What’s going to work? Team work!

If you’re like me and hang in the pre-school/toddler set, no doubt you are quite familiar with The Wonder Pets! For the uninitiated, The Wonder Pets! is an animated TV show in which three schoolhouse pets – a guinea pig, turtle and duck – hang around in the classroom during school hours, but get into adventures and life-saving capers when the kids are away.

The hook for the show is the theme song with the refrain that goes:

Wonder Pets! Wonder Pets! We’re on our way,
To help a baby [featured animal], and save the day.
We’re not too big,
And we’re not too tough,
But when we work together we’ve got the right stuff!
Goooooooo Wonder Pets! Yaaaaaaayyyyyyy!

That very song and the theme of The Wonder Pets! show was the first thing that came to my mind when I heard about the Phillies’ valiant effort to pitch in a help the grounds crew at Coors Field yesterday.

By now most followers of the Phillies know what happened. One of those crazy Colorado rainstorms barreled in to Denver and halted the game. But before the crew could get the tarp secured on the field, the wind had swallowed up a handful of people.

“Three guys went underneath, one guy came out, and I was like, ‘Where’s those other two people?’” pitcher Adam Eaton told reporters. “Then, I saw their arms come out, and their eyes were as big as plates.”

But before anyone knew what was going on, the entire Phillies team tore onto the field and saved the day.

We’re not too big,
And we’re not too tough,
But when we work together we’ve got the right stuff!

Who was nowhere to be found during the entire scene? The Rockies.

“We saved two or three guys there, didn’t we?” Charlie Manuel told reporters.

Regardless, this one goes right up there with Maurice Cheeks singing the anthem with that girl in Portland. And to paraphrase Jim Thome, this is what I call “good karma.”

Then again, what’s it say about baseball players as a whole if something basic as helping out people in need is lauded in the national press? I guess people normally think baseball players walk around and kick puppies… wait, that’s Michael Vick.

For the record the nastiest hailstorm I had ever seen was on the way up Trail Ridge Road outside of Estes Park in the middle of August. It was 85 and blindingly sunny when we left the house to go up Trail Ridge Road, but less than an hour later we were getting pelted with hail the size of canned hams.

***
I missed the end of today’s Stage 2 of the Tour de France because I wanted to get my run finished before the mercury got too far over 90 degrees. That last part didn’t really work because it got hot fast this morning and as a result of my rush to get out the door, I missed the finish where it seems as if there was a crash with about two kilometers to go.

Here’s the Belgian TV look at the pile up:

According to reports, Fabian Cancellara went down hard and scraped up his Yellow Jersey, but the top sprinters — Robbie McEwen, Tom Boonen, Erik Zabel, Oscar Freire, and Robbie Hunter – were in front of the trouble. As a result, Team Quick Step, paced by Boonen, had a deftly maneuvered leadout in motion before the wreck that sewed up the stage for Gert Steegmans.

Yes, it was quite appropriate that two Belgians finished 1-2 in the stage that went from Dunkirk in France to Ghent in Belgium. Better yet it was team leader Boonen leading a teammate to his first ever stage win.

“All year he does work for me,” Boonen said. “I wasn’t going to pass him on the line and rob him of a chance for glory.”

A high school friend was an exchange student in Belgium for a year and from what I can tell they all love cycling, sweets and strong beer. Sounds like the Belgians are good people.

Plus, the greatest rider ever is from Belgium.

Stage 2 Final
1.) Gert Steegmans, Quick Step-Innergetic, Belgium
2.) Tom Boonen, Quick Step-Innergetic, Belgium
3.) Fillippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy
4.) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, South Africa
5.) Romain Feillu, Agritubel, France
6.) Robbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto, Australia
7.) Erik Zabel, Team Milram, Germany
8.) Heinrich Haussler, Gerolsteiner, Germany
9.) Oscar Freire, Spain, Rabobank
10.) Sebastien Chavanel, Française des Jeux

Overall
1.) Fabian Cancellara, Team CSC, Switzerland
2.) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany
3.) David Millar, Saunier Duval-Prodir, Great Britain
4.) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA
5.) Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, Great Britain

Word is that Cancellara injured his wrist in the crash and Hincapie has a nice cut on his knee. Alas, they race again tomorrow. This time they go from Waregem in Belgium to Compiègne, a French city north of Paris. It’s 146 flat miles that are sure to end with another sprint.

How much longer will Cancellara remain in Yellow and when will the contenders like Vinokourov, Leipheimer and the rest make their move? As it looks now, Vino is in prime position to end the decade-long American dynasty.

***
Speaking of the American dynasty, no new news on the Floyd front, but there was a story of note in the San Diego Union-Tribune by Mark Ziegler that we will get into with more depth tomorrow.

For the record, I asked around to newspaper veterans about Ziegler and have been greeted with the same response each time: “He’s good… very thorough.”

He also seems to be one of the few American sportswriters who has even the slightest clue about the issues of doping.

***
I was at the Barnes & Noble this afternoon and noticed that there are a ton of cycling magazines and every single one of them are worlds better than the running magazines. Why can’t running be cool, too?