Iraq On Top

No, it does not mean everything is ok in Iraq. No, it does no mean everything is ok and blah, blah.

But it sure is nice to report that Iraq’s soccer team beat Saudi Arabia in the Asia Cup 1-0, and are champions. Good for them, and anyone who has ever lived in a town that has won the World Series or the Superbowl or the Stanley Cup can tell you that no matter how crappy things are going, a sports championship can lift spirits, and man do the citizens of this country need a break and something to cheer them up.

In another note, let me state that it sure is nice to have two genuinely good men be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn are everything that is right with modern sports, and Tony Gwynn was the best pure hitter I have ever seen (spare me the comparisons to others before him- I am not old enough to have seen them). I still contend that Will Clark had the sweetest swing in baseball, though, at least in my lifetime.






21 replies
  1. 1
    Ned R. says:

    As far as I’m concerned Tony Gwynn can’t be honored enough. (Why yes I grew up in the San Diego area.) When the Detroit Tigers failed to win the World Series the other year I took it as a sign of the Baseball God’s divine vengeance upon them for keeping Gwynn from a World Series victory THAT HE RIGHTFULLY DESERVED back in 1984. And I could go on.

    Iraq winning is a big treat as well. Last night I was at a more local representation of the beautiful game when Chivas beat the Galaxy in the Superliga. Gotta say that Beckham has his work cut out for him because the Galaxy looked *awful* most of the time (he’s still on the sidelines with an injury).

  2. 2
    Hyperion says:

    Rod Carew

  3. 3
    Jim says:

    I can’t understand the deification of Tony Gwynn. He was a good contact hitter but far from a dominantly productive player. His power numbers and walks are pretty unimpressive, especially for a corner outfielder. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and everything, but he’s just not that great a player. Compared to the pre-roid Barry Bonds he is completely inferior.

  4. 4
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Ned R. Says:

    …Iraq winning is a big treat as well. Last night I was at a more local representation of the beautiful game when Chivas beat the Galaxy in the Superliga. Gotta say that Beckham has his work cut out for him because the Galaxy looked awful most of the time (he’s still on the sidelines with an injury).

    July 29th, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Hey Ned R.,

    I thought I was the only soccer fan here. The Galaxy do need some help. They should make a run at Eddie Lewis to play on the left side of the midfield or contact missing persons to find the man formally known as John O’Brien.

    My Chicago Fire just signed Paulo Wanchope to play up front of Cuauhtemoc Blanco and may have enough time to climb back into a playoff spot.

    Superliga has been pretty good. The quality of play has been strong throughout and there have been some very entertaining matches so.

  5. 5
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Jim Says:

    I can’t understand the deification of Tony Gwynn. He was a good contact hitter but far from a dominantly productive player. His power numbers and walks are pretty unimpressive, especially for a corner outfielder. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and everything, but he’s just not that great a player. Compared to the pre-roid Barry Bonds he is completely inferior.

    July 29th, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    1991-1997 Frank Thomas was the best hitter I ever saw. Albert Pujols has probably eclipsed The Big Hurt, but Thomas was an absolute monster until before he started picking up leg injuries.

  6. 6
    Mike says:

    Ichiro’s lifetime MLB stats: OBP .378 SLG .437

    Tony Gwynn : OBP .388 SLG .459

  7. 7
    Sirkowski says:

    We got riots the last time Montreal won the Stanley Cup. At least in Iraq we probably wouldn’t notice the difference if they rioted.

  8. 8
    tomboy says:

    One player who had a sweet swing who may never get the credit he deserves due to the era he played in is Fred McGriff. Wow, what a great hitter, who was probably didn’t gain more than 10 pounds his whole career. Nobody has ever alleged that he did steroids, but because of guys like Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, and Palmeiro he will never get his due.

    Also, to suggest that Gwynn wasn’t that good because he didn’t walk much is just stupid. Those numbers have only recently been emphasized, in the Moneyball era. OBP was not deemed important until the end of Gwynn’s career, when it was important to get on base for some steroid using cheater like Bonds to homer you in.

  9. 9

    I can’t understand the deification of Tony Gwynn

    He was awesome as Herman in The Munsters.

  10. 10
    ThymeZone says:

    He was awesome as Herman in The Munsters.

    Good one.

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    ThomasGriffey Jr. was an absolute monster until before he started picking up leg injuries.

    Fixed.

  12. 12
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Hi, John! Thought it might cheer you up to learn that so far, during the celebrations on the streets in Iraq itself, 50 people have been killed by suicide bombers and four people just by stray bullets fired into the air in celebration.

  13. 13
    Ned R. says:

    Hey Ned R.,

    I thought I was the only soccer fan here. The Galaxy do need some help. They should make a run at Eddie Lewis to play on the left side of the midfield or contact missing persons to find the man formally known as John O’Brien.

    Ah good, another fanatic. The O’Brien Mystery is one of those cases that deserves more priority than it gets from the local fanbase. (Overheard by my friend more than a few times at last night’s game: “So where’s Beckham? He is here right? Where is he?” Meantime, all Chivas has to do is announce they’re subbing in Omar Bravo and the decibel level spikes even higher…)

    Wanchope’s signing is another reasonable enough ‘aging star decides to ease out his days’ move — I’m not criticizing this approach, of course! — but he’d better slot in quickly for you guys.

  14. 14
    ThymeZone says:

    Will Clark had the sweetest swing in baseball, though, at least in my lifetime.

    It was sweet, although sweet swings often fail once pitchers learn how to befuddle the sweet swingers.

    For real thrills, you had to see Will’s Giants predecessor, Jack Clark. I have never seen anyone hit a ball harder, and I have watched a lot of damn baseball. Jack Clark would hit those homers that just shot over the fence and seemed to be still climbing.

    The thing I loved about Will Clark, though, was his attitude. Has there ever been a more pure baseball player and competitor in sports than that guy? I’m afeared they don’t make ’em like him any more.

  15. 15
    Geoduck says:

    It’s great that the Iraqi team won, but you know that the only reason we are even /hearing/ about it is because it’s Good News From Iraq!(tm). Maybe 5% of the US population, at absolute best, gives a squat who wins the Asia Cup.

  16. 16
    Kiril says:

    I can’t express how important the Saints were for morale here in New Orleans last season. It didn’t just make things bearable again; it made the whole city tingle with electricity, everywhere you went.

  17. 17
    Seth says:

    Frank Thomas was a monster then. He would have hit more HRs but he just hit the ball too darn well. He was more of a line drive hitter. I swear I saw him hit a HR once that was never more than 10 feet off the ground.

  18. 18
    Nerf says:

    John Olerud had a beautiful swing back in the day. Line drives tot he gap just aren’t sexy enough anymore…

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    Will the Thrill did have a heck of a nice swing. For my money the most beautiful thing in baseball is watching Griffey Jr. swing the bat. And I don’t even much care for him as a player. But that swing…jeebus.

  20. 20
    MNPundit says:

    Joe Mauer has a beautiful swing.

  21. 21

    […] Once again, the bias is clear. This reporter has clearly never been to the streets that John McCain walks. Those are bristling market places, packed with people of all ethnicities and religions. And what an obvious lie about the soccer field. Iraq just won a big soccer game, there is no way Iraqis would let their fields fall into disrepair. […]

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  1. […] Once again, the bias is clear. This reporter has clearly never been to the streets that John McCain walks. Those are bristling market places, packed with people of all ethnicities and religions. And what an obvious lie about the soccer field. Iraq just won a big soccer game, there is no way Iraqis would let their fields fall into disrepair. […]

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