A LITTLE MUSTARD WITH THAT HOT DOG? SOCCER EDUCATION, ROGER MARIS

June 30, 2009

Hot dogs have been woven into the fabric of MLB. There’s nothing like that first whiff of air when you walk out of an entrance into the stands at a ballpark.
That aroma will automatically turn you back into a youngster at their first game.
Yet another definition of a hot dog is being pushed to the fore of a fans mind. It also has a face that accompanies it and that face is Manny Ramirez.
Manny said that the “Manny-Frenzy” was no surprise when he played for the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Dodgers triple-A team, and he said that everyone
liked him wherever he went.
WAIT- not so fast, Manny. There was a 7-year old girl who sweeps the bases during Albuquerque’s games who didn’t want to wear a $25 Manny
dread-lock wig because her father told her Manny took drugs and she didn’t want to look like him.
HA-out of the mouths of babes, right?
Scott Ostler awarded him the “Knucklehead of the Week.”
Mr. Malaprop, Jerry Coleman once told his listeners in San Diego of the teams promotion of a drug-awareness program by saying, “Hats off to drug
abusers everywhere!” 

Graham Jones reported in the LA Times that, “Soccer’s Confederations Cup is over and done with and the U.S. team, derided only 11 days ago but lauded
today, is heading home from South Africa.
It does so not with its tail between its legs, as once feared, but with a silver medal around its neck.
So what did Coach Bob Bradley learn from a tournament that saw the Americans start off in horrendous fashion but still reach Sunday’s final, only to lose, 3-2, to Brazil in Johannesburg?
Quite a bit, as it turns out.                                                                                           
 Bradley learned that two forwards are better than one, and that Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies could grow into a dangerous attacking pair, the former using strength and the latter using speed.
He learned that physically fit as the U.S. players undoubtedly are, they have yet to learn to sustain the level of intensity needed for the full 90 minutes and beyond.
The Brazilians can do that. As Donovan said in player comments posted on U.S. Soccer’s website, “eventually they just wore us down.”
Coach Bob Bradley learned that the U.S. still needs to do a better job managing a lead. Ahead by two goals, it should have been able to lock the door. Instead, it left it ajar.
“We gave them everything they could handle . . . and deserved every piece of that lead,” Howard said. But it lasted only 45 seconds into the second half
and then evaporated altogether.                                                                                                                        
You always hope to do the most learning when you win, but you probably learn more by losing,” Midfielder Landon Donovan said. “If we’re smart and
we take what we should from this game, we can progress; and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Bocanegra, the U.S. captain, echoed the sentiment.
“What we can take away from this is the confidence that we played so well against the big teams here,” he said. “We showed that we belong. We’re not just going to be a pushover in the World Cup when we come down here.”

There’s a movement starting to have Roger Maris inducted by the MLB-HOF veterans committee. That’s a nice sentiment, but I believe that his 12-year
career didn’t have the numbers necessary for inclusion.
He SHOULD, however, have a special mention for being the first player to top Babe Ruth’s single season home run mark of 60 homers that stood for
54-years. Asterisk or not (having done it in a 162-game season instead of Ruth’s 154-games) – he STILL did it!
Maris’ drawbacks included his 275 career home runs and his .260 BA.

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