So many things I don’t understand.
For instance, I don’t understand how you can always find a van, truck or SUV parked in front of signs that say, “FOR CARS ONLY - NO VANS, TRUCKS OR SUVS.” Why bother to put up the signs if we’re not going to enforce what they say?
And why is the Royal baby such a big deal here? I understand why it is over there, but why were so many people here so giddy and pacing about as though they were going to have a baby themselves? I mean the kid’s still third in line to the throne.
Maybe it’s because at our core, despite van, truck and SUV drivers who park in front of those signs, we’re not really ugly Americans after all. Maybe we’re actually more genial than the rest of the world believes we are. So why not get a little bubbly over the Royal baby, right? As Lt. Frank Drebin once said, “No matter how silly the idea of having a queen might be to us, as Americans, we must be gracious and considerate ...”
And is it just me, or does Prince William remind anybody else of Peyton Manning? And please. Enough of calling the Manning family — likeable as they are — America’s quarterback royalty. Ack! No wonder Johnny Football bugged out.
Speaking of bugging out, how about that Ryan Braun? Talk about your bold-faced liars ... Prior to being suspended for 65 games for taking performance enhancing drugs, the Milwaukee Brewers slugger denied not once, but eight times taking PEDs, with my personal favorite being the denial of Feb. 24, 2012: “If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say, ‘I did it.' By no means am I perfect, but if I’ve ever made any mistakes in my life, I’ve taken responsibility for my actions. I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.”
Guess his life’s worth just 65 games as, this past Monday, we came across Braun saying, “As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization ... I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”
Sure, nobody’s perfect, right? Everybody makes mistakes. And this whole thing really must have taken a toll on Braun and his family, so thank goodness it’s behind him. And I imagine he’s somewhere taking practice cuts right now so he can get back to the game he loves — the game he loves so much that he spent more than a year lying to everybody connected with it.
And speaking of a toll being taken on somebody and his family, what of the original urine collector in this sticky mess, Dino Laurenzi Jr., who received death threats because Braun did nothing but lie? We have no apology for Dino? I’ll bet this all became a bit of a distraction for him too, although this is the business he has chosen. Personally, I’d look for something else to collect, but that’s just me.
What I really didn’t understand about all of this was Major League Baseball saying first thing in its statement, “We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions,” and MLB Players Association executive director Mike Weiner saying, “I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step ...”
Bold step? He was twice caught red-handed, and then negotiated his suspension down with Major League Baseball. Saving your skin is a bold step? Cheating and then lying about it at least eight times and then saying “I’m not perfect” after you’re caught in your lie is taking responsibility? Sure it is, just like the guy who wasn’t a bit sorry he robbed the bank, but who is now very sorry he got caught with the goods.
The guess here is Braun will assume poster boy status for MLB’s fight against PEDs once he is allowed to return to the game he loves, as MLB and the MLBPA both spoke of the positive contributions he would be making in the future, both on and off the field. But with his credibility rating going neck and neck with Anthony Weiner’s, who really needs to see that?
Unfortunately, having now been through several of these PED episodes, there is very little left to surprise us, although word persists that what Braun faced is small potatoes compared to what Alex Rodriguez is about to.
At least something positive is about to happen for the Yankees.
Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at email@example.com
So many things I don’t understand.
Peanuts and Cracker Jack beat any foam finger
Times have changed, and for the better, as this week marks the third year in a row NFL training camps have opened and have not taken center stage in the cities of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington. That, of course, is due to the play of the three baseball teams that inhabit said cities, the Orioles, the Pirates and the Nationals — two of whom hold first place in their respective divisions, with the other one entering play on Wednesday just 2 1/2 games out of first.
How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.
Don’t do it
Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.
He means well, and this time they spared his life
Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.
It’s hotter here than in D.C. or Baltimore
At this time of the year, the weather is a frequent subject of conversation, particularly the temperatures. We are now in the “Dog Days,” usually the hottest days of the year. The term comes from our sun appearing to be near the “Dog Star” (Sirius) and the “Little Dog Star” (Procyon). In reality, the sun is now about 94.5 million miles away while Sirius is 8.6 light years away with Procyon at 11 light years distance. Sunlight takes only 507 seconds to reach us, while the two dog stars’ light takes about a decade to travel to our eyes. So our sun is in the same direction (but not distance) as these two bright winter evening stars.
Sale of quart-sized Mason jars lagging, merchants claim
The opening day of Maryland’s squirrel hunting season is Sept. 6 and I am guessing you will be able to drive a lot of miles on the Green Ridge State Forest and see very few vehicles belonging to hunters of the bushytail. It wasn’t always that way. In the early 1960s, when I was a high school student in Cumberland, there was no Interstate 68. What existed was U.S. Route 40 and in the last couple of hours before daylight on the opening day of squirrel season there was an almost unbroken line of tail lights and brake lights between Cumberland and Polish Mountain.
Columnist, son are range finders, but where are .22 shells?
We feel pretty lucky on this side of the Potomac to have a nice shooting range to utilize for free and within decent driving distance.
Opposition and inclusion understood
Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.
Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.
Further proof you should never bet on baseball
Had you known in March that ...
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