GO FOR THE GOLD!

Here's everything you need to know about the Olympics eye-raising events

There will be 339 events in Tokyo next year. Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Breakdancing will be a full-fledged, medal sport in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Yeah, I know, hysterical. All week, I've been listening to sports talk hosts snickering, wondering how the hell the International Olympic Committee ever approved breakdancing as a sport.

Here's how. Breakdancing is physically demanding, takes creativity and strength, it's popular with young people, especially inner city minorities … and don't even think about trying it yourself. You'll wind up in traction at Ben Taub Hospital. As Bob Dylan once said, "don't criticize what you can't understand."

The fact is, breakdancing isn't much different from the floor exercise in gymnastics, In some ways, breakdancing is tougher - there's no breaks to catch your breath, and no padding on the floor. Simone Biles can jump through the roof doing a barefoot Triple Lindy, but can she spin on her head on a piece of cardboard? Can she airlfare, windmill and toprock like those downtown kids?

I think it's the "dancing" part that has folks wondering why breakdancing is coming to the Olympics. Actually, the name of the sport in the Olympics will be "Breaking." And it's one of five new medal sports for 2024. The others are surfing, karate, sport climbing (like wall climbing at the mall), and skateboarding (like at the mall after closing).

The Olympics are smart to invite new sports, to get younger. It's not like the Olympics are a growth industry. The 2018 Games in South Korea were the lowest-rated Winter Olympics ever. The 2018 Games averaged 19.8 million viewers in the U.S. The 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia averaged 21.3 million viewers. The 2002 Games in Salt Lake City averaged 31.9 million viewers. That's called trending in the wrong direction.

Ratings for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio were the lowest in 50 years, down 17 percent from the 2012 Games in London.

What do the Olympics have to lose by adding hip millennial events like breakdancing and skateboarding? They might actually gain viewers. If swimming and gymnastics and figure skating and ski jumping are so popular, how come Americans care about them only every four years? Go ahead, name one U.S. ski jumper. Or any ski jumper anywhere in the world.

There will be 339 events in Tokyo next year, that is, if the postponed once already Games are held. I'm thinking another false start, this time a complete cancelation. There will be too many athletes, judges, officials and possibly fans coming from too many places where COVID-19 still will be raging. Paris in 2024 already is downsizing, only 329 events will be held. Cross country is one of the sports on the chopping block.

If breakdancing isn't a sport, and shouldn't be in the Olympics, then what's rhythmic gymnastics doing there? That's totally dancing with a ball or ribbon or a hula hoop. You don't have to be the world's greatest athlete to be the second or third guy in a four-man bobsled. Synchronized swimming?

If ESPN can show the spelling bee, poker, hot dog eating and calf roping (all having nothing to do with sports), then breakdancing definitely belongs in the Olympics. What's next or ESPN, Parcheesi? Call of Duty?

It's not the first time the Olympics have held competition in non-traditional sports. Over the years, the Olympics have awarded medals in tug of war, croquet, motor boating, two-handed discus, and jai alai. I would love to see jai alai return to the Games, so I could play the 2-3-5-8 parlay, my standard bet at the Dania fronton in Florida.

Just to clear something up, I heard one national sports host saying he couldn't wait for the baseball competition at next year's Summer Games in Tokyo because he loves watching the U.S. dominate.

He might consider that the U.S. baseball team, ranked No. 2 in the world behind Japan, might not even qualify for the Olympics. Only six teams will compete in Tokyo, and four countries already have locked up berths: Mexico (which beat the U.S. in the Americas qualifier), Japan, South Korea and Israel. I know one of the Israeli players, Jeremy Wolf, the slugging leftfielder from the 2016 Trinity University D3 College World Series Champions. Go Tigers!

Two slots for the Tokyo Games have yet to be decided. The U.S. team, comprised of AA and AAA minor leaguers, will get one last shot in another "lucky loser" qualifying tournament.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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