Recapping the summer’s biggest sports stories

By Nick LaRosa
August 31, 2011

Former Flyers captain Mike Richards was traded to the Los Angeles Kings over the summer. -- MCT

Flyers trade star players Carter and Richards in separate deals

In one fell swoop, Paul Holmgren traded captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings, proven goal scorer Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets and signed former Phoenix Coyote goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to a nine-year contract. For Flyers fans and fans of the NHL in general, June 23 will not become a forgotten day anytime soon.

With Richards going to the Kings, the Flyers acquired forwards Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, a former top-five draft pick. The Blue Jackets acquired Carter to help their offense but had to part with winger Jakub Voracek and their first-round draft pick (which the Flyers used to take center Sean Couturier).

The Flyers certainly lost two of their top players, but they also gained a tremendous amount of young talent in their two trades.

Bryzgalov’s nine-year, $51-million deal all but assures that he will be the Flyers goalie of the future and the man who starts the majority of Philadelphia’s games going forward. Time will tell if these moves pay off for the Flyers, who haven’t won a Stanley Cup since the 1974-75 season.

Read the original story from ESPN.



Derek Jeter recorded hit No. 3000 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, July 9. -- MCT

Jeter records hit No. 3000 versus Tampa Bay

Derek Jeter became the first player to record 3000 career hits in a New York Yankees uniform thanks to a five-hit game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, July 9. Jeter is the 28th member of MLB’s 3000-hit club and the first to reach the elusive feat since Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros in 2007.

Rays pitcher David Price ended up on the wrong side of history in the game as he surrendered the third-inning home run that turned out to be Jeter’s 3000 hit. Not only did Jeter accomplish this feat in front of the Yankee faithful, but he also drove in the game’s winning run in the eighth inning.

While the Yankees went on to win the game 5-4, Jeter’s historic hit is what will be remembered the most about that Saturday afternoon in the Bronx.

Read the original story from ESPN.



Japan holds off U.S., wins 2011 World Cup

Japan defeated the United States in penalty kicks to win the 2011 World Cup. -- MCT

Despite having a 2-1 lead late in the game, the U.S. Women’s Soccer team failed to hold off Japan in the 2011 World Cup Final, losing the July 17 match on penalty kicks.

Japan’s Homare Sawa tied the game at 2-2 with a goal in the 117th minute and the Japanese team managed to score three times on U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo in the shootout. Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori held the United States to just one penalty-kick goal, giving Japan their first ever World Cup victory.

Alex Morgan of the United States kicked off the game’s scoring with a goal in the 69th minute, giving the United States a 1-0 lead. Japan’s Aya Miyama tied the game up for Japan in the 80th minute before Abby Wombach put the U.S. back on top in the 104th minute.

While the U.S. loss was devastating, the road to the World Cup Final was not an easy one. The American squad, led by coach Pia Sundhage, posted wins against Sweden, Brazil and France to get to the final game while Japan managed to knock off Germany and Sweden in previous contests.

Read the original story from ESPN.



Aaron Rodgers prepares to throw a pass during a preseason practice. -- MCT


NFL lockout comes to an end

After a 130-day lockout, the 2011 NFL season officially became a reality on Monday, July 25.

The NFL Players Association finally agreed upon a labor deal with the owners of the 32 NFL franchises, allowing players to report to training camp and free agent negotiations to begin. The lockout had halted all player practices and teams were not allowed to sign draft picks, trade players or sign free agents until a deal was in place.

The new collective bargaining agreement reached by the two sides was officially ratified on Aug. 4. The Aug. 4 date gave teams enough time to still fit in four-game preseason schedules; however, the annual Hall of Fame game between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams was cancelled.

If you’re like the rest of America, then you’re ready for some meaningful football. The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints kick off the regular season on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Read the original story from ESPN.


Jim Thome joins 600-home run club

On Aug. 15, Jim Thome became the eighth MLB player to hit 600 home runs. -- MCT

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome became just the eighth member of MLB’s 600 home run club after hitting two longballs against the Detroit Tigers on Monday, Aug. 15. The Twins went on to defeat the Tigers by a final score of 9-6.

After hitting his 599th homer in the sixth inning against Tigers starter Rick Porcello, Thome took relief pitcher Daniel Schlereth deep in his very next at bat to claim his rightful spot in the record books.

At the age of 40, Thome is the oldest MLB player to reach the 600-home run plateau and the first player to do it in a Twins uniform. The slugger began his career in Cleveland with the Indians franchise in 1991 and has since played for the Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers and now the Twins.

After rounding the bases for the 600th time, the future hall of famer was mobbed by his teammates and coaches. Thome then embraced his wife and children near the dugout, all while the Tigers fans, who usually root against Thome’s Twins, gave him a well-deserved ovation.

Read the original story from ESPN.

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