Sports Shorts

  • Two things Major League Baseball needs to change. First, it needs a uniform ruling on the “designated hitter.” It’s ridiculous to have the American League—and minor leagues—use it, but not the National League. Especially when teams from both leagues have to play each other. It’s as if the National Football League only allowed the two-point PAT in one conference.
  • Second, get rid of the provision that enables MLB to market an “All Star” game that requires representation of all teams. Not every team has, in fact, an “All Star.” The annual upshot is that some deserving players—and the “All Star Game” itself—are shortchanged. The fact that Rays pitcher Blake Snell wasn’t initially named—and others, less qualified, were—was Exhibit A for an ill-advised, embarrassing selection process.
  • Amid all the rhetoric surrounding the Rays Ybor stadium rendering, this—from Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg–was particularly notable. “It’s not so much about the value of the franchise,” said Sternberg, “because I don’t plan on selling it.” No, he didn’t put that in writing.
  • Joe Namath and Meghan Markle. Now there’s two names you won’t be seeing again in the same sentence. But they fit in the context of those detecting a bit of an incipient British accent from the California-raised Duchess of Sussex. Linguistics professors have been weighing in. Social identity and all of that.

But I recall a much earlier, much more blatant example. Western Pennsylvania-raised Namath made a name for himself when he left Beaver Falls, Pa. for Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He loved Bear Bryant’s program and the welcoming Southern vibe. He fit in with his nationally prominent quarterbacking and with his adopted Southern accent. By his junior year, he sounded like Andy Griffith.

  • “We all have things we’d like to take back in our lives. You don’t get to take them back when you’re in the public eye, so you have to be very careful.” Those are the words of Tony Dungy. And, yes, they were said with Jameis Winston in mind.

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