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Published April 1, 2011
for GQ's April edition
PRESIDENTIAL PARDON: YAHOO SPORTS’ Kevin Kaduk noted PRESIDENT OBAMA “elected to skip his standing invitation to opening day festivities at Nationals Park -- or any other ballpark, for that matter.” The White House “didn’t cite an official reason for staying home, but it’s not too hard to speculate why he left the Nationals’ first pitch duties to representatives of the five branches of the armed forces this time.” Kaduk: “With the war going on in Libya and Japan still trying to recover from its natural disasters and nuclear threats, perhaps President Obama and his advisers felt it wouldn't be appropriate to take an afternoon off from his duties to create a frivolous headline with more serious matters at hand” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/31).
RECOGNIZING A PIONEER: Baseball writer Murray Chass noted MLB and the MLBPA on Tuesday announced “a way of dealing with concussions” without “fanfare, without a hint that it was coming, without Congress or any other body or individual urging them to do something.” The two groups announced a new 7-day disabled list, and Chass wrote N.Y. Times reporter ALAN SCHWARZ' “name should be attached to the list because he singlehandedly has created the coverage of concussions in all sports.” Chass: “His has been the most remarkable feat in sports journalism history.” Schwarz has “done it for all sports and all levels of sports, from pee wee leaguers on up.” Chass: “When you read about what any sport is doing about concussions and other head injuries, think Alan Schwarz. No one paid any attention to those injuries before he began writing about them.” Chass also wrote MLB and the MLBPA deserve credit “for confronting the problem without being dragged kicking and screaming into doing something, as the National Football League had to be” (MURRAYCHASS.com, 3/31).
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: MIKE O'HARA, one of two fans chosen by MLB to spend the '11 season in its Fan Cave, was featured on Thursday's episode of CBS' "The Early Show." CBS’ Chris Wragge asked, “Is it a little bit daunting to think that you have to watch over 2,400 Major League Baseball games? In the dog days of August -- no offense to the Nationals or Pirates -- but you’re going to have to sit through some dogs at some point, right?” O’Hara: “I love baseball. I’m a guy, like I saw ‘Ghostbusters’ 150 times. At least this will be different every time so it’s not a big deal” (“The Early Show,” CBS, 3/31).
NAMES: Late Tigers announcer ERNIE HARWELL's voice "lives on," as Detroit Public Television is "circulating a link for a five-minute video it taped of Harwell reading 'Casey at the Bat' to a studio audience of children" in June '03 (CRAINSDETROIT.com, 3/31)....YES Network's and MLB Network's AL LEITER Thursday morning participated in the "daily bell-ringing ceremony" at the N.Y. Stock Exchange along with one of Anheuser-Busch's Clydesdales (MLB.com, 3/31)....Angels Chair DENNIS KUHL ran in Sunday's Angels 5K, and the 63-year-old "finished a respectable 10th in his age division with a time of 28 minutes, 10 seconds." He also recorded a "personal-best pace of a 9:03-minute mile" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/30).