Monday, July 05, 2004

What difference two weeks make! 

I never would've thought that I "picked" such a good time to disappear for a while. (It was due to moving across the state. I was too preoccupied to even do anything on my birthday, the 27th.) It had to be the most eventful weeks in the sports world this year, barring major out-of-the-ordinary happenings at the Olympics later this summer.

I'll start with the Mariners. I got to watch a few games here and there on TV whlie packing and unpacking, and saw some interesting things. First, the return of Cirillo to Safeco. I was actually expecting him to do something significant during the 3-game series, and boy, did he ever. While not appearing at all in the first game, he got into a nice setup in the 2nd game, entering as a pinch hitter with 2 on and 2 outs with the Padres down two. I was actually rooting for him to hit a HR, but at least he didn't make an out (and walked instead). Though it did happen the next day, when he started against Jamie Moyer. He hammered a first pitch fastball to give the Padres a 3-0 lead, which also turned out to be the winning hit, on my birthday! It felt pretty good. And then later on, something even more significant happened, as the game went into the 7th inning. It was the announcement of the Freddy Garcia trade to the White Sox. I had to admit that I have little knowledge of minor league players outside of the M's system so I didn't know how to take it at the time, but I'm pleased to see that the entire blogsphere praised the team (in making such move) in unity, which never happened at all this season. I'm looking forward to seeing Jeremy Reed now, later in the month when the Rainiers play the Beavers in Portland. (I forgot to mention that I moved to Vancouver, just across the Columbia River from there.) I originally thought I might get to see Travis Blackley and Justin Leone, but they got called up on the day that I wasn't looking, thus missing out on Blackley's first start. I did watch Leone's first start at SS, however. He was visibly nervous, but in the second at-bat I believe the umpire gave Suppan the outside corner all the way. It was predictable but disappointing to see he got pinch-hit for by Edgar in the 7th, but hopefully we'll still see Leone in the lineup for a while.

Next, the European Championships concluded. It was an endless story of upsets and surprises as the two finalists were both reaching the final of major tournaments for the first time, and it's also a historical first for a foreign coach to lead a country to win the trophie since both teams had foreign coaches. Greece made up an absolute fairy tale, upsetting hosts Portugal, France, and the red hot Czech Republic to reach the final, just to beat Portugal again to steal the tournament. Portugal had most of the game in control with lots of shot attempts but they failed to break down the well organized Greek defense, while Greece scored on their only shot on target, a headed in corner, which proved to be enough of a difference maker. With them hosting the Olympics too, I wonder if they'd have some pleasant results there as well.

At the same time, Wimbledon also came to a close with Maria Sharapova being the surprised winner in women's singles. In a very overlooked event, Todd Woodbridge made history by winning his 9th men's doubles title.

Phew... anyway, as things settle down, I'll be back posting regularly. I might have something to write that's totally not sports related too, on my birthday thoughts/wishes.

Note to Kurau Fans: The show is now licensed by ADV films. As quickly as it was picked up, there're only 2 episodes that are subbed by fan-sub groups. You can stop searching for its bit torrents now!

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