Let me kick off this column by taking the Public Theater’s weekly challenge (brought to you by those fine people who put on Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park, N.Y.).
Just look at my column sig and pretend you’re watching me. I’ll also have this online.
ROMEO AND JULIET
By William Shakespeare
Act 2, Scene 2
JULIET: "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name,
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet."
ROMEO (aside): "Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?"
JULIET: "’Tis but thy name that is my enemy…."
Now back to sports, or what there is of it.
Tuesday was the 40th anniversary of Rosie Ruiz’ hysteric title at the Boston Marathon. Ruiz finished the race in a record time of two hours, 31 minutes and 56 seconds.
Only she didn’t win it. She hopped on the course with about a half mile remaining and crossed the finish line.
After an investigation, she was disqualified. She was later disqualified from the New York City Marathon, where she established her qualifying time for the Boston race because no one could recall her running in that race.
It was just one of those audacious things that happened in the world of sports that always stuck in my mind. It also makes me recall some words of wisdom from my high school soccer coach Herr Ritschle (I can never remember his first name, but we always called him Herr because he was also my German teacher): "If you’re going to make a mistake, make it big."
He later went on to say that the big mistake is easier to fix than the small mistake and it takes more work (in this case more time on the practice field) to alleviate the small mistake.
But you have to admit, what Ruiz did was a doozy. Ruiz was later convicted of embezzlement and drug trafficking. She died last year at age 66.
We’re also celebrating the 53rd anniversary of Boston Marathon official John "Jock" Semple’s attempt to tear the number off runner Katherine Swizter during the race.
Women’s weren’t allowed to run the Boston Marathon officially until 1972. Through a clerical oversight, Switzer was given a number. She actually finished second in the race among women as another runner, who didn’t officially enter the race, finished about an hour ahead of her.
It was reported that Semple once tried to tackle a runner who tried to compete in "swim fins and a snorkeling mask." Switzer was saved from Semple’s wrath by her boyfriend.
Semple died in 1988.
Switzer later won the New York City Marathon in 1974 as an official competitor. She won an Emmy Award as a commentator during the 1984 Olympics.
• Had the Royals’ season gone on as scheduled, the team would have played 25 games by now (barring rain outs). There’s been a lot of speculation about how or when the season will resume.
Will it be played in empty stadiums? Will it be played at spring training grounds in Florida and Arizona? Will be there be a season at all? Can the Royals not lose 103 games this year? (Hey, they did manage to finish 11.5 games ahead of Detroit).
Last week would have been the home opener of the Wichita Wind Surge. The Class AAA affiliate of the Miami Marlins would have been 17 games into the season by now.
How well the team will do if they get to take the field is anybody’s guess right now. I admit, I’ve never followed the Marlins very closely.
I still haven’t seen Riverfront Stadium from the inside (and it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen it from the outside). I hope to do so before the start of the NBC World Series’ Championship Week.
The Marlins have been under new ownership since late 2017. Previous owner Jeffrey Loria was known for building World Series winning teams and then selling the players off or letting them go through free agency, leading to years of sub-mediocrity.
All the reports I’ve read show the Marlins farm system is improved, but I don’t know what that means for this season or the Pacific Coast League. I’ve seen AAA games in the International League and the former American Association (as opposed to the current AA, which is an independent league where the Wingnuts used to play), but never the PCL.
As the New Orleans Baby Cakes (the nickname is a New Orleans thing, let’s just say whoever breaks their tooth on the baby wins), the team was 73-65, 10 games out of first place in the American Southern Division.
Mark Schnabel is the sports editor at the Kansan and is helping out the news side. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.