Not Often I Can Lead With A Sumo Wrestling Item…

According to an article in yesterday’s Washington Post, a Russian born sumo wrestler in Japan – sumo name is Wakanoho – lost his wallet in Tokyo back in June. Someone found the wallet and turned it over to the police. The police were able to trace it to him but not all is well at this point of the story; there was “a marijuana cigarette” in that wallet. Wakanono is now in custody; and here is what he could face for being in possession of that marijuana cigarette:

“…up to five years in prison with forced labor and could be deported with no possibility of reentry. He could also be thrown out of the sumo federation.”

I have no interest at all in being part of any debate about marijuana use or legalizing marijuana or anything else. I would like to point out, however, that the next time you hear a US sports official or Congressthing talk about stiff penalties for drug usage, please remember this incident. If someone wants to talk about “zero tolerance” this would be the kind of consequence that might accompany such a policy – - were that policy to be a real one.

Here are a few Olympics observations:

    I saw the trampoline competition two nights ago. If trampoline is an Olympic sport, can hopscotch and double-dutch be far behind?

    Since TV ratings seem to have importance with regard to what is an Olympic sport, how long until Beer Pong and/or women’s mud wrestling is a demonstration sport?

    Have you seen Craig Sager doing sideline reporting for men’s basketball? The fact that he did his work without wearing a madras sports coat and striped pants with an international orange necktie shows that he actually dresses that way on purpose for his day job.

    Last year, Hope Solo was benched for a women’s soccer final against Brazil and the US lost 4-0. Solo raged against her coach and said that the sub who played for her was inferior and that she (Solo) would have stopped at least two of the goals for sure. The coach was fired; Solo was reinstated to the team and later this week the US women will play Brazil for the gold medal. Hope Solo will be in goal. Will this story have a “Walt Disney ending”?

    Pay attention to the NBC presentation of the Olympics for the rest of the week. There may be a lesson here. NBC will have to go an entire week without having any fresh “Michael Phelps stuff” to put on the air. Watch to see how they handle that situation and perhaps you will get an idea of what ESPN might do once Brett Favre retires for good.

About two years ago, I wrote that there were just too many Halls of Fame in the country. Well, one of these Halls of Fame is closing down and the cynic in me says it is not because the stampede of visitors was too much to keep up with. Dwight Perry summed up my feelings about this in the Seattle Times:

“Employees of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in St. Louis were stunned to hear that the kegler shrine will close its doors in October.

“In fact it was so quiet, eyewitnesses said, that you could hear … nah, too easy.”

The Commissioner of Baseball has the authority to act unilaterally to put an end to activities that are not in the “best interests of baseball”. Clearly, those powers are rarely invoked but there is a situation ongoing at the moment that should get someone in the Commish’s office to sit up and take notice.

The LA Dodgers have acquired several players at the trade deadline and on waiver deals. The rumor is that Greg Maddux will be their next addition. The bad news here is that only Maddux will be paid by the Dodgers; in all the prior deals, the team sending them a player also agreed to continue to pay that player’s salary for the rest of the year. Maybe it is just me, but that smells of conflict of interest.

The Red Sox are paying Manny Ramirez to play in LA. [Aside: That sort of says just how badly they wanted Manny to be Manny in any zip code other than one of the ones in Boston.] In effect, that is like the Red Sox owners lending money to the Dodgers so that they can pay Manny Ramirez and I do not think the idea of one team being in debt to another team is in the “best interests of baseball”.

The fact that Maddux is supposedly going to the Dodgers makes me wonder how he got through waivers and past the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have offense galore but their pitching is avert-your-eyes awful. Maddux may not be the pitcher he was 10 years ago – - that’s why he is available – - but he is better than what is on the Rangers’ staff now. So how did he get past the Rangers?

Finally, here is another Dwight Perry item from the Seattle Times:

“Now available at Dodgers concessions stands: Manny Ramirez caps — complete with attached dreadlocks.

“Now that’s a scary thought: Many being Manny.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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