Sports and drugs and Rio de Janeiro

Melvin on Donaldson: 'In our hearts, he's an All-Star'

Sports and drugs and Rio de Janeiro
July 14, 2013, 8:30 pm
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"The new track and field doping scandal has some people wondering if maybe the sport will end up the way of cycling."

- Ray Ratto

Josh Donaldson said he might watch the All-Star Game he was supposed to be at, unless he decides to play golf. Maybe he can split the difference by playing, and then spending Tuesday evening in the restaurant at the course denying he cares while flipping off the television behind the bar.

[RELATED: Balfour replaces Colon on All-Star roster]

Well, that’s what most people would do, anyway.

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The new track and field doping scandal has some people wondering if maybe the sport will end up the way of cycling. The answer, of course, is that not even cycling has gone the way of cycling. What happened to cycling is that Lance Armstrong shamed himself, but there are still bicycles.

No, the new scandal that has ensnared among others sprinter Tyson Gay, merely reminds us that sports, and drugs, and "naïvistes" are all hardy perennials. This too is true: the sports, the drugs, and the "naïvistes", will all be in Rio de Janeiro. Because that’s the way it is, and always will be.

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There are only seven shopping days before Tim Lincecum’s next start, and people start bitching about the 1438 pitches he threw Saturday. And no, 1438 is not a typo. The box scores are wrong. He really did top 1400 pitches.

[REWIND: How Tim Lincecum no-hit the Padres: 'I'm evolving as a pitcher']

And why not? He’s best suited as a reliever, right? He won’t throw another 1400 pitches in his entire life. He’ll be fine. He should just rub some dirt on it, walk if off, and learn to put his wallet in his shirt pocket.

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Greg Van Niel, a Cleveland Indians season ticket holder, caught four foul balls Sunday, which is extraordinary enough. But unlike most successful foul ball retrievers, he neither knocked over any children, women or invalids to get them, and in fact threw the fourth one away because it rolled into his possession. So he was both non-felonious and has standards, admirable qualities both.

You have to hate that kind of guy a little bit.

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Mohamed Al-Fayed just sold Fulham Soccer Club to Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, in part because, and he we quote here, “I wouldn’t pass this club to any junkie.” But he still has stipulations, as in, Khan can’t get rid of the statue of Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage that Al-Fayed put there or “he’ll be in big trouble.”

No he won’t. At worst, he’ll send the statue back to Al-Fayed. But big trouble is when you get sent down, and Michael Jackson statues don’t cost nearly as much as that.

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And finally, on a rare and completely unjustified personal note, I began a vacation the night Matt Cain threw his perfect game against the Houston Astros. I was also on vacation the night Lincecum threw his no-hitter against the San Diego Padres (who, FYI, average four-tenths of a run less per game that the Astros did last year).

[Instant Replay: Tim Lincecum no hits Padres]

The conclusion is clear. The Giants and ComcastNBC must give me an annual baseball-season-length paid vacation to cover all future eventualities. It’s in their interest, and it certainly is in mine. All it takes is one forward-thinking corner-officed bastard at Third and King, Third and Folsom, or Third and wherever the hell NBC’s Connecticut headquarters are. So come on, you gullible and borderline mammalian suits. Do the right thing, because idleness is Marriott's workshop.

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