Archive for September 25, 2009

Football Overload

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment
Adam Dunn:  heading for 40?

Adam Dunn: heading for 40?

Football just isn’t my sport. I eventually come around. Like in December. But in September I’d rather do without. Hey, it’s still baseball season! Give me a break already! I mean, do I really care that South Carolina upset Ole Miss yesterday?* Must this be the lead sports story at the SI website this morning? And must the secondary stories be previews of tomorrow’s college games and Sunday’s NFL games? Must we really be wondering if Tom Brady is already over the hill? Okay, I don’t mind reading a few articles glorifying Adrian Peterson. Why not? He’s amazing. But otherwise, let’s give baseball its proper place at the top.

I realize there’s a bit of a problem. This year’s pennant races are all but over. Now that the Rockies have pulled away from the Giants, Braves, and Marlins with time running out, they have all but sewn up the last National League playoff spot. The three divisions will be won by the Phillies, Cards, and Dodgers, all of which have almost identical records. The Rockies will get the fourth spot. Over in the junior circuit, with the Rangers fading, the Red Sox have the wild card playoff spot to themselves. The Yankees and Angels will win their divisions. The only question is whether the resurgent Twins can catch the Tigers for the Central Division title and a playoff spot. Whichever team survives will have the worst regular season record among playoff teams, but that doesn’t mean anything once the playoffs start.

Okay, so maybe there’s not a lot of excitement. But still, respect must be paid. There’s still so much more to watch. Will Pujols hit 50 home runs? Will Adam Dunn hit two more home runs — no more, no less — giving him his sixth successive season of 40 home runs exactly? With 208 strikeouts already, just where will Mark Reynolds stop in this record season? What will Griffey’s final numbers be, if he retires after this season? And let’s hear more about Joe Mauer, who is having one of the greatest hitting seasons a catcher has ever had. Why isn’t this catching the imagination of the nation? Not to mention Zack Greinke’s pitching year for the ages. Also, just how many hits will Ichiro end up with in this ninth consecutive season of over 200?

I find all of this vastly more interesting than debates about the greatness of Mark Sanchez, or features on Jerry Jones and his gigantic new stadium. (I’ll admit, it’s kind of fun to see a review of the stadium by Nicolai Ouroussoff, the NYT architecture critic.)

So let’s hold off on all this football coverage for a while. Okay? One thing though. The morons who run baseball have arranged for the World Series to start this year on October 28. The fourth game will be on November 1. The fifth, sixth, and seventh games, if needed, will be on November 2, 4, and 5. This is insane. There shouldn’t be baseball in November. I won’t object if all coverage of baseball ceases on October 31 and attention shifts to football.

*By the way, what’s up with Ole Miss anyway? Can’t we just call them MIssissippi, or Miss for short? Whenever I see Ole Miss, I think of slavery, or James Meredith walking to class under the protection of federal marshalls. I must be missing something.

Categories: Baseball, Sports

The Complaints

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

The Complaints HB CS1 rev.indd

I finished Ian Rankin’s latest crime novel, The Complaints, last night. Rankin, the best-selling crime novelist in the UK, centered his work for twenty years on an Edinburgh detective named John Rebus. The fictional Rebus reached retirement age two years ago, and so Rankin wrote Exit Music, the final Rebus novel, revolving around Rebus’s approaching retirement. The Complaints, Rebus’s second post-rebus novel, is also about an Edinburgh detective, Malcolm Fox. Read more…

Categories: Books, Travel