Olympics Note, Free-For-All at the Fens & Peek at the Picks

Hello again everybody...

This is getting out kind of late in the day. My apologies for that. Unfortunately, work intruded upon my usual blogging time. I wish they'd time these things better. But they don't consult me first. Go figure.

Things have calmed considerably anyway, so it's on to today's Take. Today I've got a short bit on the Olympics. Then I've got to talk about a wild night in Boston (whom I hate) last night. Finally it's the weekly Peek at the Picks segment. Off we go...

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought."
- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893 - 1986), Hungarian physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937.

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First off today, the Olympics. I've had several people email with various questions and comments about the Beijing games, wondering when I'm going to put some Olympic talk in the blog. Unfortunately I'm really not all that into the Olympics.

I recognize these people are fabulous athletes and they've gone through amazing amounts of training for years on end to prepare themselves for this specific competition. But I've just never been all that drawn to it. Oh there are events here or there that'll catch my attention (women's beach volleyball, naturally) but for the most part I just don't get all that excited.

Take Michael Phelps for example. The American swimmer is breaking records left and right, winning gold medals and dominating sportscasts globally. But I'm really not that interested. Can't really tell you why. I just don't care all that much. And if I can't be bothered to care, it's awfully difficult for me to comment too directly on it. So sorry about that.

What I can can comment on is a marvelous new technology this year's Olympics has introduced. Have you seen the green "World Record" line in the swimming competition? That I like. It's the next evolutionary step from the yellow "First Down" line you see on football broadcasts. In the case of the Olympics, the green line moves along the pool showing the pace at which a swimmer would need to travel to match the current world record.

I'm not sure what it means that I'm more interested in the broadcast technology than the race itself? But there you go. Has anyone heard if they're going to have something like that in the track and field events? That might actually get me to watch some of those too!

Moving on...

Did you see the score in the Boston (whom I hate)/Texas game last night? The final was 19-17 with the Red Sox (whom I hate) picking up the victory. Normally I hate games with scores that high. It usually means a lot of walks, i.e. poor pitching, and poor play doesn't interest me as a spectator. But this game was the exception to the rule.

The Red Sox (whom I hate) put up 10 runs in the first inning. Included in that deluge were 2 3-run home runs by David Ortiz. That tied an AL record for most RBI in a single inning. Ortiz also became just the 5th player in Major League history to hit two home runs in the first inning.

Scott Feldman was the Texas pitcher who gave up the 10 runs. He was also the first pitcher to give up 10 runs and not take the loss since Gene Packard did it for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1918. Oh by the way, Packard actually picked up the win. Feldman actually lasted 2 2/3 innings before being lifted for Josh Rupe, who gave up 4 runs in his 2 1/3 innings of work. Oof.

Texas ended up taking a 15-14 lead in the 6th inning. Marlon Byrd had 5 hits for the Rangers. Ian Kinsler and Chris Young both contributed 4 RBI a piece.

But it wasn't enough to secure the win as Boston (whom I hate) came back on the strength of a Kevin Youklis 3-run homer to go ahead for good in the 8th.

Oh and one more record. The teams' combined 36 runs tied an AL record set in 1950 when the Red Sox (whom I hate) beat the Philadelphia Athletics 22-14.

Wow. That's a helluva game.

Finally today, it's time for this week's Peek at the Picks segment where I compare the current Major League standings to my pre-season picks and offer you, my fine readers, the opportunity to mock and ridicule me... unless I was right... was I? Let's find out...

NL East: Philadelphia Philles, 64-55 (Dan's Pick: NY Mets, 1 Game Back)
It looks like the lead out East could change hands several more times before everything is said and done in September. Oddly enough, other than the Nationals, every team in the NL East is 5-5 in their last 10 games. Holy static standings Batman! (Ouch. Where did that come from? I think my allergy meds are making me a little punchy. Apologies)

NL Central: Chicago Cubs, 72-47 (Dan's Pick: Cubs)
So let me get this straight. The Cubs have the second-best record in baseball and Lou Pinella picks now to say he might replace slumping LF Kosuke Fukudome (*member of the Sports Take All-Name Team) in the lineup unless he starts hitting? It's almost like he's bored and feels like he's got to shake things up just to keep it interesting. C'mon Lou. Relax. It ain't broke. Don't fix it. And why is it every time the Brewers go on a 7-game winning streak, winning 8 of their last 10, the Cubs have just won 7 of 10 and the Crew can only pick up a game in the standings? Bad Karma? I don't know.

NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks, 61-58 (Dan's Pick: D'backs)
2 for 3 in the NL and I'm a game from being 3 for 3. I like it! The D'backs made a surprising deal on Monday adding Adam Dunn's prodigious bat to their lineup for a relatively cheap price. On the surface I like the deal. It at least will make some pitchers think as they go through the Arizona batting order. On the other hand, the D'backs now have 3 of the top 5 strikeout leaders in their lineup. Mark Reynolds, Chris Young and now Adam Dunn all collect more than their fair-share of K's. However it works out, it'll sure keep things interesting down the stretch. The Dodgers are still only a game out. Oh, and Manny Ramirez's average with the Dodgers has plummeted to a mere .476 along with his 4 home runs and 14 RBI. That's in 11 games. Damn!

NL Wildcard: Milwaukee Brewers, 69-51 (Dan's Pick: L.A. Dodgers, 8.5 GB)
It was pointed out to me by a loyal reader that I should be including a Wild Card glance in my PatP segments. I think we're far along enough in the year that it makes nothing but sense, so here we go! This may be the Crew's best shot at the playoffs. They've now built a 4-game lead over the Cardinals. The Dodgers? Yeah, they'd better hope they pass the D'backs, or they'll be golfing come post-season time.

AL East: Tampa Bay Rays, 71-47 (Dan's Pick: Boston Red Sox, whom I hate, 3 GB)
This is one of two AL picks I'm now flat-out rooting to be wrong on. Unfortunately for Tampa, they not only lost Carl Crawford, but now rookie sensation Evan Longoria is on the DL with a wrist injury. Not good. Boston's also dinged up, but they just added Paul Byrd in a trade with Cleveland to bolster their rotation. I want to be wrong here folks. I really do. I just don't know if Tampa has it in them to hang on.

AL Central: Chicago White Sox/Minnesota Twins, 66-52/67-53 (Dan's Pick: Detroit Tigers, 8.5 GB)
I've only called one other race in my PatP segment. Now I'm going to make that two. The Tigers are officially dead. 8.5 games are just too many to make up in the last month and a half of a season. Esepecially considering that they've got to pass two teams to pull it off. Truly shocking considering how good they looked on paper coming into the season. But as the cliche goes, that's why they play the games. Incidentally, the tie at the top of the division will change by this evening when Chicago plays Kansas City. Go Royals!

AL West: Los Angeles Angels, 75-43 (DP: Seattle Mariners, 30.5 GB)
Best record in the majors... 15-game lead on their nearest competitor... presumptive favorite to win the AL pennant... blah, blah, blah. At this point, manager Mike Scioscia is just praying that nobody gets hurt. Otherwise this one's in the bag.

AL Wildcard: Boston Red Sox (whom I hate), 69-51 (DP: Cleveland Indians, 14 GB)
Yeah. Not so much with the Tribe either. The Twins/White Sox loser is Boston's (whom I hate) closest competition. Both teams being 2 games behind. The Red Sox (whom I hate) still have their eye on the Eastern Pennant though. So if Tampa's injuries cause them to fall off the map, that throws open the door for a AL Central Wild Card entrant.

That's all for today folks. I'm back on Friday with your end-of-the-week Sports Take wonder! Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. I still believe that if she were wearing a Red Sox hat and nothing else, you would overlook it!

  2. If you're going to spread such vicious lies, at least have the courage to put your name to them!

    (*cough* Jack Rice *cough*)

  3. The "She" is rather cryptic...

    ...but I do believe that if either Misty May or Keri Walsh had a Bo-Sox tattoo somewhere on their bodies, Dan might even not watch beach volleyball in the Olympics.