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Brief chronicles of our sporting times.

Falklands War 2.0 at the World Cup?



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Brazil is worried about English and Argentinean soccer fans in the same city at the same time:

Police have raised fears over the fact both England and Argentina will play games in the same city just days apart.

An 11,000-strong contingent of Argentinian fans will travel to see their side play Iran on June 21 in Belo Horizonte, where the Argentina squad will be based during the opening weeks of the tournament.

Three days later, more than 7,500 England fans are expected in the southeastern city for their final group game against Costa Rica.

Around 650 violent ‘ultras’ will cross Argentina’s border with Brazil for the tournament, with the notorious Barra Brava group thought to have made alliances with equally brutal Brazilian hooligans.

The Barras Bravas – linked to Argentinian club San Lorenzo – have already threatened England fans with violence in revenge for losing the Falklands War in 1982.

One Brazilian group, Mafia Azul, are suspected to have rented a ranch on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte in order to accommodate dozens of Barras Bravas.

The Mafia Azul are linked to Belo Horizonte side and current league leaders Cruzeiro, who were earlier this year banned from stadiums in Brazil after violent confrontations with rival fans which left several people dead.

The rest here.

Tags: Misc.

Jeteration Gone Wild



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Writing at his blog over the weekend, NBC Sports columnist Joe Posnanski, founder way back in 2008 of the playful phrase “Jeterate” (“to praise someone for something of which he or she is entirely unworthy of praise“), continued to take aim at those who have long mistaken Derek Jeter for King David:

There has been some high quality Jeteration lately — Rick Reilly recently wrote a letter to Derek Jeter’s unborn children that had some doozies like, “He was the best player in baseball for 10 years straight,” and called him “A kind of prince in baseball cleats” and remarked, “If there was a better man in sports, I never met him.” I didn’t think that was going to be topped.

But in a simple box, I think this little scouting report roars past any story written so far. If you were doing something resembling an actual scouting report for Derek Jeter in 2014, it might look something like this:

Instead the three bits on the scouting report are:

1. Consummate pro and leader.
2. Plays the game the right way.
3. Example to players of all ages.

After dreaming up a humorous mound visit where the “scouting report” is dissected with great care, Poz continues his dissection:

Of course, this wasn’t actually a scouting report for the players … it was a scouting report for those viewers who apparently were unaware that many consider Derek Jeter to be the consummate pro and leader who plays the game the right way and is an example to players of all ages. Those viewers who did not know that would be … I have no idea.

Part of me thinks this was a joke pulled off by some very clever graphics people. And if that’s the case . . . I’m raising a glass to you because nobody could have told the end story better. Derek Jeter has been a very good baseball player. He might have been the best player in baseball around 1998 or 1999 . . . after that he certainly wasn’t the best — not in the age of Bonds and Pujols and A-Rod and Utley — but he was good. I have him as one of the four or five best shortstops of the last 100 years, which is a pretty great thing to be. He hit well and fielded . . . he hit well. He managed to stay controversy free in the age of controversy. He was never caught or suspected of using steroids in the age of steroids. He played shortstop and served as captain for the dominant team of the era. It’s a career worth celebrating.

And the rest . . . well, the rest is Jeteration. I can only hope the next scouting report looks like this:

The rest here.

Tags: MLB

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Bees Attack Dodger Stadium



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Really:

 

Tags: MLB

Reveille 6/2/14



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Good morning.

Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday at the office a bit more bearable:

It’s not as though Brewers fans (and one would presume they are driving the votes) are rewarding Braun for a stellar comeback chock full of dingers this season — he’s got seven home runs and 23 RBIs, which rank 27th and 41st, respectively, in the NL.​

Encarnacion’s tear has been even more fun than the numbers suggest, due to the style with which he’s been hitting. So far this month, he has five multi-homer games — he hit two in a game on back-to-back nights, too — and he’s just been destroying the pitches he’s been getting ahold of. According to ESPN’s home run tracker, Encarnacion leads the league with 10 “No Doubt” home runs, which are classified as homers that clear the fence by at least 20 vertical feet and land at least 50 feet beyond the fence. The average true distance of his 18 homers (416 ft.) outpaces the league average by a solid 20 ft. Fifteen of his 18 long balls were hit far enough to leave the yard in all 30 major league parks. In other words, Edwin Encarnacion is hitting not just a huge number of home runs, but true no-doubters, the kind that make you gasp.

