By Jim Riggs, Sports Editor
Nuts And Bolts
Sorry, AL Fans - Thursday's major league schedule had plenty of day games, so the American and National League roundups were almost complete early in the evening. There was only one game I had to wait for and it was the game with the New York Yankees at Houston Astros.
On the page where the American League roundup was placed, I left room at the end for the Yankees and Astros game.
When the game finally came across the Associated Press wire, I noticed they put a slug on it indicating it was an American League game. I just thought that was a mistake because it was an interleague game.
The new AP style is to place the one interleague each day in the roundup of the home team's league. So that's why I was putting it at the bottom of the AL roundup above the Yankees and Astros score. I also added the line that it was an interleague game.
But it wasn't interleague because the Houston Astros are now in the AL after moving there in 2013. But I can't get accustomed to that. After Houston had played in the National League for 51 years, I have a hard time thinking of them as an American League team.
It also took me quite a while to get used to the Milwaukee Brewers playing in the National League!
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Too Practical? - The opening week of the major league season can always be iffy because of the weather, but sometimes the schedule that week makes you wonder.
This year's first full schedule of opening games was on Monday and there were games scheduled at Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and at the New York Mets. The weather in those cities at this time of year can be pretty poor and you might even see snow.
Fortunately, the weather was fine in those cities on Monday, but was not so perfect a few days later.
Also on Monday's schedule were San Francisco at Arizona, Atlanta at Milwaukee and Toronto at Tampa Bay. That first game features two warm-weather teams meeting in a stadium with a retraceable roof. Why not have both San Francisco and Arizona home against cold-weather teams?
The second game had a warm-weather team, Atlanta, playing a team in retraceable-roof stadium, Milwaukee. Why not also have them both play host cold-weather teams?
And the third had two teams with domes meeting. Once again, why couldn't they each be home playing a visiting cold-weather team?
That all probably makes too much sense.
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Contrasts In Style - I was watching a recent PGA Tour event and Jim Furyk was brought up on camera ready to putt. But because of his usual style of getting over the putt, then backing away and starting his routine again, the network cut away to another golfer and then came back to Furyk. And there were no concerns about thinking they might miss Furyk actually striking his putt.
I can recall the opposite happening in the early 2000s when taking photos of Cassadaga Valley graduate Jason Anderson playing for the Jamestown Community College golf team. Anderson was the total opposite of Furyk when it came to hitting a shot or putting. He rarely, if ever, took a practice swing or stroke. The first few times I was focused on Anderson getting ready to hit a shot, I assumed he was going to take a practice swing and didn't release my shutter. Then I would see the ball taking off in flight.
I finally caught on and whenever he was over a shot or a putt, it meant he definitely was ready and I had to be ready to take the photo.
The PGA Tour, plagued by slow play, would love to have a field full of Andersons.
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Seeing It First Hand - A story broke this week about a former North Carolina football player who received an A- grade for a 10-sentence paper that wouldn't have earned a passing grade in an elementary school.
Not only was the paper amazingly short, but it was also full of grammatical errors.
We've all heard of college athletes sliding through classes to remain eligible and when I was growing up there was always the joke about them taking classes such as basket weaving.
When I first attended college I got to see first-hand how some star athletes are treated.
I was in a history class at a university that competed in sports in the Mid-American Conference. In the class was the university's top wrestler, who was also one of the best in the MAC. At one class we had essays returned and I recall one of my friends was quite upset that he received a grade of C.
Later he became more upset.
The wrestler was not in class that day, but one of my friends covered the wrestling team for the university newspaper and said he could give the wrestler his essay at practice later that day.
The wrestler's exam was marked with an A- or maybe a B, so we decided to read through it.
He had written about Techumseh, the leader of the Shawnee nation. In his "research," he must have learned that Techumseh's brother was an alcoholic and mentioned it in his paper. He described it as Techumseh's brother "had been hitting the juice quite hard."
We simply rolled our eyes and wished we were top-flight wrestlers.
The remainder of the paper didn't show any improvement.
Oh, back to that 10-sentence paper for which the North Carolina athlete received an A-. That class was an independent study which meant he didn't have to attend a class, but instead had to work on the paper during the semester and then turn it in at the end.
I'm sure it took a long time to work on all of those 10 sentences.
I took an independent study in my last semester of college to receive my journalism degree. I had to write a paper about Joseph Pulitzer and my finished product was about 45 pages long, complete with footnotes. I received a B and my professor said I would have received an A if the paper had been longer.
I guess at North Carolina the 45 pages would have been worth a total of four A-.