We are starting with football/soccer today. It was a day of international friendlies and a couple of World Cup 2010 qualifiers. The biggest two highlights was the coaching debut of Diego Maradona as Argentina boss and the next chapter of the epic battle between Germany and England.

Argentina got an early eighth minute goal by Maxi Rodriguez and fight off hosts Scotland for a 1-0 victory in Glasgow. Maradona – in his first match as new head coach – was missing superstars such as Lionel Messi, Juan Roman Riquelme and Sergio Aguero. But the South American giants had more than enough for the win.

The Germany-England showdown in Berlin meanwhile was less than up to the legendary status of this historic match-up. Fabio Capello’s England side was missing giants such as Frank Lampard, David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Ashley and Joe Cole. And the Germans were missing captain Michael Ballack, Torsten Frings and Philipp Lahm. The 2-1 England victory was not the most exciting match though England deserved to win on John Terry’s header in the 84th.

Some other results: Brazil crushed Portugal 6-2 while reigning world champions Italy drew 1-1 at Greece and the Netherlands bounced Sweden 3-1 at home. Spain fended away Chile 3-0 at home while 2010 hosts South Africa beat Cameroon 3-2.

Taking another twist, there were some fine highlights on the Euroleague Women basketball bill. There are still two undefeated teams left in the competition after Umana Reyer Venezia dominated the fourth quarter to beat Gambrinus Brno at home in Group B, and UMMC Ekaterinburg, who cruised past Jolly JBS Sibenik in Group C.

Halcon Avenida remained atop Group A with a 5-1 record after handily beatin MiZo Pecs 2010 by 23 points. And Spartak Moscow Region went to 5-1 in Group D with a tough 70-62 win at Beretta Familia Schio.

Here are a couple of other items that needed to be passed along.

It’s good to know that there are still honest athletes.

And with the importance of the Asian world in baseball, this is nice to see.

And a couple of other small notes from the world of baseball.

The Boston Red Sox have resolved their center field issue and added some bullpen help by sending away Coco Crisp.

And it looks like baseball fans will be out of a long-time, no-frills pitcher as Mike Mussina is ready to hang ’em up.



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