Yes, I’ve been away for a little while. I know there are a lot of questions about my book about Joe Paterno, and I will do my best to answer them in a few weeks when the book is published. For now, I’ve been working like crazy on the the new Web site we will be launching, in conjunction with USA Today and MLB Advanced Media, called Sports on Earth. I could not be more thrilled about it. We will obviously be developing as we go, but the idea is to build an all-sports site around compelling, funny, thoughtful, ridiculous and sublime sportswriting. We have an amazing lineup of staff writers right at the start -- Tommy Tomlinson, Gwen Knapp, Shaun Powell, Mike Tanier just as a starting point. We have a great group of editors and designers working around the clock. And I think we have some other surprises in store. It’s incredible to be working with this group, and I cannot wait to get started.
This is good because we’re about to get started. I am in London getting ready to write about the Olympics, and though SOE will not officially launch until after the Olympics end we will have what they tell me is called a pop-up site. So for the next three weeks, my blog will be HERE. Some of my columns will also appear in USA Today.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
|Robinson Cano failed to hit a homer while Kansas City fans booed him Monday. (US Presswire)|
So, apparently that same exact sound of screaming, stomping and cheering is supposed to 1) rattle the hitter; 2) inspire the hitter; 3) rattle the pitcher; 4) inspire the pitcher. And it’s supposed to know which ones to inspire and which ones to rattle and vice versa, kind of the way aspirin is supposed to course through your body and find what hurts. All in the same sound. It’s like the players are supposed to interpret those cheers and screams, determine whether they are with you or against you, for you or for the other guy.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
|Enjoy it while it lasts: Kauffman Stadium probably won't host another All-Star Game. (US Presswire)|
Then I would try to kid him. I’d ask him about Paris at night, Maui with the waves crashing in, the Grand Canyon at sunset, Darling Harbor in Sydney, the seventh hole at Pebble Beach or just a spot of beach looking out over the Mediterranean. He’d never even crack a smile.
“Coming through the Fort Pitt Tunnel into downtown,” he’d say again, “is the most beautiful thing in the world.”
Thursday, July 5, 2012
|Derek Jeter or Asdrubal Cabrera: Fans and WAR vote differently for the All-Star Game. (US PRESSWIRE)|
The way it is with the All-Star Game: There are some who think the players should be the ones who had the best first half. There are others who think the All-Star Game should be for the fans' favorites, no matter how they happen to be playing at that particular moment. There are others who think the All-Star Game should feature their own hometown stars, deserving or not. Many of these are Giants fans.
And who is to say any of them are wrong? If you are a Giants fan, shouldn’t you vote for Giants? I grew up in Cleveland, and I voted every year for Duane Kuiper. Someone could have pointed out a million obvious statistical reasons why Willie Randolph or Bobby Grich or Frank White might be the more compelling choice, but I would not have cared. Duane Kuiper was my guy (Frank is now my guy too). And it’s my vote.
I have the same feeling about Derek Jeter -- the guy’s one of the greatest shortstops in the history of baseball, he’s one of the popular players in the history of baseball, and if you think, “the All-Star Game wouldn’t mean as much without him,” you don’t have to justify that. It’s your vote.
And I have the same feeling about Melky Cabrera -- he’s hitting .354, slugging .516 and playing one of the toughest hitting ballparks in baseball. Can he keep it up? Will he drop off dramatically? That’s the future. He’s killed it this season, and that doesn’t need to be justified.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I am the first person in my family to be born in the United States. My parents moved here less than three years before I was born and they were the first people in their families to do that. Because of this, I always said, I was raised on America. Our first holiday, the one that always meant the most, was Thanksgiving. Our second might have been Oscar Night. My parents raised me on baseball and Hollywood, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, "I Have A Dream" and running through sprinklers, hard work and occasional nights out for ice cream at the Cream O’ Freeze, barbecues and neighbors who mow your lawn when you are on vacation and the power of the vote. We did many things because we were Americans -- we always sat around the television to watch the Miss America Pageant, we spent 10 hours at least watching (and contributing) to the Jerry Lewis Telethon on Labor Day, we always went to the mall for Washington's Birthday sales. These are not big things, I know, but they were ever-present. You know that speech you sometimes see in movies and television shows about immigrants, the one where the mom or dad says in a thick accent to the son or daughter, “In America, you can be anything. You can even be president.” My parents gave me that speech many times. And even when they did not say it, that speech was implied. Always.
Every Fourth of July, we would go looking for fireworks.
Every Fourth of July, we would go looking for fireworks.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
|MLB has tried numerous gimmicks to try to make its All-Star Game matter more. (US Presswire)|
Now, of course, stars are everywhere. They’re cooking, they’re selling jewelry, they dancing, they’re talking politics, they’re doing cable TV shows, they’re on commercials, they’re coming to your home to do “Death of a Salesman.” There are obviously countless shows on now that are dedicated entirely to stars -- heck there are entire channels that focus on stars. You want to see stars,* you can see them any time you want.
*Family went on the Paramount Studio tour when we were in California, and the tour guide told us that the reason actors are called “stars” is because of the stars in the Paramount logo. It is probably not true -- it seems “stars” was in use to describe stage actors before Paramount was founded -- but it sounds true, and the 10-year-old probably enjoys passing along this tidbit more than any other piece of trivia she has picked up so far in her life.