Posted: Thursday June 23, 2005 5:41PM; Updated: Thursday June 23, 2005 5:41PM
Eight In The Box
1. Baylor must be stopped. First, in April, the Bears (okay, the Lady Bears) won the NCAA women's basketball championship via an 84-62 thrashing of Michigan State. Then, in May, the Bear tennis program wins both NCAA singles titles. Benedikt Dorsch, a senior, won in straight sets on the men's side, while unseeded freshman Zuzana Zemenova won the women's title in three sets.
In June, the Good News Bears' tale continues. On Tuesday night at the College World Series the Bears entered the seventh inning trailing top-ranked Tulane (56-12) 7-0. The Green Wave still led 7-5 entering the ninth and was 49-0 this spring in games it led entering the final stanza. Then came the heartbreak.
With one out, the bases loaded, and Tulane clinging to a 7-6 lead, Baylor's Paul Witt hit a chopper up the middle that Tulane second baseman Joe Holland fielded cleanly. Holland touched second and threw to first. A double play would end the game. A late throw would have meant a tie with two outs. Neither happened. Holland's throw was low and wild, skipping past first baseman Micah Owings. The runner who began the play on second scored and Baylor won, 8-7.
The Bears, however, were stopped -- at least for now. Baylor dropped a 4-3 decision to conference-rival Texas on Wednesday night which eliminated the Bears from the CWS.
2. A brief history of giving props to one's omnipotent self:
"I am the Lord thy God ... Thou shalt have no other gods before me." -- Exodus 20:2-3
"My job is to create. I'm a creator." -- Providence point guard God Shammgod (in Sports Illustrated, June 12, 1995)
"I am a golden god." -- Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup), Almost Famous
"I am God." -- Wyatt Sexton, Florida State QB
Here's hoping Sexton recovers from whatever is ailing him. Honestly, though, when you first read the headline "Florida State QB Declares He's God," didn't you think, "Chris Rix, there he goes again?"
2. For my 6 p.m. weeknights viewing choices, I have narrowed it down to either TBS, where I can watch the manic exploits of a loveable lunatic named Kramer, or to CNBC, where I can watch the manic exploits of a loveable lunatic named Cramer. TBS: Cosmo Kramer, serially unemployed neighbor on Seinfeld. CNBC: James Cramer, Wall Street guru and star of Mad Money.
(Sure, I could do something other than watch the tube at 6 p.m., I guess).
I happen to love Mad Money, especially that 12-15 minute segment known as The Lightning Round, in which callers phone in with stocks and Cramer -- buzzing around the set with all the kinetic energy of Doc Brown from Back to the Future -- makes the "buy" or "sell" call. In that way it's a lot like Around the Horn, I guess, except that 1. Cramer has charm and 2. his bluster has some ballast. I mean, does Tim Cowlishaw have his own charitable foundation?
3. At the 92nd Tour de France, which begins on July 2, cyclists will cover 2,175 miles over 22 days. The 24th Race Across America (RAAM), which began last Sunday in San Diego, obliges pedalers to cover 3,052 miles in about 10 days. The winner should cross the finish line in Atlantic City next Tuesday.
Dubbed in 1993 by Outside as "the world's toughest race," RAAM is as much a crucible for sleep deprivation as it is for cycling. There are no stages. You ride for as long as you can, then you lay your bike down and grab a few minutes of sleep. According to the event's publicist, the average rider sleeps two out of every 24 hours. Pelotons are unheard of. Traffic is not detoured. The best rider of the day is not flanked by a pair of French models on a makeshift stage at the end of the day.
Rob Kish is the Lance Armstrong of RAAM. Kish has won more RAAMs (three) than anyone. Kish, who is hoping to complete his 21st RAAM next week, is 50 years old.
4. Bill Plaschke ... ATH needs more panelists like him.
5. So, Sir Bob Geldof was peeved at eBay because it allowed people to auction off their complimentary tickets to Live 8? Then, he called for a worldwide boycott of eBay last week, that is, until eBay acquiesced to Geldof and stopped all auctions of Live 8 tickets on their site? Some thoughts for Bob:
Don't blame eBay, lame the scalpers (or, as they say in the UK, touts) who are selling the tickets. And why are they selling the tickets? Because the market value of the tickets is higher than the price ($0.00) at which you distributed them. The people whose attention Geldof is attempting to grab (i.e., the G8 powers) understand this concept well. To quote another famous Brit (Austin Powers), "Yea, capitalism!"
You can throw a party, Bob. And you can invite whomever you want. But you might as well accept that some of the guests are just there for the open bar. Or the babes. If you don't believe me, go see Wedding Crashers.
Aren't you already overdrawn on your cache account for "I Don't Like Mondays?"
6. Really enjoyed Batman Begins, but my friend Abby makes an astute observation about Katie Holmes, who played assistant district attorney RachelDawes: "I think after every take they said, 'Turn up the AC 10 more degrees, Katie's nipples still aren't prominent enough', until they finally got the effect they were looking for."
What George Clooney begat ...
8. I just spotted this link on collegesports.com: "Natl. Collegiate Paintball Championship on CSTV." Yeah, it's that time of year.