Calling occupants of interleague baseball teams

Apologies for the brevity tonight, but I’m running late, havent got a really good second blog subject, so this will need to do.

Every year up to this one, there has been a big trade deadline date in the MLB at end of July, but then until the end of August there was a secondary way of trading players, but not this year, its done now. I’m sure that in the next few days, one of the big teams is going to lose a major player, will not be able to trade for a replacement, and all hell will break out, especially if its the Yankees, lol. As long as its not the Dodgers, lol…

Of course they can still bring in free agents (unlikely to be many major pieces at this time of year), or players from their lesser quality teams. Of course it will be interested to see how this plays out, as I think that will show whether its a one year wonder, or not. I think the theory was that it might boost the market, but seems to have had the opposite effect, due to more teams being in contention, so I suspect we will be back to 2 trade dates next season, somehow, lol. But yes, if events at the end of July have a critical effect on events at end of October, well…?

Oh, and mentioning crazy end of year dates, the main part of the US golf year ends tonight! So they can get the playoffs out the way before the NFL season starts, seriously? Mind, the 2020 season starts in September, so…

Right, video time. The song is obvious, but its a single length version of the Klaatu version, as opposed to the long length Carpenters version!

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Never rains on California golf courses?

I’m sure you’ve all heard the running joke, most noticeably about it never raining in California? Well, in the summer, and up until the last couple of winters, sadly that had been pretty true. Thankfully, last year, there was rain, solved most of the drought issues, and it seems currently they’re trying to avoid drought issues this winter too.

Last weekend, not only was there plenty of rain at the golf course at Pebble Beach, there was hail too, and indeed I saw a TV image where the complete green seemed to be a shade of white, from that event.

This week, they’ve moved down the coast to my favourite city in the world (probably), Los Angeles, and more specifically, that heavenly place on Earth named Pacific Palisades, where if money was no object, I would very happily retire too. Its gorgeous, relaxed, but close enough to LA for events at the same time.

They were due to start play at 6.40 am local time this morning, on a tight schedule so that they can finish the round before it gets dark again, just before 6 pm. Thing is, when they started, the rain was pouring down, and 40 minutes later, play was called, and they arent even going to consider playing again until 1 pm local time, let alone actually start then. So they’re not going to get far today, lets face it!

I must admit, on my visits to LA, I only remember it really raining once. And yes, when it did, it really did seem like the heavens had opened up. Thankfully I’d been warned, and was in my little apartment at Verbena Drive when it did! But watching the rain pour down, for a short while, and then stop, as if it had never happened, was quite something. As the temperatures soon rose again, it wasnt long before the evidence was gone again, in truth.

All I can say is that I hope that when I next visit Pacific Palisades (hopefully next year), it doesnt feel like I’m in the middle of the great flood, which is how it looked earlier today.

OK, the song choice wins no prizes for originality, just saying…

 

Ode to golf?

Yes, for the next 3 days, Europe, and the US will be ‘at war’, and it will be nothing to do with a certain bewigged idiot, either. I’m sure if he had his way, it would be more like war, but lets just ignore him for now. Yes, its that time again for the Ryder Cup.

This time, its being held in Europe, in France, but sadly, no French player has made the European team. I’m surprised that none of their players was made a non playing vice captain, but hey, that probably makes far too much like sense!

Over the years, the Ryder Cup matches have varied between very friendly events, with just an element of competitiveness, right through to almost outright war, at least as far as the US saw it. Thankfully, given the 2 captains this year, I can see it being fiercely competed for, but no signs of outright aggression to opponents, as there has been in past. I say this, because I saw the opening ceremony (well, most of it) this afternoon, and thats the way it seemed to me at the time. How it plays out tomorrow, when play starts, we will have to wait and see.

Sadly, the only day I will see much of it is Sunday, as I will be working through most of the other 2 days play, but I hope for a close, and exciting contest, held in reasonably good spirit, if not better than that!

I think it will be close, and much though I’d love to see Europe win the title back, my head says the US will win narrowly. But fine, I’d be thrilled to be proved wrong! Bonne chance to all 24 players though, on both teams.

OK, video tonight, 2 for the price of one. Firstly, what could almost be described as a prog rock version of the so called EU anthem, Ode To Joy.

Secondly, the more traditional version, but fine, I know which I think is more fun!

Mad about the stats?

Well, some of us are getting ready for the play offs this week. No, I know, baseball play offs are about 6 weeks away, which are main concern for me, but this week, and indeed for about 140 others, the golf play offs start after tonight! Oh, that, well, its 125 players, and 15 rivals in the competition, if you must know!

Yes, the PGA regular season actually finishes today, but our contest season ended last week, after the final major. Somehow, more by luck than judgement, I came 4th, of 51 entries! So yes, therefore I’m in the 16 player play off, though for how many rounds, I have no idea! And like those big soccer tournaments, the play offs are 2 leg affairs, home advantage being the first to pick their 5 players! So, this round, and if qualifying, at least for the next round, I get home advantage in second leg, as the higher seed!

Let me say though, that if anyone thinks this means I have a shrewd knowledge of all things golf, you’d be wrong! Stats, darlings, stats are all I use, and go by. No, I’m not saying what stats, in case one of my opponents tries to sabotage my plan, but expert studying, and stuff like that, no chance!

Even more so, is a soccer contest I do, now that the season has started again. Thats right, a sport I cant even stand, but currently I’m in the top thousand, out of over 100 thousand entries. How, just following the stats! So if you ever wanted evidence that you dont need to know much, to do well at fantasy sports games, look at me! Oh, and soon, guesswork on NFL too, absolutely!

