For about a year now, there’s this little green book we’ve kept nearby – on the night stand, in the backpack, next to the throne in the guest bathroom. It’s called “What We Think About When We Think About Soccer” by social philosopher Simon Critchley. (Here is a review by SoccerAmerica.com) We pick it up, read some chapters, ponder, and put it down. Wait’ll the World Cup starts, we say. Then it will become more important. Critchley calls soccer (or football, if you will) “a working-class ballet.” “Why is it beautiful and in what does its beauty consist?” he writes about the sport on page 15 in a chapter titled “Socialism.” It continues: “I will use the method of what philosophers call phenomenology to try and give some kind of answer to these questions. Phenomenolgy is a philosophical tradition that beings in the early twentieth century in the writings of Hurrerl and finds its decisive existential elaboration in the work of Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. It is a very simply: Phenomenology is the description of what shows itself to us in our everyday existence. … (it) is relearning to see the world… My hope is that this approach will enable the reader to see the beauty of football with slightly different eyes.” You’re already kinda lost but intrigued at the same time. Time’s up. The World Cup in Russia begins Thursday, and Mexico plays its first game of its group against Germany on Sunday morning (8 a.m., Channel 11), and maybe by the time you digest all this until the final scheduled for July 15, you’ve got just a good a shot of reading this book, feeling a little more superior in a group of friends, and then forgetting all of it when someone asks, “Why didn’t the U.S. qualify again?”At the very least, recalibrate your cognitive dissonance meter.
Dustin Johnson, back to World No. 1 in the rankings, goes off as the 10-to-1 favorite, Skipper Tiger Woods, who last won this event 10 years ago and is somehow 14-to-1 thanks to living on a yacht this week, and defending champion Brooke Koepka is 22-to-1 to repeat as the U.S. Open champion as the second major of the year opens Thursday at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southhampton, N.Y., on Long Island. Last time this major was played there, Retief Goosen defeated Phil Mickelson by two strokes in 2004. It’s another Fox-produced event, taking golf’s second-oldest event and trying to make it something that apparently NBC had too much trouble accomplishing. And all that brings enough baggage that a well-constructed caddy might have trouble lugging around the place.
The Texas Rangers anticipate “Big Sexy” Bartolo Colon will roll himself to the mound and start the game for them at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night. This could be a show unto itself. Get your head around this: The 45-year-old (3-3, 4.16 ERA, tied with fellow Dominican Juan Marichal in career wins all-time with 243) is one of two players in the MLB today who’ve participated in games that took place in the 1900s. The other: Adrian Beltre, the Rangers’ 39-year-old third baseman headed for the Hall of Fame after spending the first seven years of his career (1998-2004) with the Dodgers, one-homer short of tying the team’s single-season home run record when he hit 48 in his final year.
This week: The Dodgers have two at home against Texas (Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.) and three against San Francisco (Friday at 7:10 p.m., SNLA; Saturday at 5:15 p.m., Channel 11; Sunday at 1:10 p.m., SNLA).
This week for the Angels: At new AL West leader Seattle (Monday and Tuesday at 7:10 p.m., FSW and Wednesday at 1:10 p.m., Facebook Watch) and at Oakland (Friday at 6:35 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., FSW)
Sunday is Father’s Day and maybe nothing would please him more than an Omaha Steak gift box. Which you can crack open while watching the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., starting Saturday. Four teams have already qualified — the Pac 12 will be represented by Washington (which knocked out Fullerton) and Oregon State, plus Mississippi State and North Carolina are also in. Monday, we need an outcome from Texas-Tennessee Tech (10 a.m., ESPN2), Duke-Texas Tech (1 p.m., ESPN2), South Carolina-Arkansas (4 p.m., ESPN2) and defending champion Florida-Auburn (5 p.m., ESPN), and to fill out the bracket.
Back to Father’s Day: What do you have or need or want to do to celebrate? We cannot suggest finding the right book for the right guy. Circle back to some suggestions that relate to the World Cup. Go back through our list of the 30 baseball books that we reviewed during April. There’s a new Elgin Baylor autobiography still in circulation. Ask dad what his favorite baseball card was as a kid, and see if you can track it down at a nominal price. This should always be a fun one to make good.