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Opening Day... Play Ball!

Posted by Trish18 Mar 30, 2007

 

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I love opening day. Just hearing those words opens a floodgate of memories that puts a smile on my face.

 

 

 

Opening day officially brings to an end long winters and exhibition baseball, ushering in a new wave of excitement. Major League Baseball's first Opening Day took place in Philadelphia, where the Boston Red Caps defeated the Athletics, 6-5, on April 22, 1876 before just over 3,000 fans.

 

 

 

And so begins the 162 game long haul of a season and nearly seven months of infatuation with the game of baseball ��� a whirlwind of web gems (my favorite) and long balls, ups and downs, and the dog days of summer. I couldn���t be looking more forward to watching it all unfold.

 

 

 

To whet your appetite before it all starts on Sunday, here is a look back at some of the most memorable opening day moments:

 

 

 

April 16, 1940: At Comiskey Park, Cleveland's Bob Feller became the only pitcher ever to pitch an Opening Day no-hitter, beating the White Sox, 1-0.

 

 

 

April 15, 1947: At Ebbets Field, Jackie Robinson, hitless in three official at bats, became the first African-American to play in the majors as his Dodgers beat the Braves, 5-3.

 

 

 

March 29, 2000: The Chicago Cubs defeated the New York Mets, 5-3, in the first game of the Japan Opening Series 2000 at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. It marked the first time in MLB history that a regular season game was played outside North America.

 

 

 

April 2, 2001: Tim Raines of the Montreal Expos pinch-hit in an Opening Day victory over the Chicago Cubs and became the 24th player to appear in four decades during his Major League career.

 

 

 

Were you lucky enough to snag tickets to opening day this year?

 

 

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Fantastic Final Four

Posted by Trish18 Mar 29, 2007

 

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I can't remember enjoying March Madness, and college hoops in general, as much as I've enjoyed it this year. For some reason, the games seem to be particularly good this year.

 

 

 

I lost a fair amount of interest in college hoops once high schoolers started jumping to the NBA. I���m going to go on a ���back in the day��� rant here and say that college teams used to stay together for three or four years in the past (like Georgetown and St. John's in the mid-'80s, or Duke and UNLV in the early '90s). Once that continuity was removed, the quality declined.

 

 

 

This year everything seems to be back to good. The quality of play has been remarkable, culminating in Sunday's Georgetown-UNC classic, an awesome game. If you love basketball, you were legitimately thrilled like me. Which raises the question ... what's happening here?

 

 

 

Everything started with the NBA's decision to ban high schoolers from its draft. If that didn't happen, Kevin Durant and Greg Oden would have skipped college and so many casual fans wouldn't have been sucked in. Oden's impact on the game this year is immeasurable -- from the block at the end of the Tennessee game to the excitement of his battle against Georgetown's Roy Hibbert this weekend.

 

 

 

Saturday's games (Florida-UCLA and OSU-Georgetown) are must-sees for anyone who enjoys the game of basketball. I can���t wait.

 

 

 

What do you think about the rule and March Madness this year?

 

 

 

(Photo provided by Getty Images/Travis Lindquist)

 

 

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Female Umpires

Posted by Trish18 Mar 28, 2007

 

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A woman's work is never done.  Or, in the case of umpiring a big-league baseball game, rarely done. I picked up a Chicago Sun-Times before work this morning and came across an article about how minor league umpire, Ria Cortesio, is scheduled to be on the bases for tomorrow's Cubs-Diamondbacks game in Mesa, Arizona. She will be the first female ump in a major-league game since spring training games in 1989.

 

 

 

Cortesio is the only female umpire in pro ball. She will be in her fifth season at Class AA and ninth overall. "I was kind of expecting it," she said. "Umpires with my seniority usually get picked. I'm looking forward to it. There will be a lot more people in the stands than I'm used to." 

 

 

 

Cubs first baseman, Derek Lee, commented, "It's awesome. I think it's about time. Female eyes are as good as male eyes. Why can't they be umpires? Good for her."

 

 

 

I think it's good for baseball, too. It is about time. I hope this story reaches girls who have thought that they might want to be an umpire but thought it wasn't their place. I wonder how long it will be until a female umpire gets to work a regular season MLB game.

 

 

 

During my college softball years I would hear comments, many times from other females, about how female umps were all terrible. Generalizations and stereotypes such as this are unfair, in my opinion. There are some terrible female and male umpires. There are also outstanding female and male umpires.

