Regarding David Ortiz, there's this question. When does likeable but increasingly irascible "Big Papi" push the envelope too far? In his latest excess, Ortiz reveals he found this season's contract negotiations that reaped him $14.5 million to have been "embarrassing" and ''humiliating.'' Can you imagine Yaz getting away with that? Recall how Nomar Garciaparra got hammered for whimpering that was hardly more indiscrete. Someone should remind Papi it was precisely three years ago that he promised to get back to us with an explanation for how he got included in Judge Mitchell's list of steroid cheats. We're still waiting.
Not sure what Bobby Valentine had in mind when he branded the departed Kevin Youkilis his clubhouse Quisling. But I do know this much. It was dumb. Valentine will never learn.
Patriots Cover Boy
That would be, of course, their herculean tight end Rob Gronkowski, emblazoned this week in what the tabloids used to call his ''birthday suit'' on the cover of the latest ESPN the Magazine, a shallow rag under the best of circumstances.
If Gronkowski feels he's lacked attention the problem's probably been rectified. But he ought also understand that notably depraved linebackers roaming the NFL minefield are likely to derive from his questionable photo-spread the inspiration to wipe the smile off his face, given the chance. If and when that happens you'll understand where they're coming from. This, apparently, is what sport has come to in our times. It's a brave new world.
On the other hand there is the annual tennis festival that well after a century and counting still exemplifies sport as its very best. There have been more dramatic tourneys at the jolly olde England in recent years but the triumphs of those 30-something paragons -- Roger Federer and Serena Williams -- was no less pleasing.
As usual, the tennis was terrific and the pageantry was elegant and everyone bowed politely to the starchy protocol of the thing and nobody grumbled about it nor sought to upstage it. In other words, it was wonderful. What is the finest sporting event of the year, every year? The answer is majestic Wimbledon, where essentially nothing has changed in a hundred years save for the addition of the roof they can roll out over centre court when it rains, as it always does. How grand!
At the other extreme you have the tired and increasingly dismal parody of what was once indisputably a wonderful idea but no longer works. The last all-star game worthy of the distinction was played at Fenway Park in 1999 when the spontaneous celebration of Teddy Ballgame charmed the nation. But who remembers what happened in the game itself.
This year's flat and pointless renewal was deservedly rewarded with the worst television ratings in the history of the event. That this joyless exhibition should determine who gets critical home-field advantage in the World Series remains the most outrageous gimmick that the sitting commissioner has introduced in his interminably painful reign which has been full of them.
This party is over. Get rid of it. Nothing in Sport persists forever essentially unchanged. Except, maybe, Wimbledon!
|Page 2 of 2
If you found this article interesting please consider helping us continue to spread the Good News.