Sports Shorts

* Remember when sports was an escape? Neither do I.

Latest Exhibit A: Novak Djokovic, the world’s best male tennis player—and one of the best ever. He’s not been vaccinated—and vaccination is required for all players, coaches, entourages, media and fans at the Australian Open. So DjoKo has been ruled, appropriately, ineligible. He’s not a martyr. He’s a vaccine skeptic who put himself at the pandemic epicenter where societal responsibility now collides with personally parsed definitions of “freedom.”

Djokovic could be a Serbian Trumpster, an adverse adjunct to his tennis legacy: from world’s best tennis player to international pariah. But he brought it on himself and should pay a price that can serve as a high-profile reminder that pandemic irresponsibility has consequences—for everybody.

* Major League Baseball—in the midst of a work stoppage—and the players’ association have a lot of issues to hash out, including free agency, salary arbitration and minimum, and the luxury tax threshold. One issue that should be a welcome no-brainer: MLB offering to add the designated hitter to the National League. Just do it. Finally.

* “The bottom line is that there’s no reason the Rays and MLB cannot, and should not, privately finance any new Tampa stadium. If they want to reap the reward, then they—not taxpayers—should take on the financial risk of investing in the stadium.”–Zkylar Zander, Florida director of Americans for Prosperity.

* Marketing nightmare: The man who robbed a SunTrust Bank in Carrollwood was wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning cap.

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