Sports views… and non-sports views

By Steve Sell
July 17, 2014

Random thoughts about the sports world and the world in general...

• Baseball needs more Derek Jeters. The All-Star Game Tuesday was a tribute to Jeter and he responded just as I expected — going 2 for 2 in leading the American League All-Stars to a 5-3 victory. I kind of wish he could have played into the ninth inning, then been replaced in the field with two outs. Jeter is class personified. You've never heard of him ever getting into any trouble and he always plays the game the right way. A lot of today's players should have been taking notes the other night…

• The Kansas City Royals rank 30th out of 30 major league baseball teams in drawing walks. Do you think the team’s management might point that out? If this team had any kind of plate discipline, it would probably have seven to 10 more wins...

• It doesn’t take long for fans to turn on a favorite. Take the case of longtime Royals star Billy Butler. Few players have been as consistent over the last six years. But all of a sudden this season his bat speed has slowed considerably and it’s like he’s forgotten how to hit with authority. A total of 22 extra-base hits at the All-Star break isn’t what the Royals have in mind. He’s hitting the softest .273 you’ll ever see and the fans’ rare negative reaction is having an effect on him. It’s hard to believe that at 28, supposedly the peak year of a baseball player, that we’ve seen the best of Billy and he’s on the downside of what has been a solid career...

• Nobody was a bigger fan than me of watching the World Series of Poker at the height of its popularity, starting with Chris Moneymaker’s improbable victory in 2003. My interest in the “sport” has waned the last few years and when I recently watched replays of the 2013 WSOP, I didn’t recognize anybody. What happened to all the colorful characters like Doyle Brunson, Sammy Farha and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson? Now they’re all a bunch of computer and math nerds...

• People don’t realize this about me, but I’m a big fan of watching the pundits on Fox News and MSNBC. But I have to say, as a journalist of 40 years and somewhat old school, I’m embarrassed by their coverage of the news. Fox News claims to be “fair and balanced,” but Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly would give their eye teeth for President Obama to resign or be impeached. The sharp-tounged Kelly practically begs for it to happen every night on her show and is so condescending. Of course, if Fox didn’t have the Democrats to kick around, it would have no viewers. I do enjoy Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, he at least at times tries to see things from both sides. Meanwhile, MSNBC does everything it can to paint a rosy picture of Obama and prop up his sagging presidency, which is basically photo-ops and fluff, but in reality it knows it’s a lost cause despite all its excuses. Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and the Rev. Al Sharpton come off looking like enablers night after night in his defense. Can somebody actually report the news right down the middle and not choose sides?...

• Getting back to Sean Hannity, why does he always call Sarah Palin "governor" during her too-frequent appearances on his show? She barely served half a term before turning her back on Alaska, then tried to steal the spotlight from John McCain during his run for the White House. Is it me or has she kind of become a cartoon character?…

• We’ve had war in the world for so long, does anybody really know anymore what we’re fighting about? I’ve always wondered what the world would be like without conflict...

• Getting back to what I hope I do best, I can’t wait for fall sports to begin. I love my down time and playing golf every day, but sometimes enough is enough. I had a recent three-day stretch where I did nothing, including no golf. If that’s what retirement is going to be like, I’ll work until I drop.


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