Monday, July 31, 2006

OK, then, it's sports...

Just re-watched the Mets/Astros, game 6 from the 1986 NL Pennant Series. Tim McCarver could still get around on the fastball (so to speak); he actually spoke concisely, made decent observations on pitch selection and fielder positioning, and generally avoided clich├ęs. Of course, he had incentive - the play-by-play guy for those 15 faboo innings was none other than THE MAN Keith Jackson. (Can I get a Whoa, Nellie!)

In real life, I was flipping to the Bosox/Indians game on ESPN. David Wells is done. At this point, even if he did lose those 40 pounds, he'd be done. Just for kicks, with the Sox clinging to a 6-5 lead in the fifth, Francona pulled a Grady McNamara and left him in to face Casey Blake, even though he'd already homered off Wells. First pitch wound up over the Monster.

Thank goodness that David Ortiz is clutch. FJM can laugh at me, I don't care - three-run dinger to win the game in the home ninth is big-time.

The Islanders circus seems at least to have a decent ringmaster. I like the letter, even though I just disobeyed it by saying "circus." Garth Snow is smart enough to know that this backlashis borne of frustration, and that the fan base is just growing antsy. (It's been a long time since David Volek snuffed the Penguins. People are still bitter - check item two.)

Hm. "Invincible." It's a great story, of course, even if Vince Papale had only the one catch. That's one more than me, and I respect the accomplishment. This must be a golden age for actors playing coaches - Kurt Russell was so convincing as Herb Brooks that I didn't even know it was him at first; now we have Greg Kinnear looking so much like Dick Vermeil that I expect him to break out in tears every time the trailer plays.

But there's a couple of things that worry me. First, I hope that Papale's father's character isn't just one huge walking archtype in this, because hearing him say "It was important to me" in that crusty voice? Uh-oh. Distant father finally admitting respect for son? Uh-oh. Second, Mark Wahlberg may look suitably athletic, but that slo-mo of him running upfield in the Eagles uniform is the funniest-looking thing in sports movies since Corbin Bernsen "played" third base in Major League. Seriously, he looks like he's six, fake-running in slo-mo like we did imitating "Wide World of Sports." I'm waiting for him to start imitating the crowd as he does it - "rrrraaaaahhhhhh!"

Speaking of football, what the heck? Is that really Brett Favre on SportsCenter saying this is Green Bay's best team since his arrival? Y'know, better than the team that won the Super Bowl? Maybe all those INT's last year were really the result of undiscolsed concussions, because there's no way anyone in their right mind could say this team is any better than 7-9.

PS - Abreu to the Yankees for a rosin bag, some bats, and Jeter's old glove. If this were fantasy baseball every other owner in the league would have protested this deal. This is basically the Phils being mad at the Mets for a decent year, so they're giving Abreu away to the Yankees from spite. Believe me, this is Philadelphia - it makes sense.

And by the way, Chase Utley is not even close to catching DiMaggio's record. OK? Put it in perspective, folks - you knew which record I was talking about without being told which it was, and Utley has to keep this up for nearly a full month more before he gets there. 32 is only 57% of 56. Can he get to 45 games, maybe, before we start wondering Can He Do It?™

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