Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

When baseballs attack

By Darryl Webb

"I was really glad I saw it coming."

I know that statement above sounds a little confusing so allow me to explain.

I don't know how many professional sporting events I've covered in the last 20 years. Let's just say it's been a lot and in all that time I've never been hurt. There have been a couple of close calls here and there, but nothing serious until earlier this week.

Had I not seen this sphere coming toward me at a blistering speed, the end result could have been a lot worse. I'm not saying it would have been as bad as Sports Illustrated's photographer John Iacono, who was hit by an overthrown ball in 1999, shattering his jaw which resulted in two titanium plates, some wire mess and something like 20 screws. But it definitely would have been worse than a headache, a bump on the head and two hours spent at Urgent Care.

As I stood in the first base photo well between innings, trying to figure another angle to shoot the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Albert Pujols, I saw Angels' third baseman Mark Trumbo make a throw to first - a throw he's made a million times I'm sure. But this time the trajectory was off, it had some extra height to it, and unless Pujols was suddenly 10 feet-tall that ball was headed in my direction.

Instincts took over – DUCK AND COVER.

The problem was I didn't have much time, maybe 2 or 3 seconds at the most and I was standing on a 4-foot tall platform holding thousands of dollars worth of camera gear so I couldn't just duck that easily. Instead I turned my cameras around, turned my back to the field and hunched over as much as I could. And waited.

from Photographers' Blog:

Before a ball is bowled

Reuters Photographer Parivartan Sharma takes us to the town of Meerut, north of Delhi, where cricket balls are still being made the old-fashioned way - by hand. India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will co-host the 2011 Cricket World Cup starting on February 19.

The Making Of A Cricket Ball - Cricket World Cup Preview from Vivek Prakash on Vimeo.

Former Estonian bouncer adds Baltic spice to sumo

- Baruto throws his weight around

Baruto throws his weight around

After the nightclub fracas that toppled a Mongolian grand champion from grace who would have thought it would take a former bouncer from Estonia to help clean up the mess in the troubled world of sumo?

The soft-spoken giant Baruto gave the ancient Japanese sport a shot in the arm after sealing his promotion to the sport’s second highest rank of “ozeki” with a 14-1 showing at the spring grand sumo tournament less than two months after “yokozuna” Asashoryu quit in disgrace amid a “booze rage” probe.

from Photographers' Blog:

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…?

Snow. Looks good on those Christmas cards, doesn’t it? Fun for small children. Even nice for penguins in the zoo. But photographers covering soccer? Brrrrrrrrrr. Not really.

Let’s get one thing straight. We Brits go on about the weather like a stuck record, but when it comes to it, we can’t cope with it. That’s why we live in Britain.

Five defining moments from a decade of sport

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As the decade draws to a close, we pick five sporting moments which have defined the last 10 years.

1. Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic flame at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, a Games set in a country which embraces the outdoor life and punches well above its weight in most sports.

Woods takes first step on road to redemption

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Slug is GOLF-CHAMPIONS/By Kevin Fylan and Tom Pilcher

Tiger Woods’s decision to take an indefinite break from golf will be a real worry for a sport that has relied on the drawing power of the world’s best player for so long but it might prove to be a necessary first step on the player’s own road to redemption.

“He’ll figure it out — we’ve always been a forgiving society,” major record holder Jack Nicklaus said before Woods announced his decision to take a break.

from The Great Debate UK:

Gates closing for commercial partners in sport

Simon Chadwick- Professor Simon Chadwick, Director, Centre for the International Business of Sport, Coventry, UK. The opinions expressed are his own. -

This summer’s Tour de France was truly historic: the race finished without anyone having returned a positive dope test. Monumental! In a sport seemingly beset with drug problems, professional cycling appeared to have turned the corner, started over, seen the error of its ways, cleaned up its act etc.

Infamy! Infamy! Sporting cheats and scams

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johnsonIf Renault are found guilty of the race-fixing charge they face in Paris next week — and the Formula One team announced today they would not be contesting it — the incident will go down as one of the most brazen attempts at rule-breaking in sport.

As our F1 correspondent Alan Baldwin asked on this blog last week, What would you do if someone asked you to drive into a wall?

Is Michael Vick an asset or a liability for NFL?

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Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick’s prison sentence followed by house arrest for participating and bankrolling a dog-fighting operation officially ended on Monday July 20.

It took exactly one night for Vick’s name to be once again embroiled in controversy. Vick’s Virginia-based lawyer Lawrence Woodward denied reports that his client spent his first night of freedom at a Virginia Beach strip club. “It is absolutely, categorically false,” Woodward said.

from AxisMundi Jerusalem:

Pushing back cricket’s boundary for Israel’s bedouin

cricket

For decades, the small number of cricket followers in Israel has been trying to clear up what is so far an unsolved mystery: Why the sport never took off in the country after the British lowered the Union Jack on pre-state Israel in 1948. 

Cricket, along with golf, is probably the most enduring bequest of the British Empire to its former colonies, but definitely not in the Jewish state.

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