Barry Laminack's View

Can we talk about the SI Sports”person” of the Year Award?

Jose Altuve and J.J. Watt are sports people. Sports Illustrated

Also appears on Houstonsportsandstuff.com

As Disco Biscuit wrote about in her December 5th update, JJ Watt and Jose Altuve are the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson(s) of the Year for 2017. According to this post by the editors of Sports Illustrated, the purpose of the award is to showcase, “Athletes who care” – more on that in a bit.

First off all, I’m not sure why both Altuve AND Watt needed to win this. It should have been one or the other, not both, but I digress…

I’m also not sure why S.I. felt the need to change the word “sportsman” to “sportsperson.” It’s a specific word with a specific meaning – and in this case using the word sportsman – as defined by dictionary.com as, “a man who engages in sports”, would have been relevant and accurate because the winners are men.

Had S.I. chosen to give Maya Moore the award (who was also very deserving, mind you) then they could have just as well put “Sportswoman of the Year” on the cover and been just as accurate and precise in doing so.

Let’s look at it another way

Dictionary.com provides a second definition for the words sportsman, “a person who exhibits qualities especially esteemed in those who engage in sports, as fairness, courtesy, good temper, etc.”

In other words, “Athletes who care.”

Also, did you notice it said “person?”

That’s because in most cases the word sportsman, and thus the words sportsmanship, has nothing to do with gender.

If WNBA star (and female athlete) Diana Taurasi knocked down fellow WNBA star Sue Bird on a strong drive to the hoop, and then after the play reached down to help her up, the announcer wouldn’t say she displayed good sportswomanship, they would say she showed good sportsmanship.

But don’t take my word for it, I asked Google and Dictionary.com to define it for me and this is what they returned:

sportsmanship

dictionary

So while I’m all for inclusion and sensitivity in today’s world (and if you’ve ever listened to me on the radio, you know both of those to be true) there’s a point where we as human be…sorry huperson beings...can take it too far.

SEE HOW STUPID THAT SOUNDS!

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Houston's winning streak is up to nine

Astros secure series over Orioles as winning streak continues

Zack Greinke provided another long outing for his team on Tuesday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After continuing their recent dominance with a lopsided win over this Orioles team on Monday in the rain-plagued opener, the Astros eyed number nine in a row if they could do it again on Tuesday. Though not as one-sided, the Astros would get the victory to secure the series win.

Final Score: Astros 3, Orioles 1

Astros' Record: 45-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (8-2)

Losing Pitcher: Jorge Lopez (2-9)

A tame start for Houston's offense

After a scoreless first inning on both sides, Myles Straw started the scoring with two outs in the top of the second, sneaking a ball off and over the left-field wall just out of the grasp of Austin Hays for a solo homer to put Houston ahead 1-0. After Baltimore tied the game in the third, the game remained gridlocked 1-1 until the top of the seventh, when Chase McCormick would reach on a one-out infield single then raced around to score on a Myles Straw RBI single, putting Houston back in front 2-1.

Greinke pitches into the eighth

Over that span, Zack Greinke was getting efficient innings against Baltimore's lineup. He allowed that trying run in the third, which came after a one-out walk moved to third on a single, then scored on a sac fly. That was one of his few moments with runners in scoring position, as he erased a single in the first, a single in the fourth, and a double in the seventh to maintain the new 2-1 lead.

The Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth but came away with only one run of insurance on a McCormick sac fly, making it 3-1 as Greinke returned to the mound to continue working. He allowed a leadoff single then retired the next batter before Dusty Baker would come out to get him as the left-handed portion of the lineup was due up and a better match for Brooks Raley, who had been warming. Greinke's final line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 91 P.

Astros make it nine in a row

Raley completed the eighth for Greinke with two strikeouts to strand the inherited runner. With it still a two-run game in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered for the save. He erased a two-out single to finish things off, giving Houston their ninth win in a row and securing the series with a chance at the sweep in the finale.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set will be another 6:05 PM Central start time on Wednesday. Thomas Eshelman (0-0, 1.93 ERA) will be on the mound for Baltimore to face the Astros, while Jose Urquidy (5-3, 3.65 ERA) will start for Houston.

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