  • Judging by the look on David Ortiz’s face after being hit with a David Price pitch, it may be safe to say that the Rays and the Red Sox still don’t like each other very much. Albert Chen of Sports Illustrated’s The Strike Zone has the details. 
  • The Royals have another new hitting coach — that would be four times in less than 20 months — but Chen’s colleague, Jay Jaffe, doubts that it will make a discernible difference. 
  • Jake Mintz of the Hardball Times loves watching pitchers throw the eephus, but only in small doses, lest its magical appeal dissipate.

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Tags: MLB

Best ESPN Segment Ever? The ‘10-Cent Beer Night’ Riot in Cleveland



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Back in 1974, the Cleveland Indians thought a “10-cent beer night’ would be a good idea. It wasn’t. Stick around until the end of this six minute ESPN story for the riot that saw Cleveland’s opponent for the night, the Texas Rangers, leaving their dugouts, bats in hand, to take on the unruly fans who had stormed the field. 

 

Tags: MLB

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Obama Claims He Suffered Concussions Playing Football



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Video via NBC News, “Obama ‘Sure’ He Suffered Concussions Playing Football.” 

As @Iowahawkblog writes, “President suffered a concussion so severe that he remembers playing football.”

Maybe he got the concussion while playing football against T-Bone, who I hear was one helluva middle linebacker in his day?

 

Tags: NFL

Obama Hosts White House Concussion Summit



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Details here.

Exit question that we all know the answer to: Will the press finally ask for details about Hillary’s concussion?

Tags: NFL

Who Should Host the 2022 Winter Olympics?



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As of today, there are four cities left in the bidding process: Oslo (Norway), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Lviv (Ukraine), and Beijing/ Zhangjiakou (China).

USA Today sums it up:

Lviv’s candidacy has been in limbo amid the political crisis in Ukraine. It’s unclear whether Sunday’s election of billionaire Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s new president will allow the bid to go forward or not.

Oslo, which hosted the 1952 Winter Games, has faced large-scale public opposition to the bid and has yet to secure government financial backing. One of the two parties in the coalition government came out against the bid earlier this month.

IOC President Thomas Bach visited Norway last week and sought to shore up support for the Olympics, but no final decision from the government is expected until the autumn.

Almaty and Beijing are the only two bids that have avoided turmoil. Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, is seeking to become the first city to stage both summer and winter games. Almaty, bidding for a second time, is the commercial capital of the oil-rich former Soviet republic in central Asia.

Deadspin has more on what looks to be a dying bid in Oslo:

The Oslo, Norway, bid is falling apart. It was supported by a razor-thin margin in a September referendum, but public opposition has only grown since then. And on Sunday, the junior member of the government coalition voted against funding any Olympics. For them to go on, it would require an unprecedented alliance between the ruling Conservatives and the opposition Labour party.

Ukraine’s bid, for obvious reasons, is probably a non-starter, too.

This leaves Bejing/Zhangjiakou, China or Almaty, Kazakhstan. Is anyone excited about either of those cities? Does either country deserve an Olympics? 

A few weeks ago, I suggested that cities that win bids for the Olympics should get the games for two cycles. This would help cities justify the enormous costs associated with the Games and thus expand the number of cities that bid.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are in PyeongChang, South Korea. And they’re the best choice for 2022, too. 

 

Tags: Olympics

Reveille Rainout



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Good morning.

A busier-than-expected schedule abroad is resulting in this week’s Reveille’s being washed away. Reveille will appear next on Monday, June 2.

Meanwhile, please enjoy this Saturday piece from Yahoo Big League Stew’s Mark Townsend on Miguel Cabrera’s attempt to have a chuckle at Adrian Beltre’s expense. As many players know, a rub of the Rangers’ third-baseman’s head may be dangerous for their health.

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Tags: MLB

Mark Cuban Update: He’s Not Happy with the Racial-Grievance Industry



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Cuban is using his Twitter feed to go after those he thinks took his earlier comments on race out of context. Some excerpts:

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And it was only lunchtime. 

Tags: NBA

President Obama in Cooperstown, Talking Tourism



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The president couldn’t send Joe Biden to do this? It’s basically the same as Paul Hogan saying “throw another shrimp on the barbie.”

AP:

President Barack Obama is pitching the United States as destination spot for tourists, saying foreign visitors contribute to the economy and help create jobs.

Obama says, quote, “When it comes to tourism, we have a great product to sell.”

The president was speaking at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a popular tourist site in upstate New York.

Obama is the first sitting president to visit the baseball institution and said its 75 years reflect America’s history.

What’s more, he says, America’s national and natural treasures beckon foreign visitors.

He says, quote: “Nothing says ‘Made in America’ better than the Empire State Building or the Hoover Dam.”

The rest here.

