Barry Bonds, as we all know, is in town for four games this weekend. But frankly, that shouldn’t be the drawing card to the Phillies-Giants series. The big deal should be the pitching matchups, most notably Cole Hamels vs. Noah Lowry on Saturday night; the resurgent Freddy Garcia against rookie Tim Lincecum on Sunday afternoon; and Silent Jon Lieber matched up against former AL Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito in Monday afternoon’s finale.
For folks who like baseball, pitching is the most fascinating part of the game, and there are few pitchers as interesting as Cole Hamels and Barry Zito.
*** The New York tabloids are all abuzz about a well-known baseball figure hitting the town and living it up, and no, it’s not Alex Rodriguez.
*** Speaking of fun times, Mr. Fun, Floyd Landis, is ready to return to bike racing tomorrow at the Teva Outdoor Games mountain bike race. Since this is not a sanctioned event, Landis is eligible to race despite facing a two-year ban for alleged doping in last year’s Tour de France.
The race will be Floyd’s first time out since winning the Tour de France last July and then undergoing hip-replacement surgery 10 months ago.
Better yet, Floyd will be in Lancaster and West Chester in the next few weeks hawking his new book, Positively False. He’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Lancaster (I’m not giving the address because there is only one Barnes & Noble in Lancaster) on June 29 at 7 p.m. and at the Chester County Book & Music Co. on Paoli Pike in West Chester on July 2.
I doubt he’ll offer a reading or do anything more than the grip-grin-and-sign routine, but I would assume there isn’t anything new in the book that Landis and his camp didn’t reveal at his arbitration hearing a couple of weeks ago.
Well, I doubt the Greg LeMond stuff is in there.
Anyway, I’m still waiting for Landis’ publisher to send a copy to me (c/o Comcast SportsNet, Wachovia Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19148 or my Lancaster address… it’s out there) so I can give it the proper review it deserves. Pete Rose and Rodale didn’t mind sending one out, so I’m sure a fellow Lancaster Countian will oblige.
Meanwhile, don’t forget about the big 2007 Men's Pro Cycling Tour hits The Lanc on Sunday afternoon. So far I’ve heard very little hostility about the race hitting the downtown area, but it’s still early.
Then again, maybe Queen Street will turn into a scaled down version of the Manayunk Wall?
*** I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with Mike Gill of ESPN Radio 1450 in Atlantic City again yesterday afternoon. For a kid who spent the first seven years of my school career going through intensive speech therapy which including sessions at Easter Seals in Washington, D.C., I’ve come a long way if I do say so myself.
Apparently, people tell me I used to sound like Daffy Duck when I was a kid. I guess that’s a mean thing to say, but we all laugh about it now.
Anyway, I talked to Mike on my phone while standing along the banks of a small country stream in the outer edges of the Dutch Wonderland amusement park (when you have a 3-year old, you get a season pass and prepare to ride the Turtle Whirl a lot), when a big fish – maybe a carp – leapt out of the water at a bird. I believe we were talking about Ryan Howard at the time and wasn’t sure if it would be proper to bring up what I saw, but anyway, I saw a fish jump at a bird.