Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I've Been a Slacker

The last week has been full of great things to talk about. But I have been super lazy and that combined with celebrating my birthday weekend(yes, my birthday was Sunday, so I celebrated the whole weekend) have left me a little behind with the posts. So to make up for it, I'm going to try to cram everything into one longer than average post. So without further ado, here are the top five sports stories I should have and wanted to talk about.

5. Apparently the NBA finals are going on. I can't get up any enthusiasm to watch them. From the office gossip about them, I believe Boston has the lead in the series. I only feel obliged to mention this story because other people seem to really care about it.

4. Tampa Bay Rays are one game out of first place in the AL East and 12 games over .500. Ok, maybe you think the NBA finals are more exciting than this. But I dare you to find one person who predicted or expected this. Not possible. Not even the people in Tampa Bay were willing to hope to be doing this well (38-26) over a third of the way into the season. While I haven't actually talked to anyone in Tampa, I have talked to a lot of people who root for perennially losing sports teams. If at the beginning of the season someone told me the Orioles would not lose 100 games, I'd have been really happy. (My preseason prediction was that they would struggle to win 50 games, so I'm pretty excited we're hovering around .500 right now.) If the Orioles were to have a .500 or winning season I'd be ecstatic. I have to assume that the Rays, unprecedentedly good season, has fans through the roof. Or maybe it has people actually becoming fans. Either way, it seemed like something worth mentioning. And definetly more interesting to me than the NBA.

3. Big Brown comes in last in the Belmont. WHAT HAPPENED? A horse with 38-1 odds led wire to wire. Was it a conspiracy? Did Big Brown get clipped by another horse when they were so close? Is it all the jockey's fault? Big Brown was just cruising and all of the sudden he's being pulled back. Da'Tara went on to win. Who knew the horse had it in him. I was sure he was going to fade. No one seems to really have any idea what happened to the magnificent horse that was poised and ready to win a Triple Crown for the first time in 30 years. Supposedly the quater crack in his hoof was healing fine and not the source of the problem. I have a theory. Hooters and horse racing shouldn't mix. Yes, I'm for advertising the sport and doing anything to keep it from going under. But the UPS endorsment was the perfect match. How does Hooters relate to Big Brown, horse racing, the Belmont, or the Triple Crown? By messing up the most perfect advertising scheme to ever happen in horse racing, they somehow jinxed Big Brown. Call me crazy, but if somehow a goat can prevent the Cubs from winning a World Series in over a 100 years, why can't a botched advertising scheme prevent a horse from winning a single race. Either that or the Kent Desormeaux bet big on Da'Tara.

2. Red Wings win the Stanley Cup. I meant to write about this last Thursday. I really did, but I felt compelled by office chatter to instead address my hopes that both teams could lose the NBA finals.(See previous posts) Then my birthday weekend came and all of a sudden its a new week with so much work to do. Congrats, Red Wings, four Stanley Cups in 11 years. That is truely impressive. The Cup is back in Hockeytown. And if the Caps can't have it then I guess I'm glad its you and not the Penguins. You fought a valiant series and let them hang in there a little longer than necessary, but you finally closed it out. With a lot of skill and a little luck you were able to have the first European captained team win a Cup. Hopefully, this will end the debate about American players being better suited for the NHL than Europeans. While this might have been true 20 years ago, and again I stress, might, it definately is no longer the case. I think we should be encouraging more Europeans to come to America for any reason. I personally would like to find an attractive one to help me on my quest to acquire an EU passport.

1. Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his 600th career home run. In the most exciting story this week, "The Natural" has finally reached 600. He joins an elite group of five other player to reach this mark. Yes, it took longer than most people expected, but is an impressive milestone nonetheless. Furthermore, he is the only one in the modern era to do it without being tainted by talk of steriods. Bonds and Sosa both have major credibility problems and might have so problems when it comes time for them to be voted into the Cooperstown. Junior doesn't turn up in the Mitchell Report or on anyone's allegation list. He also is not known just for his slugging ability. Griffey, Jr. is one of the best all around players of all time. If not for an injury plagued career, we might be looking at 700 career home runs right now. But regardless, he'll be a first ballot hall of famer. So take a moment to appreciate the outstanding career of someone who has kept baseball pure and still excelled. America's Pastime is better for him having played.

I will try to be more diligent about posting but I'm going on vacation to Italy Friday and not sure how frequently I will have internet access. Plus, I'll be in Italy, so posting will not be my first priority. So I apologize in advance if I don't update next week.