Leading up to the All-Star Break

So today, the Cards had a chance to increase their lead over the Cubs to eight games by winning their ninth in a row. A chance.

As chances sometimes do, this one didn’t pan out, and my Cards got pummelled by the Cubbies in front the country on the day before the All-Star break. Ugh.

However, it looked *great* in HD. ESPN-HD carried the game, and it was marvelous! My amazement has not yet ceased where the quality of HD broadcasts is concerned.

During ESPN’s broadcast, they reflected back to the home run race between McGuire and Sosa in 1998, touting that that race saved baseball and brought the fans back. Truthfully, I think Cal Ripken’s “iron man” streak was probably the beginning of that, but the home run race, I’m sure, helped considerably.

I was in St. Louis when McGuire broke the record, and shortly before the end of the season, went to England for three months on company business. As I discovered, they love American football there, but baseball is almost totally lost on them. The office I worked in would ocassionally get the previous day’s USA Today, and there I could keep up with the herculean numbers both McGuire and Sosa were putting up. The papers in London, if they mentioned it at all, would put it on the last page of the sports section.

It’s interesting to see how the end of that race played out, through almost fresh eyes, given that I didn’t experience it first hand, and see the impact that it has left on folks.

It’s funny to me that, with Bonds holding the single-season record and closing in on the career record for home runs, we collectively seem to think instead about the race between McGuire and Sosa six years ago.