Some things I think about the world of sports ...
Wonder why the summer has been unseasonably cool? Wonder why it's felt more like football season than baseball season over the past few weeks? The explanation is actually quite simple: The Indians and Pirates are both winning in baseball, which leads one to believe that the end of the world is near.
As of Aug. 3, the Pittsburgh Pirates have the second-best record in baseball, and the Cleveland Indians would get into the playoffs with a wild card. This is surely the sign of some sort of apocalypse, or a sign to look into the skies to see if Babe the Pig has taken flight.
After winning the series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Pirates secured the best record in baseball this past week. After taking the title "best in baseball," many reporters and editors at the Tribune had to do a double take at the story. Because for any person's tenure here - no matter it be five or 15 years - the sentence had never been written.
Unless the apocalypse does happen, or a meteor crashes inside PNC Park, it looks as if the Pirates are going to finally break their streak of 21 consecutive losing seasons. Many Pirate fans would be happy with 82-80, but no one is going to cry about a more-than-likely playoff run.
As for the Indians, trying to figure out if they are good or not is a constant theme to the season. When they are good, they've been great. When it's bad, it feels as if an epic collapse is right around the corner.
After a recent eight-game winning streak, the Indians are within three games of the Tigers (who have won 11 of their last 12 games) in the division and are a half game up on Baltimore for the second wildcard.
While there is still a lot of baseball left to be played, people who predicted a Cleveland-Pittsburgh World Series don't look as stupid as they did when they said it back in April. Will it happen? Odds are to say that answer is a no. But just for the fact that it's a possibility is making professional baseball in this area fun to watch this season.
Monday, two-a-day practices for high school football begin, and the first game of the season kicks off in 25 days. But before anyone can get ready for the Friday Night Lights, fans need to prepare for the season.
On Aug. 21, the annual Tribune Chronicle High School Football Preview hits newsstands.
The preview, which will go in-depth on 34 high school teams from Trumbull, Mahoning, Portage and Ashtabula counties, is the most extensive preview published in the Mahoning Valley. This year, the preview will break down each team by position, tell you what games to watch for, and list a few players who should make an impact for their respective teams in 2013.
Also, for football fans of the past, there are some significant anniversaries this year. It's the 50th anniversary of Niles McKinley winning its second AP football poll title in 1963. It's also the 40th anniversary of the epic state title game between Warren Western Reserve and Cardinal Mooney. Veteran reporter Mike McLain will take readers back to those eras and relive those great memories.
The preview will be for sale at the Tribune Chronicle and many stores around the Valley for $4.95.