Liam Kearns’ side face Kerry in Group A of the McGrath Cup.The Kingdom will field their U21 side in Tralee.Tipp’s boss says they’ll provide a good test for his players. Tipp FM will bring you regular updates on the action at Austin Stack Park, which gets underway at 2 o’clock.Today’s other McGrath Cup clash is between Clare and Waterford.The Group B encounter in Meelick also begins at 2.
The punishingly long season is a player’s biggest challenge. It teases his mind and eyes into thinking he’s successfully grooved. Then it deals him an 0-for-10 and reminds him that four months remain.That is why pennant races were once so glorious. They were decided by teams playing on lactic acid, desperate men with failing legs, finding greatness nevertheless.An hors d’oeuvre of a season will not even test a 25-man roster, let alone the full 40.Let’s go all the way back to 2019. Washington lost 31 of its first 50 games and was 10 games behind in the National League East, with the second-worst record in the league. The Nationals are serving an open-ended reign as world champions.The 2003 Florida Marlins were 21-29, 12 ½ games out, on May 25. They also won a World Series. Baseball is about a muscular body of work, not a skeleton. A 50-game Major League Baseball season is eyewash. A zero-game season is true Visine.It lifts the veil, clears the vision, confirms all our suspicions.We need a lost season. Baseball, or at least the version that we cherish, needs it too.Fifty games is nothing. It is the equivalent of a 3.7-game college football season, a 22-hole Masters. That, however, is what the owners and commissioner Rob Manfred were proposing. Now they threaten to call the whole thing off because the Players Association won’t promise it won’t file a grievance.What’s the rush? The networks want to get the regular season done by the end of September and the playoffs done before Nov. 1, but MLB, never shy about shoving its biggest games into a snow globe, could easily find a domed neutral site and wrap up the World Series in mid-November or later.No, the owners are living up to their longtime cynical norms.They are capitalizing on a pandemic to try to impose a salary cap when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after 2021.They also pushed for replacement players in 1995 and voted to “contract” the Twins and Expos out of business, and even considered a merger to create the Oakland-Anaheim Athletic Angels, the year before the Angels were world champs.To them, baseball is “product,” like hair gel, or fixtures in a tool-and-die shop.By contrast, the NBA and NHL worked with their players to find wildly unnatural playoff solutions that were solutions nevertheless. Baseball’s warlords backed off a full pro-rated salary promise they made in March.From here, the toxicity and mistrust will surely build. But it isn’t just major league baseball that the owners dislike.They just conducted a ridiculous five-round draft that threw hundreds of deserving players into a free-agent world of maximum $20,000 bonuses. Then the minor leagues canceled their seasons, too, in the wake of MLB’s campaign to shave off teams.A lost year of development can’t be replaced, but a lost year of baseball can be, in this entertainment-laden world.Sure, baseball fans have always returned after work stoppages. But this year the whole world stopped, and people discovered just what they could do without, including bad baseball.It is possible that a 2020 season, if played the way 2019 was, would have put COVID-19 to sleep. Four of the 30 teams won more than 100 games and four others lost more than 100.The Tigers lost 114 games and had no one with more than 15 home runs or nine pitching wins. The 2-3-4 starters in their rotation were 7-43. Red Klotz and the Washington Generals don’t belong in baseball.Competitive parity isn’t the only reason to hit the pause button. A lost season might help us find the game.Baseball has devolved from an unpredictable night at the Improv to the regimented precision of The Nutcracker. Robot umpires bring outrage, but how about robot right fielders who have to fetch a laminated card that tells them where to stand?The spontaneity and tempo have disappeared, replaced by an artless, ligament-crushing parade of 99 mph fastballs in and 110 mph fly balls out. Managers, often the game’s most endearing characters, become nervous, disposable middlemen.In simpler times, a new baseball league would threaten the torpid status quo. Who knows? Maybe certain players and agents have the power to create one, with new contract rules, the drafting of young collegians, higher mounds to prevent energy and cool the offenses, 28-man rosters.Or maybe it’s a matter of turning off baseball in 2020. It might spread humility and creativity, and restore the circuits. But that presumes you can find someone who wants it back on.Editor’s note: This article has been updated to remove an incorrect reference to the Tigers playing in the 2014 World Series. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
