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Central Division race even zanier
than we thought…

By Jeff Mayfield          Send a link to a friend

[JUNE 21, 2004]  I feel a little like Ernie Soucheck this morning. Wasn't he the lovable Chicago newspaper writer who was featured in the movie "Continental Divide"? Coincidentally, I'm returning from the same place he traveled in the movie (to find out where that was, you'll have to rent the movie), and I have to say that it is even more impressive and wonderful in person than it is on film. As always, when you are gone the world keeps spinning and doesn't pause for even a millisecond, so obviously a few things have happened while I was away. Gas prices have inched down a little, the weather is uncharacteristically good, my lawn needed to be baled (how much can you get a bale nowadays?), and world peace is still a few years away. Of course a few things appear to have happened in the sports world, like…

The totally wacked-out standings in the National League's Central Division. While I love the current condition (seeing those lovely Redbirds perched at the top), I never expected this development. That is exactly why I am paid top dollar for my incredibly keen sports insights!? Seriously, I always had the Cards penciled in as pretenders, not contenders. If every other team continues to have injuries and other meltdowns, I guess St. Louis could conceivably be there at the end of September… I'm just not seeing it. This Cubs series looms largely on the horizon.

Cards skipper Tony LaRussa seems to think that it'll still be a four-team race with his Cards, the Cubs, the Astros and the Reds. That's right. He believes that the Reds are for real and that they will be a factor. I don't know what I think about that. I'm still seeing Houston and Chicago battling it out in September.

Well, Cook is going to get a ring -- just not the world championship version. And with the Lakers' team about to unravel, it is anybody's guess whether that means Brian will stay there or if they will package him and send him in a deal to change the makeup of their ballclub. We hope to be in contact with Cook soon and will update you as to what he knows at this time.

I just can't believe that Detroit won it all. I did see them play this season and reported to you loyal LDN readers that they were a force that should not be taken lightly, but I did not envision them winning it all. I wonder if the critics think that Larry Brown can coach yet???


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How 'bout Ratief Goosen winning the U.S. Open for the second time? Phil Mickelson just didn't have enough juice in the tank to overcome Goosen's 12 1-putt greens…I haven't had that many in my entire life, and this joker nails that many on Championship Sunday… Sometimes the golf world is just not fair.

Racing was back in the swing at Lincoln Speedway Sunday night. We caught a little of the action from the Dairy Queen but were a little too tired from the traveling to take it all in (I have no reported results at this time).

I told you that the Stanley Cup finals would be great. Tampa Bay captured their first cup ever, and former Lincoln resident Curt Swan is STILL dancin' in the streets several days later… Of course he does that on regular days too! BUT, Stanley got his tan!

No word on Illini football except to say that season ticket sales reportedly have been better than many people expected. Perhaps the fact that seven of the 11 will be played at home could make a difference. I just hope the boys are ready to go when they come out of the gate!

Sad to see that our horse Smarty Jones didn't take the Triple Crown. He was so close… I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

That's it for me as I need to get caught up. Have a great week, everybody!

[Jeff Mayfield]

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