Rounding second, and nearing third


The mid-point of summer is now a distant memory Independence Day was more than 10 days ago. Sure, there’s still time for a summer trip, but let’s be realistic, it’s all downhill from here. (Downhill in the sense that it’s possible for kids who love summer to start fearing those three dreaded words: “back to school!”)
Soon enough, it’ll be early August and time for school supply shopping, if it hasn’t happened already. The start of school is a little more than a month away but does it really feel that way?
Tuesday evening was Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star Game. That used to be a television event I planned for weeks in advance as the only baseball highlights I viewed back then were short Cardinals’ highlights and, sometimes, a game of the week on Saturday. In recent years, not so much. The game of baseball has grown globally, with players from several countries now taking part in the Midsummer Classic, which is probably a good thing.
I’m not saying baseball isn’t entertaining. It can be, and attending a game in person is a fun experience, but it’s just difficult to get worked up over a contest that doesn’t have much hanging on it in terms of competition.
Here’s my old-fashioned view: There are too many games on television. Let me re-state that. There are too many games, period. With 162 games in a season, a fan living and dying on his favorite team’s result every day is simply unrealistic.
(Hold on, it’s time for an MLB partnership commercial break).
And, now, back to the All-Star Game. It’s been almost two decades since the embarrassment of a tie in Milwaukee. That was in 2002, when both the American League and National League squads ran out of pitchers, leaving the score 7-7. After that, a “this time it counts” campaign was implemented, which gave home-field advantage in the World Series to the league that won the game. The home-field twist certainly took a bulldozer to all-star game tradition, which calls for one representative from every team and typically was presented as MLB’s showcase event each season. Tuesday’s contest was held at Denver’s Coors Field after baseball leadership played politics and determined a national event couldn’t be held in Georgia. Atlanta really deserved better. In fact, the team has the highest home attendance this season. Take that, shut down enthusiasts.
(Wait...I’ve just been told there’s another commerical break in progress).
Once again, back to the All-Star Game. This year’s contest had its moments, but essentially was over by the sixth inning. With most hurlers tossing 100 mph every other pitch, expecting a team to rally for multiple runs in the late innings just isn’t realistic.
Monday’s Home Run Derby provided a little more action, with the winner, New York Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso, launching a combined 74 homers into the seats over three rounds. To close out this rant on the All-Star Game, it’s just another sad reality that summer is slowly winding down. The days start getting shorter in late June and the marathon of a baseball season has finally inched past the halfway point, rounding second and heading toward third.
More locally, it’s nice to a sense of normalcy starting to pick up. The backpack bonanza sign-up deadline is Friday, Heroes for Kids is readying for its annual Comic-Com Saturday and Trinity Altenburg is hosting its church picnic Sunday. More summer events are still to come, and the hope is that they’ll be back...and better than ever. This weekend is a great opportunity to meet one’s favorite superhero, or enjoy a meal and watch a fast-pitch softball game at a church picnic.
Thanks for reading.
Daniel Winningham is the managing editor of the Republic-Monitor. He may be reached by email at or by phone at 573-547-4567.


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