23 October 2010

Selflessness and sportsmanship



I'm watching Game 6 of the American League baseball series. New York Yankees vs Texas Rangers. And I'm outraged. And pondering the idea of right and wrong. See if you agree.

After Alex Rodriguez got the first hit for the Yankees tonight, a double to center field, Ranger Colby Lewis threw a ball that hit Yankee Nick Swisher on the bounce and Swisher should have gone to first base with Rodriguez staying on third.

Instead, the home plate umpire ruled it a wild pitch and Rodriguez came home to tie the score. But it was a mistake by the umpires. Any umpire on the field who saw what happened could have overruled the call, but no one did. Shame.

I'm flashing back to May, 2005. Rome, Italy. The Rome Masters tennis match.

One set down and serving at 3-5 and 0-40 in the second, Spaniard Fernando Verdasco seemed on the brink of defeat against American Andy Roddick - even more so when his second serve was called out and the umpire started to announce the American as the winner.

Roddick, however, corrected the call, telling the umpire the ball was in. Verdasco went on to hold serve and break his distracted-looking opponent in the following game.

The set went to a tiebreak, which the Spaniard took easily with a series of whipped crosscourt winners. Roddick then put a forehand wide to drop serve in the opening game of the decider and the unseeded Verdasco went on to claim victory.

"Maybe I should have stood on the mark," Roddick told reporters after the match. "I don't think I did anything extraordinary, the umpire would have come down and said the same too. I just saved him the trip. When he (Verdasco) hit it, before I saw the mark, I thought it was out. On a hardcourt I wouldn't have done anything but then I walked back and saw it was good."

So Roddick won and Swisher lost. The Yankees tied the score just now, but I think they lost.

Some may argue that bad calls tend to even themselves out. And they may be right. But calling a bad call 'good' or a good call 'bad' ...that's a good sport. And there's no getting around that.

Roddick 1, Swisher 0.

What will you do today in truth telling? Even to your own apparent loss?

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