August 27, 2013

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The Week In Sports

By: Anson Whaley

Japan wins Little League World Series: Japan and the U.S. (Chula Vista, CA) battled for the Little League World Series final on Sunday and for the second time in three years, Japan came out on top, winning 6-4. Despite a close matchup, the game still featured its trademark sportsmanship. After hitting Giancarlo Cortez in the helmet, pitcher Kazuki Ishida went to first base to check on him, shake his hand, and apologize. After the game, both teams shook hands and even exchanged hugs. Despite several bad calls both ways, as always, there wasn’t any complaining by the players and even the coaches were held in check. The Little League World Series remains the standard for sportsmanship.

Allen Iverson will officially retire: Yeah, I get it. The obvious reaction is, ‘Wait, didn’t AI hang up his sneakers years ago?’ Technically, no. He hasn’t played in the NBA since 2010 or even overseas since 2011 when he suited up in Turkey, but Iverson had never officially given it up. That should change next week as word broke that Iverson has finally realized his NBA days are over. Regardless of the years it took to make it official, AI has to be a Hall of Famer. For years early in his career, he was arguably the league’s Most Valuable Player leading some very mediocre Philadelphia teams to the playoffs, and even once, the Finals. His career 43% field goal percentage is modest (if not below average) for a star guard, but he was one of the game’s most prolific scorers.

Vince Young is returning to the NFL with the Green Bay Packers.

Vince Young to get another shot in NFL: Vince Young hasn’t been on an NFL roster for a regular season game since 2011 when he suited up with the Philadelphia Eagles, but could be back in the league this season as a backup. Young has impressed in Green Bay in training camp and by all indications, will be the backup to star Aaron Rodgers. He attended training camp with the Buffalo Bills in 2012, but was cut before the regular season. Young’s chances of making the Packers’ roster dramatically increased when the team released Graham Harrell. How he will perform in a regular season game is unknown, but he’s got a track record in the NFL and as a backup, is surely worth a small gamble.

Ryan Braun apologizes (finally): Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger Ryan Braun found himself in an awkward position after the recent Biogenesis scandal rocked Major League Baseball. He was named among the suspended players who had taken a deal giving up their right to appeal, virtually declaring his guilt in taking PEDs after previously denying it. Braun apologized last week, but it will take a lot more than that for him to get back into good graces with fans. The bigger problem for many isn’t so much that he took the drugs initially. Rather, it’s that he lied about it, denying the truth until he was caught. That typically doesn’t go all that well – see Rafael Palmeiro.

Miguel Tejada suspended for 105 games: In another drug-related issue, Miguel Tejada was dealt a 105-game ban for his reported use of Adderall. Tejada’s penalty was so stiff because he was said to have failed two tests before a suspension was handed down. Having previously been suspended for a failed test, these were Tejada’s second and third flunked tests. The curious thing is that Tejada apparently had permission to take the drug for his ADD previously. However, his permit ran out and he continued taking it. A 105-game ban for a drug legitimately being used to treat a disorder might seem harsh, but baseball really had little choice. If he no longer had the required permission, technically, he violated the rules and baseball’s front office could find itself in a bit of a sticky situation if they allowed him to skate free.

Soccer star Ronaldinho has dental surgery: Well, okay.

Claude Giroux injured by golf club: Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux had an unfortunate mishap, injuring a finger during a round of golf when a club accidentally shattered with pieces going into his finger. While he’s expected to fully recover from the tendon damage, it will take a little over a month. That sounds bad but things could have been much worse for the star. While he could be out for preseason games if the injury is too painful, Giroux shouldn’t miss much, if any, regular season time. The Flyers’ first game is on October 2nd and he should be back to 100% right around that time.

Calbert Cheaney to begin coaching career: Former Indiana Hoosiers star and NBA player Calbert Cheaney recently left his post as Director of Basketball Operations at his alma mater to take an assistant coaching job at St. Louis University. Cheaney was one of college basketball’s most celebrated players in the 1990s and will try his hand as a coach now.

Ian Kinsler hustles his way to inside-the-park-homer: Note to Little Leaguers – always run as hard as you can.

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