Red Sox

Although I wasn’t rooting for them, there are worse things in this world than seeing the Red Sox take the World Series. I’m hoping that this is a good omen less than a week before the election, seeing the underdogs from Massachusetts taking it all. Also, I fully expect that after the gazillion.1 lazy reporters and commentators have worked it out of their system, to never in my lifetime hear about this stupid fricking “curse” again. If they lose next year, they lose on their own account and not because ghosts fluttered around preventing them from playing to their potential.

Cards Laying Down

The Cardinals are making an idiot of me. Here, I’ve been saying that I thought the Red Sox used up everything in the tank getting through the ALCS. In fact, despite playing like crap they are winning consistently, and the Cards who were consistently the toughest team all year are unable to capitalize on that. It’s beginning to look pretty dire for St. Louis.

Sox/Cards

Sorry, Astros fans. Your team played valiantly, but the Cards are the team this year. I predict they will beat the Red Sox like yard dogs.

Tonight, I have no animosity for the losing team and feel no schadenfreude at their loss. Last night was much different. I made sure to watch the celebration long enough to see unhappy Yankee faces. Joe Torre looking distraught, check. Jeter’s top lip quivering, check. That I really got into. I like it when my team wins, and I like it when the Yankees lose.

The Right Calls

I am liking this 6 umpire huddle thing. Twice tonight, bad initial calls were corrected to the proper one. The first was on the home run that bounced off a fan and back onto the field, and just now on Alex Rodriguez knocking out the ball with his left hand on the way to first. It’s not quite the mechanical perfection of the instant replay, but every time I’ve seen the umpires get together, they make the right call. Had both these bad calls been allowed to stand, the Red Sox would be losing the game and thus the series. I like a little justice in these things.

Johnny Damon

I don’t follow the Red Sox on a regular basis. What’s the deal with Johnny Damon? Of all the Sox, he seems to be suffering from the biggest mismatch between regular season stats and what he is doing in the LCS. Just now, his failure to lay down a bunt kept his team from winning the game in extra innings. If he was performing anywhere close to what you’d expect from him, this might be a tied series or better. How many men has he left stranded while he strikes out or grounds out? Dag, he’s hitting 0.075 for god’s sake.

Baseball Season Ends

Dang. Yet another year and my Braves limp out of the post-season. Congratulations to the Astros on a great season and finally moving on. Your reward is that you get to face the buzzsaw that are the Cardinals. Enjoy!

Braves Win (Again)

Whew, it was a close one but my boys came back from an early 2-5 deficit to close it out 6-5. They seemed a little listless but with another exciting win while facing elimination, I hope they’ve got the fire ignited and can close it out and send the fine fellows from Houston back home tomorrow.

Braves Win!

Walk off homer by Rafael Furcal in the bottom of the 11th evens the series at 1-1! Right on. It looked a little grim early on, with the possibility of going back to Houston 0-2 but now it is tied. I’m hoping this exciting win lights a fire under my boys, who have a tendency to be listless in the post-season. The celebration at the plate looked more like what you see at the end of a series, not in game 2. Anything that gets their blood pumping and playing like it matters to them is good with me.

Chicago Cubs Resume October Tradition of Golfing

Last night the Atlanta Braves eliminated the Chicago Cubs from the NL wild card race. There was much laughter around our house when we heard. For all that we have friends in Chicago who are Cubs fans, our year there converted me to a Cubs anti-fan. Particularly, hearing the name “Steve Bartman” all winter long made me wish nothing but the worst for them. Since they eliminated the Braves from the post-season last year, I can’t say there isn’t a little schadenfreude in watching them fail to make it this time.

If you want an example of the kind of Cubs crap that makes me root against them, here is one from that article:

“This last week has been ridiculously crazy,” Cubs second baseman Todd Walker said. “We score six, they score eight. We score three, they score four. It’s crazy. Going into the ninth inning last Saturday against the New York Mets, the last thing on our minds was not making the playoffs.

“We lost seven out of eight when we needed to win the most this year. I can’t explain it. If you want to call it a jinx, that’s fine.”

This goat crap and jinx crap and curse crap, what a way to not take responsibility. When my Braves lay down in the post-season by not playing well enough and not playing hard enough there is no curse to invoke. Cubs players and Cubs fans, however, have no shortage of supernatural reasons why the team underperforms. Shut up, you whining bastards, and either play to win or go home. This year, looks like the latter.

Update: Here’s my post from February in which I predicted the Cubs failing to make the post-season. At the time, all anyone in town could talk about was how the signing of Maddux was the ticket to winning the NL Central. I was wrong in my prediction that Maddux would win 12 or fewer games, but right about the Cubs.

Barry Bonds on Reaching 700 Home Runs

MLB.com has a diary of Barry Bond’s thoughts on hitting his historic home run last night.

Tonight was unbelievable. You really can’t put it in words to be in a class with those two great players, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. It’s like you’re dreaming and you’re not dreaming. It’s unreal. I don’t know what to say about it.

