Throwing Tomatoes: The Itch

Kevin PaulSenior Analyst IAugust 17, 2008

The 2008 Olympics are ongoing in Beijing, China. Over in the States, baseball is reaching the stretch run, preseason NFL is at its midway point, and college football is creeping up on us. With all that’s going in sports, there’s also an itch to throw tomatoes—but as you’ll soon see, that itch is taken to all kinds of levels this week.

Throwing Tomatoes—Volume XV

Chinese gymnasts
…for not being of age.
OK, OK… so I don’t have any proof… but look at them. Does anyone really believe that they’re all 16 years old? I tried to call and inquire, but no one picked up—I think their babysitter may be hogging the phone. I kid… I kid.

Spain Basketball
…for their inappropriate team photo.
There really isn’t much you can say here, other than the fact that the Spanish basketball team’s picture—which was supposed to be a local joke—was completely inappropriate and uncalled for. To keep from promoting it further, I’m not including the image.

Gymnastics Judges
…for awarding a bronze medal to Cheng Fei, who fell on the vault.
Listen, I get the whole “level of difficulty” concept. Even so, I don’t agree with a gymnast earning a medal after landing on her knees. Perhaps there was a little homecookin’ going on for Fei and the Chinese gymnasts? Either way, I feel for USA gymnast Alicia Sacramone, who finished fourth—adding yet another tough moment to her Olympic experience.

Swedish Wrestler Ara Abrahamian
…for his lack of sportsmanship.
Did anyone hear about this guy? He won a bronze medal, and followed that accomplishment by placing it on the ground.and leaving the medal ceremony in protest to the judge’s ruling.

Wow, that’s sportsmanlike.

There is such thing as a golden tomato—and this guy earned it. It’s the only gold he’s getting this year—and by the way, reports are saying that the IOC has stripped his bronze too.

USC Football’s Jock Itch Outbreak
…for being news.
Aww nuts! USC football is dealing with a jock itch outbreak—and why do I feel like this story is just scratching the surface?

Seriously though, this isn’t news. You know what would be news? The jock itch outbreak spreading to Notre Dame, and resulting in a spark to the Irish offense—now THAT would be a story. Until then, this story is best kept under wraps…or cups.

Kansas City Royals
…for giving up back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs to the Chicago White Sox.
Yikes, it takes a unique skill to give up that many home runs in a row, and that’s exactly what the Kansas City pitching staff did. I wanted to talk to them about it after the game, but the players were going, going, gone.

Jacksonville Jaguars
…for making the Dolphins look like a playoff contender.
Yes, it’s preseason. Yes, the game doesn’t count. Yes, this is a Dolphins team with a lot of new faces.

Still, the potential Super Bowl contending Jaguars team made Miami look great—including during the first half when a number of starters were in. For one day, Chad Pennington and the rest of the Dolphins had something to cheer about, for a change.

Joe Gibbs Racing
…for cheating.
Per the story via Fox Sports: “The No. 18 and No. 20 Joe Gibbs racing teams in the Nationwide Series will likely face big penalties after efforts to alter the results of a chassis dyno test”. Sorry Joe, you can’t throw a challenge flag for this one.

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

Michael Phelps—at the swimming competition. Props go out to Mark Spitz who was all class while Phelps swallowed up eight golds.

Minnesota Twins (70-53)—at anyone that predicted the Indians or Tigers to cruise in the AL Central division.

Philadelphia 76ers—at the Eastern Conference after re-signing Andre Iguodala to a six-year deal. If you ask me, Iguodala is an underrated talent in the NBA.

This has been “Throwing Tomatoes”… where there’s always an itch to throw the red fruit.