 

 

 

What are your experiences with female umpires? Do you support women as umpires in the major leagues?

 

 

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The Greatest Sports Nicknames

Posted by Trish18 Mar 27, 2007

 

[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/03/27/shoelessjoe.jpg]Last month I posted an entry that covered a few of the most unique mascots that I could dig up. When I posted the topic to our message boards, there was some very interesting feedback on mascots from all over.

 

 

 

Today I decided to sift through some of the great sports nicknames and post up a list of my favorites. Many people say the creation of sports nicknames is a lost art and that athletes just don���t have nicknames like they used to. To an extent, they have a point; modern nicknames are, for the most part, boring and unimaginative (T-Mac, A-Rod, etc.) I'd like to salute a few of the great ones from the past in a brief list of my favorites (in no particular order):

 

The Iron Horse (Lou Gehrig) ��� There are few nicknames that are more apt in their description of a player than ���The Iron Horse���, earned by Gehrig during his long-standing record streak of 2,130 consecutive games played.

 

 

 

Shoeless Joe (Joe Jackson) ��� This is one of my favorite

nicknames of all time. Joe Jackson earned the name ���Shoeless��� when, as

a young player, he took off a pair of spikes that hurt his feet and

played the outfield wearing only socks.

 

 

1,393 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: hockey-ice, basketball, football, soccer, baseball, trish-oberhaus

 

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Mia Hamm* and Julie Foudy, two longtime pillars of the United States women���s national soccer team, were the only players elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame recently from among the 62 players on the ballot. Former teammates Hamm and Foudy, each in their first year of eligibility, comprise the first all-women class elected to the Hall of Fame. The duo will join the five women who have been inducted since the hall began in 1950.

 

 

 

���This is one of those things that when you start playing, you never go out there thinking about this opportunity,��� Hamm said in a telephone interview from Carson, Calif., where the announcement was made. ���We were just trying to promote the game in a positive way. It���s very special to me and means my career is over, which I���m fine with. I���m in a good place in my life in accepting this tremendous honor.���

 

 

 

Hamm was selected on 137 of 141 ballots cast, garnering 97.2 percent of the votes, a record in the 62-year history of the hall, which is located in Oneonta, N.Y. Foudy got 118 votes (83.7 percent of votes cast). They will be inducted Aug. 26.

 

 

 

���Two decades playing for your country, and now to be recognized and grouped with the biggest pioneers and legends of the game is a great honor,��� Foudy said in a telephone interview. ���We could see that we were making an impact, and what I love about the group we played with is that everyone saw the bigger picture. It was important not just to excel on the field, it was a message we wanted to give to young kids about sports, life. It was never a chore. What kept us out there was that we wanted to leave that legacy.���

 

 

 

Hamm and Foudy played on the national team that won two World Cups and two Olympic gold medals. They and the team left an indelible mark on soccer and sports when the United States played host to the 1999 Women���s World Cup in huge stadiums that were often filled to capacity.

 

 

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Official Talk

Posted by Trish18 Mar 23, 2007

 

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In his recent article in the Washington Post, John Feinstein suggests that officials should be made available for post-game interviews. His argument centers on the fact that officials don���t have to defend their bad calls and because they are paid professionals, they should have to walk up to microphone. Feinstein is making his point because the official in the Ohio State-Xavier game last week seemingly missed an obvious flagrant foul call on Greg Oden at the end of the game.

 

 

 

While I believe the call was missed too, what good would it do to have the officials talk after the game? If they admit a mistake, will the teams return from the locker rooms and pick up play from that point? I hated when umpires made bad calls during my career and I can���t tell you how many times my coaches told us to not leave a game close enough where a missed call by the umpire could determine the outcome of the game. However, mistakes by officials are part of the game and we just have to live with it.

 

 

 

Would you like to see officials speak to the media after games?

 

 

 

(Photo provided by Getty Images/Andy Lyons)

 

 

835 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: basketball, ncaa, trish-oberhaus

Bluffton to Play Ball

Posted by Trish18 Mar 22, 2007

 

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Bluffton University* will play baseball this season despite the deaths of five players who were killed when the team bus toppled off an overpass on March 2 while on a trip to Florida.

 

 

 

"It's important they get back on the field and do what they love," athletic director Phill Talavinia said Tuesday.