Tags: MLB

Indians Sweep Tigers on Extra-Inning Balk



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It’s the bottom of the 13th inning in a 10–10 game. The bases are loaded with two outs.

Are you ready for the first second pitch from Al Alburquerque to Ryan Raburn?

Oof.

Dude, that’s no way to lose a ballgame.

WFAN’s Mike Francesa was unavailable for comment.

More here and here.

Tags: MLB

Gomez in Atlanta: A New Year, A New Headline



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Carlos Gomez made the papers at the Ted in 2013 for his trash-talking sprint around the bases after clubbing a home run. On Tuesday evening, Gomez became the center of attention once more, this time for a foul ball off his bat that struck an eight-year-old fan.

Gomez tweeted on Wednesday that he had visited the little trooper in an Atlanta-area hospital:

Here’s more from the Brewers’ MVP-caliber center fielder:

“I’m a father,” said Gomez, who also signed the ball that was fouled into the stands. “It was important to me to talk to him and have the opportunity to stay with him. He was really happy.”

Out of respect for the family, Gomez wouldn’t go into detail about the boy’s condition. But he urged fans to be more mindful of foul balls, especially when sitting in the dangerous zones along the first- and third-base lines.

“These are professional ballplayers hitting the ball. The ball comes really hard. It can kill you,” he said.

“I wanted to see him. I wanted to talk to him. Today I had the opportunity to go, and at least mentally I feel good. And I can perform today. Because I was so upset.”

Even more here.

Tags: MLB

Racial Grievance Industry’s Next Target: Mark Cuban?



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Mark Cuban was in Tennessee giving a speech on entrepreneurship and made some comments on race that are under fire. From The Sporting News. Emphasis mine:

Cuban commented on NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s recent lifetime ban of Sterling along with the league’s urging that owners force Sterling to sell the franchise with a three-quarters majority vote.

“There is a lot at stake as a whole for the NBA as a business,” Cuban said, saying that he thought it was a necessary move for Silver and the NBA.

“There are no laws against stupid,” Cuban added regarding Sterling’s racist comments. “I learned a long time ago that you can’t talk stupid out of people. You can’t expect stupid to disappear.”

Cuban further remarked to attendees that we all have to fight our own internal prejudices, with the hope that they do not manifest themselves. It is a constant battle Cuban fights as well, saying ”none of us have complete pure thoughts.”

“I also try not to be a hypocrite. I know I’m prejudiced. I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways,” he said. “I’ve said this before. If I see a black kid in a hoodie at night on the same side of the street, I’m probably going to walk to other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and lots of tattoos, I’m going back to the other side of the street. If I see anybody that looks threatening, and I try not to, but part of me takes into account race and gender and image. I’m prejudiced. Other than for safety issues, I try to always catch my prejudices and be very self-aware.”

Cuban later recounted a story from the 1960s when his uncle served as a superintendent in the Washington, D.C., area. He recalled sitting down with his uncle and being told that everyone was equal, and it was never acceptable to treat people differently based on their creed, race, gender or ethnicity. At the same time, though, it did not mean that certain negative thoughts won’t appear from time to time.

The 55-year-old Cuban said he already knows which way he will vote. While he did not specify one way or another, he alluded to his impending decision. 

“The thing that scares me about this whole thing is I don’t want to be a hypocrite,” Cuban said. “And I think I might have to be.”

I was listening to the Mike and Mike show on ESPN Radio and they were all over him for the hoodie comment. I didn’t hear them discuss the entire quote from above, however, but maybe they did and I just missed it. I don’t think what he said was any big deal, but we’ll see how the reaction develops over the day.

Tags: NBA

Pitching Through Pain Proves Costly



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Yesterday, 21-year-old pitching sensation Jose Fernandez suggested to Miami Herald reporter Manny Navarro that his elbow injury, which will keep him away for the bigs for twelve to 18 months, might have been preventable:

According to Fernandez, he first “felt a little pinch” in his elbow “in the fifth or sixth inning” of his start against the Dodgers on May 4. Fernandez, though, said nothing to his teammates or coaches.

Fernandez said he felt fine after throwing his usual bullpen session after that start, but went into his next start May 9 in San Diego “knowing I wasn’t 100 percent.”

“I don’t remember what pitch, [but it was] nothing I hadn’t felt before,” Fernandez said of the pinch. “Pitchers feel that all the time when they throw hard stuff.”

Why didn’t he let the Marlins know he wasn’t 100 percent before his start in San Diego? “Because we were in first place,” Fernandez explained.

“I know health and all that stuff comes first for some people. For me, my team comes first. That’s who I am. I wish I could change it. Hopefully I’m going to learn from it. [But] I’m still happy with the way I made the decision.”

