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Adding Another Entry to the Unwritten Rules of Baseball

July 19th, 2014 · No Comments · Baseball

This could be the silliest item I’ve come across in weeks. Months. This year.

Colby Lewis, the Texas Rangers pitcher, said he “didn’t appreciate” the way Colby Rasmus, the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder, played the game and said he told him so.

What offense did Rasmus commit on Lewis? What felony did he perpetrate on the game?

Bunt with two outs in the ninth inning of a no-hitter? Attempt a steal when his team led 8-0?

Not even.

What Rasmus did apparently is a new crime in the voluminous book of baseball’s “unwritten” laws. One that should be struck down by the court of public opinion.

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From the World Cup to … Fujairah?

July 18th, 2014 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Arabian Gulf League, Brazil 2014, Football, The National, UAE, World Cup, soccer

One of the surest ways to move your soccer career forward is to do a little something with a successful team at the World Cup. Like the one that ended on Sunday.

Luis Suarez scored two goals against England, bit a guy, and got a huge deal to more from Liverpool to Barcelona.

Toni Kroos scored two goals in Germany’s rout of Brazil, and he went from Bayern Munich to the Olympus of soccer, Real Madrid.

Arturo Vidal didn’t score a goal for Chile, but he looked good enough, when he was healthy, that Manchester United has been trying to pry him away from Juventus, which doesn’t pay as well.

Keylor Navas, Costa Rica’s goalkeeper, made perhaps the biggest move, going from mid-table Spanish side Levante to Real Madrid, after shining in the Ticos’ quarter-final run in Brazil.

And then we have Jorge Valdivia, a man who scored for Chile against Australia, in Brazil, started one match, came on as a substitute in two more, as an impressive Chile side reached the final 16 … and as of this week he now plays for Fujairah SC — the most obscure club in the UAE’s top division, located in the most isolated part of the country.

Wha … what?

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My First Pick Among Football Films

July 17th, 2014 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, College football, Football, NFL, UAE

I pretty much hate sports movies, and football movies are a big part of the problem. (Just behind boxing movies, I’d say.) I have never seen a football film that correctly conveys game action, and that lack of verisimilitude kills football movies in the cradle. That, and casting teeny Al Pacino as an NFL coach or Warren Beatty as a Rams quarterback.

So, perhaps the competition, inside my head, isn’t very tough for the title of “best football film I’ve seen” … but that honor now goes to Draft Day, the Kevin Costner movie that finally made its way over to the UAE.

And it isn’t hard for me figure out what I like about the movie.

It has almost no game action in it.

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Mike Trout, the Millville Meteor?

July 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Angels, Baseball

Came across this yesterday, while looking at the Mike Trout wiki page.

” … nicknamed The Millville Meteor”.


The Millville Meteor? Mike Trout?

Has anyone ever actually called him that? Has any sports writer used it in a game story?  “And then the Millville Meteor laced a three-bagger …”

If this were a century ago, maybe.

So, where did this nickname-come-lately come from?

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Baseball in the Mind’s Eye

July 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Baseball

Baseball is the best radio sport, is it not? Even if you grew up without Vin Scully.

Things happen slowly enough that they can be explained in real time, and even if it gets hectic for a moment, it will settle down in a matter of seconds and then the announcer can tell you what happened.

I have made another personal discovery, from the other side, pertaining to following events you cannot see.

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A Step into the Void

July 14th, 2014 · No Comments · Baseball, Basketball, Brazil 2014, Football, Journalism, NBA, NFL, Newspapers, Sports Journalism, Tennis, The National, UAE, World Cup, soccer

A lot of sports editors around the world today weren’t exactly surprised that, with the end of the World Cup, not a whole lot is going on … but it still represents an unpleasant reality.

A limited number of scheduled events in the near future.

It is the case in the UAE, and it is the case in the U.S., too.

Shall we rank the three “deadest” days of the year, for predictable sports news?

Yes. I think we should.

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Brazil 2014: This Is the End

July 13th, 2014 · No Comments · Brazil 2014, Football, The National, World Cup, soccer

My three wishes for the World Cup championship match:

1. Someone scores in the first 90 minutes.

2. Argentina scores the goal.

3. Lionel Messi scores the goal, for Argentina.

A big 0-for-three.

Two topics, out of “Germany 1, Argentina 0″ — in 120 minutes:

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We Need This to End in 90 Minutes

July 12th, 2014 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Brazil 2014, Football, Journalism, Sports Journalism, The National, UAE, World Cup, soccer


Journalists love it and hate it. We love the rush. We hate that it probably will shorten our lives. (Or, less dramatically, get us in trouble for missing it.)

We will be dealing with deadline for the World Cup final tomorrow.

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LeBron, Looking for Love and the Return to Cleveland

July 11th, 2014 · No Comments · Basketball, NBA

Maybe someone has written this. So I won’t call it an original idea. Just something I haven’t seen yet that has occurred to me in the past hours.

Something to try to explain the inexplicable: LeBron James and his return to Cleveland.

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Looking Back at Big-Game Blowouts

July 10th, 2014 · No Comments · Brazil 2014, Football, NFL, World Cup, soccer

“Germany 7, Brazil 1″ likely will be the Brazil 2014 match that sticks in the mind. Ahead, even, of the final. Barring the bizarre, on Sunday.

It prompted me to think about “big-game blowouts I have known” … and that took me almost directly to the Super Bowl, and its former (deserved) reputation for producing awful games, and the cottage industry of pundits and shrinks trying to explain how one very good team could so regularly overwhelm another very good team.

Do a web search now for “why Super Bowl blowouts” and you get lists of blowouts. Not the dozens of stories (granted, most of them from the pre-internet era) in which Big Brains tried to explain 55-10 and 46-10 and the like.

So, I will reconstruct this from what I recall them saying … and my own opinions.

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