The Sox absolutely dominated the World Series and no one - not the most rabid Red Sox fan on the planet - thought that the Cardinals could be swept
aside like a minor detail. Some folks said that Jeff Suppan's base running blunder in Game 3 sealed the fate for the Cardinals. While I agree that was
a bad play on Suppan's part, it was hardly the reason that the Cardinals lost the Series.
In order to win baseball games, you have to score runs in sufficient numbers that your pitchers can hold the team to fewer runs. The Cards did that in
Game 1. After that ...
The middle of the Cardinals batting order is a formidable lot. But for these four games, they went into a slump all together. Pujols hit 5 for 15
which is fine - and by the way, his play on the ground ball with the bases loaded last night to get the force out at home was a magnificent defensive
effort. But after Pujols in the lineup, it was an offensive black hole. Scott Rolen was 0 for 15; Jim Edmonds was 1 for 15; Reggie Sanders was 0 for
9. I believe that is a combined batting average of .026. All three are far better hitters than they showed here; too bad for Cardinals' fans they all
had to hit the skids at the same time.
In case anyone thinks that this is the biggest sports fleecing done by Boston to St. Louis, I need to remind you of a historical event that had far
greater implications. Back in the 1950s, the Boston Celtics traded "Easy Ed" McCauley and Cliff Hagen to the St. Louis Hawks for a kid named Bill
Russell. McCauley and Hagen were fine players but Russell merely brought a zillion championships to the Boston Celtics - and in the first championship
series, the Celtics beat the Hawks.
Here is a statistic that I ran across in the LA Times. Ron Zook got fired mid-season by the University of Florida after two and a half years during
which he compiled a 20-13 record. That is hardly what Florida fans are used to and it was unlikely that he was going to be back next year under any
circumstances. If you glance northwest of Gainesville, Florida, your eyes might fall on the town of South Bend, Illinois where Ty Willingham is in the
middle of his third season as head football coach. Interestingly, his record too is 20-13. And that is hardly what Notre Dame fans want to become used
The Washington Wizards are a pathetic franchise; they do so many things wrong that it can't be coincidence because that defies the laws of
probability. If this team bought a graveyard, people would stop dying.
For a couple of years recently, they enjoyed sell out crowds because of the "Michael Jordan Allure". Last year, it was abundantly clear that those
days were over. So the promotional geniuses there went to work and came up with a plan. If you live in the DC area, you know that the promotional
geniuses for the Wizards always come up with plans but most of the plans are pretty useless. Well, this one is really dumb. In fact, the person who
came up with this one probably can best be described as:
Born stupid and built for the long haul.
The Wizards will have five different "Singles Nights". It is billed as an attempt to make it easier for people to meet other people. The idea is that
you buy a $50 ticket in a section designated for singles in this promotion. Men will be in the odd numbered seats and women will be in the even
numbered seats. So, you have the situation where you are in a place where meeting someone is facilitated.
Right... What could go wrong here?
I'm shocked that the Washington gay and lesbian community has not yet screeched that the "boy-girl-boy-girl" seating plan is insensitive to alternate
lifestyles. Just imagine what kind of publicity would result from a "date-gone-wrong" or an abusive relationship that gets really out of hand if all
of that began at "Singles Night".
And if you think about it, the Wizards are trying to get people to come to their games for the direct purpose of doing something other than watch the
game. If you are there to meet someone and potentially start some kind of relationship, you are not going to make a lot of progress if you focus on
whether or not Larry Hughes is distributing the ball effectively. So, how is this going to grow the loyal fan base of the Wizards?
Memo to Wizards' Execs:
If you want larger crowds in Washington DC, you need to realize that this is a front-runners town because of its high population of politicos. Around
here, losers leave town. So, if you want to increase attendance you'll need to put a winning team on the court more than once every 15 or so years.
You may have read about or seen the tape on ESPN of the fight that broke out in the Bulls/Wizards exhibition game.
Here is a comment from Elliot Harris in the Chicago Sun-Times on that dust-up:
"The effort by center Eddy Curry to punch a prone Washington Wizards center Brendan Haywood in his 'man area' - as at least one broadcast report
called it - in the Monday night fight otherwise known as the Bulls exhibition game at the United Center was just about the closest Curry has come in
his Bulls career to diving after loose balls."
Boxer James Butler fights under the nom de guerre, "The Harlem Hammer". Last week, he pleaded innocent to murdering a freelance reporter, Sam
Kellerman, with a hammer. According to police, Butler than torched Kellerman's apartment in Los Angeles. Sam Kellerman is the younger brother of Max
Kellerman formerly on ESPN and now on FOXSports. A "status hearing" is scheduled for today; I have no idea what a "status hearing" is.
Finally, here is an astute observation from Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post:
"According to Sports Illustrated, fantasy football leaguers are costing employers $2.7 million a year in lost productivity. You think fantasy leaguers
don't have a life? What about the guy who came up with the $2.7 million figure?"
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon
[Edited on 11/1/04 by SportzWriter]