And while we're on this subject, no
wonder the Red Sox are jinxed… Making deals like this one does not
usually lead to championships. Rumor has it that they once traded a
young Babe Ruth to a team in New York, which is not much of a track
record. How Boston could give up on the guy that carried them for
several seasons I'll never know, and how the Cubs were able to get
him is even more astounding. However, once again Hendry has made
another great deal. Does that mean his days are numbered with the
Cubs?… I sure hope so.
The Cubs did manage to go out behind
Garciaparra and beat the Phillies 6-3 yesterday to take two of three
from the struggling Phils; but by the time I turned the game on,
LaTroy Hawkins was in -- I presumed, to nail down Maddux's 300th
win… Little did I know that he was no longer the pitcher of record.
At any rate, in this would-be
reporter's mind, Nomar is exactly the kind of player you want and
exactly the kind of player the Cubs need and have always needed. To
me he is a guy who makes everyone in the lineup better. I hope and
pray he is not the guy who can help Chicago catch St. Louis in the
Central Division race, but he very well could be the guy who could
lead the Cubbies to the wild card title.
Have I mentioned that the last two wild
cards haven't fared too badly? World titles for both the Florida
Marlins and the Anaheim Angels is my evidence for that statement! At
any rate, hats off to Jim Hendry for a super move, especially when
you consider that the Cubs did not have to give up Matt Clement to
get this deal done. And for those Cub fans who have bemoaning Greg
Maddux this season, he's something like 3-0 with a sub-2.0 ERA over
the last month… Yah, he's really lost it!
a bigger hit than Broadway
If the St. Louis Cardinals were a
Broadway play, they would be sold out nightly and headed for an
extended run. After dusting off the San Francisco Giants 6-1 last
night in front of a national ESPN TV audience, they put the
finishing touches on a 5-1 road trip. With the win the Cards vaulted
30 games over .500 and obviously start August with a 10½ game lead
over the second-place Cubs. If you watched the game, you had a bad
feeling after the top half of the sixth. In that frame the Redbirds
loaded the bags against SF wonder boy Jason Schmidt with only one
out. He induced John Mabry, who has been on fire lately, to ground
weakly to first, resulting in a fielder's-choice force out at home,
and then he got Mike Matheny to ground out weakly to second. I guess
that's why Jason is the wonder boy and the leading contender for the
NL Cy Young award.
However, Cardinal Jedi master Woody
Williams was up to the task. By the way, congratulations to
Williams, who won the 100th game of his career, limiting the potent
Giant lineup to only one run and helping to hold Barry Bonds to an
0-for-4 night. The Cards could have swept the series if Mr. Ten Days
Rest, Matty Mo, would not have gotten shelled the night before (and
the Birds almost came back and won that one too).
Some fans were disgusted that the Cards
didn't make a deal for a RHP in middle relief and pick up an
outfielder for the stretch run. While I agree with some of them that
those would have been nice additions, I'd like to mention that the
machine is NOT broke and sometimes the best deal is no deal at all.
I sure hope that was the right decision.
One other note: Rick Ankiel will make
his first start in over a year tonight for Palm Beach as they take
on St. Lucie in Jupiter, Fla. If anyone's got a plane and would like
to make the trip, we'd spring for gas, as we'd like to cheer on the
young lefty. Hopefully, he'll be back up with the big club next
Sox lay an egg
On the other hand, it hasn't been much
of a week for Ozzie Guillen and the Pale Hose. Losers of six or
seven in a row, they finally picked up a victory over Detroit
yesterday, but the damage has already been done. If they fail to
capture the AL Central, they can look back to the last week in July
has their "collapse" week! Perhaps the Sox should take a page out of
my swingin' A's book? Did you see what they did to the Rangers this
weekend? Look it up!
[to top of second column in
Bloomington Gold advances
The Bloomington Gold American Legion
baseball team won the 4th Division championship at Chuck Lindstrom
field last night over Springfield 17-12. Former LCC baseball coach
Mike McElyea's son Shawn, who is a Parkland College recruit, closed
out the win for the Gold. With the win they now advance to the state
tournament for the first time since 2000 against an unnamed opponent
as we go to post.
Former Lincoln resident Steve Clapp
manages the ballclub, and judging by the sparkling 39-8 record, he
has done a masterful job. Clapp, who was an integral member of
record-setting LCC baseball and basketball teams, is no stranger to
success, having enjoyed it all of his life. Wins, victories and
other good stuff follow this guy wherever he goes.
At any rate, the LDN wishes the Gold
great success at UIC and would love a state title brought back to
When I was a young man, my dad tried to
get me interested in golf. I was OK playing it, but just the thought
of watching it on TV made me sick. I could not understand how ANYone
could watch it. It just appeared so boring -- like maybe watching
paint dry. Even today some of you loyal and faithful LDN readers
might have that same opinion.
If you share that opinion, then you
obviously were NOT watching the Buick Open yesterday from Michigan.
And you missed some major entertainment. It was drama, spills and
chills and all wrapped into one. The crowd was in a frenzy like a
college basketball crowd. You had Carlos Franco and Tiger Woods
going toe to toe and you had a rejuvenated John Daly just
obliterating the field with his monster drives and shots. And of
course you had Vijay Singh just galloping away with the
championship. He can do it with the long putter, he can do it with
the cross-handed grip, and he can do it with a conventional style.
Speaking of Singh… If he's not the No. 1 player in the world right
now, I don't know who is.
And if that wasn't enough to whet your
golf appetite, then did you check out the Senior U.S. Open from
spectacular Bellrive in St. Louis? Tom Kite held the third-round
lead, but huge galleries were trying to pump Hale Irwin and Jay Haas
onto victory. But it was a steady Peter Jacobson who shook off the
effects of a sore hip and a 36-hole finale to claim the trophy. Not
bad golf for seniors on a hot day playing an extra round of golf.
For my money that's just good TV (I
realize that's an oxymoron)… I just hope I didn't miss too many
great shootouts in my youth when I chose to watch paint drying
I was sad to learn of the death of
former UCLA great Steve Patterson. Patterson died of cancer at the
young age of 56. He played center on three national champion teams,
in between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor at the time) and Bill
Walton. As a kid and way before ESPN, FOX, etc., I would stay up
past the news and watch the UCLA replays at 11:30 at night. They
were the UNLV (I'm not going to say that team on Tobacco row) of
their time and were virtually invincible. That was one thing my dad
DID convince me to watch on TV, and again that was some REALLY good
television. They just don't make 'em like that anymore!
pools are open… Use 'em and cool off… Have a great week, everybody!