The past 5 days or so have been what is great and what is bad in sports. Here are just some of my thoughts and observations.
- The azaleas, the dogwoods, Amen Corner, the racists, the sexists, the green jacket, the protesters, great finishes, bigotry, drama. Is there a sporting event that is more polarizing than the Masters? It’s history and strangling control of the broadcast are things I would usually completely boycott, but then come late third round I find myself glued to the TV watching a fantastic event. Congrats to Adam Scott, but Augusta National is a place I will never support.
- Sweet, there is a basebrawl. Wait, Carlos Quentin, you are a moron. You are hit by a pitch ever 24 plate appearances in your career, that is 8 PA more common than the second most frequent active player. It was a 3-2 count in a one run game, in an at-bat that included 3 breaking balls. Just stupid, but still, a pretty sweet brawl. Oh, wait, Grienke broke his collarbone and is out at least 8 weeks.
- Kobe, the definition of polarizing. Never enjoy seeing someone get injured, especially a ruptured Achilles, but I am not one to feel sorry for the guy. Then he goes on Facebook to vent and makes himself completely human, vulnerable, and suddenly I am pulling for him to come back as good as ever, damn you Kobe!
- If you haven’t done so yet, make it a point to sit down and watch the Marlins Jose Fernandez pitch. His story is fantastic. Three failed attempts to escape Cuba, all ending in prison time, dove into shark infested waters to save his mother on one attempt. Finally made it during high school, and now is in the big leagues. As if that isn’t enough, he follows 96 MPH fastballs with a slider that will send you running to take a shower it is so incredibly filthy. Trust me, make it a point to watching him pitch.
- Evan Gattis is another fantastic story. Battled depression, anxiety, and alcoholism that prevented him from accepting a scholarship to Texas A&M, worked as a janitor, lift operator, and everything in between before going back to school, getting drafted by the Braves, and absolutely raking so far.
- Could there be more injuries in sports right now? Already mentioned Kobe and Grienke, add the who’s who of third base injuries in baseball, Jose Reyes, Stanton and Morse both out for a bit. It has been ugly.
- Speaking of ugly, one of my fantasy baseball teams has Gio Gonzalez, and Jarrod Parker on it. Pretty good until you look at Sundays performances. A combined 8 1/3 innings and 15 earned runs…yeah, it wasn’t a pretty Sunday.
And finally, I just want to express my disappointment in baseball. Today is a great day. Jackie Robinson day is always great, it is awesome to see everyone wearing the number 42. But why are only 18 teams playing? Neither New York team is playing. On this day, especially with the movie 42 coming out this weekend, 30 of 30 teams need to be playing baseball. That should be a rule for baseball. No teams should have the day off on Jackie Robinson Day, all players should have the opportunity to go out there and honor the man that changed modern baseball for the better by breaking the color barrier. (Something Augusta National didn’t allow until 1990, and the first woman joined last year, just saying.)