by John Furgele
-Baseball’s All-Star Game was quite compelling, but I still don’t think it should determine home field advantage for the World Series. Is it fair that the Natonal League, and more importantly, the fans of the National League clubs only get three possible home games in the Fall Classic? More importantly, are the silly rules of baseball. What about the different rules for the different leagues. Once again, the DH will be used for four of the seven World Series games. Is that fair?
-Enough of the “play to win,” ASG theory. I would rather see all the players play then see the Jeters, Rodriguezes, et al, play the entire game. It’s an ALL STAR game, and in an all-star game, all the stars should play. Joe Morgan said the ASG is treated too much like an exhibition game. That’s because is is an exhibition game.
-No player has seen his skills diminish more than former Seattle Mariner Richie Sexson. Last year, he batted .205, and this year, he was batting .218 with 11 homers and 30 RBI before being released. Now, it looks like the Yankees are going to give him a try. The move reminds me a bit like 2000, when the Yankees acquired Jose Canseco. Canseco did nothing for the Yanks and I wouldn’t expect anything from Sexson either.
-The second half should be an interesting one. Are the Tampa Bay Rays going to hang in there and break up the Yankee-Red Sox “natural order” in the AL East? Are the suddenly right Mets going to keep up the momentum and pull away in the NL East? Are the Twins and White Sox for real in the AL Central, and in the NL Central, which one of the three (Brewers, Cubs, Cardinals) will fall out of the race for both the NL Central title and the NL Wild Card?
-Another day, another positive drug test at the Tour de France. If tour organizers had any big ones, they would pull the plug on the 2008 race right now. Send the Renaults up the mountains, pack away the bikes and be done with the tour for this year. No prize money, no awards, no prestige. The only way you can be serious about drug cheats is to take away the cyclists right to make a living. Yes, this will punish the clean riders—if there are any—but the message will be clear.
-In the 1978 NBA Finals, the Washington Bullets beat the Seattle Sonics 105-99 in Seattle to secure the NBA Championship, and the Bullets remain the last road team win Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Thirty years later, the Bullets are now the Wizards and the Sonics have pulled up and moved to Oklahoma City. Sadly, this move went relatively unnoticed. The media allowed a great run of 41 years in the Emeral City to end without much protest, and David Stern was not called on the carpet at all.
Let’s see, under Stern, the Charlotte Hornets were allowed to move to New Orleans, and if not for Katrina and the subsequent guilt, Stern would have moved the Hornets from New Orleans to Oklahoma City; the Vancouver Grizzlies went to Memphis and now the end of the Sonics. Under Stern, if the city does not fork over the monies for a new arena, then Stern allows the threat of relocation to be held over the head of a city like Seattle. But, when Stern needs money, he will bring Seatltle back and force the “new” Sonics owners to fork over hundreds of millions in exapansion fees.
What a great and shrewd businessman.