MASON CITY — When the Mason City Aquatic Center hopefully reopens in 2021, there will be a new aquatic playground feature. Recreation Superintendent Brian Pauly says the current recreation play areas are cracking, fading and starting to show their age after 17 years, and it’s also becoming a safety concern due to the cracking and sharp edges. Pauly hopes the new equipment can be enjoyed next year. “This is replacing the structure in the recreation pool that’s on the south side of it. I am very hopeful COVID-19 is least controlled where we can have an aquatic center season in 2021.” Pauly says with the pool closed it will be best to do this project right away. “By doing this now, this actually hopefully does not delay the opening because of construction for the 2021 season.” Pauly says the lone bidder on the project, SplashTacular of Kansas City, was the company that bought out the company that installed the original equipment at the Aquatic Center. SplashTacular said it was going to cost the city more to refurbish the existing playground compared to completely replacing it. The Mason City City Council last night approved a contract for the new project for $99,888.
The afternoon wind blew across central Monrovia yesterday as the living struggled to get their businesses in order, while at the nearby Palm Grove Cemetery, the pungent smell of feces dishonor Liberia’s dead.A sprawling cemetery spanning Center and Gurley Streets, Palm Grove, Monrovia’s oldest cemetery, is where ordinary and prominent Liberian dead have been buried for generations. They are committed to the ground to await the Lord’s return, said a local pastor on Center Street. Except for those who own family plots in this cemetery, it is now closed for any further burials.On the outskirts of the cemetery is the unmarked mass grave bearing the remains of the late President William R. Tolbert assassinated in the 1980 coup and many other Liberian leaders and prominent citizens who shared his fate.But a visit to the cemetery yesterday revealed a sorrowful sight that drew more questions than answers. In the end, the stench and other evidences of vandalism indicate how dishonorably and shamefully the Liberian society has allowed its dead to lie.Said a bewildered young mechanic, who works at a nearby shop, “This is not how to honor the dead.”At the Center Street entrance sat several workers from the Monrovia City Corporation, the custodian of memorial grounds of the Liberian dead.A worker who spoke to the Daily Observer said, “The way we Liberians honor our dead is a disgrace.” His concern became quite evident when closer survey of the burial grounds revealed what he described as the “downright disrespect to our loved ones who have left us.” The Daily Observer saw that several graves were open or as the worker explained, “Were broken into by criminals who have no respect for the dead.” And the living have shown no concern or respect for their dead either.Though all sides of the cemetery are enclosed by a high fence, yet residents in the area and other people have found it expedient to respond to nature’s call as well as throw trash inside the fence.Though MCC workers provide some security to ward off those who have no business there, a worker said, “It’s been difficult to stop people from throwing all kinds of garbage inside here.” There are locks, of course, but when the workers are gone for the day, the miscreants and deviants then take over the cemetery grounds, the Daily Observer learned.“You see the empty grave over there?” a worker pointed out to the Daily Observer. “They took everything that could be stolen.” A closer look showed that the only remains was a skull lying in the trash.The worker who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak for the MCC continued, “Look at these graves that are broken. Who would do a thing like that?” Though that question was hard to answer, he admitted that there are people who live in the cemetery.Tomorrow, March 11 is National Decoration Day, and Liberians from all walks of life are expected to visit the burial places of their loved ones. Although the recent Ebola disaster has contributed to the frustration of Liberians, many interviewed by the Daily Observer suggested that a new direction to ensure that the dead repose in honor and dignity was needed and it should be led by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.“We want her to help direct our actions,” said a resident on Center Street. “We may lose our sense of duty due to the many deaths, but this is not how to honor our dead.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)