Just my luck, after writing about how #neat last week was in the sports, Ichiro hit a home run in what might have been his last game in Seattle. That’s the neatest. Elsewhere in the sporting world, Mike Gundy upstaged the Cubs with Alamo Bowl rings featuring a bit of a twist, and Albert Almora, Jr. is playing his tail off.

Lead With Creed 

I chose a compilation of Creed’s greatest hits this week for two reasons. The first being that I am going to a concert tonight. I also feature one of Ichiro’s greatest hits in this installment of #ThoughtTrainThursday. How topical. Let’s get down to business.

40 Year Old Man Hates to Lose 

Oklahoma State celebrated an Alamo-bowl winning season by unveiling a ring displaying an alternative fact to challenge any claims coming from Washington. Take a look.

Now, run a quick record check and you’ll find that the Cowboys finished the year 10-3. The 11-2 mark is in reference to the referee mishap that resulted in a wild finish when the Central Michigan Chippewas upset OSU in Stillwater. I am almost certain that Coach Gundy will make it his life’s mission after he retires from coaching to get the result of that game changed in the history books. He’s already got the bling to prove it.

He’s a man! He’s 40! As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Mullet can do whatever he pleases as long as he keeps entertaining us.

Gundy’s latest antics got me to thinking about results of games that I would refuse to acknowledge. Aside from the canned 2003 NLCS answer Cubs fans will not soon forget, I would like to retroactively change the result of/forget Baylor’s drubbing of the Doug McDermott-led Creighton Bluejays in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Creighton has continued to get embarrassed on a national stage since then. How naive of me to believe that they could have been last year’s Villanova.

Every Day Albert 

One of the most exciting parts about being a Cubs fan in 2017 is all of the young talent matriculating throughout the organization. Though I am a fan of guys such as Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jon Lester, etc. my favorite players are former I-Cubs. Des Moines, home of Chicago’s AAA affiliate, is my home town. Seeing Willson Contreras and Albert Almora come into their own over the last year or so in the big leagues has been awesome.

I’ve seen Willson hit a grand slam and mash doubles off the high walls at Principal Park. I was lucky enough to watch Albert Almora make one web gem after another and leg out a few triples during his time in Des Moines as well. While Willson Contreras has established himself as the catcher of the future on the North Side, Joe Maddon has yet to find a consistent spot in the lineup for Albert Almora. If he keeps playing like he has been, however, that should not prove to be a problem going forward.

Having too much of a good thing is a problem teams around the league would kill for, I just hope it does not result in Almora being trade bait down the line. He’ll surely cool off after a scalding hot start, but every time I watch or listen to a Cubs broadcast, Almora is lauded for his timely hitting and great defense. Nick Surges has been lobbying for Albert to play day in and day out, and if the Cubs play their cards right, he’ll be making plays like this one for years to come.

That one’s for you, Hayes.

Ichiro Sure Wanted to Hit that One Out

Growing up, I could never get enough of Ichiro Suzuki. Young baseball players batting stances change about as often as babies diapers, and everyone went through an Ichiro-emulating phase in little league. Little did it matter what side of the plate you hit from, Suzuki’s iconic extended-arm stance was copied in thousands of batting cages. That’s a guarantee. As an undersized left-handed hitter myself, I did all that I could to spray the ball all over the field and get from base to base as fast as humanly possible – just like baseball’s all-time hits leader (between the Japanese professional league and MLB).

Since he spent his career playing first for the Mariners, then the Yankees, and now the Miami Marlins, so I never got to watch as much live action of Ichiro as I would have liked. I still remember his all-star game MVP performance and how he was on base multiple times in seemingly every SportsCenter and Baseball tonight highlight I watched. That’s what makes this moment so special. He didn’t have to hustle this time, and I’m sure the even-keeled outfielder’s soul was jumping for joy as he serenely rounded the bases for what could be the final time in Seattle.

legends

P.S. – Name a more iconic duo. I’ll wait.

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