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Sports Ball Thoughts 4.

1. It is unlikely to happen, but possible, and, either way, it is going to come close to happening: The Tampa Rays, who will not make the playoffs in the American League, could have a better record than any National League team come the close of the season.

2. There were hordes of Mets fans in Boston over the past weekend to see the series against the Red Sox. The most fans I have ever seen in town in support of the opposition. Why? Why would a Mets fan, let alone lots of Mets fans, travel to Boston to see their terrible team play? Presumably if you live in NYC or nearabouts, you've been to Boston. Your interest is unlikely to be Freedom Trail-based, for instance. You want to travel further than usual to watch that product? There were thousands of these people. In the mid-1980s, the Mets were one of the two most exciting franchises in all of sports. It was them and the Edmonton Oilers. Lots of stars, young stars, and actually the two teams had matching color schemes. Of course, the Oilers won lots of titles, and the Mets but one. A young me did not enjoy watching them win that one.

3. In college football, there is a huge difference between having 3 losses at the end of the season, and 4. The former means you likely had a great year, unless you're a championship contender. It's a year to be proud of. A 4 loss season is anticlimatic and likely means no ranking in the final polls.

4. If Chris Sale cannot get stretched out over the next two weeks, I would be happy to see him in the bullpen, in that same role the Indians use Andrew Miller. In fact, the Sox might be better served if that comes to pass.

5. Today I'm talking about "Casey at the Bat" on the radio and tomorrow I will be writing about it. This is Johnny Bench narrating with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, 1973.

6. I believe that Ian Kinsler is going to be a nice asset for the Sox in the playoffs. He can play. He can run still, fields well, savvy. Watched him rile up a pitcher recently just by how he was taking his lead off second base.

7. Joe DiMaggio once hit .381. Isn't that surprising? You don't think of him as a mega average guy. But that's close enough to .400 to say that someone flirted with it.

8. I haven't been on here as often as I should be on here of late, and I meant to put this up the other day. We just passed the anniversary of the 1987 Canada Cup finals between Canada and the Soviet Union. The three games--it was a best-of-three series--represent the apex of sports. I will say that never has sport reached this height anywhere, any time else. I will go so far as to call the three games a work of art. From an artistic perspective, game 2 is the best, but I'm not sure it's even the most dramatic of the three. The first and third might have it beat there. The three best games ever, the three most dramatic, the three most entertaining. Here they are in full, more or less.

Game 1:

Game 2:

Game 3:

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