After watching such an appalling performance as Englandâ€™s against Algeria in the World Cup, it is good to fall back on another sport. Viva baseball! Youâ€™ll pick me up when Iâ€™m down. Youâ€™ll turn my frown upside down. You will, wonâ€™t you? Well, let us find out.
Letâ€™s get going with some reasons to be cheerful this weekâ€¦
The frontrunner of KNUCKLEBALLER~! of the Year, Mr RA Dickey, 35 years young, is the first Mets pitcher in history to be unbeaten with five wins in his first six starts for the team. As a Mets fan this is obviously glorious news for me. But for you, dear reader, this is good news too. This could well lead to a renaissance in the KNUCKLEBALL~! and all will be right with the world. I just canâ€™t get enough of it. Thank you, RA. You give me hope that in five years Iâ€™ll be knuckleballing in the majors too. It could happen. It really could happen. Just you watch.
The Florida Marlins are inflicting vuvulelas on their fans. Naturally, this is only good news if youâ€™re not a Marlins fan. Or a fan of the Rays, who are visiting the night the Marlins are handing out those pesky plastic horns. But then again, itâ€™s not as if many people actually watch the Marlins anyway, eh? ZING!
Stephen Strasburg is awesome, to the extent that he is completely baffling the umpires. It appears that Strasburgâ€™s pitches are so out-of-this-world that umpires have been unable to call them accurately. Crazy stuff, but fascinating nonetheless. Also, just as importantly, Strasburg is saving my fantasy team from complete and utter disaster. Thank you Stephen! Long may you continue to dazzle!
The Texas Rangersâ€™ bankruptcy judge clearly has a sense of humour. And I quote from the article, because hey, itâ€™s better written that I can manage, itâ€™s late and Iâ€™m lazy:
Lynn conceded at one point that the highest bid was not always the determining factor in selecting a sports franchise buyer. What, the judge asked hypothetically, if organized crime came and said they wanted to buy the team?
Then the robed jurist joked, “This is not the NFL.”
Wezen-Ball continues to push baseball analysis in the kind of direction I like â€“ far, far away from dull number-crunching for number-crunchingâ€™s sake. Oh yes. Just what you didnâ€™t realise you always wanted: a â€˜Baseball Greats Chess Setâ€™. Now to hunt out Baseball Monopoly. Or maybe even Baseball Cluedo: Steroids Edition.
Well, itâ€™s not easy to keep your chin up as an Englishman at this time of year, so thank you dear baseball. Now, I have to make some kind of promise to stop neglecting baseball so much. It is there for me all summer, but like the fickle man I am, I abandon it as soon as the World Cup flutters its eyelashes at me. Iâ€™m sorry, baseball. I know you are the sport that wonâ€™t let me down.
Well, until it all goes horribly wrong later in the season.