 

 

 

He said the players on the team were unanimous in their decision, but they first wanted to make sure the families of those killed agreed. The team will wear all-black uniforms to honor the five players: Scott Harmon, Tyler Williams, Cody Holp, David Betts and Zach Arend.

 

 

 

I cannot begin to imagine the pain of losing members of such a close-knit family that is a college athletic team and the strength it would take to continue your season in honor of them. Instances like these serve as gut-checks, as opportunities to reflect and make sure you���re making the most out of your time. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the Bluffton community.

 

 

 

(Photo provided by Getty Images/Image Source)

 

 

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Youth Olympics!

Posted by Trish18 Mar 21, 2007

 

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Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, said that he wanted to start an Olympics for teenagers in 2010. The Youth Olympic Games would feature about 3,500 athletes 14 to 18 years old who would compete in largely the same sports as in the regular Olympics, as reported by the Associated Press.

 

 

 

The IOC is conducting a study on the proposal, which will be discussed at the IOC executive board meeting in Beijing on April 25-27. Rogge said most international sports federations approached about the idea have not opposed it.

 

 

 

This could be very interesting. My hope is that this kind of new opportunity will inspire young people to be more active now and raise youth sport participation in the future. Having a Youth Olympics in place could definitely encourage youth to access new activities that promotes their healthy development.

 

 

 

I wish Youth Olympics were around when I was a young teenager! I played many years of Junior Olympic softball that prepared young athletes to build their skill level up to that of possibly becoming a member of the U.S. National Team. It would have been amazing and inspiring to know that we could have been working to play in the Youth Olympics right then and there.

 

 

 

I always dreamed of being an Olympian. I think I always secretly will. The next best thing to competing in the Olympics myself is to help others get there, so I'm helping out at World Sport Chicago to raise awareness and participation in Olympic and amateur sports.

 

 

 

What do you think of the idea of having Youth Olympics?

 

 

 

(Photo provided by Getty Images/taken by Mike Hewitt)

 

 

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With a publicity boost from Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst introduced a state Senate bill last week to require random steroid testing for Texas public school athletes. The bill would require public school athletes to agree not to take steroids and to submit to testing if randomly selected.

 

 

 

Lawmakers hope to test as many as 22,000 students per year or more. Texas has about 733,000 students in approximately 1,300 high schools. Testing would be conducted at 30 percent, about 390, of the schools. The program could start as early as next fall.

 

 

 

Studies have shown as many 1 million high school students nationwide have taken steroids and as many as 40,000 in Texas, Dewhurst said. Steroids can lead to dramatic mood swings, heart disease and cancer, among other complications.

 

 

 

If approved, the bill leaves most of the testing details, such as which schools are selected, how and when samples are collected and punishment for positive results, to the University Interscholastic League, the state's governing body for high school sports. Dewhurst, however, said punishments for positive tests should include a ban from playing in sports.

 

 

 

The program wouldn't be the first of its kind nationally, but it would be the largest. New Jersey started a limited program last fall that tests athletes and teams that advance to the postseason.

 

 

 

Do you support steroid testing in high school sports?

 

 

 

(Photo provided by Getty Images/taken by Doug Benc)

 

 

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Some Serious March Madness

Posted by Trish18 Mar 19, 2007

 

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Teenagers brawled in the stands at a high school basketball game at Madison Square Garden last night before police cracked down on the crowd, which spilled into the streets. Gunfire was heard as the crowd went from the arena to Times Square, police said. No injuries were reported. Twenty-one people, mostly teenagers, were arrested, police said.

 

 

 

From brawls on basketball courts to out of control parents at Little League games and wrestling matches, unsportsmanlike behavior can be a problem.

 

 

 

Now, some high school sporting officials in Washington state are considering tough new rules ��� including a ban on booing. Those who support the ban say that too often, spectators are cruel.

 

 

 

"It's the organized effort to try to intimidate or try to make fun of someone that becomes personal in nature that can escalate then into other concerns that we might have," said Mike Colbrese, executive director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

 

 

 

Colbrese and his colleagues said they have trouble hiring coaches and referees because of the abuse they take. By banning booing from the stands, they believe they can create a more welcoming environment on the court and field. Experts agree that behavior at school sports events is not what it used to be. "Parents are more intense, family members are more intense, siblings are more intense," said Christine Brennan, a USA Today sports columnist. "Everything is ratcheted up."

 

 

 

The Interscholastic Association claims it just wants to reinforce good sportsmanship. However, some fans aren���t pleased that their right to boo might be taken away. For instance, one woman told ABC News, "The crowd should be able to say what they want to say. They pay their money. They should be able to boo if they want to.���

 

 

 

Do you think booing should be banned?

