Thursday, October 8, 2009

Play ball

My car has a Japanese radio, and National Public Radio is all I can pick up that far down the U.S. FM band for my morning drive.

Today from All Things Considered came the tale of a little girl who caught Ryan Howard's 200th home run. A 12-year old, with her 15 year-old brother.

The big, bad Philadelphia Phillies got together with Florida Marlins' security, trundled her off and offered a swap: cotton candy and a signed ball for the milestone rawhide.

Enter her lawyer, though I'm sure mom and dad are there somewhere in the background. They gave the ball back, eventually. Just filler, but exactly the type of story to get more comments than, say, the war in Afghanistan.

Join the fun. Who's right here? The girl's proxies (have some candy) or a player who wants a memento (through his proxies)?

A hint about where I'm leaning: in these days of overpriced sporting tickets, why not treat them as lottery tickets?

Throwing some junk

All of which is just an excuse to talk about the playoffs, my heart being with the Minnesota Twins. I love the thought of a small market team beating the Best Team Money Can Buy.

Just a thought, because this year they have about as much chance as a snowball in the Metrodome. Even with A-Rod's yearly October swoon the Yankees are by far the best team this year.

And the Red Sox meet the Angels (again?). Two more big-bucks behemoths, though the Red Sox aren't very scary this time around. Angels win for once.

Of course that's just the league where aging sluggers fade away and pitchers can't take their own medicine.

On the senior side we have the Dodgers' left fielder for comic relief, though Manny could go on a tear and start hitting again. Still, the Dodgers went from the team to beat in the first half of the season to mediocre in the second half.

Albert Pujols, arguably the best hitter in baseball, often finds a way to bail out the Cardinals' anemic offense and they have the two best pitchers in the National League not named Lincecum. A sweep is possible, though I'd rather see the Dodgers suffer a little.

The defending champion Phillies? Well, it's all about Brad Lidge, isn't it? So it's the Rockies (grr), who just have the look and feel of one of those teams on a long, improbable ride. Throw out the start of the season and they match up with anyone.

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