By Kevin Adshade
I thought the following was great when I saw it this week:
British boxer Curtis Woodhouse, who lost his English light-welterweight title on March 8, then was called a "disgrace" by some guy on Twitter - the same follower who had apparently been harassing and running his virtual mouth at Woodhouse for months, and according to the boxer, the Twitter-er had even poked fun at his father's death - all the while protected by the comfy safety blanket of his home computer. Or so @Jimmyob88 thought.
Woodhouse managed to track his nemesis down, found out roughly where he lived (about 90 miles from where Woodhouse resides, it turned out), drove there and through Twitter, literally invited the guy outside.
Guy didn't show. Stayed indoors. Might have kept the lights off and hidden in a broom closet. Suddenly, he didn't have anything left to say except "I'm sorry". Jimmy O'Brien, the guy doing the offending tweets, did man up later in the week and apologized to Woodhouse in person on TV, so he deserves credit for that. Woodhouse accepted his apology, and if it makes people think twice about using social media to abuse someone, then it's all been worth it.
Every one of us sooner or later opens our mouths and says something we shouldn't have, and sometimes we have to live with the consequences. It's part of gathering experiences.
The whole situation made the British boxer a household name, this time in a house that isn't even his own.
Woodhouse said anonymous Internet bullying can deeply affect its victims - which is true, although I think he was just really steamed about the guy and wanted to shut him up. Maybe Woodhouse didn't act like an adult should, but sometimes you have to lower yourself in order to get something done.
I have little use for social media - I don't read online comments from newspaper readers for this or any other publication I might enjoy. Like, ever.
I don't Facebook, don't tweet, don't text, and don't care. "Oh. I have to update my Facebook status, right now!" I might overhear someone blurt out, and force myself to not say something like, "Don't worry, people don't really care that much. It can wait."
If I want someone to know my business, I don't put it out on the freaking Internet, I'll call them up on a telephone.
* * *
I'm a little late for this, but I thought Canada's national baseball team was in the right when they bunted in a game that was out of hand against Mexico at the World Baseball Classic. For one thing, teams should be compelled to score as many runs as possible in that tournament because run differential can make a world of difference, as Canada well knows, having had that ridiculous rule cost them a playoff spot a few years ago at this event. The purists say it's unethical in baseball to pile up the runs in a one-sided game, but I'd argue that even in a Major League Baseball game, no lead is safe because there's no clock. It truly ain't over 'til it's over, if I may quote Yogi Berra.
If nothing else, the bench-clearing brawl between Canada and Mexico probably ignited some interest in a baseball tournament that I found rather yawn-inducing.
Point is, though, how big a lead do you have to have before you call off the dogs?
And what happens if you do call off the dogs, the other team makes a miracle comeback and you lose, and then that game ends up costing you a playoff spot later on? It's the job of the pitcher and his defence behind him to get you out, it's your job to get on base and manufacture runs. So no matter the score, bunt if you feel you must, steal bases, do suicide squeezes, whatever it takes. Because that one extra run might be the one you really needed.
Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.