Sports Stories for The Good Men Project

Over the past year, I’ve written a number of stories for The Good Men Project’s sport section.  It’s one of my favorite things to do — live my dream of being a sports reporter.  Moving forward, I’ll also post them on Man on Third, but thought I’d give my readers a chance to see what I’ve been up to.  Hope you enjoy.

Baseball’s New Three-Letter Word: CTE

Last week at Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings, a gathering of teams’ front office personnel widely known for big trades and free agent signings, baseball’s Playing Rules Committee took the first step in outlawing violent collisions at home plate.

While more approvals are necessary and the specific details of the rule need to be drafted, the decision represents the first step in changing one of the most exciting and dangerous plays, one that has become part of baseball lore.

Read the rest of this story at The Good Men Project

The Yankees Embrace Their Dark Side

In 2008, the New York Yankees won 89 games but failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1995, ending a thirteen-year span that included four World Series titles. The so-called “evil empire” had finally come crashing to its knees.

But like any self-respecting dark lord of the Sith, following defeat you just build a bigger and better Death Star. The empire reloaded in 2009 by signing the top free agents on the market: pitchers CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett and first baseman Mark Teixeira. They won the World Series in six games over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees were back. . . or so they thought.

Read the rest of this story at The Good Men Project

Runner’s High

As sports fans, we spend hours each week watching and dissecting our teams’ efforts. We feel the euphoria when David Ortiz hits a breathtaking, game-tying grand slam to bring his Red Sox back from the brink and we feel the heartache when Torii Hunter just misses the greatest post-season catch ever and lands on his head in the bullpen—his World Series dream soon to be over.

We live for these moments; we marvel at athletes who can do things we can only dream about. We feel angered when they let us down and joy when they come through in moments when it seems all hope is lost. And every now and then, we hear about a story that helps us understand the true power of sports and why we love them so much. Sometimes these stories take our breath away.

Read the rest of this story at The Good Men Project

Network of Denial

There’s an old adage, most-often attributed to the famous circus owner, PT Barnum, that every public relations professional, like me, knows: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” And as most anyone will tell you, that statement is true if you’re Miley Cyrus or Kim Kardashian—celebrities (for lack of a better label) whose “brand” thrives on getting any type of attention. If you are, however, a multi-billion dollar entity like ESPN, or its parent Disney, or the NFL, you understand that there’s absolutely such a thing as bad publicity, which makes ESPN’s recent decision to pull out (sort of) of its 15-month collaboration with PBS’ Frontline on the investigative film “League of Denial” a fascinating one.

Read the rest of this story at The Good Men Project

Boston Strong

I’ve never watched a Boston Red Sox game in which the Yankees weren’t playing. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to watching Josh Beckett take 30 seconds to throw a pitch or David Ortiz spit in his hands, or Curt Schilling, well, be Curt Schilling?

On Monday, April 20, 2013, however, I not only watched a Red Sox game but I rooted for them, something that isn’t actually so hard to admit given the circumstances.

Read the rest of this story at The Good Men Project

What the “Freak” Is Going On?

In our household, there are only two must-see TV “shows”—Game of Thrones and a Tim Lincecum start. We sit with eyes glued to the screen to see whether Daenerys “Mother of Dragons” Targaryen will unleash her fire-breathing dragons with the same intensity that we watch the San Francisco Giants pitcher strugglethrowing what no baseball fan would consider anything close to a fireball.

Read the rest of this story at The Good Men Project

The San Francisco Giants Are the Rodney Dangerfield of Baseball

Your closer goes down in Week 1. Your All-Star catcher is trying to return from a devastating ankle injury. Your obese third baseman, who makes Vlad Guerrero appear to have plate discipline, goes down again with a broken hand. Your two-time Cy Young winning pitcher is having one of the worst years in recorded history. Your first baseman leaves the team for an anxiety disorder and then hurts his knee celebrating a perfect game. And, of course, your All-Star left fielder and arguably best hitter gets nailed for steroids mid-season.

Read the rest of this story at The Good Men Project

Derek Jeter’s Secret Sauce

Yogi Berra once said that “baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.” A wise man, Berra couldn’t have been more correct.

Baseball is a game of failure. Being successful in a game in which arguably the greatest living ballplayer, Willie Mays, failed 7 of 10 times he batted (not including walks) in front of thousands of people, requires a player to be incredibly strong between the ears.

Read the rest of this story at The Good Men Project

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