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  • Bill Chastain

No Participation Trophies, Please!

Bryce Harper recently weighed in on participation trophies while talking to a group of youth baseball players in the D.C. area.

The Nationals All-World outfielder made clear to his audience that receiving a trophy for doing nothing more than playing wasn’t cool. Said Harper to the kids: “No participation trophies, OK? First place only.”

Winning is a part of life. Learning to win is important. Ridding sports of participation trophies will not transform America’s youth into bed-wetting, damaged souls. Kids are tougher than that.

Kudos to Bryce Harper.

Sitting around with Lou Piniella when he managed the Devil Rays, I marveled at a story from his days managing the Mariners. According to Lou, he would have conversations with Ichiro Suzuki — in Spanish. Imagine walking into the West Tampa Sandwich Shop and seeing Lou and Ichiro hunched over Cuban coffee talking baseball in Spanish.

From “EA Sports announces Madden 18 with Tom Brady on the cover will have ‘the most cheat codes ever.’”

I’m excited about the NBA Finals between the Cavs and Warriors. I don’t think we’ve seen two complete teams play for the championship since the Bird-Magic days of yore when deep Lakers and Celtics teams battled for the title every year.

Opponents of the Utah Jazz are forever complaining about the lack of nightlife in St. Lake City. Said Jazz swingman Joe Ingles to the Deseret News: “I’ve got 9-month-old twins. My nightlife finishes about 8 p.m.”

Finally, farewell to my literary hero, Frank Deford, who died this week. Not only was he the best at what he did, he treated people well and was the consummate gentleman.  He will be missed.