Sports: Wednesday, May 29, 2024

FRLL Finale Tonight On 1450, Nats Fall To Braves 2-0, BoSox End Orioles’ 5-Game Win Streak

Jake Irvin sets Career K mark against Braves with strikeout number 10. Courtesy Nationals Radio Network…

Sports: Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Nats Double Up Braves 8-4, Os Win Fifth Straight, Clarke Upsets Madison in 2B Baseball

Lane Thomas strokes a double in his return to the Nats’ lineup in an 8-4 win over Atlanta. Courtesy Nationals Radio Network…

Fathers And Sons

Greetings from The Booth!

A little housecleaning to start. Congrats to the James Wood High School baseball team, which fell just short of a Class 4 state title last weekend, losing to powerful Hanover 11-0 in the title game. The Colonels, who finished 22-6, simply ran into a buzzsaw, as Hanover, last year’s runners-up, were a team on a mission. When the sting of a title game loss wears off, JWHS will look back on a great accomplishment, as they were the first Colonel baseball squad to make it to the state tournament since the 1985 team.

And, congratulations to the Clarke County High School Boys soccer team who completed an undefeated season last weekend in capturing the Class 2 title with a win over Glenvar in the championship game. The Eagles ran roughshod through their regular season opponents on the way to a 23-0 record, as they brought the hardware back to Berryville. Way to go Eagles!

This Sunday is Father’s Day, and this week’s VFB is tough to write. Father-Son relationships can be complicated, especially where sports is concerned. I think a lot of fathers live vicariously through their sons’ sports accomplishments. I certainly saw some of that growing up, although I don’t think that was the case with my dad. My father had to work at a young age and didn’t really have time for organized athletics himself, but never really pressured me or my brother to play sports.

Once we decided to play, however, my dad was more apt to criticize us than give us praise. I remember the time in Little League when I couldn’t close the deal on an otherwise good pitching performance, and he gave it to me good on the way home. There was also the time he was pretty hard on meĀ  at the only track meet he ever saw me run. That week I had come down with shin splints, and basically limped around the track in the mile run, a race I was expected to win. When an encouraging word was needed, none came.

But there was plenty of good stuff, too. My dad took me to my first major league game, between the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins at RFK Stadium. I’d never seen grass that green, or uniforms so white. There were the countless times that after long days of running a bread route for the Schmidt Baking Company, that he would throw football and teach us pass patterns, or toss us high pop ups that I thought would never come down. I don’t think my dad ever missed a Little League game. There’s the memory of my dad confronting my Midget League football coach after the season finale because I played a grand total of 26 seconds the entire season. And, it was my dad who taught me how to compile earned run and batting averages, and countless other things that solidified my love of sports.

Again, Father-Son relationships are complicated, but I choose to remember the good things as we approach Father’s Day. If your dad is still around, make sure you at least give him a phone call. Better yet, take him to a ball game.

Until the next visit from The Booth…GO DADS!




Money Talks

Greetings from The Booth!

With all quiet at Shenandoah University, we turn our attention to James Wood High School baseball, who as of this writing, is 2 wins away from a state championship. The 21-5 Colonels advanced to the semifinals Tuesday with a 5-1 win over Salem, and will now face Monocan on Friday in Fredericksburg. It’s worth noting that James Wood baseball hasn’t been to the state tournament since 1985. How long ago was that? Ronald Reagan was in his second term, Back To The Future was the top-grossing film, We Are The World was the number-one song that year, and in 1985, gas was $1.12 a gallon (I had to throw that in there). In other words, it’s been awhile. Good luck Colonels in your quest to bring a title back home this weekend!

Well, the PGA Tour and the golf world have been turned upside down by the rival tour known as the LIV Invitational Golf Series, which has it’s inaugural event this week in London. Some big names have defected from the PGA Tour, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, and Dustin Johnson to name a few. Johnson was reportedly offered $125 million for joining the LIV. All who have joined the LIV now face action from the PGA Tour on a case by case basis, including suspensions.

Maybe the most notable name to join the LIV is Phil Mickelson. Mickelson, always a lightning rod for controversy, is coming off a self-induced 4 month hiatus from competitive golf, has decided to jump to the Saudi-backed LIV. You might remember that his comments about the Saudis earlier this year sparked some backlash.

The new LIV Tour is being funded by the financial arm of the Saudi government, valued at some $600 billion, so money is not going to be an issue. The controversy lies in the alleged human rights violations of the Saudis, who were also responsible for the assassination of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. By financially backing sports leagues and organizations (like the WWE), the Saudis are being accused of something called “Sportswashing,” the practice of distracting the public from their abuses by funding sports.

At this week’s LIV press conference , Mickelson fielded the first 26 questions, including those about “Sportswashing.” While denouncing human rights violations, Mickelson is still taking the money from the Saudi-backed tour. This is yet another example of the hypocrisy that now permeates the sports world. The NBA and supposed social justice warriors like Lebron James have no trouble taking money from and climbing into bed with China, one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. James, in particular, is very outspoken in his quest for social justice, yet remains aligned with Nike, whose products are made by Chinese laborers who work under the crushing boot of the CCP.

Apparently, for Phil and his PGA Tour defectors…money talks.

Until the next visit from The Booth…GO COLONELS!