I had planned to spend this week’s post reviewing an awesome book on baseball I received for Christmas (I will post it next week right before pitches & catchers report – yay!). However, I live in New York City, and there is one sports story everyone is talking about this week. No, not the Giants. The Knicks. More specifically, Jeremy Lin.
You don’t have to live here very long to learn that, although New Yorkers like football (especially if one of the teams is winning), this city truly lives for baseball in the spring and summer and basketball in the winter. And while the Yankees have to split the city with the Mets, the Knicks (for one more season, at least) are in many ways the only sports team the entire city can get behind. Unfortunately, as long as I’ve been here, they’ve also been mediocre at best, or flat out terrible at worst.
Let’s just put aside the fact that I had an actual rooting interest last night — everything that happened in baseball over the last 24 hours makes my brain scream this song:
As someone who has spent the last two weeks watching the Cardinals wait until the last inning to win or lose what seemed like 95% of their games, one of the most surreal things about last night was that St. Louis was the only team that got their game settled right out of the gate, batting around in the first inning and scoring five runs before recording a single out. Which left me free to enjoy the one day MLB.tv subscription I paid 3.99 for Tuesday night as a mostly impartial fan (possibly the best 4 bucks I’ve ever spent, even if I couldn’t get the Rays-Yankees because of blackout restrictions, and had to switch to the Phillies-Braves radio feeds for the latter innings because of too much traffic on the video feed (and my crappy bandwidth). At one point, I had three GTalk conversations going and was on the phone to my parents; 99.5 % of the discussion revolved around baseball (I did manage to discuss Christmas arrangements with my folks. I’m not totally obsessed.)
I don’t even know if this should be an Advent Calendar of Hotness post or what. I’m a Phillies fan and I still don’t know what just happened. All I know is that Cliff Lee turned down a whole shit-ton of money, and I know that the rotation is absolutely disgusting and I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS.
I went to my first baseball game in 1993 when the Phillies played the Rockies. Back then, the Phillies literally gave away tickets to games in packages of hot dogs. Seriously, I remember 14 year old Maggie negotiating with her dad that if we bought TWO packages of hot dogs, my siblings could come to the game, and if we bought THREE, Mom could come too.
I can’t even.
Look, I know the world hates the Phillies and everything because they’re the new Red Sox or Yankees or Patriots or whatever, but this is…mindblowing.
Gordon Heyward thinks y'all should have bet on Butler.
I really suck at April Fools’ Day jokes. Besides, the way this NCAA tournament is playing out, we all look like big enough fools right now, no? I must say I’ve never been in a bracket pool where everyone’s champion lost before the final weekend of play, but that’s exactly what has happened to us Ladies and our dear readers. Perhaps we should have taken Butler more seriously.
Did you pick West Virginia? Did you know Darryl Bryant broke his foot and is out for the rest of the tourney? Do you still like that pick?
Wow. So, um, when I said it was the most wide-open tourney in years that was … possibly the only thing I’ve said about the tournament that’s actually been right so far. The Ladies … Bracket Brawl, like so many other tourney pools this year, is a collection of shredded brackets. The good news is, with everyone doing so poorly, everyone still has a chance to catch up. Well, I don’t, but the rest of you do. Let’s look at the standings after the first two rounds:
Walkoff Walk is previewing the upcoming baseball season. Predictions are almost never correct (for evidence of this, see my 2009-10 NHL predictions, which I plan to revisit in a very-near-future post), but when they’re this well-written what does it matter? Here’s Rob Iracane on the NL Central.
At the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada’s sledge hockey team lost an opportunity to play for gold as Japan came through with a 3-1 victory. I hope you Americans are happy now.
So it was a busy week as baseball got back into the groove of things after the All Star break. There was a whole lot going on. Brand new division leaders, a naked Tony Bernazard, and to top it all off, a PERFECT GAME! More on all of this week’s happenings after the jump.
1. Fishing on Father’s Day with my dad in our pond and then having a fish fry for dinner. Mmmmm.
2. Tiger Woods. He had a RIDICULOUS two days at the U.S. Open. Saturday he had an amazing birdie and two amazing eagles to take the lead, then Sunday, after getting off to a rough start, he had a long putt on 18 to force an 18-hole playoff tomorrow. He sunk it, but he didn’t just sink it. It lipped around in the cup and fell. It was so dramatic.
If he hadn’t made that putt, a man named Rocco Mediate, who has never won an Major tournament, would’ve won the Open. And yet… still rooting for Tiger. He’s the Patriots/Yankees (before)/Red Sox (now)/Lakers and/or Celtics of golf. But everybody still wants him to win! It’s ridiculous.
Today is about one thing-watching basketball from noon until midnight. And as I’m pretty sure even the college basketball hater is going to be plopping him/herself down on a bar stool or a couch sometime today let’s hurry and get to some of the bigger non-college basketball stories from yesterday.
So tonight the tournament officially “kicks off,” even though my feelings about the play-in game are summarized nicely here. Mount St. Mary’s deserves a legitimate seed in the tournament; all the conferences winners do (whether by regular season or conference tourney, that’s a whole different issue), even 20-loss Coppin St. because they won their conference tourney. I’ve always been in favor of the idea that if we HAVE to have a play-in game, why not make it between 2 teams from major conferences who have questionable resumes? Make Arizona and Syracuse battle it out. Anyway, the madness begins tonight at 7 pm EDT on ESPN, so here are some Play-in Hotties:
Ernest Hargett (and a little something for SA)
There was some pretty crazy shit happening last night in the Minnesota/Indiana game. In case you haven’t seen the highlights yet (there’s no way y’all saw it when the game was ACTUALLY on. I mean, 1) it’s Big Ten basketball and 2) it was on the Big Ten Network), what happened was this: DJ White went to the free throw line with Indiana down one point. He made the first one to tie it up, then bricked the second and GOT HIS OWN rebound and then got fouled. He again made 1 of 2 free throws to give Indiana a one-point lead with 1.5 seconds left. Minnesota then threw a baseball pass the length of the court and true freshman Blake Hoffarber chucked a sky hook up and in at the buzzer for a Minnesota one-point victory. Here is the video: