Chris Grant’s SPORTS TALK: This and that

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I read where the soccer stadium the Los Angeles Chargers play in was maybe half-full for the team’s first home game this past weekend. Then, a day or two later, I read where Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city was happy with “Just the Rams.” Ouch.

Has there ever been a worse move in the history of professional sports than this one? I suppose you could argue the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn was a bad move, at least as far as the Dodgers’ fans were concerned. But the city of Los Angeles welcomed their new baseball team and soon they were one of the most beloved franchises in baseball.

I don’t think the same thing is going to happen for the Chargers. San Diego loved its football team but didn’t want to pay to build them a new stadium. So the Chargers bolted north where they will eventually rent space from the Rams in their new stadium in Inglewood.

In the meantime, they are struggling to fill a professional soccer stadium that seats less than 30,000. I am going to go out on a limb right now and say this is not going to work out. In about a decade, the Chargers are going to be calling some other city home and Los Angeles will have the one team it wanted in the first place.

The record for home runs in a Major League Baseball season was broken Tuesday when the Kansas City Royals’ Alex Gordon slammed the 5,694th blast in the league this year. That seems like a lot of home runs, right? Don’t forget, there are still about two weeks left to play!

I can be a bit of a baseball purist, so I’m going to say I don’t like this. The home run is perhaps the most exciting thing that can happen in a baseball game. (The inside-the-park variety is probably the real most-exciting thing, but those are almost as rare as a straight steal of home, so we won’t discuss that here.)

I get why people like to see the ball fly out of the park. However, it also takes a lot of the strategy out of baseball. When everyone is sitting around waiting for the long ball, the rest of the game can get really boring.

Honestly, MLB in 2017 looks a lot more like a video game than the baseball they played when I was a kid, and I don’t think that’s a good thing. I have watched baseball long enough to realize everything in the game is cyclical so I am guessing at some point the long ball won’t be as big a part of baseball strategy as it is now. So enjoy all the big flies while you can. They will be long gone, sooner or later.

Finally, a note on the passing of professional wrestling legend Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. It was a sad day in my house when this news was announced Sunday night. The Brain was one of my favorite performers when I was a kid. Sure, he was a bad guy, but there was nothing better than listening to him get the crowd worked up and then joining in the booing from the comfort of my parents’ living room. He truly was a one-of-a-kind talent who will never be replaced on WWE programming.