What a terrible day for sports. The Wimbledon final ended up a letdown, the World Cup game was a dull summary of every legitimate criticism Americans have for soccer, and the Rockies got swept at home by a team they ought to beat.
As far as the World Cup is concerned, the better team won, but it was no fun to watch. There was a blatant, game-changing dive right in the first ten minutes. The supposed breakout star of the tournament got ejected for an inexplicable act of senseless violence. And then there were penalty kicks. I was as excited for this World Cup as I've ever been for any major sporting event, but it ended up a complete disappointment. I read one veteran commentator saying he wouldn't rate this tourney in his top 10, and he's seen eleven. I've only seen three but I agree. What a lousy way to finish a month that had far more hideously ugly dive- and foul-fests than transcendent moments. In the end, we're left with that Maxi Rodriguez goal, a couple plays by those "German" Polish strikers, and that one Beckham spot-kick. On the other hand, I watched my first complete MLS game in ages the other day, Houston-Chivas USA, and the quality of play there seems to be steadily improving. And the players don't dive like it was going out of style, either.
I don't have much to say about the Rockies-Diamondbacks series. What happened to our bullpen? Ugh. The game yesterday set a National League record for runs scored in the ninth inning after Brandon Webb and Jason Jennings pitched each eight innings, allowing one run apiece. I wish I could say it was tremendous fun to watch, but from my perspective, it was just another one-run loss to a bad team. I sound like a broken record, but every time the Rockies put together a solid run of play, win some series on the road, and generally look like they're getting their act together, they come plunging back down to .500 as if connected by a tether. It's disheartening. You can't say that the bullpen needs rest, because the starters have been throwing seven innings every time out lately. They need less rest. And now here's the All-Star break, the worst three days of the whole sports year. Three days of pointless, boring, loudly overhyped meaningless spectacle staged for people who maybe watch three other baseball games all year. I hate it.
A silver lining: the Mariners are wearing Seattle Pilots jerseys and caps today.