WINTER IS HERE

John Granato: Stop the persecution of the minority athlete

The Winter Olympics suck. Getty Images

I found it very odd this week that a Fox News executive, John Moody, thought it prudent to criticize the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion for praising how diverse this U.S. Winter Olympic team is.

First of all I had no idea there was such a thing as an olympic director of diversity and inclusion. Of course it is 2018 so I should not be surprised at this in the least. It’s a very 2018 thing to be; diverse and inclusive. I just didn’t know we needed a director for it.

Secondly, it’s not wise to criticize diversity and inclusion in 2018 but it is a Fox News executive so I guess it’s OK. Actually it’s probably encouraged at Fox News.

It’s not like Fox News is WEEI in Boston where they’re shutting down all live programming on Friday so all their employees can go through sensitivity training. This after one of their hosts called Tom Brady’s daughter an annoying little pissant and another used a Chinese accent in one of their radio bits.

How dumb can you be? Using a Chinese accent in one of your bits? That was soooo 2017. No one does that anymore.

Anyway, back to Mr. Moody. You remember him, the one who thinks it’s OK to criticize diversity and inclusion. Next thing you know he’ll say Black Panther wasn’t the greatest movie ever made. He may even be one of the 2% that gave it a bad review on Rotten Tomatoes. I’d hate to be those people. They will never be able to come back from it. Their lives will be ruined by the Twitter police.

Mr. Moody thinks they should change the Olympic motto from “Faster, Higher, Stronger” to “Darker, Gayer, Different.” Kinda funny but not really. This is 2018. Funny is not something we approve of anymore, not at other people’s expense.

Mr. Moody goes on to say “In Olympics, let’s focus on the winner of the race - not the race of the winner.” A very clever turn of phrase, I’ll give him credit for that. But also very un-2018. In 2018, we have to look at everything through our race glasses. It’s what we do.

Did you know that the Winter Games have been going on since 1924 and in 2006 Shani Davis became the first black athlete to win a gold medal in the Winter Games? That’s crazy. But not really.

Coming from up north and from a hockey family I know a little about winter sports. The overriding thing about them is that they suck. You’re always cold and they’re expensive as all get-out.

Ever skied? Sucks. You freeze on the lift and need to take out a second mortgage to rent the equipment and buy the lift tickets.

Hockey? Same thing.

Figure skating? Those little dresses don’t come cheap. Neither are all the lessons and don’t even think about ice time. Ice rinks typically open at three in the morning and close at five in the morning. Have fun with that.

Ski jumping? How do you even start to do that? Why do you even start to do that?

Curling? It’s shuffleboard on ice. You should not be forced to do this unless you’re 90 years old on a cruise ship in Norway. And what in life prepares you for this? I swept the kitchen floor really well as a kid?

The biathlon is interesting though. You could use that somehow in your life; to be able to cross country ski and then shoot things? If ever there’s a serial killer on the loose in the woods in Alaska they’d be the first people I would call.

The Summer Games are much more practical. With a few exceptions, everyone has run somewhere at some time in his or her life. Running from your mom or the cops or to get to your girlfriend’s house, it’s something most all of us have done.

Shooting hoops, swimming, riding horses, playing ping pong, fencing; these are all things we do in our everyday lives. Well maybe not fencing but when you were a kid and you saw Zorro or Gladiator or Lord of the Rings you and your brother immediately picked up a long sharp object and went at it until someone cried. Had to. Immediately.  

There’s nothing practical about the Winter Games. You can’t ever use those skills again (unless you’re after that Alaskan serial killer, that’s the only exception).

And look where you have to go to compete in the Winter Games versus where you go for the Summer Games.

Winter: PyeongChang, Sochi, Salt Lake, Sarajevo

Can’t wait to get there. Nothing says fun like the mountains in Russia, Bosnia and Utah. Hold me back.

Summer: Rio, Paris, Sydney, Los Angeles, Athens, Barcelona.

Case closed.

So I say let’s not force minorities into doing useless, expensive cold weather things in crappy places. Let whitey be miserable on that ski lift in Bosnia, freezing cold, broke, wondering whether or not he might lose a toe from frostbite while minorities run and jump and shoot and meet Brazilian women and win gold medals doing things they can use in their lives.

Stop the persecution of minority athletes. It’s the right thing to do.







 

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Houston gets another victory in Anaheim

Astros overpower Angels again as magic number dwindles

Kyle Tucker had 3 of Houston's RBI on Tuesday night, including a two-run homer. Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

After a beatdown of the Angels on Monday in the opener, the Astros entered Tuesday's game looking to replicate that success. Though Los Angeles would put up more of a fight, Houston still used their potent offense to keep the game out of reach.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 90-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (8-3)

Losing Pitcher: Packy Naughton (0-3)

Houston's bats keep connecting to back up Urquidy

The Astros picked up on Tuesday's game where they left off on Monday, launching homers to take and extend a lead. A leadoff walk by Carlos Correa in the top of the second set up Kyle Tucker, who drove a two-run shot. Aledmys Diaz was next, making it back-to-back jacks to push the new lead to 3-0.

That gave Jose Urquidy a lead to work with, which came in handy as former Astro Jack Mayfield cut the lead to two runs with a leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the second. Other than that, Urquidy did well through five innings, allowing just two other hits over that span. LA got to him in the sixth, getting two singles to set up a three-run homer to end his night. His final line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 79 P.

The runs keep coming

He would still leave in line for the win, though, as before that bottom of the sixth, the Astros had put up seven more runs across the fifth and sixth. A leadoff walk in the top of the fifth was followed by a two-run homer by Jose Altuve, then later in the frame, an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz made it 7-1. They pushed that to double digits in the sixth, with a leadoff solo shot by Martin Maldonado, a sac fly by Carlos Correa, and an RBI groundout by Kyle Tucker, putting them up 10-1 before the homer allowed by Urquidy cut that to 10-4.

Astros win to reduce magic number again

In the sixth, Cristian Javier took over for Urquidy, finished that inning, and returned for a scoreless seventh. He ran into Shohei Ohtani to lead off the bottom of the eighth and left a fastball in the zone, which Ohtani turned around 445 feet to make it a five-run game. Javier still got through the inning, leaving just the ninth for Houston's second reliever of the night, Josh James. James would get through a scoreless inning, erasing a leadoff walk as the lopsided win paired with an A's loss reduces Houston's magic number to 4.

Up Next: The third of this four-game series will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Wednesday. Janson Junk (0-1, 2.25 ERA) will make his third career start for the Angels, while Luis Garcia (11-7, 3.37 ERA) will have the ball for the Astros.

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