Last year’s NL Rookie of the Year is one of the game’s shining stars, both for his dominant performances and electric personality (never mind what sourpusses Brian McCann and Chris Johnson think), but now we can only hope that Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation will allow Fernandez to return to his old young self. This episode should also be a lesson for the game’s stars that playing through pain or with reckless abandon is good for neither your career nor your teammates’ chances of earning a postseason berth.

More here.

Tags: MLB

An Eleven-Year-Old Qualifies for the U.S. Women’s Open



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ESPN:

Lucy Li made history Monday as the 11-year-old became the youngest to ever qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open.

Li earned her way into the event by shooting rounds of 74 and 68 on the par-72 Old Course at Half Moon Bay in a sectional qualifier in California on Monday.

She beat second-place qualifier Kathleen Scavo by seven strokes.

Lexi Thompson (12 years, 4 months, 18 days) previously held the record for youngest to qualify for the event, doing so in 2007.

The 11-year-old from Redwood Shores, California, already has a victory at Augusta under her belt, having won her age group in the first annual Drive, Chip and Putt Championship held in April ahead of the Masters.

Last year, Li qualified for the match-play portion of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship but lost in the first round.

Wow. The rest here.

Tags: Golf

Michael Sam Reality Show ‘Postponed’



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CBS Sports:

If you were looking forward to watching the Rams linebacker Michael Sam documentary series on the Oprah Winfrey Network, you might have a longer wait than expected. Or a wait that will never end.

On Friday evening, OWN announced, via the St. Louis Post Dispatch, that the Sam documentary would be postponed.

With the backlash that occurred when the new show was announced earlier this week, this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Particularly since it makes little sense for a seventh-round draft pick who has an uphill battle to make the team to continue on with a project that might alienate his employers and/or his colleagues.

The rest here.

Tags: NFL

Peyton Manning Delivers Interception-Free Graduation Speech at UVA



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Via the Denver Post:

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning took it a little easier with his passes to seniors at the University of Virginia than he did with kids on his Saturday Night Live United Way skit.

Manning spoke on Saturday morning at U.Va.’s 2014 valedictory exercises, in which seniors present class gifts and university awards. Manning’s wife, Ashley, is a 1997 graduate of U.Va.’s McIntire School of Commerce. The Class of 2014 graduation committee invited Manning to speak because of “his sports career and off-the-field commitments are consistent examples of leadership, excellence and generosity,” Sarah Salinas, the committee’s chairwoman, said in a release.

“My wife Ashley is the smartest person I know,” Manning said during the remarks. “I know a lot of that has to do with her four years at U.Va. I like to tell a lot of people that Ashley came to Virginia because she couldn’t get into Tennessee.

“One regret I have is that I never had a chance to throw any football passes here on this lawn. So if you will indulge me, I’m going to fulfill that dream right now. I’m going to challenge three graduating seniors to catch a pass.”

He called up three seniors to catch passes from him (though didn’t throw the kind you might see him sling on Sundays).

“If you’re nervous, I understand. Seriously, there is no pressure here at all. If you drop it, it will not be on YouTube, I promise,” he said.

No one dropped a pass.

Manning gave more traditional post-collegiate advice as well, encouraging graduates to take risks and be prepared to be “rookies” all over again when entering the real world.

The rest here.

Tags: NFL

White House to Host Summit on Concussions and Youth Sports



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When is the White House summit on concussions and secretaries of state? The Washington Post:

The White House will hold a summit on youth sports and concussions later this month, bringing together young athletes, academics, parents and others to raise awareness of head injuries among young people who play sports.

According to a White House official, the administration will announce new commitments by the public and private sectors to raise awareness among athletes, parents, coaches, schools and others on how to identify and treat concussions and to conduct research to help understand how sports-related concussions affect young athletes.

The White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit will take place May 29. According to the White House, Obama, an avid sports fan, wants to make sure that children can play sports safely and appreciates the role that sports play in the lives of young people.

The rest here.

Tags: Misc.

Reveille 5/19/14



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Good morning.

Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday at the office a bit more bearable:

Dear American Express,

I am writing to dispute an incorrect charge on my statement of April 2014. The charge I am disputing is labelled “C. Granderson” and is also circled on the attached copy of my statement. I dispute this charge because the Curtis Granderson I received was defective and the seller has refused to refund the purchase price.

I am providing the following evidence in support of my dispute:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/grandcu01.shtml

Please investigate this dispute and provide me with a written statement of the outcome. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Sandy Alderson

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Tags: MLB

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