Thursday, October 14, 2004

Sports Overload

It's a good time of year for sports.

Baseball's league championships have started. I find it highly interesting that both series feature teams from the same division. In the American League, you have East Division winner New York taking on Boston, who won the Wild Card after finishing second to the Yankees. It's the same in the National League, where Central Division winner St. Louis plays second-place Houston. I know that will happen from time to time, as the rules prohibit teams from the same division from playing each other in the first round, but I don't know that it's happened before in both leagues.

I can't believe that baseball is so screwed up logistically as to allow both games last night to be played at the same time. One game should be played at 4:00 p.m. and the other at 8:00 p.m. so interested parties can watch either or both. Instead, both games were played at 8:00. I heard on the radio this morning that the Boston-New York game was shown on network television (Fox) to 74% of the country, and Houston-St. Louis was shunted over to Fox's cable sports channel in those markets. For one, this is just horrible planning on the part of Major League Baseball and Fox to allow these game times to conflict. Secondly, why in the hell was the American League game on in 74% of the country? They said on the radio it was done because it's the series most people are interested in, but that doesn't make any sense. Out here in the middle of the country, I don't know anyone who cares if the Yankees and Red Sox set themselves on fire and jump into a lake of gasoline. I would personally think that Houston-St. Louis would have a broader appeal just because the teams comprise a broader geographical area. I guess that's why I'm not a network programmer.

Of course, it didn't really matter to me which game was on which channel, because I'm lucky enough to have the Fox cable channel. I could see either game I wanted. If I didn't that channel, though, and wanted to watch the Astros-Cardinals game, I would have been pretty upset about it. To be honest, though, right now I'm not watching any of the games. I just can't. The Cardinals are the only team still involved in the playoffs that I don't actively dislike. I flip to the channels occasionally to catch a score, but that's it. I may try to watch some of the World Series, but I doubt I'll bother much before then.

Since the season is over for the Reds, they've already started taking care of some offseason moves. They signed manager Dave Miley to a contract extension, which I think is a great move. I really think he's a good manager. His moves didn't always work out this past year simply because he didn't have adequate tools, but that's not his fault.

Of course, the second move the Reds made has taken away one of Miley's tools, as the team announced earlier this week that they will not offer a contract to Barry Larkin. Larkin was originally going to retire after this past season, but he played well and decided to reconsider. If he decides to play next year, he'll have to do it elsewhere. As much as I like Larkin (he's been one of my favorites for a long time), I have to hope he retires, because I don't want to see him in any other uniform. It just wouldn't be right. I think the Reds are making a mistake in not bringing him back. He can still play, as evidenced by the success he had this season. He may not be able to play every single day, due to his age, but I haven't seen anything from any of his potential replacements that makes me think any of them is a better option than having Larkin around for another year. Unless they bring in a good free agent shortstop, or trade for one, this looks like a bad move.

Of course, baseball season is over and now it's football season. This weekend the Bowling Green Falcons return home to Doyt Perry Stadium for the first time in five weeks to play only the second home game of the season. It's BGSU's Homecoming game, and I'm excited to see them play in person again. The opponent will be Ball State, and the game has the potential to get ugly. Their defense gives up a lot of yards and points, and our offense puts up a lot of yards and points. I'll be there from beginning to end regardless. I think Brandi and I may try to make it out there early to do some tailgating, but that may (or may not) depend upon the weather. With Homecoming activities, there's sure to be plenty of stuff going on to keep us entertained. I like being at the stadium early anyway.

As football season hits its stride, basketball season is just beginning to get cranked up. The NBA is playing preseason games right now, and the regular season begins shortly--the Cleveland Cavaliers open up on November 3 (schedule), which is less than three weeks away. Unfortunately, the BGSU Falcons don't start play until November 20 and don't play at home until November 24 (barring exhibition games, of which none are currently listed on the schedule). I just put all their games on my Outlook calendar yesterday, and that really started getting my psyched for some Falcon hoops. I have no idea how good BG will be (or won't be, perhaps) this season, but I can hardly wait to see them play. I hope they do have some kind of exhibition so I can check out the new guys before the games actually count.

Of course, the NHL hockey season was supposed to start last night, but didn't due to a labor dispute. The players and owners haven't even met for a negotiating session since sometime in September, which makes absolutely no sense to me. There's never going to be an agreement if there aren't any negotiations, so get in a room and get it done! Then again, the NHL mostly bores me, so they can stay away for as long as they'd like and I won't miss them. I really only like to watch hockey in person, and Brandi also enjoyed the game we went to last year (a Detroit Red Wings playoff game), so this year we'll probably also get our hockey fix courtesy of the BGSU Falcons. They have an exhibition game on Friday night, and the regular season (schedule) starts next weekend.

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