 

 

 

(Photo provided by Getty Images/taken by Nick Laham)

 

 

996 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: high-school-sports, basketball, trish-oberhaus

She got game

Posted by Trish18 Mar 16, 2007

 

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If you know only one thing about Candace Parker, it���s this: she dunks. Over the past year, the University of Tennessee���s 6-foot-4 Parker has single-handedly eclipsed the total number of dunks in the history of women���s NCAA basketball ��� six jams to three. Impressively, Parker pulled off her first dunk at age 15. At 17, she defeated five male contestants, including the future Denver Nuggets starter J. R. Smith, in the slam dunk contest at the McDonald���s All-American High School Game. And last year, Parker became the first woman to throw down in an NCAA tournament game. She���s got some serious game.

 

 

 

Parker says she first picked up a basketball when she was still in diapers and grew up playing against boys, including her very good older brothers, one of whom now plays for the Toronto Raptors. She went on to a high school career, in Naperville, Ill., that is already legendary. (A two-time USA Today national player of the year, she signed her college letter of intent live on ESPN.) Now a redshirt sophomore for one of the best teams in America, Parker has her sights set high in the NCAA tournament.

 

 

 

Candace Parker���s skill and talent is seemingly guaranteed to carry her beyond the NCAA and into the professional ranks. ���Ever since I started playing basketball, there���s been the option to play after college,��� Parker told the New York Times. That opportunity to get paid to play has kept her and other young women like her working on their skills. Many would say that the best female players ���play like guys.��� I think now it should be said that the best female players play like Candace Parker.

 

 

825 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: basketball, ncaa, trish-oberhaus

More Than Able

Posted by Trish18 Mar 15, 2007

 

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The first All-African Amputee Football Championship, supported by FIFA, recently took place in Freetown, Sierra Leone. I happened to come across a series of photos in Sports Illustrated featuring the athletes involved that gave me a glimpse into the competition and what it's about. I had to learn more.

 

 

 

Four participating nations, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, gave thousands of spectators a tournament to remember. Soccer for amputees has thus far received little global recognition; however, the local media covered the competition, along with the BBC, Reuters and France Television. Also, 10,000 spectators present at Freetown's national stadium for the opening game between Sierra Leone and Ghana, and some 40,000 attending over the five days of the event.

 

 

 

Soccer has given hope to so many men struck by tragedy, and helped rebuild the futures of members of Africa's most traumatized communities. "Football has saved my life. I never thought I'd play the game again until I discovered football for amputees. It's given me hope again," Victor Musa, captain of the team from Sierra Leone, told FIFA.

 

 

 

There were an estimated 4,000 such amputations during the civil war, which lasted from 1991-2000 and resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths. Many of these amputations were caused by anti-personnel mines, bullet wounds, torture, or a lack of proper first aid.

 

 

 

Ghana won the event, overcoming Liberia 4-3 in the final. The country's minister, Dennis Bright, summed up the general feeling when he said, "You've proved to the world that you're not second-class citizens but real heroes."

 

 

 

(Photo provided by AFP/taken by Issouf Sanogo)

 

 

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U.S. Women's Soccer Wins Big

Posted by Trish18 Mar 14, 2007

 

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I played soccer competitively growing up, and now that my college softball career is over, I've found myself getting involved and very interested in soccer again. I've been keeping a closer eye on the soccer scene (and an old teammate of mine, Lori Chalupny, pictured to the left, who now plays on the Women's National Team) and wanted to share the good news -- The U.S. Women���s National Team downed Denmark, 2-0, to win the 2007 Algarve Cup title behind goals from captain Kristine Lilly and tournament MVP Carli Lloyd.

 

 

 

Lilly got the U.S. on the board in the first half, netting her second of the tournament. The U.S. enjoyed an 8-2 shot advantage in the first half, but would have to wait until the opening moments of the second half to add to its lead. Once again, Lloyd provided the fireworks, cracking a left-footed shot from outside the area that caught the underside of the crossbar before settling in the Denmark goal.

 

 

 

The Algarve Cup is a global invitational tournament for national teams in women's soccer. Held annually in the Algarve region of Portugal since 1994, it is one of the most prestigious women's soccer events, alongside the Women's World Cup and Women's Olympic Soccer. Currently, 12 teams are invited, with the top eight competing for the championship.

