Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mariano Saves!

Turning away from the World Cup for the briefest of moments, it's worth a mention that Mariano managed an impressive high-wire act last night. The Yanks tied the Diamondbacks in the 9th inning with an A-Rod sacrifice, and went ahead with a Granderson home run in the 10th. Mariano came out for his second inning, quickly loaded the bases, and looked to be in real trouble.

Then he remembered he was Mariano Rivera, and got three straight outs without letting a single run across the plate. Game and series to the Yanks. It seems like he never lets us down. So in Mo's honor, here's a picture of him as a rookie:

Stunning. He already has greatness etched all over his face.

Of course, I didn't get to see any of it since the game started after 10, and Mariano's heroics came at roughly 1am. I hate west coast swings. And we've got another coming up before the All-Star break. This is going to sound crazy and maybe controversial, but I don't think there should be a west coast.

Or, if they want to maintain it, the time zones should be the same (and go by east coast standards). That would mean west coasters would have to start work at what they currently call "5am." But if we've learned one thing from history, it's that people can get used to anything. Anticipating your next question, yes, I would extend this to the entire world. People in Australia would have to be nocturnal. But at least we wouldn't have to suffer through another Sydney Olympics, when everything was alway spoiled. It just isn't fair.

Some quick points:

*I've been meaning to tackle this for some time: people who give Portugal shit for beating North Korea 7-0 don't understand the World Cup group qualification process. If final points are equal between two teams in the standings, the standard for advancement becomes goal differential. Portugal had already tied the Ivory Coast, and it was reasonable to suspect that they would each lose to Brazil, leaving both with 4 points. So yes, Portugal needed to score as much as possible against North Korea. What if they had stopped at 4, and Ivory Coast scored 5 to advance? In a match like that, you can't hold back. It sucks for North Korea, but that's the nature of the game.

*The Rockies beat the Red Sox, but Ubaldo didn't have his best game. He gave up 6 runs over five innings, his highest total this season. Like I said, he stinks.

*Today, John Isner wrapped up his match over Nicolas Mahut with a tidy 70-68 win in the final set. It's the longest match ever, the two are now tops in the record books for most points in a match, most aces, and blah blah blah.

Conspiracy theory: this was collusion. Nobody has agreed with me thus far, but I'm sticking by it. The highest previous total for a fifth set in a grand slam was 21-19. Nobody gets that high. Something inevitably happens, especially when people are tired. I just don't believe it. It's too absurd, too long. We're going to find out this was a set-up. It doesn't make sense.

*Jim Caple almost successfully pulled off something funny. He fucked it up, of course, with too much verbiage and a failure of comic timing. But there were a few moments when I thought history was being made. Particularly here:

Strasburg has lost every start he's made since the Isner-Mahut match began, including a loss to Kansas City.

I laughed when I read that, and it took a while before I remembered that Caple doesn't have a good sense of humor. But if you want to see a joke get hammered into the ground with no remorse, check it out.

That's it for today. Time to watch the Clockwork Orange do their work against Cameroon.

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