Spanish team needs to fully apologize

The most offensive statement concerning the Spanish basketball team’s controversial photo was not the actual photo itself, but in the apology, or lack thereof, that followed afterward.

By now, the photo has made its rounds on the Internet and sports talk shows. It shows the 15 Spanish players on the national team in uniform pulling back the skin on their eyelids, in a “slanted-eye” pose in front of a dragon pictured on a basketball court.

Indeed, the photo is clearly offensive on its face, and there’s no doubt that the Spaniards shouldn’t have taken this picture. It’s racist as its worst, and thoughtless at its best. You’d figure at some point along the way, one of the Spanish players, or the coaches, or the advertisers, or the Olympic committee, really, anyone, would’ve pointed out that this was going to be offensive before publication.

Yet it slipped all the way through the many levels of review that are in place, and now the Spanish team has tainted its imagine, something that will follow it for quite some time.

But the reaction from the Spanish team was even more perplexing.

“It was something . . . supposed to be funny or something but never offensive in any way,” said forward Pau Gasol, who currently plays for the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.

Continue reading “Spanish team needs to fully apologize”

Close but?: Mussina on the verge

Mike Mussina can whittle his illustrious career down into one word.


Four times in his career, he’s almost thrown a perfect game. In four different seasons, he’s almost won 20 games. He’s almost won a Cy Young, finishing in the top six eight separate times. And, perhaps the most frustrating to Mussina, he’s almost won a World Series, coming within one out in 2001.

Always the bridesmaid. Never the bride.

But as Mussina pushes into the twilight of his career, he can add another “almost”: He was almost written off, only to remind everyone of why he’s considered a borderline Hall of Famer.

The 2008 season has been a renaissance for Mussina. He’s 15-7 with a 3.27 ERA, and one of the few bright spots in a Yankee rotation that has been marred by injuries, inexperience and ineffectiveness. In hindsight, it is the most improbable of Mussina’s Cy Young-type seasons, considering where he started this year.

Continue reading “Close but?: Mussina on the verge”