Every-Thing Sports

Valentine's Day gifts for sports

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Every year around this time, people are busy searching for plans and/or gifts for their special someone/s. Valentine's Day has been dubbed the unofficial holiday of love. From the pictures of Cupid with his bow and arrow, to the many versions of hearts, Valentine's Day has turned into another commercially charged day of consumer spending.

Part of that spending is the planning of dates and buying of gifts. While it has been geared more towards women being on the receiving end of the dates and gifts, men have experienced their share of gifts as well. The ratio of which sex receives gifts is about 87,963:1, and I'm being generous.

With all that being said, I was sitting back contemplating what to get the wife for Valentine's Day. There are the traditional candies, cards, and flowers; but there's also jewelry, really nice dinners at upscale restaurants, new houses and/or cars. Some of this stuff she already has or won't want. As I was thinking of what to get her, it crossed my mind: if sports were a significant other, what would I get them for Valentine's Day? Since I asked, and I don't mind talking to myself, here's what I'd get them for Valentine's Day:

Football: a nice piece of jewelry

Football is the one sport I had to work hard at playing when I was younger. The fact that I couldn't master it with little to no effort intrigued me. Now that I've done all the necessary watching, networking, and intense studying, I feel like our relationship has been taken to a new level and I'm ready to commit.

Basketball: a new car

This has been my ride or die since day one. She's always been there for me and has never left my side. She was there for me before the Sports Map fame, before the radio guest spots, and even before I was an intern at 1560. For her always being there and being my go-to move, she deserves a nice new car.

Baseball: a nice card and candy

Baseball was always the one that played hard to get. I'd invest hours on end into baseball, only to get rejected. Especially in the 90s when I moved to Atlanta. The Braves went from worst to first and appeared in several World Series. They finally pulled through and won in 1995. However, they haven't won since. I waited 22 years until 2017 when the Astros won a title before a team I rooted for won it all. This is all baseball gets from me for now.

Soccer: upscale dinner date

Every once in a while, you come across that one that makes you want to change your ways. There's a person in your life that comes along that makes you want to change. You feel the need to impress this person and their family. So, you do what you can to impress her and her family because you feel this could be "the next one." This is how I feel about soccer. It's the sport that I've grown to truly appreciate over the last few years and have spent more quality time investing in.

I'd love to hear from you guys on which sports you'd buy gifts for, and if so, what gifts you'd buy for which gifts for. Sometimes, you can't help yourself. There's enough talent there so you can't help but make a leap of faith. This list is fluid and could change on a day to day basis depending on how I feel about the different sports.

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Houston loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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