 

 

 

With this Algrave Cup title, the U.S. became the country with the most wins overall, breaking a tie with Norway at four wins a piece. Congrats, ladies!

 

 

 

The U.S. will open its domestic schedule vs. Mexico on April 14 in Foxborough, Mass., in a double header with the New England Revolution. The schedule continues vs. Canada on May 12 in Frisco, Texas, as the USA will wear pink uniforms to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness. The U.S. then kicks off the six-game Send-Off Series on June 16 in Cleveland vs. China.

 

 

 

(Photo provided by Getty Images/taken by Christian Petersen)

 

 

770 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: soccer, trish-oberhaus

"Stay Back" - What Does It Mean?

Posted by Trish18 Mar 13, 2007

 

Often times you will hear the phrase ���stay back��� yelled out at a hitter. Two areas need to be examined when dealing with the term "stay back." First, what is happening that would cause the coach to say ���stay back���? And secondly what needs to happen in order to ���stay back���?

 

 

 

Because the phrase ���stay back��� is so ambiguous let me give you two key reference points when dealing with staying back. The first is the upper torso and the second are the feet. During the loading phase, the hitter will have his upper torso closer in line with the middle of his feet. And at contact the upper torso will be closer in line with the front foot. However, this (contact) is the critical point that we are dealing with. At no point during the swing does the hitter want his upper torso (shoulders and chest) to go in front of (or over) the front foot. When the upper torso does go over the front foot, this is commonly referred to as ���lunging at the ball���. Lunging at the ball will negatively affect a hitter���s power.

 

 

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Metal bats on the way out?

Posted by Trish18 Mar 13, 2007

 

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New York's City Council is now considering a ban on metal bats, with former New York Mets reliever John Franco testifying Monday in support of the proposal. Franco and the bill's supporters are hoping a New York City high school ban would inspire others to follow.

 

 

 

"I'm speaking from someone who was standing on the mound for 22 years, and I can see the difference," Franco told a council committee on Monday. "And while I'm standing in the stands watching my son play, or some of the other Little Leaguers, I can see the difference."

 

 

 

Similar measures have been proposed by youth leagues and lawmakers in other states, including New Jersey, where a batted ball struck a 12-year-old boy in the chest, sending him into cardiac arrest. He was revived by spectators but was in a coma for months, just recently returning home. His father, Joseph Domalewski, told the committee on Monday his son sustained brain damage and still cannot walk. "My son is doing a sentence, and to me the only thing he did wrong is to pitch to a guy holding a metal bat," he said.

 

 

 

975 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: baseball, little-league-baseball, trish-oberhaus

Let the Madness Begin

Posted by Trish18 Mar 12, 2007

 

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Sixty-five teams, three weeks, endless empty brackets and countless hours watching all the action. Bubble talk and tournament resumes are old news -- about 800 student-athletes are living the dream and I couldn���t be more excited to break down the brackets, choose my picks, and watch March Madness unfold.

 

 

 

 

The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, in my opinion, could be the greatest single elimination tournament ever created. Held each spring featuring 65 basketball teams, it takes place over 3 weeks at sites across the U.S., and the national semifinals (the Final Four) have become one of the nation's most prominent sports events.

 

 

 

 

Since its 1939 inception (thanks to Kansas University's Phog Allen), it has evolved into the multi-billion enterprise of today that has built a legacy that includes dynasty teams and dramatic underdog stories.

 

 

 

Perhaps the most notable underdog story to date took place last year; George Mason, a commuter school in suburban Virginia, had never won a single game in the NCAA tournament until they reached the Final Four. Seeded 11th in their quarter of the field, George Mason was the first team since 1986 to be slated that low and reach the Final Four. They were arguably the biggest outsider ��� no basketball tradition to speak of, not a member of a major conference, no superstar player ��� since Ivy League school Penn made it in 1979.

 

 

 

As of now, I have Florida, North Carolina, Ohio State, and UCLA in the Final Four. My vote for most likely to have a George-Mason-type-run this year is Holy Cross, coming in with the 13th seed. Who do you think this year's Cinderella team might be?

 

 

 

(Photo provided by Getty Images/taken by Elsa)

 

 

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In the Little League Newsletter this month was an interesting story I'd like to share with you.

 

 

 

David Patraeus was a tough competitor as an 11-year-old in Cornwall (N.Y.) Little League. More than 40 years later, he was selected by President Bush to head the Coalition Forces in Iraq.

