I think I have like another week to send in a deposit for 2008 playoff tickets, but I think I'm going to save my money so I can buy Rock Band 2. The drumkit from the first game finally died yesterday, after months of hard service (I play the video game drums as hard or harder than I do the actual drums) and a souped-up replacement is on the way.
The Rockies got slammed by the Giants today, and a lot of things went by the wayside with that loss. Aaron Cook will have to win every one of his remaining starts to reach the 20-game mark, a tall order. And I think playoff dreams are now officially dead: If you can't win a game at home with your ace on the mound against one of the worst teams in the league, a team starting their very own albatross-contract eight figure-earning fifth starter, you're not a playoff team. But how about the Dodgers? We've left them for dead a couple of times, and they could be a half game back if Arizona loses today (they're down one late, as I write this) and Hiroki Kuroda beats the Padres this evening. How wild is that? Less wild than last year's NL West race, to be sure, but it would be nice to see the Rockies' de facto archrivals in Phoenix get knocked out of the playoffs. Lost in all the preseason predictions was the fact that the D-Backs were even more lucky than the Rockies were to be in the postseason last year, given their run differential.
I think that it's obvious that the Cubs would prefer to see Los Angeles rather than Arizona in the first round, given what happened last year, the righthandedness of the Chicago lineup, and the Snakes' nasty one-two punch at the top of their pitching rotation. The Cubs are the best team in the National League, but if the Rockies don't pull off the miracle comeback I'm rooting for the Brewers in October. It's been a long time for that franchise, and besides, a Rays-Brewers World Series would be like the apocalypse for the Fox Network. They'd probably shift it over to FX to show "America's Most Sex-Addicted Transvestites" on the flagship.
The name of the relocated Seattle Sonics is the Oklahoma City Thunder. That sounds like the name of a CBA team. It just screams CBA. I thought we'd gotten past the ridiculous fad for singular team nicknames, but evidently not. Basketball fans in Europe are going to be looking at the standings next year and asking themselves if they've suddenly introduced promotion and relegation to the NBA.
But forget all of that: I met Cal Ripken, Jr. on Monday. He came into my electronics store to buy a television for his daughter, who goes to CU. For a moment I was too starstruck to approach, but I got over it and I walked up to him. "Hi, I'm Mark Donohue, I write a Colorado Rockies blog," I said. He looked me in the eye, shook my hand (great handshake, firm but not aggressively so, just the right duration), and said it was nice to meet me. Then I apologized for bothering him and let him go back to TV buying. Later I realized I probably didn't need to say "Colorado Rockies blog," Cal having been in the game long enough to know who the Rockies were. But anyway after Richard M. Daley and John de Lancie (Q from "Star Trek") I think he's the third most interesting person with whom I've ever shaken hands.