Saturday, July 14, 2007


Fun day today. My parents made a trip over to Long Island for a barbecue put on by my mother's co-worker Beth. I hung out with my buddy Dan.

It's fun sometimes to attempt to re-live your childhood, but today I found out that it can be thoroughly embarrassing. I decided to try the batting cage. The pitches came in at 54 MPH, and I couldn't hit shit. Fortunately (well, at least I think so), I was ahead of the pitches, but still, nowhere near them. It was awful. To think, 9 years ago, I could hit those, easily. It's sad. Maybe I'm too used to softball speed. Oh well, it was fun.

Dan and I went to a bar called the Grille and Bar. We've been there a few times. Not a bad place, more on the upscale side. For a Saturday afternoon, it was dead. Towards the end, I mentioned something to the bartender about young baseball stars, and how I had met Edgar Renteria when he was 16 and playing for the Portland Sea Dogs. The bartender was amazed, then asked if I was from there. When I told him I had lived in Durham, NH, he was, again, surprised, because he had gone to UNH. Imagine that: five people in the bar, including the bartender, and two of them had spent serious time in the small town of Durham, NH. On top of that, he had lived with hockey players. One of his roommates was a big-time player who won a few Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers. My dad would get a kick out of hearing that. Unfortunately, I forgot the guy's name. I'll look it up, I guess. He played for UNH back in the late 70's. Maybe the guy knows my old hockey coach. I hate to say it, but this gives me a good excuse to go back there. Not a good sign.

So David Beckham is playing for the LA Galaxy. This should be fun. I don't think it's as big as when Pele came to the New York Cosmos back in the 70's, but it's still pretty big. I think Alexi Lalas (President of the Galaxy and former U.S. Soccer star) was a bit overzealous when he started saying how the English Premier League was overrated, and that MLS is "pretty much" as good. He made one good point: MLS is more competitive, but who cares? It's still not as good. The pace is slower, and the best players in the world, even from the U.S., play in Europe, and a lot play in the Premier League. In fact, the five best players on the U.S. soccer team, including the Captain Claudio Reyna, play in... the English Premier League. Say what you will, Alexi Lalas (who never played in Europe), but the facts aren't behind you. David Beckham is in the United States as a marketing scheme. Playing it off as pure sport is bullshit. He's not worth that much money as a player ($32.5 million over 5 years), but he sure is worth it as far as marketing.

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