 

 

 

A lieutenant general in the United States Army, David Howell Patraeus was unanimously confirmed in January by the Senate as Commander of Multinational Forces-Iraq, succeeding Army Gen. George Casey.

 

 

 

���He was shy, but if you gave him the ball, and told him to do something ��� he���d do it,��� Mr. Goldsmith, a retired facility manager with the New York State Parks Service, said. ���When you spoke to him, it was like talking to a grown-up. He was very smart, and a well-disciplined young man.���

 

 

 

Mr. Bloom, who passed away several years ago, and Mr. Goldsmith, 74, appreciated the opportunities that playing Little League afforded the players. Many of the lessons that baseball can teach come through in real-life situations, which was always a point of emphasis in the duo���s coaching philosophy.

 

 

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International Women???s Day

Posted by Trish18 Mar 8, 2007

 

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Today is International Women���s Day! Annually on March 8th, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.

 

 

 

International Women's Day is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

 

 

 

Despite these struggles for equality, the world of sports has the power

to unite and transcend boundaries that once divided this community. Women's effort to redefine sport and achieve equality is something I am passionate about and has drastically impacted my life. The changes that have occurred so far are promising; women have experienced joy, camaraderie, pride, strength, increased educational opportunities and leadership as a result of their involvement and progression in sports.

 

 

 

In light of recognizing this important day, I���d like to pay homage to some of the greatest moments in women���s sports:

 

 

 

1973 | Battle of the Sexes. In the most watched tennis match in history, Billie Jean King routed Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes. For many, this was the event that defined the women's movement of the 1970s and changed the social landscape for females forever. Thirty-three years later, the USTA renamed the National Tennis Center the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the first time in U.S. history that a major sports arena bore the name of a woman.

 

 

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[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/mental.jpg]So how does someone get mentally prepared for competition? When should they concentrate? How does an athlete strike a balance between relaxing and thinking about the results they want to achieve?

 

It���s different for everyone. Some athletes need to focus in an intense manner before they compete, while others don't want to think about anything related to their competition. However, everyone should have a consistent plan that they use on a regular basis.

 

 

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Against All Odds

Posted by Trish18 Mar 7, 2007

 

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I remember watching Rulon Gardner win the gold medal in the 2000 Olympics against all odds. His victory was one of the greatest upsets in

Olympic history. He handed three-time Olympic champion Aleksandr Karelin of Russia the only defeat of his 13-year

international career, winning by 1-0 in the gold medal match of the

Greco-Roman superheavyweight division.

 

 

 

When I read that the small plane Gardner was flying in hit the water in a remote part of Lake Powell in southern Utah recently, I had confidence he could beat the odds again. In addition to his Olympic underdog success, he had already survived two accidents. In 2002, he had to have a toe amputated because of frostbite after he was stranded in the wilderness overnight while snowmobiling in Wyoming; two years later, he was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle in Colorado Springs.

 

 

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National Sportsmanship Day

Posted by Trish18 Mar 6, 2007

 

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The Institute for International Sport will administer the 17th Annual National Sportsmanship Day celebration on March 6. Over 13,500 schools from throughout the United States and in many, many countries throughout the world are planning to participate in discussions and activities aimed at promoting good sportsmanship.

 

 

 

The two themes for National Sportsmanship Day 2007 are "Don't Punch Back, Play Harder" and "Defeat Gamesmanship." National Sportsmanship Day programs are designed for student-athletes from elementary school right up through intercollegiate competition.

 

 

 

The Institute for International Sport cites five principles of honorable competition for children to remember:

 

 

  1. Respect the game.  This includes showing respect for opponents, referees, coaches and fans. 

 

  1. Play by the rules, and within the spirit of the rules.  Don���t try to get away with cheating or taking shortcuts just because you think no one will notice or catch you.  The only real victories are honest victories, untainted by cheating or gamesmanship. 

 

  1. Play your best, and understand that doing your best does not mean embarrassing or humiliating your opponent. 

 

  1. Don���t punch back, play harder.  When provoked, an athlete should ascend to the highest level of honorable competition by increasing focus and intensity, not by reacting in an undisciplined, unproductive way.

