Small Balls: Friday June 6, 2008

La première étoile: Paul Pierce. The Celtics dynamo comes back from a third-quarter knee injury  to drain 15 points, including a couple of three-pointers, to pace Boston to a 77-73 win over the Lakers in the NBA final. Pierce was also part of a thorough defensive effort on the Celtics’ part. And anyone who keeps Creepy Bryant at bay is a friend of ours.

Two minutes for … intercenine squabbling. Never one to take his grievances to the press, Manny decides instead to lay a whupping on fellow Red Sock Kevin Youkilis. Or maybe it was vice versa. Who knows. Anyway, Terry Francona says everything’s all right between them—and the Sox had enough team spirit to duke it out with the Rays. But when’s the last time Ramirez got that stoked about anything? An example, you might say, of Manny not being Manny.

Who’s got tickets? Roland Garros, France. Dinara Safina v. Ana Ivanovic in the women’s final at the French Open. This showdown on Saturday pits true Russian grit in Safina against second-seeded Ivanovic of Serbia. Safina has been dubbed the comeback queen of the tournament for twice coming back from a set and 2-5 deficits, and twice saving a match point. Ivanovic is hot—in every sense of the word.

Fun police: We enjoy beating on the CBC as much as the next blog, but exactly what does Aunt Dolores think the theme to Hockey Night in Canada is worth without, um, Hockey Night in Canada? It’s not like TSN is going to snap it up for their Wednesday night broadcast. And $2.5 million for ring tones seems a stretch. So let’s be clear: a deal will get done. Right, CBC? Right Dolores?

Extra bases: Yowza. Rumours of a steroid-related drug hit in the NFL … you’ll want your ticket money back when you read this: turns out Detroit’s core of Cup-winning stars was available to every other GM in the NHL … another Leafs prospect lost to retirement.

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