The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Catching Up

It's been a long week.

First of all, my uncle on my step-mom's side had a stroke last week Wednesday. The funeral was today. It was a tough situation all around. I still hear his voice, asking if I was going to be doing this or doing that, or "how ya doin', Joe?" He was kind of the guy in the middle, keeping things going, getting things done. I'm definitely going to miss him.

Then came Thursday morning. I heard about the attacks on London at work. Bad enough that I was worried about my uncle, then to hear about all the people injured or killed. And on the heels of winning the 2012 Olympics... timing is everything.

I'm a little ticked that the IOC decided to drop baseball and softball from the '12 games. The World Cup of Baseball tournament to be held next spring doesn't assauge my ire; I don't think that the tournament will be truly world-class because of the reluctance of some teams (read: the Yankees) to have their star players participate prior to Spring Training.

Bobby Abreu - you know, he'd better watch it, or the Tigers are going to go after him in the off-season as a free agent. Yeah, yeah, I know, it was only BP fastballs - but man! And here I thought Carlos and Big Papi would be in the finals. That was just an amazing feat.

The NHL really needs to get its fecal matter together and get to the next stage of the game - namely, ratifiying the agreement. Enough of these small roadblocks that are popping up; if you forget something now, it ain't gonna matter until the next CBA. And the more crap you throw into this CBA, the more difficult it will be to negotiate the next one. I mean, rumors say the CBA they're working on is in the 600+ page range.

I made an attempt at building a Cracker Jack Baseball base set from a purchased box. Haven't come close, though I did get a relic card and an autograph card. I did talk it over with the owner of the sports card shop where I bought them (Jeff's Sports Cards in New Berlin): the three things I don't care for in the current card collecting environment are "short print" cards, "relic" cards and the impossibility of collecting an entire set from a wax box.

Speaking of which, I'll be spending the entire All-Star Game night doing sorting of my recently-purchased 1990 Topps Baseball set. The set wasn't collated at the factory, so I need to do the hand-collating to get everything in order. I've learned to do this, even though the box was sealed and shrink-wrapped, because another set I bought from Jeff's (as part of that estate sale I mentioned previously) was actually missing a card. It was only the 1988 Topps UK Baseball set, and it was only Brook Jacoby, but still - it's slightly annoying to think you have a complete set when you don't.

Update on that: I now have 31,712 cards; 25,331 singles; and 32 complete sets. The Jacoby card will make that 33 complete sets. No, I am far from complete in the Topps Cracker Jack Baseball set; I have only 59.6% of the set, not including short-print alternates (or error cards).

I'm going in for my annual blood test for my BP next week - the day before my Dad goes in to the hospital for his first knee surgery. Apparently, the surgery done on his knee three years ago became infected, and they'll have to clear things out of it before they can do repairs. He's going to be on IV antibiotics for the next six weeks after the first surgery - shades of Barry Bonds.

I will have some family members attending the Hall of Fame induction of Ryne Sandberg later this month; my step-Uncle Thomas and my cousin Jill will be going - both are huge Cub fans. I just asked her to take pictures; I hope she remembers to do that. I'd love to be able to head over there, perhaps next month (mid-August), just to see the Hall of Fame.

And as for the game tonight: I predict Kenny Rogers will be booed unmercifully, that someone that no one knew was an All-Star will get a key hit to win the game, and that Tony LaRussa will somehow manage to lose this game.