Weekend Recap: Spain Finally Takes It All, The Texan Rides Into The Sunset And Baseball's Non-All-Stars Get A Break
July 12, 2010 9:20 AM ET
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Spain has four years to enjoy their party.
In the 80-year history of the FIFA World Cup, there have been seven teams who have won it all. Now there are eight. In a rough and tumble affair in Soccer City that saw several missed opportunities, Spain won their first World Cup by defeating the Netherlands, 1-0, in extra time. Arjen Robben found himself alone on goal twice but was unable to close the deal for the Oranje as Andrés Iniesta drove home a bouncing volley in the box in the 116th minute. There have been five teams who have appeared in the final without ever having won the Cup before or since, but the Dutch are the only team who have been there three times and nothing to show for it. The Spanish national team returns home to adoring fans on the Iberian Peninsula, although Carles Puyol might want to consider wearing more than a towel the next time he's received by Her Majesty, Queen Sofia of Spain.
Just north of the border, Lance Armstrong's bid for an unprecedented eighth Tour de France title likely came to an end after The Texan got tangled in up in several crashes. The 38-year-old was always long shot to win the Maillot Jaune but he also once won the Tour seven times in a row after recovering from advanced testicular cancer so never count Lance out. Armstrong fell to 39th place overall and is over 13 minutes behind the current leader, Cadel Evans.
Baseball charged ahead to this week's All-Star game with several big events, not all of which were on the field. The Seattle Mariners traded Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers. Lee has bounced around from Cleveland to Philly to Seattle to Arlington in just two years, as he quietly makes his Hall of Fame case for best journeyman pitcher to ever play the game. Fantasy owners everywhere, however, must be sweating bullets. Lee's career ERA at Rangers Ballpark is 7.33. Vicente Padilla flirted with a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium, giving up two hits over eight innings as the Dodgers stay two back from San Diego in the NL West. And while Padilla reminded everyone how 2010 is proving to be "The Return of the Pitcher," Miguel Cabrera is trying to do something that hasn't been done since 1967 - win the Triple Crown. Now all he needs to do is grow some sideburns.
But of course that wasn't all that happened in this weekend in sports. Germany defeated Uruguay, 3-2, in a rollicking affair that had all the action Sunday's final lacked, Spike Lee saw a conspiracy brewing in Miami, Jeff Bagwell is back in Houston and Bob Sheppard, the Voice of the Yankees, passed away at 99.