BEIJING -- When I first started doing this Olympic business, when you were out of town, you were out of town.
I was walking through the main press center on my way to getting a bus for the table tennis venue Wednesday morning when I passed by a nice high def screen maintained by the Associated Press. They were showing a photo of the Fenway scoreboard after the first inning of you-know-what. Yes, it's a small world after all. I quickly learned it was 12-2 in the fourth, but after that I really was out of touch until returning later that afternoon.
"Did the Sox hold on?" I asked.
Hey, a win is a win. And if the Sox were going to win a game like that you could pretty much figure it would be against the Rangers, who have been all-hit and no-pitch for most of this century.
More observations from Beijing:
- Didn't have another one of those great Olympic moments on Wednesday. You can't hit a grannie every day, you know? But I will say you haven't lived until you're trying to monitor eight table tennis matches at once.
- I'm not sure the ages of all those Chinese pixie gymnasts together add up to 16. I think half of them traded their gold medals for a lollypop.
- The USA and Australian women hoopsters are heading for an epic gold medal game on Saturday the 23d.
- You know who struck out the side in the ninth to close out Canada's 10-0 triumph over China? Rheal Cormier. Yup, Frenchy is now 40 and an Olympic debutant, as they say across the pond. You never know. Reggie Cleveland might be activated before it's all over.
- Had to laugh when I read in the English language Singapore paper that many people were extremely upset when they bought tickets in Hong Kong for Dressage and found out what it was. They were totally bored, and there was a stampede out of there after an hour. One guy was angry with his wife, who had bought the tickets. He thought he was going to a horse race.
- I think the only way to make it to 70 in this country is to stay in the house 24/7, or, at least, never cross a street. A green light for spectators means nothing to either the people turning left or the people going right on red. From the other direction. And these intersections are longer than the left field line at Fenway.
- Can't confirm a rumor that a local paper had Michael Phelps on page 32 of the sports. Then again, maybe they consider that a special number (Sandy Koufax, Jim Brown, etc.).
- In case anyone's wondering, the reason Angola keeps coming back to the World Championships and Olympics is because they're the only team in Africa with a half-decent coach. Nigeria has the most raw talent, and that's been true for 15 years. But they've never had anyone to harness their natural basketball resources.
- Speaking of disgraces, there's no reason for Canada not to be here playing basketball. Talk about a bureaucratic nightmare...
- Just saw a highlight of a weightlifter grabbing the barbell, assuming the position, talking himself into the ready mode, and then just standing up and waving at the weights and walking away. "I don't particularly want hernia surgery," is what he seemed to be saying.
- You know Li Nin, the champion hurdler who lit the cauldron? He owns a line of sports apparel, with retail stores all over the place. His symbol is a swoop that suspiciously like the one popularized by that place in Oregon. No dummy, he. I don't know if he's outfitted the entire Chinese team, but he's got some of 'em, anyhow.
- So the little girl lyp-synched. Marni Nixon sang for Audrey Hepburn in the screen version of "My Fair Lady." Anyway, China wants to show it's a hip 21st century country, right?