Small Balls: Thursday June 5, 2008

La première étoile: Tiger Woods. And Phil Mickelson. The world’s best golfer and the world’s second-best golfer will be paired together in the opening two rounds of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Should make for some great TV—not to mention a traffic jam in the gallery. Prediction: Woods shoots one under par in the opening round, Lefty goes six under, and the folks at CBS tell us that Tiger is just “waiting for the right time to make his move.”

Two minutes for … making out. To Sabrina Guerrero and her date. In the third inning of a Mariners/Red Sox game last month, an usher at Seattle’s Safeco Field asked the lesbian couple to tone down their lip locking because fellow fans were growing “uncomfortable.” Now Guerrero—and the entire gay rights lobby—are accusing the team of discrimination. For its part, the Mariners insist the women were approached because they were “groping,” not because they’re lesbians. A word of advice, ladies: come watch a game in Toronto. The ballpark has a hotel.

Who’s got tickets? TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Granted, the TD Banknorth Garden doesn’t have quite the same ring as the old Boston “Gahden,” but tonight’s match-up—Celtics vs. Lakers—is nostalgic enough. Together, Boston and L.A. have won 61 titles. Which is 61 more than Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh, who had to find another way to reach the finals. One man who needs no help is Lakers coach Phil Jackson. If his teams prevails, the Zen Master will have a championship ring for all eight fingers and both thumbs.

Fun police: The stars over the north side of Chicago seem to be aligned just right. It’s been exactly 100 years since the Cubs won a World Series, and 60 games into this season, the lovable losers have the best record in the majors (38-22). How nice would it be to see the Wrigley faithful finally enjoy an October victory? Almost as nice as watching them lose. Again.

Extra bases: Be careful, Johnny Damon. Mr. Steinbrenner reads the Daily News, too…Dave Perkins bids a nice farewell to The House that Ruth Built in today’s Toronto Star…And Hockey Night in Canada may soon bid farewell to Canada’s other national anthem.