Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Extra

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Extra

Article excerpt

Byline: Scott Kendrick

2CENTS

Here's how much the rest of the world hates us.

Baseball, a game that was invented in the United States, is still called the "national pastime" here and has a presence across the world, was voted out of the Olympics.

Meanwhile, we're giving out gold medals for curling, which is essentially shuffleboard on ice. No offense to those who curl, but this belongs in the Olympics about as much as Yahtzee.

"Bob, he really needs to roll triple-4s now to get that 35-point bonus, or his four years of training were all for nothing. . . ."

Seriously, though: Next month, the World Baseball Classic will debut, and the folks at Major League Baseball desperately want all of us --fans and media -- to treat it like it's the Olympics. But it won't be, because it's going to look like we just had a fantasy draft of teams in spring training based on how their names sound. No kidding: Mike Piazza of Norristown, Pa., and David Dellucci of Baton Rouge, La., are playing for Italy.

Sure, in two weeks, the vast majority will go back to not caring about curling, luge, ice dancing and likely even hockey. But they're on the map because the International Olympic Committee says so.

Only some good arguments, and maybe some positive international goodwill from the leaders of this country, will change that.

THE THIRD BARBER

Despite being the NFL's most valuable player, the Seattle Seahawks' Shaun Alexander has an identity problem.

He is sometimes mistaken for being one of the Barber twins, Tiki or Ronde. Tiki plays for the New York Giants and Ronde for Tampa Bay.

Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, according to The Associated Press, said last week in Honolulu: "They're triplets."

Said Ronde: "Shaun was telling us he was in a mall in Seattle and somebody said, 'Hey, Tiki, what's up?' He said, 'No, I'm not Tiki.' And the guy said, 'OK, Ronde, have a good day.' "

Added Alexander: "We do definitely resemble each other and definitely do all sound a little alike," Alexander said, "but I'm definitely the tallest, better looking of the three."

Said Tiki: "Taller, bigger, rushed for more yards. I'll give him that. …

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