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Right Field

Brief chronicles of our sporting times.

Greens: Where Obama Leads, EPA Follows



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EPA bureaucrats follow the President’s lead religiously, it seems. Not just on policy, though, like the regulations I discuss on the homepage today, they also emulate their master in taking time on the job to practice their golf swing. This was actually sent around an EPA office recently:

Who could begrudge these public servants this particular route to good health?

BTW, I have performed a couple of rounds of due diligence on this. It’s real. The afternoon sessions are all booked. It’s offered by a federal health services group that provides “health & wellness” services to EPA employees. This includes special events like the one pictured on the flyer where Nike Learning Center is providing “swing analysis” to prevent back injuries while golfing.

Iain Murray is the author of Stealing You Blind: How Government Fatcats Are Getting Rich Off of You.

Tags: Golf

Rashard Mendenhall Learns the Meaning of Free Speech



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Like the Dixie Chicks before him, Rashard Mendenhall is learning that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences:

Rashard Mendenhall created one of the offseason’s biggest controversies when he tweeted some stuff about 9/11 following Osama Bin Laden’s death. The tweets got fans all stirred up, drew some remarks from teammates and got him fired as an endorser of Champion.In response, Mendenhall is — per CNBC’s Darren Rovell — suing Hanesbrand, the parent company of Champion in North Carolina District Court. “This case involves the core question of whether an athlete employed as a celebrity endorser loses the right to express opinions simply because the company whose products he endorses might disagree with some (but not all) of those opinions,” the suit reads.

In all likelihood, this won’t work like a normal “wrongful termination” case — Mendenhall had a clause in his Champion contract that, per Rovell, allows them to fire him if Mendenhall “commits or is arrested for any crime or becomes involved in any situation or occurrence tending to bring Mendenhall into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or tending to shock, insult or offend the majority of the consuming public.”  

Tags: NFL

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How to get suspended at ESPN



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Tags: MLB

Welching on a Bet, the Illinois Way



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We cheeseheads don’t expect much of Bears fans. We say: Take your two Packer losses a year like men, wear your ugly Ditka sweaters, and reminisce about the Cade McNown era all you want. We don’t even mind that you still think the mustache/sunglasses look can be enjoyed unironically. But when your governor welches on a bet, the gloves come off.

Illinois governor Pat Quinn pulled a move reminiscent of Jay Cutler and decided to quit on his bet with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker on the NFC Championship game last year:

Gov. Scott Walker delivered Wisconsin foods to a Kenosha food pantry Monday morning, but noticeably absent was the man who was supposed to be there with him, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

Walker bet on the Packers last winter in their National Football Conference championship game, while Quinn backed their opponents, the Chicago Bears, in the friendly wager.

Because Walker won, Quinn had been supposed to work in a Wisconsin food pantry while wearing a Packers jersey. But after the controversy surrounding Walker’s legislation ending collective bargaining, Quinn hasn’t made a move to head north across the border.

So Walker himself delivered foods from Wisconsin Monday, which included brats, cherry pies, cranberries and honey. He tweeted news about the delivery this morning and Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie confirmed the delivery.

Oh, and by the way: When Cutler inevitably misses half the season with a chronic case of halitosis, does Quinn get to sell his starting job to the highest bidder?

Tags: NFL

Tiger Woods, The Soap Opera



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In summary, former Woods mistress Rachel Uchitel was advised by her attorney, Gloria Allred, to return her hush money to Tiger Woods after the Woods legal team alleged that Uchitel had breached her confidentiality agreement. And upon further review, Uchitel is now suing threatening to sue Allred for giving her bad advice in returning the money. The whole story here.

And in other weird Tiger news, former Woods wife Elin Nordegren’s new boyfriend, Jamie Dingman, used to date Rachel Uchitel.

How messed up are these people?

(Corrected)

Tags: Golf

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A Penalty Kick You Don’t See Every Day



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Everyone knows that in soccer a penalty kick is difficult enough to take. It may look easy on television, but it is a tense psychological contest between the goalkeeper and the kicker. Sometimes, players will introduce some new flair to the task, but the UAE’s Awana Diab’s backheel penalty taken in a friendly against Lebanon yesterday was a complete surprise. In an actual league match anywhere, I doubt this would be attempted.

