There are so many wonderful things about sports. We are also constantly reminded about the dark side of sports as well. For example, take this past Monday (Memorial Day) as a reference point. Many woke up to the news that former number 1 golfer in the world Tiger Woods was arrested for a DUI in Florida. Tiger isn’t the first athlete nor the last to be caught in this dangerous position.
Later in the day on Monday one of baseball’s biggest stars Mike Trout injured a ligament in his thumb that will require surgery. Many expect Trout to be out for the next 6-8 weeks. Trout too will not be last athlete to suffer an injury while playing a sport that they thrive at.
Then we have the case of Bryce Harper. Harper also is one of baseball’s biggest stars and he took exception to a pitch thrown by Giants reliever Hunter Stickland. The pitch hit Harper and “it was on.” Harper elected to charge the mound and despite a wild helmet toss he connected on Strickland and also was struck himself. The benches cleared and the ugly side of baseball was on display.
So three separate scenarios all impacting people and the sports world. Tiger’s happened off the course and is something that will cast a shadow over his dramatically declining career. This incident won’t have an impact on his past greatness but it will cast a shadow over his attempted comeback. Woods has since apologized and must go through the typical public shame that comes with his decision.
Mike Trout’s injury happened while he was trying to make a play on the diamond. Injuries happen in all sports and at all times. Baseball seems to be in a spot where it needs it’s biggest stars around to boost the game. Missing Madison Bumgarner already and now add Mike Trout to the mix and baseball could use a break (no pun intended).
Bryce Harper made a decision that many others have made. He elected to charge the mound. He has the right and he will deal with the ensuing punishment. To me the message is this, if Bryce Harper charges the mound, well then I better. More guys will follow and some will elect not to do it. This seemed personal between Strickland and Harper and both will get fined and suspended. The Giants missing Strickland isn’t a big deal, the Nationals and MLB without Harper is a bigger deal. He will come back and continue to impress but this was not a good day for MLB.
So the three separate stories are a constant reminder of what can be great can also turn quickly. Tiger’s career seems to be in a free fall. Trout was tracking another amazing season but now an injury will curtail his gaudy numbers. Bryce Harper showed the nasty side of baseball and will continue to get that label of an “unlikeable star”. I guess this is all just a part of what the sports world truly is, some good, bad and ugly.