I like the new, mellow Barry Bonds as opposed to the old, reporter-shoving angry Barry Bonds. He gets downright philosophical in that way you get when you realize that you’re going to accomplish your dreams:

All I can say right now is that I still have some game left. It’s a little overwhelming to realize what position I’m in — 14 homers behind Babe Ruth. Hopefully I can stay focused, do it quietly and do good at it. That’s all.

MLB.com is also doing something interesting. For $4 you can buy a download of the game last night in which this happened. That seems like a good price for this, low enough to allow interested fans to impulse buy it but high enough to make money off of it.

Blog Silence from the Olympics

Yet another reason to hate the International Olympic Committee, a heavy handed group of corrupt plutocrats if ever there were. Loic Lemeur links to this article about how all participants of the Olympics are barred from weblogging about it. This includes not just athletes and coaches but support staff! Essentially, they want there to be no information flowing from the games not through one of their sanctioned information gateways. My friends, this is antiquated bullshit. I rage a lot on here about the fading days of Big Media. I am not any happier about the tactics of Big Sports. From the article:

.The Olympic guidelines threaten to yank credentials from athletes who are in violation as well as to impose other sanctions or take legal action for any monetary damages.

That’s right, if you are an Olympian and you blog about your experiences during the Olympics, you can be barred from the games and fined for it. This is completely absurd behavior, and yet another nail in the coffin of my Olympics experience. I already didn’t care much, now I’m going out of my way to see absolutely none of this Olympics and maybe no future ones either. If they want such absolute dictatorial control, they can have it but without me as a willing passive participant. They are worried about losing revenue – they’ve already lost it from me. I’m about one more straw away from assembling a list of all the Olympics sponsors – the ones in whose name the IOC does all their bullshit – and steering my business away from them and towards their competitors.

Olympics

So I have been distracted with other stuff this time out, but I have never ever been so uninterested in an Olympics as this year. Usually I have at least some interest and follow some of the events. I just couldn’t care less now. I don’t know why this is. Part of it might be the disillusionment of watching what hosting the games did to Atlanta. I see the Olympics as this corrupt and malign force, one that gets cities to compete for the privilege of being ruined by them. Whatever the cause of my indifference, it is real and as far as I’m concerned, they might as well not be happening.

Update: Via Boing Boing comes this story about how spectators being denied access to the events for having items of non-sponsor brands. This is the kind of thing that dispells for me the quaint illusion of the Olympics as this pure bastion of sport done for love. That may exist at the individual competitor level, but at the organizational level it’s all about the cash. Do what brings the most in, and kiss the ass of the folks who pony up.

No-maaaaaah!

Holy crap, the Cubs just traded to get Nomar Garciaparra! My experience from living in Chicagoland is that I am becoming a Cubs anti-fan for some reason. The longer we are here, the more I long to see them not even make the playoffs. Thus it has made me happy to see my Braves surge whilst the Cubs fall to pieces just like their stadium. This trade might change that a little for me, though. I’ve been a fan of Nomar since I followed him as a Georgia Tech Yellowjacket. I’m not sure I can root against a team with him on it.

NCAA Baseball

My Georgia Tech Yellowjackets play Jacksonville State this evening in the regional NCAA tournament. Go Jackets! Unfortunately, my ULL Ragin’ Cajuns are not in it this year. They lost the Sun Belt Conference championship to Middle Tennessee and thus did not get the automatic tournament bid like they did last year. They had a 34-23 record but didn’t get an at-large bid. Oh well, goes the refrain, “wait until next year.” It’s always more fun having both teams to root for, but I’ll shift my support solely behind the Jackets. Go Jackets!

End of the Line

My Joltin’ Jackets were overmatched by U Conn tonight. It ended up less ugly than it could have been, but the game was effectively over 10 minutes into it. The good news, almost the entire team will be back next year. I’d like to see these guys make another run at it, with a little more experience under their belts maybe they’ll be more focused and play tighter. It’s been a good season and the best they’ve ever done. Congratulations on the Jackets for a great season!

Go Jackets!

Georgia Tech moves on to the championship round for the first time in their history! They just beat OK State 67-65 in the last few seconds. It was a fingernail biter, with them having been ahead by as much as 12 points but with OK pulling even in the last minute. Wow. I’m not a huge basketball fan, but games like this could convert me.

Georgia Tech in the Final Four

Georgia Tech beat Kansas to advance to the Final Four! I think this is the first time since I was a student there in the late 80’s. Very nice. Like I say, I’m not a huge basketball fan. In fact, I used to live across the parking lot from the coliseum in one of two fraternity houses that were as close as you could possibly live to it, and spent lots of time working in the same building at WREK and I never once attended a GT basketball game. Something about waiting in line for tickets, I’m not sure why I never went. I’m sure I wasn’t too busy studying, probably I was to busy drinking all nights of home games.

All that aside, you want your school to do things, so Go Jackets!