This summer is hot, and from my sports fan perspective a little boring. To me, the end of July until this very weekend is my least favorite time on the sports calender. So the blog took a bit of a break. First let me catch you up on my thoughts on what I missed.
There was a bunch of baseball, most of it fairly meaningless (except the random youth team playing deep into a national tournament). Oh and there was a bunch of golf.
Baseball: Both the Reds and the Bats have had recent hot streaks. The Reds have fallen to second place however in the NL Central, while the Bats have kept rolling to the top of AAA’s IL West.
The Reds have managed to hold together a good season for far longer than this Reds doubter thought they could. The hitting which has been among the league’s best, couldn’t really get going in the recent series in which St. Louis took the division lead from the Reds. I am relatively unconcerned about the hitting though, as the line up is stacked with talent and added veteran Jim Edmonds this week to shore it up.
The young pitching has showed some cracks for a while now, and this worries me. As with all young arms, the fall is when they start to tire, but that doesn’t account for recent mild outings by Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto. The good news for Reds pitching is that there is serious depth within the organization, and Homer Bailey and Aaron Harang are on their way back from injury. They should be able to take the spot of Leake or whomever struggles going forward.
I am still intrigued by these Reds. Stubbs, Bruce, and Votto form a strong young batting nucleus and Phillips, Rolen and Edmunds are all capable as well. They appear to have some sort of mental block with the Cardinals and a lot of games remaining with the tough NL West, so I see a tough road to the division title, though I am confident in their talent and wouldn’t be surprised if the overcome the Cards or at least win the wild card.
As for the Bats, their numbers have been staggering going back to the AAA all-star game a month ago. A 24-3 record. Winning streaks of 6, 11, and now 7 games. They finally moved into first in the IL West with their 10-4 win last night against Toledo. They start a key 3 gamer at second place Columbus this evening.
Golf: Since I last wrote,the pro golfers played the British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland. Events at this course are always special. What a great little course. Also compelling to me is the fact that my sister-in-law is a graduate of St. Andrews University and her and my wife get to relive old stories of freshman stamping their room numbers on their forehead when going out drinking so that people knew where to take them at the end of the night (apparently true?!?) or “snogging” (kissing I think) on the famed 18th snogging bridge whenever the tourney is contested there.
I never got into old Louis Oost…well you know the rest of his name…’s story though. The British Open seems to have a history of lightly regarded golfers making a play for the championship, and every 3 or 4 years, that lightly regarded player wins it. Ben Curtis, Jean Van De Velde, heck a 60 year old Tom Watson and now Louis Oost…man his name gets complicated from there… have all risen from relative obscurity to compete for glory in Britain.
So I am not a big Louis Oosthuizen believer and do not find him compelling. he won by i thing 4300 hundred shots, had that lead for most of the weekend and, Oh, Tiger Woods stinks. Unless he figured it out this weekend at the final major.
Side note to the 2010 pro golf season: Could they have chosen 4 more picturesque courses for the majors. I would love to play just one round on any of the four. I mean wow. Took a recent golf/family vacation to Myrtle Beach (see I wasn’t slacking on the writing the ENTIRE last month), and will talk about that experience in an upcoming column.
Hockey: Of course it’s always hockey season in my world, but a recent meltdown of our regular ice surface has delayed the play-off rounds from beginning. The Louisville Moose (a conglomerate of local guys and some U of L club hockey players) finished the more lightly played summer season tied for second place in the 5 team top level men’s league, earning a bye through the yet to start first-round of the play-offs. Yeah.
Of course club soccer is getting set to start back up in Europe and some fairly decent named European players have moved into MLS over here in the states, so that is a big deal too.
Now though friends, it’s football season, king of the spectator sports. Our long, hot, hot, hot, HOT summer drought is over.