Monday, July 14, 2008

No, this isn't a SPORTS BLOG...
...but with this post, well, you might think so...

I'm watching the Home Run Derby tonite, which is being held at Yankee Stadium in New York. I have a theory about baseball, which may or may not be "off base"...and that is, a Home Run can turn even the most worldly cynic into a little kid again. You want proof? Just listen to old grizzled Seattle Sportscaster Dave Niehaus call a home run...a Mariners' homer, that is...well, that might be a poor example, considering the ineffectiveness of this years' squad, but still...he sounds like an Old Little Kid when the ball sails into the stands. And that's one of the fascinating things about baseball. Watching that little sphereoid escape the confines of the ballfield. It's fun, even if the hitters tonite are smacking meatballs thrown by their own selected batting-practice pitchers...Josh Hamilton's just smacked 28 home runs in the first round. That's absolutely superhuman. (Hamilton didn't win the Derby, however.) I understand this is the last season for Yankee Stadium; it's being unceremoniously ripped down after this season. I wish they'd leave it standing. It's a shrine. The House that Ruth built, after all. Oh well...that's progress, I guess...we make progress by tearing down our history. Sad.

The Seattle Times newspaper has a blog where baseball fans can sound off about the Mariners' games...and while reading (and commenting) there, I became aware of the Recent Meltdown of ESPN's Chris Berman, who's been a mainstay of that network since it began however many decades ago. Berman comes across on TV as an affable, good-natured program host, the kind of guy you can imagine having beers with during Monday Nite Football in yer favorite sports bar. Well, recently, he had a between-commercial meltdown in which he royally cusses out just about everyone in his TV crew...and instantly, in my estimation, he became an insane, ego-driven, histrionic, prima-donna BLOWHARD. That incident, now available on the YouTube site, reminded me that when you see the various Talking Heads on TV, whether it be on news or sports programs, or anywhere else, all YOU are seeing is what they WANT you to see. Political Commentator Bill O'Reilly had a similar meltdown. I think that one's on YouTube, too...

There's a football story brewing on the horizon...Green Bay Packers Quarterback Brett Favre told us all earlier this year his drive to play the game was gone, insinuating that he was, once again, leaning towards retirement. Now it's come to my attention that, no, he changed his mind again, and that he wants to play again. But he appeared on TV today saying that the Packers Organization didn't make him feel welcome this time around. Green Bay still owns him, and has to sign off on his release, should they not want him back. What, Green Bay not wanting Favre back? Well, the Packers haven't really said that, yet. Could it be that Green Bay knows what it's getting with Favre, who's played really good, but also has had his share of really, really bad games, too. As goes the QB, so goes the team, after all. Will Green Bay sign off on Favre? Green Bay wanted Favre to provide a list of other teams he'd consider signing with. Could be the Packers don't want Favre competing against them. Favre won't make a list.

This is a tough call. He's done this before; saying he wanted to retire and then changing his mind. Maybe it's hard to work with a Bona-Fide Superstar; how do you Boss a Brett Favre around? After all, Favre might feel that he "owns" the Packers; they've been his team, and the entire team has revolved around him for so long. One ESPN radio Talking Head (who spoke in-between between-commercial meltdowns) said that Favre SHOULDN'T retire, but that he should go and play for Someone Else, some other team. What if Favre, after all of this, QB's again for Green Bay and has a bad season? He'd REALLY look bad then. Pity the Packers' Quarterback understudy; waiting in the wings, wanting to play, but can't, because after all, Favre Is The Packers' Quarterback. I like Favre, and I like the way he plays. But this situation with Green Bay might just end up tarnishing his career. All of a sudden, Favre, in this situation, just Doesn't Look Very Good. I'm not sure why this leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but it does. It Just Does...

Finally, the baseball season is halfway over. The All-Star game is tomorrow night. And for the Seattle Mariners, there's another toenail-pulling, excruciating, sorry excuse of a half-season awaiting them. How 'bout the M's just forfeit the rest of their games, because they're tied for Worst Record in Baseball right now, and there's no reason to keep playing this season. None whatsoever, other than for players to (attempt to) prove their importance to the team, so that they'll still be in the lineup next year. Perhaps kids from the Mariners' farm club in Tacoma will be brought up, but I've heard that there really isn't a heckuva lot of bankable talent there, either. The Baseball Trade Deadline approacheth, however, and it'll be interesting to see how many players the M's Get Rid Of, and Who Those Players Are. I've long said there'll come a day when we'll see Ichiro in Pinstripes (as in Yankee Pinstripes); this could be the year!

There's a Bud Light commercial in which the announcer talks about an All-Sports-Radio Announcer who knows everything but sports, but How To Play Them! No Coordination! And I think I resemble that. I'll have some gravy along with those Couch Potatoes...


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