Saturday, July 18, 2015

Updates and the absurd

A-Rod just clubbed his 20th homer of the year. There remain many that don't want to acknowledge Rodriguez was and still is a fearsome batter -- due to the steroid allegations of the past -- but it's hard to dispute that whatever he's doing now -- he's doing it clean. He's probably getting drug tested every 5 minutes. The haters can give it up. The man can flat out hit -- always could. And don't look now, but he's got another year left on his Yankee contract and his teammates love him. If he continues at his current pace, he'll be approaching Ruthian home run territory. This, after being forced to miss an entire season, in large part due to a media inspired witch-hunt which former Commissioner Bud Selig knuckled under to. People say Bud-man grew the game. Perhaps. Pity he never grew any cajones of his own.

The (British) Open caught some bad weather on day two. Yes, I understand the folks from the old country take their golf quite seriously and it is expected those who speak of it do so in hushed, reverent tones. But let's not get ridiculous.

Basically, the Royal and Ancient course in Scotland experienced a rainstorm with the usual accompanying winds. This would hardly be big news anywhere else. Water evaporates from the oceans and elsewhere on the planet surface, gets blown around in the atmosphere, and eventually has to fall somewhere. It's been happening for millions of years. Mother Nature 101.

Yet one commentator said the rains were of biblical proportions. Really? There is hushed, reverent, and even mega-hype, but there is also the absurd. Biblical proportions? It was hardly forty days and forty nights of a torrential downpour that would eventually immerse the entire planet. Just a couple hours of rain and a little wind. It happens. As I'm writing this, the golfers are back on the course finishing up their second rounds. No biggie, so spare us the absurd commentary. Uh-oh. The wind has kicked up again and the players are struggling to deal with it. So big deal. Instead of blistering the course, maybe they have to give a few shots back. It's not like there's a massive tornado sweeping across St. Andrews and will deposit the linksters into Munchkinland to follow a yellow brick road. But the commentators will no doubt hype it as such. Maybe they need a brain, a little more heart, and certainly a lot more courage to be objective about what's actually happening. It doesn't take a Wizard to figure that out.

An interesting article in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated. Veteran writer Tom Verducci took a four hour road trip with Pete Rose from Vegas to Rose's home in California. This happened with Charlie Hustle doing the driving in his $200,000 Bentley. The same Rose that at 74 remains immensely popular amongst most baseball fans and is carrying on with a Playboy model. His Hall of Fame possibilities aside, all in all it appears Rose is doing quite well. TV and PR discussed a lot of interesting things on that road trip. Read the article if so interested.

But there's irony in them thar hills. While Verducci is a respected scribe, he also has a rep of being a bit Michener-esque with his SI articles. Four hours with Rose in the lap of luxury? For the average reader, it usually takes four or so lengthy stays in the land of Charmin to finally slog through one of Verducci's creations. If a future edition of SI seems a lot thicker, chances are Verducci has an article or two featured in it.

Major League Baseball is back after the All-Star break. That means no more whiny excuses about worn-out bullpens -- for at least a week or so. Everybody should be good to go after a four day break. And what is it with those guys anyway? Some of them are only good for 20 pitches or so before they're totally gassed? And they get paid millions of dollars for this?

Now THAT'S absurd.

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