Shohei Ohtani was one of the biggest stories during the most recent MLB offseason. Where would he sign? Would he just be a pitcher? Would he be able to hit Major League pitchers? And where would he sign?! Well, that first (and last) question was answered quickly when he struck a deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. But until the beginning of this season, those other questions remained unanswered. He has quickly started to answer them.
Now, Ohtani is definitely not the first Japanese baseball sensation to make the jump to the MLB. Players like Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, and Yu Darvish are among the most prolific Japanese players that have made the move. And there are many others. But there was something else about Ohtani. Something exciting and rarely seen. He was a dominant pitcher, sure. We’ve seen that before. But the things he could do at the plate were what made him so much more exciting than the Japanese stars that came before him.
But, again, the question remained: could he hang in the MLB. Well, we’re only 11 games into the 2018 season, but it looks he can, indeed, hang. The bigger question mark was always; would he be able to hit Major League pitchers? And the answer, so far, is a definitive yes. He is hitting .389 with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs. And his 3 home runs came in three consecutive games. Then there was his second start as a pitcher against the Oakland Athletics this past Sunday.
Ohtani shined just about as bright as anyone could shine in their second career start. He pitched 7 shutout innings with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 12 strikeouts. So, just to makes sure we’re all on the same page, if it wasn’t for those two batters that accounted for the hit and the walk, he nearly pitched a perfect game. To come out and do that in just your second game, with all the pressure and hype that was thrust on him, is truly incredible.
It’s still a little too early to proclaim him a superstar. But things are definitely looking good for him and the Angels. In fact, if he keeps playing like this, he might just be on his way to the Hall of Fame. Only time will tell.
Sports World Today Still Heavily Affected by Covid-19
The unprecedented outbreak of the novel coronavirus badly impacted the normal sports routine worldwide. Massive suspension and cancellation of various sports events were initiated in a move to curb the rapid transmission of the deadly virus earlier this year. Let’s take a look, however, at the condition of the sports world today.
In the world of basketball, Mississippi coach Kermit Davis unfortunately tests positive for COVID-19. His condition might result to him being placed at the sidelines when the season finally begins. The news was announced earlier on Tuesday, adding that Davis will undergo a second test. If he, however, tests positive again, he will be forced to opt out of the Rebels’ first couple of games as he will be required to go through self-quarantine at home.
To offset his absence, though, Ronnie Hamilton is expected to play as head coach during the upcoming home events on November 25 and 26. The Rebels are scheduled to go against Central Arkansas and Jackson State on the said dates. To soften the blow, Davis will be allowed to watch through the practice sessions and even contact the team via virtual means.
During the scheduled basketball season opening, the Indiana Hoosiers won’t have the usual live audience to cheer them on. According to school authorities, the stands will indefinitely remain empty. Nevertheless, officials plan to work closely with local health authorities and the campus and Big Ten leaders to find out when fans can be permitted to enter the Assembly Hall.
The sports world today is anticipating the time when new normal protocols will provide them easier gameplay. As for the Hoosiers, they are used to having the biggest basketball student fanbase.
To stem the lack of live audience, the university plans to put cutouts for sale. These cutouts will be placed on the empty seats. They will be priced at US$25 a piece with the option of having either women’s coach Teri Moren or men’s coach Archie Miller autograph these cutouts which will, then, be sent to the fans who purchase the tickets. Also, ticket buyers are guaranteed to avail of refunds or simply avail of the different options via the varsity club’s online site.
As for Tennessee Tech, the school is presently undergoing a difficult time with regard to their attempt to begin their women’s basketball season. Vanderbilt cancelled their game and then Chattanooga followed suit.
On Tuesday morning, Vanderbilt announced the necessity of cancelling their game against Tennessee Tech that was scheduled for November 25 due to the sudden occurrence of positive tests among their athletes. Following that announcement, Chattanooga made a similar call, stating the need to halt activities for a two-week quarantine. The said move resulted to the cancellation of their schedule games against Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.
Indeed, the sports world today is still reeling from the hideous impacts of the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. At present, it is not only basketball events that are being cancelled and suspended. Several other sports are being halted, as well, as sports authorities struggle to find a way to conduct their events while observing the new normal protocols.
Sports Personality of the Year to Show on December
Even when 2020 witnessed various cancellations, suspensions, and modifications of the different sports events due to the unprecedented onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, there were a few programs that were able to push through including snooker, cricket, football, F1, rugby, golf, tennis, cycling and athletics.
The awaited Sports Personality of the Year event will showcase the different teams that pushed through with their games despite the looming threat of the pandemic, sports celebrities who pushed through with playing despite their sudden, chaotic schedules, and stalwart coaches who made it all happen. The said show will also pay tribute to the different heroes who helped contribute to the said success.
