Monday, August 11, 2008

Cheering for both teams

Olympic Basketball

I woke up early (well, early by collegiate standards) this morning to watch the United States Olympic men's basketball team take on Yao Ming and China. The game started with one of the more resonant shots of the last few years, a Yao three pointer which opened scoring and gave China their only lead of the game. The place went nuts, but basketball in China is unique. The fans would cheer for Chinese scores but also cheer for Kobe dunks and LeBron alley-oops. I have to imagine it was a very special game for both teams, with Yao doing some impressive cheerleading as the clock wound down to zero.

The US won 101-70, but honestly, you have to feel good about international basketball after a game like that. Hopefully, China will leave Yao alone and let him become the superstar he can be. Also on display during the game: now-Laker Sun Yue. He looked good, although without figuring out his number until the third quarter, I probably missed a lot of his play.

The team plays Angola on the 12th, I believe.

Series Recap: Angels 3, Yankees 0

Another sweep of another overrated AL East opponent. And my, oh my, did we get some offense this weekend. Without delving too deeply into details, particularly at 12:40 AM, the Angels outscored the Yankees 25-12 over the three game series, with 8 of those runs coming in the eighth inning of Saturday's game. Somehow, the Angels broke a 3-3 tie with 8(!) runs in the bottom half of the inning, with the RBI-fest starting with Vlad's homer and ending with his single to left. Yes, Vlad went 2 for 2 in the inning, finishing 2-5 overall in a game where every Angels starter had a hit. It was a remarkable game.

The Halos managed to pull off the sweep today thanks to Joe Girardi's inexplicable choice to bring in Mariano Rivera in a non-save situation. Without the S statistic in play, Mo's been downright mortal, giving up 7 ER in 21 innings, as opposed to 1 ER in 29 innings with the save on the line. It's weird, but it's something to look at. He probably got screwed by an exceedingly lazy play by Cano, who looked like he had a real chance at Chone Figgins' game winning RBI single to right in the bottom of the ninth. Erick Aybar, though, didn't seem to mind as he flung his bat into the air as Howie scored the winning run. It was pretty funny to watch.

Jose Arredondo did his best recreation of a Frankie inning, allowing Alex Rodriguez to double with one out in the eighth. Thanks to a great throw by Mike Napoli and bad positioning by the third base ump, A-Rod was called out at third attempting to steal, although replays showed he was safe by a couple inches. Jose got out of the inning, and such is baseball. Regardless, the strike zone was a fluid concept this afternoon, reminding me again why umpires need to be replaced with pitch tracking systems as soon as possible. I swear, Derek Jeter gets a strikezone the size of a shoebox. It's ridiculous.

This sweep logged a couple milestones for the Halos, one of which demands reflection back to 2002, the last time the Angels were 30+ games over .500. 2002 was a good year for the franchise.


  • Amanda's in another tournament, this time the Western and Southern Financial Group Women's Open. Unlike her other tournaments thus far, this is a WTA event, so it's worth $175,000 in prize money. She plays #31 world ranked Katarina Srebotnik tomorrow.
  • The Rays won their 71st game this season, breaking their former franchise season win total with 45 games remaining. Bravo, Tampa Bay.
  • Olympic sports that are not sports: badminton, beach volleyball, diving, "equestrian," gymnastics, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, and weightlifting. Not sports. Sorry. I'm not trivializing the athletes, just the dumb games they play.
  • A small part of me feels bad for sweeping the Yankees and making life easier for Boston, but then I remember: I hate the Yankees also.
  • Kira sent me an interesting link about why I should've chosen athletic training over mechanical engineering. Even so, fuck ESPN.
  • Firefox 3 is a worthless piece of shit. I'm going to downgrade to a functional browser in the next couple hours. Whoever is responsibly for the asinine URL bar needs to be fired and/or shipped to Apple.


Julie said...

Not athletic training... its about physical therapy, which is like a trillion times better than athletic training.

Marcus said...

I suppose, but I don't want to work with patients, I want to work with athletes.