Sunday, May 24, 2009

This Sporting Weekend

The Yankees had yet another come from behind victory on Saturday. And so here the cream pies came again. This time, A.J. Burnett creamed two faces at once: ninth-inning hero Melky Cabrera (again) and Robinson Cano. Burnett even got his cream on Yankees' radio announcer Suzyn Waldman in the crossfire. She didn't mind. It's getting a bit boring now, less spontaneous and more contrived with each creamy splatter to the face. Would it kill Burnett to put the stuff in a pie tin and throw it from distance? If he could hit the mark like that it would be awesome.

Newcastle United was relegated after losing on a Damien Duff own goal at Aston Villa. And you'll rarely if ever see a team fighting to stave off relegation give such a lackluster performance as Newcastle did today. Alan Shearer looked bewildered or miles away after the match. Like Randall McMurphy at the end of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I can't say I blame him. But things aren't so bad for Alan. As the joke that's going around goes, what's the difference bewteen Newcastle and Alan Shearer? Alan Shearer will still be on Match Of The Day next year.

You know, Latin folks have a tendency to name their kids after heroes in Greek mythology. Hector, Nestor, Ulises, Achilleo, and so on. But there's a player on the Kansas City MLS side whose name takes the cake. Herculez Gomez. Wow. Naming your kid Herculez (or Hercules), isn't that a lot of pressure to put on him? God forbid one day he goes to a picnic and can't open the jar of pickles, it'll be all "so I guess you're not Hercules after all" and whatnot.

The Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds played in the Ohio Cup interleague series this weekend. Cincinnati won the series so they won the Cup. Cleveland's second place finish netted them two Ohio Cups.

And today, one of the most disgraceful acts you'll ever hear about in the sports world took place in Milan. AC Milan played Roma at the San Siro, and it was Paolo Maldini's final game at the stadium. I saw Maldini with the Italian national side in 1994. By that time he had already played for AC Milan for since 1985. Folks, that's 24 years of playing top flight football. He won 5 Champions Leagues (and was runner up 3 times) and God knows how many Italian trophies. And those 24 years were all with the same club. You get this sort of player once in a lifetime. Loyal to the club, professional, well conducted on the pitch and off.

As the match ended and Roma captain Francesco Totti congratulated his former national side teammate Maldini . . .
I have to confess I felt the old choking up thing coming on when I saw this. The FSC broadcast cut away and that was that. But later I read that as Maldini took his lap around he stadium, a group of Milan fans who were dissatisfied with comments he made 4 years ago treated him like shit. What an amazing lack of gratitude and form. Paolo Maldini is probably the best defender who ever lived - you can argue that if you want but only a few others come to mind who can match him. It was shameful, shameful stuff to have treated him like that.

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