“As we know, it has been a strange and unprecedented year, but we have still been fortunate enough to see plenty of sporting highlights which we look forward to honoring on the night. The 67th BBC Sports Personality of the Year award promises to be another exciting and tough choice for audiences,” shares Barbara Slater, BBC’s Director of Sports.
December’s ceremony will serve as a commemoration of the various heroes, not only in sports, but all over the UK—ordinary citizens who used the gift of sports to help make the situation safe and bearable for all. In a way, the show will be a celebration of health and well-being—the powerful contributions that sports can provide as it keeps people inspired as highlights of this year’s games will be shown during the event, as well.
The present COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in the world of sports. Most scheduled tournaments including the Olympics, the Wimbledon, and the Euro 2020 were severely disrupted as necessary lockdowns and social distancing protocols were put in place to control the abrupt spread of the nefarious disease. At present, many sports programs are attempting to revive the usual flow of things as they grapple with the current social distancing limitations imposed.
The need to wear masks, for instance, makes it difficult for players to move comfortably especially for group games like football, cricket, rugby, and snooker. Experts recommend the need to limit the audience allowed to attend the games, as COVID-19 transmission is highly linked to massive crowd gatherings.
COVID-19 has changed the entire landscape of everyday life. Yet, the slow, but steady, revival of the different games provide athletes and avid sports fans with something to look forward to even when the whole world is still trying to find the best way of handling this ‘new normal’ of living.
The question, however, is: “Will BBC allow a live audience to attend the Sports Personality of the Year event that’s scheduled in December? Or will fans resort to watching the show unfold via live digital streaming, instead? The answer remains to be seen. With the world attempting to slowly find ways to begin life once more, a viable vaccine might be available by then. Nonetheless, everyone is looking forward to the show which will serve as a year’s end consolidation of sorts, as well.
Sports World Mourns the Loss of 29-Year-Old Australian Athlete, Jacinda Barclay
The world of sports pays tribute to Jacinda Barclay, an Australian athlete who died too young. The 29-year-old star was discovered unresponsive when police were called to a residence located in Chidlow, mentions a spokesperson for Western Australia Police Force. At around 4:35 in the afternoon on Monday, St John Ambulance attendants and police arrived in the area and discovered pronounced Barclay to be dead. “The woman’s death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner,” adds the spokesperson.
Barclay, a player for the Greater Western Sydney Giants, helped the team dominate the AFLW. She joined the giants for 23 games in a total of 4 seasons. She represented Australia in the Women’s Baseball World Cup, playing for the country as a pitcher for 5 seasons, as well. During her US debut, Barclay also won the championship for the Chicago Bliss during the Legends Football League.
As the 65th pick, the star athlete joined the Greater Western Sydney Giants in 2016, leaving her former team, the UNSW-ES Bulldogs. The Giants’ club chief executive, David Matthews, posits that the team Is “devastated by her passing.” He says, “As an inaugural Giants AFLW player, Jacinda was a vital part of our club. More than that though, Jacinda’s spirit and infectious personality made her a popular and unforgettable member of the Giants family. She will always be a part of our club. Our thoughts and condolences are with Jacinda’s family and friends during this extremely tough time.”
An athlete in the making
A native of Western Australia, Barclay joined the World Cup when she was only 17 years old. In 2008 until 2016, she was able to bag 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. Baseball Australia chief executive, Cam Vale shares, “It’s truly tragic news and we extend our thoughts to those close to Jacinda. Jacinda made a significant contribution not only to our sport over a long period of time but a number of other sports, on and off the field.”
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by Jacinda’s passing and the loss of a member of our tight-knit baseball community,” he adds.
Widely recognized as a highly respected athlete who played both football and American baseball, Barclay also worked as an assistant life-support technician. For 2021, she was listed as an inactive player. This meant that she was still part of the Giants, although she was to be unavailable for the upcoming player selection.
Gone too soon
Team mates and co-players from the AFLW all share their heartfelt condolences, saddened by her untimely passing. “Rest easy, Jacinda,” Stephanie Chiocci of Collingwood says.
Former captain of Matildas, Melissa Barbieri, has this to say: “Female football is very widespread and intertwined…chances are you know someone who is grieving today. Reach out. Stay with them even if you didn’t know Jacinda Barclay personally, chances are her death is impacting your friends. Strength to all today.” Barbieri’s message resonates with the heavy grief that is brought about by Barclay’s sudden death.
The 2020 Sports Year Amid the Onslaught of COVID-19
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