Category: Sideline Slants

Gimmicks to draw fans detract from the actual game

Back in the day when baseball really was America?s pastime, you went to a game to see a game. Nowadays, the game almost is a sideshow to all of the marketing gimmicks and promotions used to draw fans to the ballpark.

Americans love free stuff and they love fireworks. In fact, there are more than 140 fireworks displays across Major League Baseball this season. The Royals have one after every home game played on Friday. The good news is it?s a pretty good show. The bad news is it?s usually better than the game.

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Rules make baseball a most unusual sport

With all due respect to former pro baseball player and broadcaster Joe Garagiola, baseball isn?t just a funny game. It?s also an unusual game.

Name another sport where the dimensions vary from stadium to stadium. Football fields, soccer fields, basketball courts all use standard dimensions. Not so baseball.

Some dimensions are consistent, i.e., the distance between bases and the distance from the home plate to the pitching rubber. But ballparks are not created equal.

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There’s no instant replay in baseball, but it is on the way

Two recent sports-related stories naturally caught my attention, which started a lively discussion with my agent, I.M. Slick.

One story said the NBA will fine players next season for clear cases of flopping. The other involved the likelihood of Major League Baseball using replay in some situations.

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Nobility rules the day

If you were Mallory Hol?tman, what would you do? Holtman, a four-year starter on the softball team, owns just about every major offensive record there is to claim in Central Washington?s record book. Now, with her own opportunity for a first postseason appearance very much hinging on the outcome of her final game at home, something most unusual transpired.

Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky had a homerless college career while Holtman was her school?s career home run leader.

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Pro sports salaries keep on burgeoning

Maybe it?s not all about the money, but when it comes to sports, the almighty dollar still has plenty of clout.

Perhaps there?s some consolation, albeit miniscule, that rising gas and food prices won?t render major professional athletes or coaches among the working poor anytime in the near future.

Consider that New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez makes more this year than his entire hometown Florida Marlins team.

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KU Basketball title proves all the world needs now is love

Everyone loves a winner, right? Well, yes and no. When KU returned to the throne as king of college men?s basketball, newspapers were full of praise for KU?s accomplishments. Fans celebrated the remarkable and exciting conclusion to a great basketball game and season. The airwaves on radio sports talk shows were filled with basketball banter.

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Wham-O! Quick-hitters from the Sideline Slants sports desk

They say if you don?t like the weather in Kansas, wait five minutes and it will change. Well, if you don?t like what you?re reading in this column, keep reading. It too, will change.

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Working around college hoops fun but no productive

If research is to be believed, fan devotion to March Madness could cost employers at least $3.8 billion in lost productivity, as workers slip away to check NCAA Tournament scores, participate in office pools, read stories about the contests, or watch free streaming videocasts of games on their office computers.

Hold that thought. I?ve got to check the KU-Portland State score.

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All underdogs suffer from proverbial ‘lack of respect’

The odds are stacked against them, but some underdogs overcome the odds.

Perhaps they catch lightning in a bottle, or the more talented opponent has an off day, or a combination of both, but upsets happen.

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Last thing a coach wants to hear somebody say is ‘outcoached’

There are a number of words or terms that coaches probably never want to hear. Chief among them might be ?loser,? ?overrated? and ?can?t win the big one.?

But I have a hunch the word that irritates coaches more than anything is the accusation that he or she was outcoached.

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