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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Omens for the Fall (for Beantown and Texas, at least)

SportsProf spoke with a Friend of SportsProf today (given that in the Blogosphere we give people nicknames, perhaps we should call him "Bubba from Westchester County (NY)" regarding Bubba's prowess as a little league coach for his daughters' softball team. Because he couldn't get the Mets as his team's name, Bubba settled upon the Red Sox. Well, these Red Sox were good enough, as the real-life Red Sox, to make the playoffs, where they faced the mighty Yankees in a one-game elimination for the right to play for the championship. They led 5-2 going into the bottom of the seventh and last inning, whereupon in real Red Sox' style they surrendered 3 runs and the Yankees had a runner on third with two outs. Unlike the '86 BoSox, however, these Westchester County BoSox hung in there, no bouncing ball went through the first baseman's legs, and no pitcher poured gasoline on the fire. They won in extra innings.

That led them to an uphill fight against the favored Cubs, who, by their performance in the regular season, only had to win one game (to the Red Sox' two) in order to win the title. And, to top it all off, these BoSox had to play a morning game after a night game, and, if they won the first one against the Cubbies, another game only 15 minutes after the first game.

So what happened? Did these young girls from Westchester County fold? To the contrary, under Bubba's magnificent leadership (his motto: "Have fun, kids") they swept the mighty and favored Cubs to win the title. And Bubba's girls played a significant role in the outcome.

Red Sox beating Yankees to get to the championship, where they face the Cubs for all the marbles? Sounds like another league that many of us watch. As this Westchester (NY) little league goes, perhaps, so goes Major League Baseball. If I'm in Boston, I'd want to trade my lucky charms for the jerseys of these little leaguers.

And, speaking of heavily favored, perhaps this segment could be entitled, "Forget the Texans" after what apparently transpired after the College World Series championship game on Sunday in which Cal State Fullerton upset the Texas Longhorns 3-2 to win the NCAA baseball title. The Longhorns stayed in their locker room after the game and did not come out for the awards ceremony. And they're getting buried for that choice in the national media, with writers and commentators questioning their leadership and their sportsmanship.

Let's see, now, Texans angry about finishing in second place. Could this be an omen for, well, what happens right after the World Series -- the U.S. Presidential election?


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