* A Cone Clone
Those of you in Newport Beach have probably noticed all the road construction that has closed and taken over many of our busiest streets such as Dover, 17th Street and the Pacific Coast Highway. Where you turn left from the Westcliff area onto Dover there are dozens of bright orange cones. The road construction is going along quite well but I don’t understand the need for so many cheerleaders and their megaphones?
* It Never Fails
After months of toil, trouble, treatment, practice, and sports psychology, the Angels’ OF Josh Hamilton was leading the team in hitting with a .444 batting average after seven games As might be expected, the Devil’s curse on the Angels struck again. Hamilton tore the ulnar collateral ligament of his left thumb while sliding into first base on an infield ground ball. Research studies have shown that sliding into first does not get you there any faster although it does get you to the disabled list much sooner. So now Hamilton is out for 6-8 weeks. High school players know not to slide into first base on a ground ball. I guess Manager Mike Scioscia forgot to consult the local high school coaches.
* Sometimes Imitation is the Worst Form of Flattery
As if the above isn’t bad enough, the Dodgers (sort of our other team) lost its best pitcher (C. Kershaw), starting catcher (A.J. Ellis on a slide into home) and starting right fielder (Yasiel Puig) all in the first few days of play. Puig strained a ligament in his –you guessed it – left thumb while sliding into first base. It seems as if the Angels and Dodgers can’t slide into anywhere without making their way on to the DL or missing a number of games. Maybe it is time to study and reevaluate the “how and when” players should slide. How about placing splints in the thumb and fingers of running gloves used on base or tucking the thumb under the hand when sliding?
* Doing Something Right
In a related field of interest, kudos to the Angel front office for signing Mike Trout in the preseason to a six-year $144.5 million dollar contract extension and thereby eliminating all speculation, conjecture, hype and the worry about being close.
* Some Words Not Necessary
In the last year it has become common for newspapers and their sports writers to highlight that a certain player (basketball, football, from UMass, or the NFL etc.) has “come out” by openly acknowledging that he or she is gay, lesbian or transgender. Why is this news? Aren’t we all just people who seek equality? We don’t question or publish that some athletes have blue, green or brown eyes. When a player who is heterosexual becomes part of a college or professional team we don’t write about him or her being “straight.” People watch sports to observe the best athletes perform and for the excitement of the game. We should apply the same standards to all athletes whether heterosexual or homosexual. We will have reached a milestone when writers and editors no longer put sexual preferences in the headlines.
Michael Arnold Glueck lives in Newport Beach, and loves baseball.