Yunel Escobar, homophobia and the folly of tolerance


My mom has a thing for fools. More correctly, she has a thing for saying the word “fool.” She loves it. Enjoys saying “fool” the way most women enjoy eating chocolate. Curls her bottom lip beneath her top row of teeth so she can push the word out with extra force; the fricative morphs into … Continue reading

July 21, 2001: Life as a LOOGY — Do one thing really really well


Story originally appeared July 21, 2011 at thestar.com MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER Seconds after ordering the intentional walk that loads the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 5-5 tie against the Washington Nationals, then-Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez marches to the mound to take the ball from the outgoing pitcher. In … Continue reading

July 22, 2011: Big bopper DH is a rare sight these days


Story first appeared July 22, 2011 in the Toronto Star. MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER On the first Sunday in July, Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind traded places to cool down Phillies star pitcher Cliff Lee. Though he’s the team’s everyday first baseman, Lind took over as the designated hitter that day, and singled off Lee … Continue reading

July 21, 2011: The catcher: Baseball’s most demanding and least appreciated job


This story first appeared July 21, 2011 in the Toronto Star. MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER PHILADELPHIA—When John Buck flexes his left thumb you can hear the joints crack. It makes the same sound bubble-wrap does when you squeeze the tiny air pockets until they burst. And when the Florida Marlins catcher keeps the digit bent, … Continue reading

July 19, 2011: Training, and science, help Verlander defy power pitcher’s odds


This story first appeared July 19, 2011 in the Toronto Star. Morgan Campbell Sports Reporter DETROIT—For eight innings, Justin Verlander had the Seattle Mariners groping. The Tigers ace didn’t even bring his best fastball that June evening, but he didn’t need it — few Seattle batters could make solid contact with his 98 m.p.h. heater. … Continue reading

July 1, 2011: Doc Operating Better Than Ever


Story originally appeared July 1, 2011 in the Toronto Star. MORGAN CAMPBELL SPORTS REPORTER PHILADELPHIA—With two runners on base and a 2-2 count to Florida Marlins catcher John Buck, Phillies ace Roy (Doc) Halladay toes the rubber, winds up and unleashes the pitch he’s been refining since the Jays traded him in December 2009. The … Continue reading

To Answer Your Questions…


1. WHAT DID I THINK OF THE CONTROVERSIAL DECISION IN THE LAMONT PETERSON-AMIR KHAN TITLE FIGHT? Like many of you, I thought D.C. native Peterson dined on some home cooking served up by referee Joseph Cooper. While the letter of the boxing law says Cooper had the authority to penalize Khan two points for repeatedly … Continue reading

Building Brand Bautista and addressing “the question”


Heading to the office Monday morning I noticed a poster of José Bautista on a wall inside the Cooksville GO station. In it he’s pitching Booster Juice, which is a sort of Smoothie King of the north — 300 outlets nationwide peddling fruit smoothies and a healthy lifestyle. Besides being impressed at the poster’s linguistic … Continue reading

Eight Ways to Improve the Home Run Derby


My masochism manifests itself in a variety of ways. Sometimes I thumb through the Toronto Sun, other times I hit the gym and push myself to the point of vomiting — almost. And tonight I’m watching Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby, hoping this will be the year ESPN stops trying to convince us it’s … Continue reading

Jackie Robinson Bio — Morgan Campbell Cameo


Less than a week remaining in Black History Month, and my guy Donnovan Bennett over at the Score is making the most of it. His focus this February: Jackie Robinson. His life, his achievements and his legacy. Around Major League Baseball, April 15 is also known as Jackie Robinson day, and all 31 teams celebrate … Continue reading

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