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Bleacher Views

Money ball redefined

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Temper tantrums on the field

Recently the Yankee’s Brett Gardner took out his frustrations on his batting helmet, a blameworthy accessory indeed, and threw it against the dugout wall. The helmet, showing why it was untrustworthy, rebounded off the wall and hit Gardner smack in the face, causing the need of several stitches. Not the sort of behavior one often sees in a piece of safety equipment.
Nobody said a thing to Gardner, presumably having the desire to continue living, but I’m sure there was some laughter later, in that we have all seen this sort of thing before.

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Follow the leader

Things coaches lie awake at night and fuss about include why their team is doing well or why it is achieving below expectation. If the team is going great guns, the coach will worry about what he needs to do to keep it going. If the season looks like it is going down the tubes, the coach will try to figure out how he can change things around.

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Statistics and other nightmares

Baseball these days seems consumed with statistics, but in an odd kind of way, it always has been. The reason is that it gives the ordinary fan a way to talk about how good (or not) a player is without an entirely subjective vocabulary. Besides, it gives oldsters a way to prove that the old timers really were better than these young upstarts (they weren’t, but don’t say that too loudly).

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Little things mean a lot

I remember reading a study on the subject of how girls felt about having to wear uniforms to school. In general, they seemed not to mind the seeming uniformity of uniforms because they found all sort of ways to individualize them. Details like just how high the socks were and what shoes were worn became of much more importance than would have been the case had the girls had unlimited choices in their clothing.

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First to last

If you missed The Kentucky Derby, you didn’t just miss the hats, the dresses, the mint juleps and the rain, you also missed a piece of history.
For the first time ever, an objection posted by the number two finisher was upheld and a 65-1 horse, Country House, won the Derby after one of the favorites, Maximum Security, was disqualified.

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Kentucky Derby Day

Over the years, I have come to know some people from Louisville, Ky., and have learned that, to them, Derby Day, in the rota of holidays, resides rather north of The Fourth of July and only slightly south of Christmas itself.

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The jalapeño of life

If variety is the spice of life, then competition should be its jalapeño pepper; and there is no better competition than an historic, geographic and downright dirty rivalry.
A rivalry is built on both respect and hate. Respect is necessary in that one cannot get really worked up about an enemy that can’t fire back, and there are few things sadder than a once blooming competition that has been lost because one side is now incompetent.

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Sin and Redemption in sports

Sports fans and sports columnists love to see sports as a morality play. “May the better player win” is an idea that takes sports out of the realm of play and drops it squarely into the arena of metaphysics. Better does not mean “more skilled” or “more able”; it means “more pure of heart” or more “noble of intent.” 

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NCAA women battle it out courtside: Champions indeed

If you missed the NCAA Women’s Championship game pitting Baylor University against Notre Dame, you really missed something special. It was a game of ebbs and flows, elation and heartbreak, courage and luck — pretty much everything you could ask for in a basketball game.
Just as is always the case, though, the game was really about people, and I would like to highlight two special players.

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