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Reflecting On Tragedy

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of one of the great sports tragedies of modern times. On April 15, 1989, 96 supporters of Liverpool Football Club—half of them under the age of 24—were killed while attending an FA Cup match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. Fans were let into a…

Changing Of The Guard?

Amidst the beauty and grandeur of Augusta, the Masters was, as always compelling television for me. How a course so beautiful with essentially no rough whatsoever can produce so many different challenges for the greatest golfers in the world is amazing all by itself. But, along with the azaleas, the sunshine, and the wonderful golf…

Desire to Be Used

When our sons were younger, I sometimes helped coach their Little League baseball teams. One of the things you learn when coaching kids is the value of interpreting body language, because there are moments when you don’t need to hear a word to know where a kid is in terms of preparation. When the time…

Lots of Change

Here in the early days of this 2014 Major League Baseball season, some things are already in tune with what has become commonplace—Mike Trout of the Angels making brilliant plays, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers hitting long balls, and Andrew McCutcheon of the Pirates being the key to almost everything good at PNC Park in…

The Big Game

So, here it is. At last. After thousands of hours of regular season games, hundreds of hours of tournament games, and uncountable hours of anxious anticipation, the moment of the tip-off for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game is at hand. Tonight, two great teams—the UConn Huskies and the Kentucky Wildcats—will face each other at…

The Destination Beyond the Journey

For the top MLB players, there is a dream. A dream that has little to do with massive contracts or personal honors. Those things are okay, but that is the journey. In their minds, the destination at the end of that journey is Cooperstown. And, for those few who make it there and are enshrined…

Consistency

In baseball, they are called “innings eaters.” Pitchers who go deep into games and consume 200 or more innings in a year. They often do not have the best stuff, the lowest ERA, or the most strikeouts. They usually don’t have the largest number of wins. But what they do have is consistency. Last season,…

Play Ball!

I know, I know… it’s still March, and for many sports fans, it’s still all about March Madness. For all you basketball fans, that’s fine, but yesterday and today mark the real start of the new baseball season—and I am far more interested in that! After the long, dark, cold winter, the cry of “Play…

Making a Difference

Few sports teams around the world can boast the history, tradition, and fan base of the Liverpool Football Club in England’s Barclays Premier League, with 18 league titles, 5 European cup titles, and 18 other cup championships. Unfortunately, most of this storied history is mired in the past—in fact, the last league title the Reds…

Heading North, Getting Serious

This week, spring training wraps up in Florida and Arizona, and all of the teams (except the Miami Marlins) will head north for the real business of baseball to begin. As the rest of the major league squads join the Dodgers and Diamondbacks (who started the new season with early games in Australia) in regular…

Busted Brackets

Anyone who has ever filled out a bracket for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament knows how fickle the Big Dance can be. For most of us, it is impossible to anticipate all of the upsets that inevitably occur—and this year has been no exception. The first warning of another topsy turvy tourney came on day…

The Beginning of a Long Journey

As the 2014 MLB season opens, it is the longest of professional sports seasons. The old cliché that it is a marathon not a sprint could not be more true. Consider what is involved… 30,000-40,000 miles of travel. Hundreds of hours on planes and in hotels. Batting practices, stretching exercises, fielding drills. Not to mention…

Changes

I have to confess that, as a longtime Angels fan, it is going to be tough to see Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos in enemy uniforms this baseball season. I understand the business of the game, and I understand salary issues, and I understand player movement. But, these were guys who came up through the…

The Impossible

We are now on the threshold of the first round of March Madness, and in a very few days people across the country will be looking at their brackets, scratching their heads, and asking, “Why did I pick them?” Always, someone picks a #16 seed to beat a #1 seed—but, coming into this year, #16…

The Peril Of Complacency

As they did in 2005 and 2008, the Boston Red Sox once again will start the new baseball season as the defending champions. Last year’s won for the Sox was the perfect storm of a team that had been worse than bad the previous year, a new manager with a new message for those players,…