The New York Rays

One of the things that came from Hurricane Irma was that the sports calendar and map got shuffled around. That’s quite understandable of course, because you don’t want to risk the health and safety of fans, players, or the structure of these facilities hosting the events.

Tropicana Field hosted a three game series between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers while Houston was flooded by Hurricane Harvey. When it looked like our area was going to get Irma, MLB moved the series where the Rays were going to host the New York Yankees.

I understand the logistical nightmares moving games around can be, and I don’t think that’s an easy operation by any means. But having the Rays host games at Citi Field where the Mets play is embarrassing. It’s basically giving the Yankees three more home games where their fans will come out in droves.

I get that there are times that games can’t always be played at neutral facilities, but come on. Baseball could have made something positive out of all of this, but instead chose to gave one of its prized teams an advantage that could make the difference as to whether or not they make the playoffs.

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Blood Circus

The NFL preseason kicks off in two weeks, but something I read on Tuesday has curbed my enthusiasm for the coming season.

There was a study done on 111 deceased NFL players recently, their brains donated for research. The families of these ex-NFL athletes, for the most part, feared that they had CTE, brain damage from playing football.

Here's the story as the New York Times had it. You're welcome. 😁

It turned out that their fears were well founded. Out of the now departed 111 players, they've found CTE in 110 of them, a rate of over 99 percent.

It's going to be hard not to think about this when autumn rolls around. These athletes are well compensated for the injuries they will endure, no question. But, I can't imagine a child or young teenager looking at this and thinking there might be other sports to play that don't take such a toll on body and mind.

Language Barrier

Perhaps I should have known something was wrong earlier on in the evening.

Friday night, I'm watching the Rays game with Texas. I'm also on the computer which sits to the right of my TV in the bedroom, which prevents me from noticing the ore-game show has no sound. I don't have the TV on mute, so there should be sound.

I do some chores and get back to the game at about 7:30. Now there's audio, but it's in Spanish. Again, I'm not generally concerned about it, so I fiddle around on the computer some more. I know the Spanish announcers will go into some high pitched exclamations if something good happens, plus it could be some sort of technical issue on the broadcasters end.

Midway through the game, it's still in Spanish. Now I'm thinking its something wrong on my end. I pour through the various audio settings, and restore settings to their defaults. BOOM! There's the voice of Dewayne Staats calling balls and strikes.

Somehow, my TV had found and switched over to the SAP audio channel. Don't know how it happened, but it did. Weird.

Orenthal Rides Again

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CNN covering the O.J. Simpson trial moments after he was found not guilty, October 3rd, 1995.  F. Lee Bailey, Robert Kardashian (Kim’s dad) are to O.J.’s left, Johnnie Cochran on the right.

We are a society still too fascinated with a former pro football player named O.J. Simpson. Myself included. Thus, it was no surprise to me that the news world stopped covering the besieged Trump presidency to cover the parole hearing that turned Simpson into a free man come October.

I’ve been of the opinion that Simpson did indeed murder his wife and Ron Goldman, once I got over the disbelief that such a thing could happen. But, we have trials in our country for some decent reasons, and Simpson was able to get off hiring the best defenders money could buy. He wasn’t as lucky in civil proceedings, and as we know, an armed robbery in Las Vegas costed him his freedom in 2008.

Hopefully, a 70 year old Simpson has smartened up and can live the rest of his days away from the tabloids. But being the narcissistic person he seems to be, I doubt it.

Raysvolution

Can’t help but notice how good are local team has been playing as of late. As of the end of play Tuesday night past, the Rays are 51-44, two games behind Boston for the lead in the AL East, and would get the first of two wildcard spots if the season ended there. 

Notice that I’m not using the right letter word beginning with P just yet. There are 67 games left in the regular season, so a lot can and probably will happen. 

The one thing I’m noticing that has me optimistic is this team is gaining confidence, especially since taking three out of four from the Red Sox recently. Belief is important when the best teams lose 60 times a year. 

Hoping there’s something good ahead, but we baseball fans are a superstitious bunch. Let’s not get overhyped. 

Offshoots And Variations 

The Home Run Derby. 

Big 3 basketball. 

Skills competitions at All Star Games of various sports. 

Can’t say I care for any of them, because they are offshoots of bigger sports. Though I admit women playing beach volleyball has appeal to me, maybe for the wrong reasons. There is a big tournament held every year over in the Lutz area north of Tampa, held by naked teams of six at a nudist colony. Never had the desire to see it. 

Miniature golf has always interested me, but it’s rarely played on TV professionally these days, and when it is, it’s not for a lot of money. 

Rhythmic gymnastics during the Olympics? Don’t get it. 

I do enjoy seven on seven rugby as a variant to the two disciplines of rugby, Rugby League and Rugby Union. 

The CFL is not really what I’d consider a complete offshoot of American football, as each game evolved differently from rugby. 

I’ve seen 20/20 cricket and one day cricket before. Each beat test cricket that goes on for days. 

Video gaming played competitively is an offshoot of itself. I imagine the games will keep changing. 

Online poker used to be a thing here until the government intervened. I don’t see them disengaging that anytime soon. 

I guess the big games get boring, so smaller big games will always be around.