TAMPA, Fla. -- What's more prestigious, a World Series ring or an Olympic gold medal?
It's more than just an idle question around the house of Angels pitcher Jon Garland, who will start tonight's series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays. That's because Garland won a ring with the 2005 Chicago White Sox, a year after longtime girlfriend Lovieanne Jung won a gold medal in softball at the Athens Games.
"I personally feel winning the World Series is tougher," Garland said. "Only because there's more teams and the competition's better."
Jung, not surprisingly, disagrees.
"What's more important?" she asked. "My gold medal."
Garland and Jung, both 28, met during spring training seven years ago when Garland was a White Sox prospect and Jung was playing at the University of Arizona. It was nearly a week before either found out the other was an athlete -- and they still rarely talk about their games.
"As far as what we do on the field, we kind of leave that [alone]," said Garland, who has become a big softball fan over the years. "I really don't talk to her about it and she really doesn't talk to me about it."