Throwing Tomatoes: Olympic Rings and Other Things

Kevin PaulSenior Analyst IAugust 10, 2008

The 2008 Olympics in Beijing have begun. The PGA Championship was delayed, but played. And that’s not all—it was a big weekend for sports. With that being said, there should be enough sports stories that warrant a tomato attack.

Where do you direct your tomatoes this week?

Throwing Tomatoes—Volume XIV

The French 4x100m Relay Swimming Team
…for not backing their own trash talk.
If you didn’t hear about it, here was the quote: “The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for.” What a race it was—with Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak, and the team proving that the American swimmers simply won’t put up with that “crepe”. While the USA wears gold with their red, white, and blue, the French are simply wearing red.

USA National Anthem Playback in Beijing
…for being incomplete and choppy.
Did anyone else catch the first medal ceremony the other night for Michael Phelps? The National Anthem recording was choppy at first, and cut short at the end.

I guess all their money was spent on the opening ceremony. China may need to get that fixed, considering that the Americans will be earning a bunch more gold medals before the end of the Olympics.

Argentina Basketball
…for their opening game performance against Lithuania.
Argentina and team leader Manu Ginobili, the 2004 gold medalists, were shocked by Lithuania in their opener in Beijing.

The Tragic Death of Todd Bachman in Beijing
…for crushing a family, breaking the hearts of a team, and overall putting a damper on the 2008 Olympic games.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the USA Volleyball team, former Olympian Elisabeth Bachman, U.S. men’s volleyball coach Mark McCutcheon, and family.

NBA Stars Talking Departure
…for Europe.
The reports are out there. Both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have reportedly made statements that they would consider signing with a European team. For $50 million a season, would you drop the NBA for Europe?

Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, and Vijay Singh
…for once again not taking advantage of a “Tiger-less” major.
Another PGA major without Tiger Woods, and once again Padraig Harrington is the only one who takes advantage of his absence. Mickelson managed a top-10. Garcia was there ‘til the end. The rest of the big names were nowhere to be found. Perhaps they were in the Hooters tent with John Daly.

Manny Ramirez
…for his most recent comments directed at Red Sox Nation.
Have you heard the latest on Manny? He wants to sign with the Yankees during the offseason, just so that he can wreak havoc on the Red Sox. How do you think the Dodgers feel about that one? Wait, what was that sound? I think it may have been Hank Steinbrenner reaching for his checkbook.

Baseball’s Contenders
…for how they’re performing on the road.
Specifically, this batch of tomatoes is directed at the likes of the Cubs, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Twins, White Sox, Mets, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers, who are all under .500 on the road.

With the playoffs creeping closer and closer, the home field advantage in the MLB playoffs is going to be bigger than ever this year. Only the Phillies and Angels have a better record on the road than at home this season.

Barry Bonds
…for announcing live at a recent Giants game that he’s not retired.
Barry… we knew that. Really, we did.

Honorary Tomato Throwers of the Week
Because those who found success earn a chance to sling one at their opposition

Padraig Harrington—at the PGA field after firing back-to-back 66’s at Oakland Hills to win a second straight major.

Kyle Busch—at the field after winning over the weekend at Watkins Glen. That makes it eight victories for Busch this season.

The USA Basketball “Redeem Team”—at Yao Ming and China after an opening round 101-70 victory.

Jason Lezak—at French swimmers after an incredible finishing leg of the 4x100m men’s freestyle relay.

This has been “Throwing Tomatoes”… where a few bushels are being shipped to Beijing—because the Olympics are just getting started.