Category : Sports
Some innovations have limits, obviously. MLB is never going to let players carry cellphones in real games, because texting catcher’s signs from second base would be problematic. But in-game interviews, on-field microphones and social media outreach are potential vehicles to advance MLB’s goal of reaching a younger demographic.
That idea sits well with Lindor, a charismatic, bilingual star with all the attributes to be a prime face of the game for years to come. Upon leaving the clubhouse Tuesday, Lindor wore a black fedora, Gucci shoes and a fire-engine-red backpack over his shoulders. He knows a little bit about style.
“I’m not trying to disrespect anybody,” Lindor said. “The game is played extremely well, and the guys who set up the path for me to be playing this game did a tremendous job. I’m blessed to be here. But it’s a different era. Social media has grown a lot.”
The “three true outcomes” style of ball — home runs, strikeouts and walks — isn’t going away anytime soon. Can baseball find a way to combine it with more compelling personal narratives in the years to come? There’s an awful lot riding on the answer.
John Updike, the great American author, made the following observation: “Professionalism in art has this difficulty: to be professional is to be dependable, to be dependable is to be predictable, and predictability is aesthetically boring — an anti-virtue in a field where we hope to be astonished and startled and at some deep level refreshed.”
I wonder if it is this sentiment that underpins the lack of affection for Djokovic. Is he too dependable? Too predictable? Does his game lack that element of surprise that is so central to, say, Federer? If so, allow me to suggest that dependability contains its own kind of beauty. To watch this unique athlete hitting groundstrokes deep and true, returning serves with solidity, chasing down balls with those elastic legs, is a privilege.
One must surely admire his journey, too. He lived his formative years in the devastation of war-torn Belgrade, spending 78 straight nights in a shelter as Nato bombs rained down during the Kosovo campaign. He was almost killed by the precision bomb of an F-117 bomber, which levelled a building a few yards away. There have been other upheavals, not least in tennis where, for many years, he had a body that broke down at critical moments.
Today, dependability is not just an approach to tennis, but a kind of sanctuary. His phenomenal work rate, on and off the court, is an elusive search for shots that never miss, never fragment, never let him down. Yesterday, he looked as implacable as two years ago, when he won four straight slams and had a stranglehold on the game. He is not just one of the greats of tennis, but of sport.
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Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic is not boring – he is a true sporting great pic.twitter.com/CDqPXAOOM9
— NeuroTracker (@NeuroTrackerCSi) July 16, 2018
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 15, 2018
Angelique Kerber: "It means a lot to me, knowing I’m a member here, that’s something huge, I can say that’s forever. Even in 30 years I can come here and watch the tennis" #wimbledon https://t.co/c2XCk59Sl7
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) July 15, 2018
Congratulations to Novak Djokovic for beating Rafa Nadal and making his First Grand Slam Final since 2016
For the first time since 2016, @DjokerNole is a Grand Slam finalist.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 14, 2018
Congratulations to Kevin Anderson, Winner Today of the Second Longest match in Wimbledon history in His semi-final match against John Isner
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) July 13, 2018
They tell you it’s about who wants it more. It’s not. You don’t get to a World Cup semifinal — via a combined three penalty shootouts — if you don’t want it desperately, as much as the air you breathe and the affection you crave. Nobody could look the players from England or Croatia in the eye and judge who was hungrier, not after seeing them battle for 120 minutes Wednesday night at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Rather, it’s about lies and deception. The lies you tell your body in an attempt to deceive it into thinking your hit points aren’t down to zero. And the lies you tell yourself when you convince yourself that, yes, you can reach that stray ball and, no, you won’t let that opponent pass. Most of all, it’s about believing that you can keep going through heavy legs, searing pain and shortness of breath.
And do it all with clarity of mind. That last bit is crucial and, perhaps, the reason Croatia will be back here on Sunday to take on France in the World Cup final. England’s collective mind got fuzzier as the game went on. Croatia’s, somehow, seemed to grow clearer, scything through the pain, fatigue and inevitable errors.
THE MAGIC CONTINUES!
Croatia come from behind again to defeat England and move on to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final. pic.twitter.com/YrjhS1nP9W
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 11, 2018
The spiritual figurehead of the team in many ways has been Southgate, a former England player whose self-effacing enthusiasm has become central to the group’s appeal. With a subtle knack for storytelling, he has done as much as any columnist to build a narrative about his players as lovable underdogs.
About their ambition to reach the final, rather than to play a third-place match after losing in the semifinals, Southgate said: “We spoke to the players today that none of us fancied going home. We’ve got to be here for another week, so it’s up to us the games we play in.”
And asked about uniting their country during a period of political division, he said: “All these players come from different parts of the country, and there will be youngsters watching at home from the areas that they come from who they’ll be inspiring at this moment, and that is of course even more powerful than what we’re doing with our results.”
The road to the final has looked surprisingly open for England for a while now, thanks at first to an easy group stage and now because of a series of fortuitous results in other games. England, with a different series of outcomes, could have faced Brazil or Germany in the quarterfinals and Spain in the next round.
England, young and until now unproven, is headed to its first World Cup semifinal since 1990. https://t.co/paOMc5QbTx
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) July 8, 2018
Watch it all, and be forewarned, you are not going to make it through without Kleenex–KSH.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) June 28, 2018
On Wednesday, Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham helped a random stranger out at the airport.
Delilah Cassidy, an American Airlines passenger, had trouble when her bag came in over the weight limit.
She explained on Twitter that she had just gotten back from Europe and couldn’t pay the $50 the airline was trying to charge her because her cards were being declined, and the airline wouldn’t take cash.
Then a stranger stepped in to help Cassidy.
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) June 2, 2018
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 26, 2018