In case you have been asleep for the entirety of the baseball season, they played the last game ever in Yankee Stadium yesterday. Forget that this is not the “House that Ruth built” – it has already been renovated once – and go along with the hype that this is the end of an era and an historic moment that one should savor and think upon seriously. OK, are you in “pondering mode” now? Fine. So, tell me why the geniuses that make up baseball schedules couldn’t figure out that the best way to end the life of this “historic baseball venue” – this shrine to the greatness of the past, this hallowed ground of the sport, this “you fill in your own hyperbolic paean here” – would be a series between the Yankees and the Red Sox?
It is not as if they could not shoehorn another Yanks/Sox series into the schedule here. They have one scheduled in Boston for next weekend. With only a minor bit of shuffling, that series could have been in NYC last weekend. Is anyone involved with MLB anywhere near as in tune with the history of the game as are the baseball poets who write about it?
The Milwaukee Brewers fired Ned Yost about a week ago. The team has not responded with an immediate upsurge in winning proving yet again that the players on the field are far more important with regard to winning than is the manager in the dugout. Pretend for a moment that you are an ardent Brewers’ fan. It appears as if the team will go thorough a monumental gagging in September for the second year in a row and could miss the playoffs yet again. On top of that, there is at least an even money chance that the Brewers could lose Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia to free agency this winter. As a Brewers’ fan, how excited will you be to “go to the hip” and pony up a large advance chunk of change to secure Brewers’ 20-game ticket plans next year?
Speaking of baseball managers, I find it interesting that the Yankees are mathematically eliminated from the AL playoffs this year while simultaneously Joe Torre is in a good position to make it to the NL playoffs this year with the Dodgers. I sure will want to hear from the Steinbrenner Brain-Trust again on how obvious it was that Joe Torre was the albatross around the neck of the Yankees’ franchise.
Joe Torre is on the ballot for the Hall of Fame this year for consideration by the Veterans’ Committee. Go and look up his stats; remember, he was a catcher; compare those stats to catchers not named Bench or Fisk or Berra. Now tell me why he is not already in the Hall of Fame as a player – - ignoring his run of playoffs and World Series wins with the Yankees.
Two other players up for consideration by the Veterans’ Committee that could easily be worthy of the Hall of Fame are Dick “Don’t Call Me Richie” Allen, and Luis Tiant. The other seven seem to me to belong in the Hall of Very Good Players not the Hall of Fame.
Assuming the Dodgers make the playoffs, the good news for Dodgers’ fans is that Vin Scully will travel with the team to wherever the playoffs take the Dodgers. The good news for fans like me is that he will only be on the radio in LA and not on any of the television productions meaning I will not have to listen to him.
The United States team won the Ryder Cup last weekend. That was the first US win since 1999 and it was the first time since 1999 that Tiger Woods did not play in the tournament. I wonder how the members of TWAS – the Tiger Woods Adoration Society – will rationalize that one. As Ricky Ricardo was wont to say, they have some “splainin’ to do.”
I heard someone on sports radio last week say that Roger Federer had a disappointing year in 2008. I guess the fact that he lost a few tournaments and matches was so stunning to this yakker that he projected “disappointment” onto Federer. I had to go and look this up because I do not keep track of tennis info very closely at all but I think that this is a summary of Roger Federer’s “disappointing” year in 2008.
Australian Open – - semifinalist
French Open – - lost in finals
Wimbledon – - Champion
US Open – - Champion
Olympics – - Gold Medal in doubles competition.
If that is a “disappointing season” then there cannot be very many contented men’s tennis players out there.
Speaking of men’s tennis, here is a commentary on the status of the sport from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
“Meanwhile, in tennis, the Davis Cup is going on, but not even Davis cares.”
The state of Missouri has two teams in the NFL – - the Rams and the Chiefs. Both teams appear to be strong contenders for the bottom rung of the ladder in their respective conferences. So, let me offer a proposition bet here for your consideration:
Total number of wins by Chiefs plus Rams in 2008 NFL season equals 6.5.
Over or Under?
Finally, here are two observations about MLB relief pitchers from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
“Isn’t it about time baseball named its disabled list in honor of Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood?”
“Once-trusted Marlins middle reliever Renyel Pinto also has been awful lately. A Pinto hasn’t exploded this badly since Ford Pintos had rupturing gas tanks in the early 1970s.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…