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 his thoughts and words with the umpire. Arguing balls and strikes is a no-no, so Ausmus was quickly ejected. He didn’t leave quietly. Ausmus draped his hoodie sweatshirt over home plate.
Writing for MLB.com, Matt Managan said, “It was almost as if he was saying the strike zone has died and I want to give it a decent burial.”
But there’s some good news. The ejection hoodie was being auctioned off for charity. The sweatshirt and discarded hat were being auctioned off by MLB.com. Ausmus donated the items directly to the Detroit Tigers Foundation with the goal of raising money for youth baseball in Detroit. Proceeds will directly benefit the Tiny Tigers teeball program funded by the Detroit Tigers Foundation.
Writing about the hoodie, sportswriter Kevin McGuire said, “And to keep it authentic, it has not been washed, which means you get the authentic smell of an irate Major League Baseball manager and some dirt from home plate. Now that is a piece of Tigers memorabilia every diehard fan will want to showcase, right?”
To my knowledge, the auction price has passed the $4,000 mark with less than a week to go.
Monagan wrote, “So, what are you waiting for? You can wear it to the next game. You can wear it to your next wedding. You can wear it every day and tell people you’re Brad Ausmus. Who doesn’t wanna look like Brad Ausmus?”
Ausmus received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his tirade.
The NBA listed five incorrect non-calls from the final 13.5 seconds of a game between the Oklahoma Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs last month.
If you were keeping score, two of the infractions could have been called against OKC and three of the infractions would have gone against the Spurs.
The National Basketball Referees Associated tweeted that the play would be used in training moving forward.
What’s a few missed calls among friends?
A recent Washington Post poll found that 90 percent of Native Americans aren’t offended by the Washington Redskins’ nickname and an overwhelming majority consider it an unimportant issue.
The Post polled 504 people who identify primarily as Native American from across the country, including those who lived on reservations and those who were not part of a tribe.
ESPN staff writer John Keim wrote, “The general population appears to care more about the name than Native Americans.”
A 2014 ESPN poll found that 23 percent of the population favored a name change.
In 2013, a Post poll found that 28 percent of D.C. residents wanted the name changed.
As many of us know, Texas schools spare no expense for huge stadiums. A suburban Dallas school district grabbed national attention in 2012 when it opened a $60 million high school football stadium that seats 18,000.
Not to be outdone, school officials near Houston next year plan to unveil a $62 million stadium-development plan, according to the Associated Press.
Football fields in other states are far less expensive, often ranging from $5 million to $10 million.
Critics call the spending on high school stadiums “excessive.”
It all depends on your priorities, right?
Oh, and about that $60 million stadium—it had to be closed indefinitely 18 months after opening because of extensive cracking along the concrete concourse. Oops.
“You want proof that baseball players are smarter than football players? How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?” —Jim Bouton
“On this special Father’s Day, we’d like to wish all of you a very Happy Birthday.” —Ralph Kiner, New York Mets announcer
Hillsboro resident Joe Kleinsasser is director of news and media relations at Wichita State University. He can be reached at Joe.Kleinsasser@wichita.edu.