Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baseball standings and the Olympics

We'll start with baseball. And boy, are there ever some exciting races going on!

(Except for the American League West, of course, which is BOring. However, the lowly Seahawks did beat the Angels last night!)

In the East, now, things have loosened up just a tad. Tampa Bay is still out in front, followed by the Red Sox at three games back. The Yankees, tho, have fallen on a bit of hard times and now trail the leader in their division by 9.5 games.

[I can't say this makes me sad. How many of you old-timers remember the movie Damn Yankees, with Tab Hunter? Wasn't it Gwen Verdon who sang "Whatever Lola Wants"? And Ray Walston as the devil? I'm not going to take the time to look it up. You can, if you want to. I cannot put my finger on whatever it is that makes me dislike the Yankees so much. Other than the fact that they spend MANY more $$$ than anyone else -- in effect, 'buying' championships -- I have no reason! I mean, there's no personal history there whatsoever.)

The Central, now, is another story entirely. One day the White Sox are in front, the next day the Twins, and so they keep on going, exchanging places every other day (it seems like). The Tigers are now 9.5 games back, having lost three in a row. Perhaps out of the picture, but who knows?

The National League doesn't have any sure-fire winners. Each division, in fact, is 'up for grabs'. Really tough and tight ... exciting!

In the East, the Mets and Phillies are now tied for first place with the Marlins 1.5 games back. The Braves, who just got steam-rolled by the marauding Cubs in two double-header shutouts yesterday, are trying to keep their hopes alive at 9.0 games back.

The Central division, perhaps the strongest overall in baseball (open to argument, certainly!), just keeps rolling along. The Cubs have found their stride, and are almost up to .500 on the road. (Their home record, BTW, is the equivalent of Tampa Bay's ... extraordinary!)

The Brewers, who have now won eight games in a row (obscene!) trail the Cubbies by 3.5 games. The Cardinals, who haven't been nearly as consistent as the Brewers, are now 7.5 games out of first place.

Where are 'my' Astros, you ask? Well, thank you for asking!

Truly, we're so far out of first place (12.0 games back) that that goal is almost unattainable. However, we have won seven games in a row, and are being so 'high in the pie sky' with our hopes as to entertain the possible notion of a 'Wild Card' berth in the playoffs.

There are six teams ahead of us in this 'race' -- we're 8 1/2 games 'out' as of this moment -- , five of whom we play (either at home or there) before the regular season ends on September 28th, at home against the Braves.

Carlos Lee, our regular left-fielder, sustained an almost-literally 'crushed' little finger on his left hand Saturday when he was hit by a pitch. Six bones in that finger were broken!!! He underwent surgery Monday. Supposedly successful, but he's 'out' for the remainder of this season, probably, unless -- by some miraculous happenstance -- we get into the playoffs.

Then, of course, wouldn't you know it? 'You know who's' name came up as a possible replacement. Says he will play for the major league minimum. Let's just not mention his name, OK?

I went to the game Monday night (as I wrote in an earlier post). It was a lot of fun! However, I was NOT at the game last night when the Astros scored 6 runs in an inning, and won the game by a score of 6-2. I think a major league record must have been set ... four walks and three hit batsmen, all in one inning. If we'd been able to put a hit or two around a couple of those, who knows how many runs might have scored in that inning?!?

Moving on to the West, where the Diamondbacks and Dodgers are now tied for first place. Folks, it doesn't get any closer than that!! Rockies are still 8.0 games back.

On to the Olympics ... ... have you been watching? I guess a better question might be, "Has anyone not been watching?"

For sure, we've all been caught up in the Michael Phelps saga. NBC's coverage, for the most part without blemish (my opinion), fell just a touch short last night when the last man to swim that first relay and, in the process, overtake the loud-mouthed Frenchman, was (incredibly!) asked, "Did you do it for Michael?"

[Of course he didn't do it 'for Michael'. He said that he was really tired of losing -- and, you know what? I believe him!]

