Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Post Labor-Day Cogitations

-I guess we should have expected that Steve Irwin would die at the hands of one of the dangerous animals that he hung around with. But, what were the odds of going the way he did? Holy smoke! Talk about tough luck. Here was a guy who was totally dedicated to the life he had chosen. God doesn't send us many people who are as identifiable as he was.

-Suddenly the Cardinals seem to be a pretty darn good team again. If they can consistently get 6 or 7 good innings out of their starter, they'll be as good as anybody in the playoffs.

Another thing... It seems to me that Izzy has re-captured his 93 mph fastball. If so, that's big. He can keep hitters off-balance with that...and get them out with the curve or splitter. In last night's game, he got two guys out swinging at high fastballs out of the zone. They'll do that if they think they have to "gear up" for the heater. In the games where he was walking batters and giving up home runs, it seemed he was nibbling with the cutter at 87mph and not throwing strikes. Then he'd come in with a meat ball that would wind up on the other side of the fence. Good to see the fastball back...especially if he can consistently throw it at 91-95mph.

-The Grizzlies had a fantastic last two weeks of the season. They were unbeaten in their last 12 games. Unbeaten...because of a silly tie in a rain game in Florence, Kentucky in their last away game. It might be an interesting off-season for the Rich Sauget owned...and Tony Funderburg general-managed operation. They had some difficult issues during the season that I'm sure will be addressed when they have organizational meetings later this month.

-As far as the Frontier League goes...there are always interesting, and sometimes strange, occurences at the league office during the off-season. There will likely be two more teams next year. One in Marion, Illinois owned by John Simmons of the Alton law firm Simmons-Cooper. The other will...from what I hear...be in Loraine, Ohio near Cleveland. Supposedly, there will be another two teams come on board in 2008 with the league going to three divisions instead of two. There has also been a rumor floating about the Frontier merging with the Northern League (another independent). Those I have talked to about it don't give it much of a chance.

-Now that the traditional end of Summer has arrived...I'm a bit sad. I don't much like the cold weather...and it can't be far behind. But, I am excited about the "new Blues" and what they might do during the Fall and Winter...and early Spring....geez it's a long season.

-I watched the debut of Katie Couric on the CBS news tonight. While I don't have any problem with a woman as the lead anchor on one of the major networks, I tend to think there are enough people who do, that her ratings might struggle. The other problem she may have is her many years of "fluff-show" hosting on the Today show. While she did discuss serious news at times there, she also was involved with a lot of very soft stuff...gossip, recipes, movie talk..etc. And, of course, she always dressed up in some weird get-up for all of the holidays. Maybe I'm old fashioned...but I think she may pay for that goofiness of her past in the long run.

-President Bush tried his best today to make the case that we are in an all-out war against terrorism. The longer the Iraq war goes...and the longer we still have troops in Afghanistan and other hot spots...the harder it will be for him to make that case. For me, every time some young American soldier dies because some guy blows up a car, I tend to wonder if we're really fighting an all-out war. That would employ more people...require more of our attention and our resources woudn't it? It seems we're really just trying to keep the terrorism battle off our own land and preserve as much "life as we know it" as possible. I support the President. But, I also wonder if the 4 billion dollars...and scores of lives...that we spend each month are still justified. If Osama is really today's Hitler...and all Americans thought that...I think we would have found a way to snuff him out by now.

-Before the weekend I asked what your favorite movie was, and named my top three. Well, wife Barb...and friend Kevin...reminded me of one that probably should have been in my top two or three...hmmm that would make four I guess. Close Encounters of the Third Kind was a very special movie of its time...and one of my all-time favorites too. I think though, I have decided on Field of Dreams as my all-time number one. Any movie that incorporates baseball, reconciliation with Dad, and ghosts of great players enjoying a game on a diamond cut out of a cornfield...well, how can you beat that? At least for me.

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