Without the girl power that Mo'ne Davis supplied for the past few weeks, the Little League World Series will crown its United States champion Saturday when Nevada plays Illinois.
We've loved the player introductions during the first inning when the Little Leaguers identify their favorite MLB players. In a world of Mike Trout and Derek Jeter admirers, Nevada's Drew Laspaluto actually likes Mets' second baseman Daniel Murphy "because he hits line-drive singles." It might be the best thing that's happened to the franchise this season.
Nevada and Illinois beat Davis' Philadelphia team earlier this week to get to the title game. Now all that's left for Davis to do is grow up and see if fate and ability eventually take her where she wants to go – Geno Auriemma's backcourt at UConn and then the WNBA.
Speaking of the WNBA, the league named Brittney Griner as its defensive player of the year. Her coach in Phoenix, Sandy Brondello, is the coach of the year. At some point soon we will hear that Chiney Ogwumike of the Connecticut Sun is the rookie of the year.
The Fly finds it funny that some people believe that Johnny Manziel is just immature. We tend to think he's a spoiled rich kid accustomed to getting everything he wants. So don't expect the Browns rookie quarterback to wince at the $12,000 fine he received from the NFL for an obscene hand gesture during Monday's 24-23 preseason loss to the Redskins. In Manziel's world, $12,000 is what a few bottles of champagne cost at the VIP Las Vegas club. Are we approaching Browns buyer's remorse?
Speaking of fines, the NFL rocked New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham $30,000 for dunking over the goal post twice after scoring touchdowns in a preseason game against Tennessee last week.
Is he the next Jose Abreu? Don't know, but the Red Sox apparently believe that Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo is worth a seven-year, $72.5 million deal. The contract is a record amount in total dollars paid for a free-agent amateur. He's considered a speed guy, very athletic, comparable to former Braves outfielder Ron Gant. …The Yankees made a move, too, although somewhat less provocative. They recalled infielder Zelous Wheeler from Triple A and sent right-handed pitcher Chase Whitley back down. Yankees manager Joe Girardi says he wanted an extra right-handed bat with New York set to face three White Sox lefties in four days. Whitley was 4-3 with a 5.43 ERA in 19 games, including 12 starts.
In case you missed it, Carmelo Anthony predicted Thursday night that the Knicks would make the playoffs this season, creating a "new culture" and a "new identity" along the way to replace last season's 37-win nightmare. … The Giants and Jets played the annual Snoopy Bowl Friday night at Met Life Stadium. Both teams came in undefeated; the Giants 3-0, the Jets 2-0. And the only thing certain, aside from the Giants' need to kick it offensively, was that either team would rather finish the regular season undefeated, too.
Magdalena Rybarikova, ranked 68th in the world, advanced Friday to the Connecticut Open title match Saturday with a semifinal victory against Camila Giorgi at the Connecticut Tennis Center.