So yes, all those who study intently, good luck to you, I’m eating ice cream by then, lol!

Video time. Bit like my knowledge of soccer, I know nothing about Caro Emerald either. But if she’s good enough for Jools Holland, she’s good enough for me!

The day the golf course died

Most weeks when I watch the US Golf, its won by a score of 20 under par, or lower, just a glorified putting contest, and crazy scores abound. Seems to be what the golfers enjoy, so they get that provided for them.

Then once a year, the US Golf people go to the other extreme, in the US Open, when they provide a course where going round in level par would be nothing short of miraculous. Me, I’d like something in between, but with modern equipment, and golf courses set up to pander to the golfers, its not likely to happen.

So why dont I enjoy watching the challenge of the US Open? Well, because they go too far. Take yesterday, when by the afternoon, the course was virtually unplayable, and on a course with a par of 70, anything under 80 was looking good! I like to see golfers challenged, but when they hit a good shot, and have an impossible shot left to them, whats the point?

Oh fine, it wasnt helped by the fact that the event was being watched by a large number of seemingly very drunk New York people, and the comments you could hear on the TV coverage were pretty awful. Racism, homophobia, and just plain insults by the dozen! So yes, I turned off, and watched the baseball lol. I know, I normally would, but the golf majors, I normally make more effort, but…

Its noticeable that last night, Sky were using the US Fox Sports commentary feed, tonight they’re doing their own commentary feed. Yes, the commentators last night were better behaved than the crowd, but not much!

OK, video time. Something a bit different tonight, a poem in tribute to the women of Long Island, where the golf is being held. Fine, it is funny, honest!

My favorite golf venue of the year

You might ask how this is my favorite golf course, when I’ve never even been there, let alone ever attempted to play there? Fine, more shortly. In fact, in my life, I’ve only ever visited 2 famous golf courses, and played at both, though not on the famous courses. Yes, putting greens only, lol. Having said that, the 18 hole putting green course at St Andrews is definitely not your average dull course. Carnoustie is a more normal version, but playing on it, literally as people are walking down the 18th fairway, just a fence away from you, still quite special.

But no, the closest I’ve been to this course is on a number 2 bus, heading to, and from Pacific Palisades. Yes, the US tour is playing at Riviera Country Club this week. And yes, in truth, its not the golf course shots I love, its the location views, which the TV companies involved, deign to give us.

Its funny, if things had gone as planned that first time, I may never have visited, and fallen in love with Pacific Palisades. I was heading for Beverly Hills, assuming the bus heading in that direction went there, but it didnt. By the time, I realized I’d got it wrong, that we were well past that location, I decided to stay on the bus, and take my chance, until we arrived somewhere where I could get lunch, maybe a look around, and then, with my tail between my legs (proverbially), turn around, and head back to Hollywood. Yes, I ended up in Pacific Palisades, and fell in love with the place. I dont think it was just the reasonably priced massage parlor, that eased a few aching limbs that clinched it, though that may have helped. It was the laid back feel of the place, the wonderful views of the sea, down the canyon, and everything else that cracked it, I’m sure. Fine, a wonderful ice cream parlor might have helped too!

Since then, I’ve been back there on each of my trips, and if I get to LA again, its a certainty that PP will be visited on that trip too. Though fine, walking down, and definitely up the canyon might be less practical now, with my back!

Oh, and one other thing of golf at Riviera, long range shots of Santa Monica Pier! Not that I’ve ever ridden any ride there, but got plenty of other good memories of that pier! So fine, if they want to show a bit less of the golf this weekend, and a bit more of the locale, I for one, would appreciate it!

Right, video time. Let me say this was one of those You Tube searches, not a song thats my thing in the slightest. But given the video has lots of shots of PP, and Santa Monica, I’ll live with it!

The one area of California I still want to visit.

Its funny, 51 weeks ago, I was reminiscing on here about a golf tournament in the US that I watching on TV, and saying how much I loved the area. Yes, Riviera, in Pacific Palisades, somewhere I suspect I may well return to in May, given that I suspect that unless ‘I make it’, it will be my last visit to the area for quite a while, if not longer. Because in truth, I have no idea how much longer my body will stand up to West Coast flights. And besides, 3 holidays in a row in that area is just way too much lol!

At the other end of the state, I’ve been to San Francisco a couple of times, and loved the city, which definitely includes that baseball park, and the view. And no, that definitely isnt the Oakland Coliseum, though I have seen a game there!

But in between the 2 big cities is one small area that I’d love to visit, though its easier said than done, for a non driver. Yes, thats right, and anyone that knows their golf venues will have worked out, is the area around Carmel, and Pebble Beach.

Fine, as I havent played golf in about 40 years (beyond pitch and putt/ par 3 golf), I have no plans, or desires to actually play Pebble Beach, but I have to say that the golf course looks amazing, and the views even more amazing! Oh, and fine, probably my main reason for going to Carmel is to visit the town, where a certain famous resident lives, though I wouldnt see her. Yes, Doris Day, who will be 93, or 95 this April, depending on which version of her age you go by! I have been a fan of her for probably about 50 years by now!

But in truth the whole Monterey peninsula looks amazing, and I hope one day to get there, though I suspect Doris might not still be with us by then. But fingers crossed…?

So yes, I might have been to California 5 times after May, but it doesnt mean I’ve seen everywhere in the state that I would love to!

The video. Probably one of my favorite Doris Day songs ever, though sadly the only live versions I can find (unsurprisingly) is from the movie, Calamity Jane. Fine by that, but it does mean she doesnt sing the whole song herself, but Howard Keel isnt a bad singer lol!