Saturday Sports: Wimbledon, Milwaukee Brewers

Jul 15, 2017
Originally published on July 15, 2017 12:50 pm
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: An upset at Wimbledon, second half of the baseball season's starting. Who's going to be upset in the second half? And what about those rampaging Milwaukee Brewers? We're joined now by Howard Bryant of ESPN and ESPN The Magazine. Good morning, Howard.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. How are you?

SIMON: I'm fine. Thank you and maybe better at the moment than Venus Williams. Garbine Muguruza of Spain defeated her 7-5, 6-0 at Wimbledon today.

BRYANT: Absolute, total destruction on the part of Garbine Muguruza - fantastic win for her. She is the first woman to ever defeat both Serena and Venus Williams in a final - in a major final...

SIMON: Wow.

BRYANT: ...Because she beat Serena in the French Open final - I'm sorry - yes, yes, in the French Open final. And it just feels like you're looking at a player who has everything it takes to be one of the great players in the game right now. Obviously, for Venus Williams, very disappointing. She had her opportunities in the first set. She was up 5-4, had two set points and did not convert, ended up not winning another game. She lost 7-5, 6-0, had an opportunity at the beginning of the second set. But Muguruza was just too good. And, sometimes, we want the results. We want the results more than we want the game itself. And it really is a fantastic effort by Muguruza because she did not let Venus back into this match. She saw a championship in front of her, and she took it.

SIMON: What about the guys tomorrow?

BRYANT: Well, obviously, you've got Roger Federer going for his 19th - the ageless Roger Federer. You've got Roger Federer, of course. He's pretty good, as well. And he is going up against a player who beat him in 2014 at the U.S. Open, the semifinals, Marin Cilic. Cilic is a big hitter. Cilic is 6-foot-6, hits the ball about 130, 133 miles an hour on serve. This is his first Wimbledon final. But I think everyone is looking for Roger Federer to win his second major this year and 19th overall in his 8th Wimbledon. There's nothing he can't do, and he's playing great tennis. It would be a big upset for Roger to lose tomorrow. But, once again, you look at a guy like Cilic. In boxing, we say he's got a puncher's chance because he hits the ball very hard.

SIMON: Second half of the baseball season's beginning. Yankees, Red Sox seem to be back. Dodgers are way out in the West. The rampaging Milwaukee Brewers are really an unexpected bright spot in...

BRYANT: Well, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that, again, this goes back to something that you and I talk about quite often on this show - is that the game is hard. And I think you have to appreciate the game is. And I think after the last couple years, people look at the Chicago Cubs, and they started using the D word. D for dynasty. And it doesn't work that way. I think that once the Cubs won that championship last year, everything was going to change for them.

And you still had to come out and play. And there were going to be other teams out there that were going to go out and do their thing. Nobody was going to expect that it was going to be the Brewers who were going to do this second half - the first half - and go into the second half as well as they've been playing. They've got a half dozen players that are making the major league minimum. They've got Ryan Braun and a bunch of guys no one's ever heard of.

But the question when you have a team like Milwaukee is, are they built for 162, or are they built for 81 and 100? In other words, somewhere in there in those dog days of August, are they going to realize, oh, we're tired, and, oh, we're not supposed to be that good. And, suddenly, the moment begins to overtake them. If not, could be a very exciting year. The Milwaukee Brewers have not been to the World Series since when, Scott? 1982. A good year, wasn't it?

SIMON: Yeah. It's still last century. Howard Bryant, thanks so much.

BRYANT: My pleasure.

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