I'm not ready to wear a scarf and start flopping, but I will follow the U.S.-Germany game tomorrow. I hope the American's aren't left kicking themselves over that tying goal they allowed in the last 0:30 seconds last weekend against Portugal.
Not that I've come around a little---
A few things about soccer still bug me. The flopping and overly dramatic injuries, which generally result in immediately miraculous recoveries, have to end. It's hard for me to take an athlete who fakes an injury very seriously.
Why is their extra time? How about just stopping the clock when there's a stoppage of play? It's weird not knowing when a game is going to end. It's even weirder that the official is the only one who keeps the time.
Speaking of the official---that's official, singular---they have too much power in soccer. Never mind that the size of the field and the number of people on it make it very difficult for one person to officiate, but their power is unchallenged. There's no replay and there are no other officials to confer with for the particularly weighty calls---like the one in the penalty box against the Croatian defender in their loss to Brazil. There was no contact at all, yet the play stood-Brazil got a penalty kick to break a 1-1 tie.
They're pretty much like extra points in American Football, except that one goal in soccer is like ten points in football. The punishment rarely seems to fit the crime with penalty kicks, there may be times when the awarding of one is proper, but they need to be few and far between. I can't believe I'm suggesting less offensive opportunities in a sport that has so few.
Conor Gillaspie has a nine game hitting streak for the White Sox, has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games and is hitting .338. If the former Shocker great had just a few more plate appearances he'd be leading the American League in hitting, but he's still catching up after missing 14 games to injury. Even without a homerun, the fourth year player is top 30 in the Big Leagues in OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage).
What I took home from the Air Capitol Classic---
The story of Sebastian Cappalan winning his first time out as a pro, after needing a playoff in Monday qualifying just to get into the tournament, was story book stuff. He was very gracious in victory and I'll be pulling for him as he continues his career. But Cappalan wasn't the can't miss star last weekend, that was Ollie Schniederjans. It's not much of a stretch when you're talking about the world's top amateur, but I was so impressed with the maturity of his game and his approach to it. PGA Tour veteran Len Mattiace, who played with the young phenom on Saturday, called him a 'sure thing'. The Georgia Tech product talked about not being able to make putts all week, but he did ace eight on Sunday and tied for fifth, one could only imagine where he might have finished if he'd been good with the short stick.
You don't have to like him---
How much attention have you paid to golf with Tiger Woods being out the last three months? Quick, who won the Masters? The U.S. Open? Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer appreciate your short term memory. Golf's a more interesting game when Tiger's playing it and he's playing this weekend at Congressional and will play in the approaching British Open. Thank goodness.
If I had to bet---
My gut tells me that LeBron ends up back in Miami. I don't think he wants to be thought of as transient---always in search of the best grouping of players he can pull together to win titles. If Jordan is the guy that James compares himself to-he needs to stay in Miami and win a few more. His Airness didn't run around looking to coax others into playing in Chicago, he was confident that he would make those around him better, which he did six times in eighth years, going 6-0 in the NBA Finals, LeBron is just 2-3.