All-Stars, Fireworks, and Dr. Rick

Tuesday thoughts waiting for the start of the Reds-Royals telecast: Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star game is next Tuesday, July 13. The game was originally scheduled to be held in Atlanta but was moved due to the State of Georgia’s recently passed “restrictive” voting laws and the contest awarded to Denver. The strange thing is that many people in the know consider Colorado’s voting requirements even more restrictive than Georgia’s!

On the field, how great is it to have two Reds selected to the NL’s starting lineup? Jesse Wilker and Nick Castellanos both are deserving of the recognition; hopefully their great seasons will continue through the second half of the schedule. The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani is the first to be named an All-Star both as a pitcher and hitter. As of this writing he leads the majors with 31 home runs, has 67 RBIs, and a 3–1 record on the mound, striking out 83 batters in 60 innings. What a talent!!

Great fireworks display at both the New Madison and Greenville holiday festivities; good weather, good crowds, and a huge sigh of relief as life starts to return to normal for most folks!

What tragic news concerning the accidental death of Columbus Blue Jacket backup goalie Matiss Kivlenieks Sunday night. Evidently the 24-year-old was struck by an errant mortar-style firework while trying to get out of a hot tub at a private party in Novi, Mich. Sometimes it seems safer to allow fireworks to be handled by qualified technicians — sparklers are about as far as most people should go.

There’s quite a bit of controversy over the disqualification of sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson from the U.S. Olympic team. The winner of the 100 meter dash at the Trials later tested positive for marijuana, costing her a chance to compete in Tokyo later this month. Evidently her birth mother passed away a few weeks ago and combined with the pressure of preparing for the Trials led to her use of the banned in some states, legal in others, drug. The decision will most likely lead to further discussions of the current international Olympic rules regarding marijuana. “The rules are the rules” and all competitors at that level should be aware of them; unfortunately this young lady is learning the hard way of the consequences.

While watching The Championships at Wimbledon the past week I’m struck by the thought “where are the Americans?” Not a single Yank made the quarterfinals in either mens or womens play, a total of 16 competitors in all. I’m tempted to call Greenville native and renowned tennis coach Ric Macci to get his views on the matter!

The NBA Finals began this week with, as I predicted earlier (pat on the back!), the Suns meeting the Bucks. I think Phoenix is playing better team ball presently while Milwaukee can only hope that two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo recovers from a hyperextended left knee to become a force in the best-of-seven series. I like the Suns to win in six games but won’t bet the farm on it!

For you golf fans a few words — what great PGA tournaments the past two weekends! First an eight hole playoff in the Travelers event, won by Harris English over Kramer Hickok, then this week’s Rocket Mortgage outing won by Cam Davis on the fifth extra hole over Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann.

Finally, has anyone seen any commercials funnier than Dr. Rick’s for Progressive Insurance? Helping you not become your parents has led to such great lines as “The waiter does not need to know your name;” “Let’s open a PDF. Who’s next?” and “Don’t say howdy, you’re not a cowboy” among countless others sayings. I laugh every time I see them! Is it just me who thinks the insurance commercials are better than the shows? Until next time, stay healthy and active!

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Dr. Alex Warner

Shots in the Darke

Dr. Alex Warner is a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate