last Friday backing Florida State University's use of the Seminoles nickname. The Tribal Council was honored to continue its association with a school that starts God in its backfield.
8. There was plenty of reader feedback from Friday's Father's Day-themed 10 Spot of athlete fathers who sired more impressive offspring. Several readers lobbied for the inclusion of Gordie Howe and his sons Mark and Marty. In fact, the three played together for the WHA's Houston Aeros, with 45-year-old Gordie scoring a goal just 21 seconds into his first shift on an assist from Mark in 1973. The Earnhardt clan also received support, as did the Ripkens, who I had eliminated because Cal Sr. never played in the majors. Loyal 10 Spot reader Owen of Raleigh, N.C., made his case for Shawn Kemp, but alas none of his children have yet made the big time, at least not as far as we know. The most mail, though, came from readers pointing out that Grant Hill was drafted third, not first, in the 1994 NBA Draft. Our apologies.
9. Sportswriters don't get much respect. The latest slight comes from an unlikely source, salary.com's ranking of 60 TV dads by their estimated income in 2005 dollars. Ray Barone of Everybody Loves Raymond, who played a sports columnist for Newsday, comes out 46th on the list with a purported salary of $46,852. That's five spots behind Tom Bradford from Eight is Enough, another columnist but not one from the sports pages (not counting his probable mentions of Merle The Pearl). Frankly, a Newsday sports columnist better be making more than $46,852 given Long Island's high cost of living. Perhaps Ray would have ranked higher if salary.com had factored in the money-saving benefit of free buffets.
10. Sammy Sosa tied Mark McGwire for sixth place on the all-time home run list by blasting No. 583 on Saturday night. In celebration, Sosa popped a few corks in his bat.