Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Photoblog Post #1

Posted: March 30, 2006 in Sports

It was a Sunday afternoon in March in sunny Southern California — Angel Stadium to be exact and we were getting ready to watch a baseball game. But it wasn’t sunny (or warm) and the Angels weren’t playing. The United States team was getting ready to face the team from Japan in the World Baseball Classic.

The stadium was pretty full (even though the skies were threatening rain) and the crowd was very enthusiastic. Their enthusiasm was most evident in the national flags of the competing teams, the Stars and Stripes and the Rising Sun. Chants of “U-S-A” competed with “Go Ja-pan” as the game started.

Japan took an early lead but the United States came back to tie the game in the bottom of the 6th, 3-3. Then came the 8th inning. Japan had the bases loaded with 1 out.

The play-by-play reads, “Akinori Iwamura flies into double play, left fielder Randy Winn to catcher Brian Schneider to shortstop Derek Jeter. Tsuyoshi Nishioka doubled off 3rd.” The play-by-play doesn’t record the controversy. Tsuyoshi Nishioka ran home on the long fly ball from Akinori Iwamura. The scoreboard read, “Japan 4, United States 3.” Then something very strange happened, the officials ruled that Nishioka had left 3rd base too early and was out. The run came off of the scoreboard (keeping the game tied) and Japan’s inning was over.

In the end with fans waving flags furiously, the United States won in the bottom of the 9th inning. With the bases loaded and 2 outs, Alex Rodriguez singled and Randy Winn scored the winning run.

Also, it never rained (hard) in Southern California, or at least in Anaheim.

Drugs in Sports

Posted: November 21, 2005 in Bicycle Racing, Sports

Let me be perfectly clear, I do not condone the use of drugs for the purpose of enhancing one’s athletic performance. Let me also be perfectly clear that I believe that we, as sports fans, put too much pressure on athletes to perform. Sport is about achievement, not just winning. It’s natural to focus on winning, but not at the expense of sporting integrity.

I know that there are people who don’t care if an athletic feat is enhanced by drugs but I believe that they are in a very small minority. Most of the people that I know want our athletes to be “clean” and we disdain those who we discover to be cheating. I can imagine the immense pressure that is on an athlete to perform when he or she knows that their fan base will be destroyed when (and I use that word purposefully) they get caught.

Tomorrow (Nov. 21, 2005) the drug testers will test the “B” sample from Roberto Heras to see if it confirms the positive result of his “A” sample from this year’s Vuelta a Espana. Could the testing protocol be flawed? Perhaps, yet without it how many drugs would athletes be pumping into their bodies? I really hope that the result will be negative as most people have viewed Roberto as one of the good guys.

More importantly, let’s try to figure out how to eliminate the current incentives to use drugs.