In Which The Name Is On The Jersey

Sports Corner: A Taste Of Honey

by George Ducker

Manny Ramirez loves the Red Sox’s new blue uniforms

The end of August comes on drenched in sweat and flecked in peanut shells. With the Olympics finally over after 17 days of CGI enhancement, Michael Phelps’ abs, power walking and Grecian-style debauchery in the Village, it becomes an unavoidable fact that our National Pastime has been asleep at the wheel since the All Star Game.

06.08.09,” Xia Xing

“The Ark” – Dr. Dog (mp3)

Cleveland’s Shin-Soo Choo, Texas’ Gerald Laird

Certainly there’s drama in all parts of the American League, but it’s been a quiet, workman-like kind of drama. In the East, the Tampa Bay Rays continue, mind-bogglingly, to rack up the wins (excluding last night’s loss), while the Twins and White Sox keep playing Jenga with Central’s top standing.

Comes in Fenway colors, too

Everyone wants the Cubs to win the World Series. Maybe. They’re the winning-ist team in baseball (by 1) and they wield a nasty bullpen threesome of Carlos Marmol, Jeff Samardzija and Kerry Wood. And, speaking of pitching, my current favorite just happens to be the Giants’ Tim Lincecum.

At 24 years old, he looks more like an ungainly ninth-grader who skipped school to throw a couple of afternoon sessions.

Boy wonder

At 14-3 with a .248 ERA he’s the only interesting component of an otherwise drab season in San Francisco. Lincecum has such a violently lopsided delivery that many are wondering how long he’ll last.

“A Foggy Day” – Rufus Wainwright (mp3)

Total Assault will not make the playoffs

In case you’re wondering, my Fantasy Team has proven to be fun, but ultimately unproductive. Choosing the Autodraft option back in April was my first mistake, but it won me the coveted A-Rod. This should have been a great thing, but Rodriguez has spent this season hitting with all the artistry and inspiration of a DMV worker taking a license photograph. That same sweeping generalization can be made for the poor, poor third place Yankees. “Swept Away” becomes a delightfully emblematic phrase.

Madonna, Ritchie

“Just Wanna See His Face” – The Rolling Stones (mp3)

The upside of my fantasy team is that it’s introduced me to two instances of youthful vigor: Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier. Both have been producing results since the beginning of the season, but Braun’s taken the gilded path (he got an All-Star nod) while Ethier has to force a smile and take his bench assignments when Torre hands them out. Even last week’s game winning, walk-off homer hasn’t convinced Torre to lock and load Ethier, but with an outfield already crowded by Juan Pierre, Matt Kemp and newborn Manny Ramirez, there will still be sad, Andre-less days in the future.

“Don’t Let This Mean Old World Swallow You” – Andre Ethier

By the time you read this, the U.S. Open will be in full swing and, although the news will be dominated most assuredly by Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, the Williams Sisters and Rafael Nadal, I would like you to take a moment and ponder a young ginger from Scotland named Andrew Murray.

“I Am A Full Grown Man (I Will Lay In The Grass All Day) (Live)” – Phosphorescent (mp3)

21 years old, Murray has made headlines as much for his courtside moodiness as the ease with which he (sometimes) crushes opponents. He lost in the first round of the Olympics to Chinese Taipei’s Lu Yen-Hsun, ranked world No 77. Currently, Murray goes into the Open ranked #6.

Don’t forget to write to Rafa.

Lastly, even though the Games are over, sex is still a constant. Here’s a bit from Jeff Marron’s long excursion into the netherparts of Olympic competitors:

Roman historian Pliny the Elder tackled the issue in the year 77. In “Natural History,” he wrote, “Athletes when sluggish are revitalized by love-making, and the voice is restored from being gruff and husky.”

Brit Linford Christie, the 1992 100-meter gold medalist, went without, according to Paul Thomas of U.K. newspaper The People. In 1994, Thomas reported that Christie “locks up his famous lunchbox” three days prior to a race. Christie said he wasn’t sure it would hurt him, but he didn’t want to take any chances.

Christie

“Down Along the Cove” – Johnny Jenkins (with Duane Allman) mp3

The Times Online canters along the edge of bad taste with this photogallery of Yelena Isinbayeva.

And we go right along with them

“In The New Year” – The Walkmen (mp3)

George Ducker is the senior contributor to This Recording. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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