Tag Archives: MLB

I can’t wait for 8-8-08!

Welcome to the summer sports doldrums. The NBA finals — which I actually watched this year — are now over and it is months away from football season. How is a gal to amuse herself?

One could make the argument that baseball is in full swing, and of course, it is. However, the Braves aren’t doing anything exciting right now, other than Chipper making a run at a .400 season average, which would be the first player to do so since Ted Williams way back in 1941. He is exactly at .400 right now, after suffering a short slump in the last week or so. A yearly tradition, I wait with bated breath in hopes that he doesn’t have yet another season-ruining injury, which has happened the last umpteen seasons. John Smoltz, another one of my “vintage” Braves favorites, is already out for the season and has been for several weeks. The Braves have a phenomenal home record but can’t seem to buy a victory on the road… yet somehow they are in the hunt. They are currently 5 1/2 games back and tied for third in the NL East.

All these somewhat interesting storylines aside, it’s the down-and-dirty middle of the season where players are worn out, many of them slumping, and it’s way too early to make any meaningful post-season projections. Stanley Cup ended, as did the NBA Finals. College football and NFL are months away.

In the relative abyss though, there is something I can’t wait for: the Summer Olympics! Thank goodness this year is an Olympic year, because the barren sportscape for the summer is too much of a depressing thought to take. (Though I guess there’s Eurocup soccer, which I’ve been watching a decent amount of at work. I swear it’s on for everyone, not just me!)

As most of America knows, the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics start on 8-8-08, thanks to NBC’s recent advertising blitz. And to use a hackneyed old adage, the world will be watching. The unabashed evidence of corporate sponsorship during commercials for the month of August, the political implications, and oh yeah, some of the best displays of athletic prowess we’ll see in years to come… all boiling in a cauldron of the “only-once-every-four-years” excitement, how can anyone deny it?

While all these storylines are indeed interesting to me, I am (obviously) most exuberant about the sports. I live to watch the swimming events all day, and love to cheer on the Red, White and Blue as they destroy (or attempt to) the Land Down Under in relays. I marvel at the incredible maneuvers athletes are able to accomplish in both gymnastics and diving. And what sort of uncivilized person doesn’t enjoy watching track and field? And then there’s volleyball, water polo, soccer, basketball, and other countless entertaining team sports. And while I may not understand synchronized swimming, I must admit, it’s baffling how much people can accomplish while holding their collective breaths underwater. And other than the wedgie-picking, I love beach volleyball too.

So needless to say, August 8th can’t come soon enough. Another stellar Olympics is coming, and I can’t hide my enthusiasm! Here’s to hoping the next month and a half zoom by so we can get ’em started!


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Opening Day at the Nationals New Stadium

Tonight the Washington Nationals christened their brand new ballpark. Having lived in DC the past two years, witnessing the past two opening days in person, and watching 20-plus games at old RFK, this game certainly piqued my interest. It also didn’t hurt that the Nationals opened up against my beloved Atlanta Braves.

Based on all I could see radiating from my TV set, the new stadium is an amazing upgrade from the personality-lacking RFK. Food venues looked decent, the field didn’t show the evidence of splitting duties with a soccer team, and on the whole the stadium looked like a great place to enjoy a night or afternoon of baseball (perhaps this was aided by a 40,000+ crowd on hand). I can’t wait to catch a game there the next time I’m in the area.

I’ve yet to see a quality photo of the finished stadium as yet, but this might give you a good idea:

Picture source: The Ballparks of Baseball website

Now that looks like a real ballpark. Eerily similar to the Braves’ own Turner Field… Apparently the Nats’ new home offers views of the Capitol and National Monument as well.

Sadly, the Braves lost 3-2… I didn’t have the chance to see much of the game, but I did see the Braves come from behind in the top of the 9th to tie it up 2-2 on a passed ball, but this excitement was brief. In the bottom of the inning Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off homer to make the inaugural day memorable for Nats fans. At least Zimmerman is a UVA baseball alum, so that lessens the pain.

Overall it’s been an abysmal day for teams I like… Texas lost by almost 20, and won’t be joining the Final 4. Also, Davidson lost by 2 to Kansas, ending the awe of the nation. We will now be “treated” to a Final Four with four #1s, which has never before happened. I don’t know what angers me more, how dull and uninteresting that makes next weekend or that millions of basketball idiots across the country who make picks solely on the basis of seed are slaughtering me.

For the record, I picked two of them, UNC and UCLA. My final is UNC over UCLA.

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