 

  1. Employ competitive self-restraint ��� play hard but with self-control.

 

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Sunday Bloody Sunday

Posted by Trish18 Mar 6, 2007

 

Sunday evening, 8th ranked North Carolina emerged victorious over the 14th ranked Duke, 86-72. The latest result of college basketball's nastiest rivalry left Duke with their largest margin of defeat all season and North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough with blood streaming down his face. The injury came with 14.5 seconds left, when Hansbrough leaped for a layup. After the ball left his hand, he was struck in the face by Gerald Henderson's right elbow.

 

 

 

In a statement released after the game, the three officials ruled the foul, "as combative and confrontational action" and said such a foul is "ruled a fight... By rule, it is an automatic ejection. By NCAA rule, (Henderson) must sit out the next game."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBS analyst Billy Packer repeatedly said the foul was not flagrant on the air. After watching numerous replays, I think while Henderson might not have been targeting Hansbrough���s nose with his elbow, he was definitely going for much harder of a foul than necessary. Everyone is entitled their own view, but you have to wonder what he had in mind with his team down 14 and only 18 seconds to go in the game.

 

 

 

Do you think this was an intentional cheap shot?

 

 

 

Either way, it���s a good example of why it is important to keep your emotions in check at the end of a game that isn���t turning out the way you wanted to. One thing is for sure, the Duke vs. North Carolina rivalry just stepped up another notch.

 

 

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Ultimate Teammates

Posted by Trish18 Mar 5, 2007

 

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The softball season is starting up and it's strange not to be out there with my old teammates this year (Good luck Ramblers!).  When I begin to think of how much I miss playing, I turn my focus to how fortunate I've been to have had the opportunity to play with amazing teammates over the years.

 

 

 

One of my favorite quotes is by Jesse Owens, "Friendships are born on the field of athletic strife and the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust."

 

Ron Springs and Everson Walls are such a great example of that sentiment. They share a special bond forged over their years as teammates on the Dallas Cowboys. That���s nothing compared to their newest bond ��� the kidney Walls donated to Springs in perhaps the ultimate teammate gesture.

 

 

 

 

Springs and Walls, 47, recovered at Medical City Hospital on Thursday, a day after the transplant operation ��� the first between two former American professional athletes. The 50-year-old Springs has had diabetes for 16 years and has been on the national transplant waiting list since 2004. Providing his body accepts Walls���s kidney, Springs will no longer need dialysis. He also should again be able to walk on his own.

 

 

 

"That's brotherly love," Springs told The Associated Press. "It's something you can't explain, but something that I will always think about every day for the rest of my life."

 

 

 

Do you have any inspirational teammate stories to share?

 

 

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Falcons

Posted by Trish18 Mar 3, 2007

[http://www.flickr.com/photos/activeteamsports/407870356/|photo sharing]

  Falcons    Originally uploaded by Active.com. </span></div>

 

 

The 7 year old Frost Falcons softball team traveled from Chattanooga, TN to Panama City, Florida to play in the 8 under World Series. They also took some to time to enjoy the beach!

 

 

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*!http://active.typepad.com/teamsports/images/livingston_1.jpg![http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/livingston_1.jpg]

Los Angeles Clippers* point guard, Shaun Livingston, suffered a very serious and potentially career ending injury to his knee earlier in the week tearing three of the four ligaments in his left knee while driving to the basket. I saw a video replay of it and hope I never see it happen to anyone ever again. It was gross.

 

 

 

A new rule implemented by the NBA says players must be at least one year removed from high school before entering the NBA. Perhaps Livingston can serve as a reminder to the voices who defend this rule and are telling these young athletes about the benefits of staying one more year in college.

 

 

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If you have teams that already have their own eteamz site, or any site for that matter, add them to your league as a Site Type of &quot;LISTING&quot; and make sure to enter a &quot;WEB ADDRESS&quot; (ex. www.eteamz.com/myexistingteam) at the bottom of the &quot;Add Team&quot; page. This field is often overlooked, but was designed for this very purpose.

 

 

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Team officials weren't happy. Opinions were mixed in the clubhouse. And others around the team and league think it's much ado about nothing.

 

 

 

At issue were comments made recently by Phillies pitcher Jon Lieber. As released on the Official Site of Major League Baseball, the right-hander acknowledged received a pointer from former Marlins manager Joe Girardi last year. In a recent interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Lieber said Girardi told him that some of the Marlins players noted that his pitches were flat.

 

 

 

Lieber and Girardi were former battery mates with the Chicago Cubs from 2000-02. Asked if Girardi's advice was helpful, Lieber said, &quot;Yeah, there is no question.&quot;

 

 

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