Dog Days

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There is no doubt that the middle to the end of August is a trying time for lots of people. It’s hot, school is about to start—or, for an unlucky few, has already started.

 

For those kids still at home with their parents, the good parts of that situation, for both parties, has started to fade as both parents and children await the return to the classroom—the exodus from the bedroom that comes at the end of the month/beginning of September.

 

The same can be said for sports, which makes this week’s column, perhaps, a little harder to write.

 

Baseball is the one major sport that is playing meaningful games. The NFL is in the middle of its preseason schedule which, despite attempts to the contrary, is usually pretty boring and the college football teams are hard at work getting ready for the season.

 

That hardly makes for enjoyable television. Thus, I think we better hit on as many points as we can this week – if for no other reason, than to keep us both interested.

 

While not much is happening in most of the sportsworld, the playoff races in Major League Baseball are most certainly heating up.

 

The Oakland A’s have been in a free fall since trading their cleanup hitter for Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester and I think I saw this one coming. Having a dominant pitching staff is certainly the key to victory in the playoffs, however, this does not always hold true in the regular season.

 

Teams need to score runs day-in and day-out—having a guy hitting for you every day is much more important than getting a good start every fifth game. If this were not the case, then the Red Sox may not have even traded Lester to the A’s in the first place. The issue that relegated the reigning champions to the basement of their division was not their starting pitching. It will be interesting to see if Oakland can rights its ship and get in the playoffs. If they do they will be tough to beat. But, getting there might be the trick.

 

Honestly, it has been a tough ride for a lot of the teams who were leading at the trade deadline. The Detroit Tigers have fallen into second place as well and things seem wide open in four of the six divisions in baseball. Should make for an interesting finish.

 

When asked how important preseason games were, following his team’s loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday night, Atlanta Falcon wide receiver Roddy White said, “not important at all.”I tend to agree with him.

 

There is nothing fun about watching guys who probably won’t even make their team’s roster play for an entire half. Count me in with the guys who think the NFL should probably cut the preseason down by a game or two.

 

And that, my friends, is all I’ve got. See what I mean? Don’t fret though, college football starts in less than two weeks and then the NFL follows just a few days after that. The dog days are here, that’s for certain – the good news is they are almost over!