Category: Sideline Slants

Sports teams push rules to the limit to win games

The major goal of every team playing a team sport is to win the game. Before you respond, “Well, duh,” let me assure you there’s more to that statement than first meets the eye. Athletic competition, at least at the professional and collegiate level, is a combination of trying to win games and entertaining the fans. If stretching the spirit […]

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‘Super’ players joining ‘super’ teams is NBA’s latest craze

Who can blame Kevin Durant for abandoning the Okla­homa City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors? Well, a lot of OKC fans, for starters. It’s not easy for a city to lose an icon and one of the best players in all of basketball, and go from contenders to pretenders. Durant had a good gig going with the Thunder. During […]

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Protecting pitching arms is an admirable but fluid goal

Somewhere along the way, 100 pitches in Major League Baseball became a magic number to exceed at the pitcher’s own risk. But there’s nothing magical about 100 pitches any more than there is in limiting the number of innings a pitcher throws. At the lower levels of baseball, the number of pitches or innings a pitcher throws is predicated on […]

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Counting pitches changing the game of baseball

Back in the day—OK, way back in the day—when I pitched Little League and college baseball, no one kept track of the number of pitches I threw. In those days, a pitcher kept throwing as long as he was reasonably effective at getting hitters out, or because there was no relief in sight due to a shortage of pitchers on […]

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Here’s some sports fodder you may have missed

Sports provides so much fodder for columnists. So many stories; so little time. In an effort to touch on some of the more diverse aspects of sports, here’s a synopsis of some things you may have missed or simply ignored. • On May 16, Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was a bit perturbed after a strike call, resulting in sharing […]

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How important is making the right call?

It’s easy to bash officials in sports. Even though replay has demonstrated that officials are right more often than not, replays have also shown officials often are wrong. During my 40-year officiating career, I didn’t have to deal with replays. At the small college and high school level, replays weren’t an option. I knew I missed some calls, but I […]

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There’s a hole in TC’s Athletic Hall of Fame

When Tabor Athletics started its Hall of Fame in 1999, the initial inductees were easy: Rolland (Bay) Lawrence and Leroy Dick. Lawrence was a great football player who went on to star for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL. He also was a good basketball player and great track star at Tabor. Dick, who attended Tabor in the early 1960s, […]

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Drafting pro players is harder than it looks, isn’t it?

They say hindsight is 20/20. What looks like a good draft pick on draft day often goes up in smoke, while an unexpected late-round pick turns into gold. Welcome to the highs and lows of being a general manager in the NFL. Talk about being second-guessed. General managers know all about the blame game, but then, it comes with the […]

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Big 12, Kansas basketball overrated?

Before the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, my agent I.M. Slick received a letter bragging on the quality of men’s basketball in the Big 12 Conference. Rarely have I seen him laugh so hard. Slick: What a letter. Do you mean to tell me that area sports fans still think Big 12 basketball is the best in the nation? Joe: Well, […]

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Reed plus Ratzlaff equals hoops success

Tabor College hasn?t always been at or near the top in basketball, but it must seem that way to fans in the KCAC. What the men?s and women?s teams accomplished this year may not happen again in my lifetime. The two teams were a combined 39-1 to finish first in the KCAC, and both teams won their conference tournament. Neither […]

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