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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Stretch - Time for some Cracker Jacks

August Baseball Signposts:
- A Big CONGRATULATIONS to the Sanford Mainers, this year's NECBL Champions. The Mainers, a team that made it to the NECBL Finals last year but lost to Keene, beat the Newport RI Gulls last night in a Best 2 or 3 Championship Series. Led by mascot Broose D'Moose, the Mainers play at beautiful Goodall Park in Sanford, ME. This team's long-term existence looked shaky a few months ago but boosted attendance and community interest for a good organization - and good baseball - have secured the Mainers future. It is high-level amateur baseball at its best. If you missed the NECBL this season, make a promise to go next year.
- Red Sox: Looks like a different team lately, doesn't it? Does the pitching look better to you? It might - but I think that the pitching may look better, and is better, because the folks behind the mound are catching the ball better than they were. (How many unearned runs have we given up since Nomar left BTW?) Being home also helps. My Pick: these guys are ready to roll, right now, and lock in the Wild Card.
- Sad Sign of the season: dark little league fields after mid -August.
- Junior Griffey: Another Gayle Sayers?
- Tough As Nails Sheffield: Playing in constant pain, injured, and no relief in sight - and yet he's carried the Yankees for months and could be MVP. Contemplating retirement, and justly so; already made $90M. Though he wears the PinStripes, he is my kind of ballplayer.
- Kapler: got to play this guy more - No, not a .330 hitter, but a Dirt Dog.
- Wrigley Field: About as old as Fenway, and now visibly crumbling (http://www.sports-central.org/sports/2004/08/03/time_for_changes_at_Wrigley_field.php Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley told Cubs' officials..."Fix Wrigley or I'll shut it down."). How long before bigger chunks start to fall from the Fens? (Smaller ones have been falling for years - look at the walls next time you are there!)
- Who is a bigger disappointment this year in the NL: Phillies or Astros?