Archive - January 2017

  1. Column: Hall of Fame Voting Falls ShortJanuary 26, 2017

    The highly anticipated and always controversial voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame is in the books for another year. Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) elected three players – Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Pudge Rodriguez – for enshrinement in the Hall’s plaque room. But it’s who wasn’t elected that drew the most attention. Barry Bonds, the greatest hitter of his generation and arguably the third greatest hitter of all time behind only Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, remains on the outside looking in. Ditto for Roger Clemens, winner of seven Cy Young awards and perhaps the greatest pitcher of all time. While both men increased their vote total substantially in their fifth year on the ballot, they still fell 20 points shy of the 75% required for election to the Hall. With five years remaining on the ballot, unless the Hall’s Board of Directors or MLB change the rules of eligibility to exclude them, it is expected that both players will take their rightful place among the all-time greats in Cooperstown.

  2. Column: Chargers Flee San Diego For LaLa LandJanuary 19, 2017

    The lessons I learned from my grandfather have stuck with me. One in particular came to mind when I read the announcement by San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos that the team would dessert a loyal fan base in San Diego for Los Angeles. Maine was once home to a number of smelly, toxic-spewing paper mills. One day as my grandfather and I were traveling through a mill town I made an unflattering comment about the putrid stench. My grandfather opined that the workers in the mill were able to support their families with their hard-earned paychecks and to them, the money didn’t smell. He counseled me that money is money, regardless of where it comes from, a fact that also applies to the Chargers’ move.

  3. Column: The Dangers of Specialization in Youth SportsJanuary 12, 2017

    In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell suggested that 10,000 hours of quality training in a specific discipline could, in most cases, turn anyone into an expert, even an elite level athlete. Unfortunately, a number of coaches and parents too eagerly embrace Gladwell’s theory when it comes to youth sports. Most of us recognize the many potential benefits of participating in sports at a young age. Sports give kids the opportunity to enhance self-esteem, socialize with their peers, learn discipline and improve their health and fitness. The latter benefit is more important today than it’s ever been, given the sedate nature of today’s lifestyle.

  4. Column: Some Key Sports Business Stories In 2016January 5, 2017

    This is the time of year when I offer my predictions for the biggest sports business stories of the next 12 months. I’m happy to say I’ve had my share of winners over the years – one notable exception being the Red Sox would not finish last in their division two years in a row! Although I did bat 1,000 last year, there were a number of important stories that were either omitted due to space limitations or I flat-out missed. In a reversal of form, instead of looking ahead, let’s look back at some of the 2016 stories I overlooked.