Midwestern virtues vs. Hollywood star power

Sportswriter Thomas Boswell sees two worlds colliding in the National League playoff between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers:

When the Dodgers meet the Cardinals on Friday with the Gateway Arch framed in center field to start the National League Championship Series, we’ll see a clash of baseball worldviews and a collision of regional cultures, too.

The Cards have always hugged Midwest virtues while the Dodgers loved movie stars in the box seats and star power on the field. But this year both teams are such extreme versions of their traditional selves it’s just delicious. [Read more...]

The beards of the Red Sox

I now like the Red Sox.  How can you not pull for a team whose players have grown such serious beards?  These aren’t soul patches or little goatees.  These are long, bushy, Duck Dynasty kinds of beards.  This is no “chicks dig ‘em” kind of fashion–I suspect women aren’t wild about them (correct me if I’m wrong)–but a true man’s kind of statement.  Watching the Red Sox is like seeing Alfred, Lord Tennyson at the plate with Stonewall Jackson on deck.

These are, in fact, a revival of 19th century type beards.  Maybe this will herald a new movement:  neo-Victorianism, complete with a new vogue for Victorian values such as  duty, honor, and sexual propriety. [Read more...]

The playoffs

As far as baseball in concerned, to true fans of the game, this is the best time of year.  The playoffs tend to give us some of the best baseball and the most interesting games of the year.  This time we have some perennial powerhouses (St. Louis, Atlanta), a recently-developed powerhouse (Los Angeles), sentimental favorites (the two traumatized cities of terrorized Boston and bankrupt Detroit), a constant contender (Tampa Bay), and appealing underdogs (Pittsburgh, Oakland).

I am pulling for the Cardinals.  They are consistently outstanding year after year after year.  They seldom make mistakes, come through in the clutch, and keep coming back.  At least they have always been that way when I would watch them torment the teams I have followed lately (the Milwaukee Brewers, the Washington Nationals). [Read more...]

Olympics choose Tokyo & wrestling

Tokyo won the 2020 Olympics, beating out Istanbul and Madrid.  I’d say that was a good choice.  Also, the International Olympics committee voted to re-instate wrestling as an Olympics sport, beating out baseball, softball, and squash. [Read more...]

Drugs and sports

Major league baseball suspended 13 players, including superstar Alex Rodriguez and three All Stars, for using performance-enhancing drugs.  Sportswriter Julian Linden worries that this may be the tip of the iceberg, not only in baseball but also in other sports.

This is because none of the suspended players failed a drug test.  The cutting edge of doping has to do with masking agents and undetectible drugs.  The players were only caught because of records discovered from a lab called Biogenesis, and who knows how many similar labs are out there? [Read more...]

Pastor Strawberry

Remember Darryl Strawberry, the baseball superstar whose life came apart because of alcohol and drugs?  Well, he turned to Christianity, which really did put his life back together, and now he is a pastor, with a special outreach to alcohol and drug addicts.

And for all of you pastors who daydream about a more glamorous career, such as being a professional athlete, Rev. Strawberry says,  “I’ve never been happier in my life. It’s so much fun being a pastor.”  His story after the jump. [Read more...]


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