Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

UPDATE: Does Big Mac belong in the Hall of Fame?

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Former St. Louis Cardinals star Mark McGwire is sworn in to testimony at the House of Representatives hearing on Government Reform in Washington, March 17, 2005.

In a statement sent to various news outlets on Monday Mark McGwire finally admitted what many had already suspected.

“I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize,” McGwire said in the release.  “I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”

McGwire said his decision to talk about his steroid use was prompted by his new position as St. Louis’ hitting coach.

McGwire said he feels he has an obligation to talk about this part of his career and answer questions.

Yankees back winning — good for baseball?

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sabathiaHomegrown talent and store-bought superstars — the Yankees formula for success for their 27th World Series championship claimed Wednesday with a Game Six victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that returned the team to the winners’ circle for the first time in what seemed to Yankee Nation like an endless nine years of waiting.

A bottomless checking account for free agents is not the only thing making the Yankees great.

A Reuters Sportswrap of heroic proportions

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Sportswrap is back with a bang, as we take in Hideki Matsui’s heroic performance for the New York Yankees, Usain Bolt bottle-feeding a creature that will one day outrun him and Rafa Benitez trying to invoke the spirit of You’ll Never Walk Alone only to come a cropper in the Champions League.

Written by Kevin Fylan, presented by Owen Wyatt from our Canary Wharf studios and with a jaunty hat tip to Half Man Half Biscuit for the Liverpool joke.

Time to consider warm weather territory for future World Series?

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BASEBALL/Last weekend’s wintry conditions in the Bronx made ear flaps and balaclavas essential gear for some players and contributed to a reel of American League Championship Series fielding bloopers worthy of the old Keystone Kops.

Temperatures dipped into the low 40s and winds whipped a cold rain through Yankee Stadium, only a few degrees short of bringing a flurry of snowflakes.

World Series: Fall classic for the rich?

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If the broadcasting Gods had their way, this year’s World Series match up would feature the New York Yankees versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Then again, the Yankees’ last championship in 2000, dubbed “the subway series by New Yorkers, was derided almost everywhere else as a contest between “payroll #1 (the Yankees) and payroll #2” (the Mets). Where did that leave smaller markets?BASEBALL/

from Raw Japan:

Ichiro: Japan’s greatest sporting export

Japan’s Ichiro Suzuki underlined his position as his country’s greatest sporting export after shattering one of Major League Baseball’s oldest records.

The Seattle Mariners outfielder was described as a "Hercules" by fellow players after becoming the first man to record 200 hits for nine straight seasons.

Mike Schmidt makes the case for reinstating Pete Rose

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Twenty years ago this week, Pete Rose received the harshest of all of baseball’s penalties: a lifetime ban for betting on games while managing the Cincinnati Reds, the team that brought him fame as a player and infamy as a manager.

SPORT BASEBALL ROSEIn return for his admission, MLB wouldn’t embarrass Rose by exposing its evidence against him.

Technology and the modern sports fan

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NBA/“What are you doing?” This simple question is the basic premise of Twitter, the growing social media website that has transformed how many fans get their daily dose of sports news.

In addition to the newsfeeds provided by established brands (@ReutersSport is a good one!) there are feeds directly from the major sports offices (@MLB,@NFL, @NBA). Then there are the athletes themselves, providing everything from perspective on current events to personalized fan interaction.

The Lasting Hangover of Baseball’s Steroid Era

David Ortiz - Photo by Mike Segar / Reuters

Today’s report by the New York Times revealed David Ortiz to be the latest in an ever-growing list of Major League Baseball players guilty of using illegal performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Ortiz’s name is now included on what has become an overhyped and mysterious list of names that tested positive back in 2003, before mandatory testing was put into place.

It was confirmed that Ortiz’s 2003 Boston Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez is also present on the list, confirming lingering suspicion surrounding him ever since Ramirez was suspended 50 games this season for using an estrogen-based drug that acts as a masking agent for PEDs.

Too Hard To Say Goodbye

In order to put yourself at the top of any sport (or any profession), it usually requires a mental toughness that differentiates you from the pack. A drive to not only succeed, but to persevere is programmed into the psyche for these men and women.

The signing of future Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez and the ongoing saga surrounding former/current NFL quarterback Brett Favre are just some recent examples. To get yourself in the mindset to compete you train your mind just as any other set of muscles, but it can be tough for these greats to just call it quits and walk away. If you’ve never let injury or exhaustion hold you back, how can aging be viewed in a different light?

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