I was watching last night as those terrible falls occurred from the high bar and rings. I didn't want to look as NBC showed replay after replay of each fall. (Why do they 'insist' on doing that??)

I gloried in the US guy's program on the 'horse' ... no one else in the whole world can equal, much less even attempt (again, my opinion) what he did.

[A most abject apology here. I've been trying to remember his name, but I cannot. He was 'out of the running' for a medal, but ALL in attendance at the stadium were oohing and aahing at his performance! I had the privilege, courtesy of NBC, to watch it many, many, many times over.]

Have you been following soccer? We have two Spanish-speaking television stations here in Houston, one of which has been showing soccer games from the Olympics almost 'round the clock!

How about volleyball? Have you been following that? I have, off and on. In particular, the patch on Kerri's shoulder is intriguing.

Let's see, what else?

Oh yeah, the ladies' all-around gymnastics competition will be airing tonight. I have high hopes for the US in this one.

Track and field will be coming up shortly. I don't, personally, have as much interest in that, altho I'm sure my attention will become more and more riveted as events unfold.

Hope you're all having just a fantabulous day, and I'll talk atcha later, OK?


Tammy said...

Well. So much to say here, lol. I'll try to keep it short.

I'm a Yankees fan. Or at least I used to be.....I guess I'm not much of one anymore. One of the kids I was a nanny for in NYC was a huge Yankees fan, so I became one there, too. :) I went to a game and got hooked on Don Mattingly. I have to admit, though, I don't follow them unless they are doing really well anymore.

The Olympics! Our whole family is riveted to the tv at night, and have the tv running most of the day, too. Men's volleyball is on right now, matter of fact.

Oh, how about diving? I've enjoyed watching that as well as all the rest you mentioned.

I hear about things like fencing and such and wish there was coverage on the lesser sports, too.

I've enjoyed it all. Not sure what my feelings are (well, I'm sure of them but don't want to voice them here on your blog) about the underaged Chinese female gymnasts. The rest has been fabulous!

Loving it all, and wishing we had more than one week left of it.

Goldenrod said...

Actually, Tammy, I DID catch a couple of the fencing matches. And boy, do you want to talk about ignorant? Moi!! Nevertheless, I watched them and found them interesting.

Synchronized diving? Yes, I've watched that, and I've listened to the 'head counter' give the cadence. I have not the VAGUEST idea of how the two of them can POSsibly be together on their turns/twists/water entries, etc. It escapes me, completely!

As far as the 'underage' gymnasts (Chinese) are concerned, I have VERY mixed feelings on that. I guess that I'd have to say that, if a 12-year-old can beat you (who are a 16+-year-old), more power to the 12-year-old!

I know, Tammy, that those aren't the 'rules' ... ... What say you?!

I am SO glad that your whole family is enjoying the Olympics. Talk atcha later, OK?

Tammy said...

Well, I think if the rules are 16, then the gymnasts should be 16 years old.

HOWEVER. Personally, I think there should be no rule on age. If one is 6 or 60 years old and can compete at medal levels, then one should be able to compete.

It's sad that we have this "16 year" rule, because clearly the Chinese female gymnasts did better than the US gymnasts. It just seems to tarnish their win a bit knowing rules have been broken. And that to me is too bad, because those Chinese girls deserve the gold medal, especially since I doubt it was their idea to issue passports with false information in the first place.

Whew. Glad I got that off my chest! lol

We'll have the tv back on here in a couple of hours. Looks like another great night of sports. :)

Goldenrod said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Tammy, on the 'rules are rules' ... probably set up, initially, to protect the younger ones' developing bone structure.

Did you hear that the Chinese coaches were all 'forced' (that was the word that I heard used, over and over again) to sign a 'contract' that none of their proteges would be injured??

As hospitable as the Chinese seem to be and have been in this Olympics, I submit (to use one of Craig's favorite words), once again, that this is a country in which ALL of us should feel extremely proud to be a part!