Although the announcers, spectators, and other players were amused, his coach wasn’t and substituted for Diab immediately, saying the player would be disciplined for the “disrespectful act.” Come on, it was a friendly.

   
 
   

Tags: Misc.

Joe Sakic Joins the Hole-in-One Parade



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Watch former NHL all-star Joe Sakic ace the 17th hole at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe:

 

 

A million-dollar shot: Sakic pockets $500,000, with the other half-mil going to Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation.

Tags: Golf

Re: Ray Lewis: Crime Will Increase without the NFL



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Back in May, Lewis predicted a rise in crime — among fans — without the NFL. Well, he was half right:

Cedric Benson of the Bengals arrested in Texas

And get this: The San Diego Union-Tribune keeps a handy database online to keep count of what’s going on with NFL players. Here’s a screen-cap since around the time Ray Lewis made his prediction on fans and crime:

Tags: NFL

Rays Lose Marathon 16-Inning Game to the Red Sox



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Nighty-nite:

St. Petersburg, Florida — You can bet there will be some exhausted Rays fans heading into work Monday morning. The team wrapped up its longest game ever — just hours ago.

It finally ended early Monday morning in a 1-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox, but not before playing 5 hours and 44 minutes, with no runs scored by anyone for the first 15 innings.

This game was a weird one right from the first pitch, just before 8 p.m. Performers from Cirque du Soleil got it going, juggling nearly a dozen baseballs, then tossing one over home plate.

Innings and hours passed by and — bam! A pop-up from Sean Rodriguez shattered a light hanging from one of Tropicana Field’s wonderful catwalks.

Innings and hours passed by and — bam! A pop-up from Sean Rodriguez shattered a light hanging from one of Tropicana Field’s wonderful catwalks.

Everything stopped for several minutes as a clean-up crew picked pieces of hot, shattered glass out of the AstroTurf.

Then, in the 11th inning, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon expressed his disappointment after a call and was ejected.

He was gone, but about 8,000 to 10,000 fans stuck around.

Rays mascot Raymond put on his pajamas and settled in. At one point he propped up his feet and leaned back in a chair — probably in the same pose as the thousands of people watching at home on ESPN; this was the network’s national game of the week.

The mascot has pajamas? Seems so:

Tags: MLB

If Only the Miami Heat Played this Hard in the Finals



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Dwayne Wade shows how it’s done! Too bad he’s playing against what look to be eight-year-olds:

Tags: NBA

Baseball Reveille 7/18/11



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Good morning, campers!

Here are recent links that will keep those dreaded TPS reports from being sent in on time:

This three-run blast resulted in Prince Fielder being named MVP of the All-Star Game.

Have a walk-off week!

Tags: MLB

Watch POTUS Watch the World Cup



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The White House posted this photo of the president watching the U.S.A vs. Japan in the Women’s World Cup finals. . .


. . .one thought: there’s not a more comfortable place to watch television in the White House?

Tags: Misc.

FIFA World Cup Update



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Sunday, 2:45 p.m., ESPN it’s the Americans vs Japan in the World Cup Finals. The Finals.

And in other news, five North Korean women have tested positive for steroids during World Cup testing. It’s probably the only real food they’ve eaten, so I give them a pass. Here’s a quote from FIFA presdient Sepp Blatter:

“This is a shock,” Blatter told a news conference. “You can hear this emotion in my voice.”

Yeah. If you can’t trust the Norks, who can you trust?

Tags: Misc.

Tom Watson’s Hole-in-One



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Watch Watson ace the sixth at St. George’s:

Tags: Golf

Dems Miss Anthony Weiner’s Bat



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New York Post:

WASHINGTON — For once, Democrats were missing sext addict Anthony Weiner’s big bat and play in the field.

Weiner may have had a slim record of achievement in Congress, but he had proven prowess on the field in the annual Congressional Baseball Game.

“We miss Anthony. He was a star player,” lamented Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan). “We need all the talent and all the help we can get,” noted Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens).

Weiner, a Democrat who represented New York’s 9th Congressional District, was known as one of the more colorful players at the annual charity event.

At the games, he sported Mets gear, chomped on bubble gum and took the game between Democrats and Republicans very seriously.

His enthusiasm earned him a spot on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” Top 10 last year, when he made an over-the-shoulder catch in the outfield. “Speaking of hot dogs, how about this catch from Anthony Weiner, congressman from New York?” the ESPN announcer intoned for the clip.

Tags: Misc.

Clemens Mistrial



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Because some are asking, I do not see that there will be a double jeopardy bar to a new trial of Roger Clemens based on the mistrial granted today. Double jeopardy generally kicks in only if the jury in the first trial reaches a verdict. Moreover, a mistrial is granted on the motion of a defendant — by making the motion for a mistrial rather that saying that any prejudice caused by a prosecution error can be cured by a jury instruction, the defendant is constructively waiving his right to complain that the trial has to be started all over again … after all, he asked for it.

There is a doctrine of law which holds that if the prosecution intentionally provokes a mistrial the court can deny a new trial — which is really more an instance of due process than double jeopardy. But it is extremely rare: It happens when the prosecution makes a truly outrageous error — misconduct, really — under circumstances where the trial has not been going well for the prosecution, so you can fairly infer that it was done on purpose. What happened at Clemens’s trial was a very bad error, to be sure — exposing the jury to obvious, inadmissible hearsay from Andy Pettite’s wife about how Pettite told her Clemens admitted HGH use to him is inexcusable (the judge evidently said a first-year law student would know that, and that’s not much of an exaggeration). But that’s why Clemens was entitled to the mistrial, not to the windfall of having the indictment dismissed. It was only the second day of the trial, and it’s inconceivable that the prosecutors did this intentionally, even if it was mindbogglingly stupid.

If there is not a retrial, it will be because the Justice Department has decided that enough time, money and effort has been wasted on this case. I’d be shocked if that happened. 

Tags: MLB

Ratings for the All-Star Game Hit Record-Low



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The AP reports:

The All-Star Game in Phoenix drew a record-low rating for the second straight year.

The National League’s 5-1 win over the American League Tuesday night on Fox earned a 6.9 rating and 12 share. That’s down 8 percent from the 7.5/13 in 2010.

Before last year, the previous low was an 8.1/14 in 2005.

Tags: Sports Media

The British Open Starts Today



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You can follow the leaderboard here. Currently, Thomas Bjorn is in the clubhouse and leading at five-under.

Tags: Golf

Congrats to the U.S. Women!



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They have advanced to the World Cup final

Tags: Misc.

Perils of Publicly-Financed Stadiums



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I’m shocked (SHOCKED!) to find that the public financing of a stadium turned out to be a bad deal for the taxpayers:

CINCINNATI—Here in Hamilton County, where one in seven people lives beneath the poverty line and budget cuts have left gaps in the schools and sheriffs department, residents are bracing for more belt-tightening: rollback of a property-tax break promised as part of a 1996 plan to entice voters to pay for two new stadiums.

The tax hit is just the latest in a string of unforeseen consequences from what has turned into one of the worst professional sports deals ever struck by a local government—soaking up unprecedented tax dollars and county resources while returning little economic benefit.

The next time a team throws a fit and says they’re moving if they don’t get a new taxpayer-financed stadium, the city should let them walk. Better that than building a facility for a team that never materializes:

Almost four years ago, Kansas City’s civic and business leaders celebrated the opening of the Sprint Center, a 19,000-seat arena that was supposed to replace the decrepit and unloved Kemper Arena while also landing an NBA franchise for a first-rate basketball town that thinks of itself as superior to NBA cities like Memphis, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City. (Oklahoma City!) As you might have noticed — though you might not have, as we’re talking about Kansas City here — things have not gone as planned. Currently the Sprint Center is home to an arena football team and not much else.

Tags: NFL

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