CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2009 |
Jackie Robinson played four sports at what was then Pasadena Junior College on his way to breaking major league baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Fifty years later, pitcher Barry Zito spent a year at Pierce College before transferring to USC, then joined the Oakland A's, where he won the Cy Young award in 2002.
September 16, 2008 |
The public persona of Francisco Rodriguez is one of elbows and knees flying, of a herky-jerky, almost frenetic delivery from which the Angels closer launches a vast array of pitches that now includes not one, but two, changeups. On the mound, Rodriguez brims with confidence and bravado. He is a bundle of nerves and energy, of intensity and focus, that when released results in his signature celebration, several violent fist pumps toward the ground and both arms pointed to the sky in the shape of a V for victory.
August 21, 2008 |
BEIJING -- To those who know track and field, to those who have watched Usain Bolt grow up, the most significant step he made wasn't what has happened in the last three months, when the Jamaican jumped from sprinting's elite into a class of his own. The key stride came when Bolt went from child prodigy and junior level phenom to a consistently successful runner at the senior world level, where he has competed since 2004. "I knew when he was 15 years old that if he was still in athletics six years later, he would be something really, really great," said Jamaican Coach Steven Francis.
August 18, 2008 |
As Michael Phelps dived into his bid to surpass the Olympic standards set by Mark Spitz, the 58-year-old Spitz expressed bitterness he had not been invited to watch the historic swimming performance in person in Beijing, according to a French wire service. But when Spitz, in Detroit to watch one of his sons in a basketball tournament, finally faced Phelps via an NBC split screen, he was gracious and charming, expressing only praise and admiration for the 23-year-old Phelps, who was poised to win his eighth gold medal of the 2008 Games, breaking a Spitz mark that had stood for 36 years.
August 17, 2008 |
BEIJING -- Usain Bolt isn't among the many athletes who listen to music with headphones before they compete. His coach, Glen Mills, doesn't allow it, worrying it will interfere with Bolt's concentration. But that didn't stop Bolt from doing a little dancing before he stepped into the blocks Saturday night at the Olympics, before the crowd of 91,000 at the Bird's Nest went quiet for the start of the men's 100-meter final. He was moving to a music in his head that he later said was nothing specific, undoubtedly just something in the lifeblood of athletes from the Caribbean, six of whom were in the race.
August 13, 2008 |
Maybe it pains Bobby Thigpen that Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels is on pace to shatter his single-season major league saves record. Or maybe the former Chicago White Sox closer, now 45, is too busy managing the Bristol (Va.) Sox of the Appalachian League, a rookie-level affiliate of the White Sox, to squeeze in a few minutes to reminisce about his signature season. Or maybe he's just a grump.
June 7, 2008 |
By her count Natalie Coughlin had swum the 200-meter individual medley twice in five years before this weekend's Janet Evans Invitational at USC. Her coach, Teri McKeever, disagreed. She remembered her swimming it once. Friday evening, swimming it for the second time in one day, Coughlin broke Katie Hoff's American record, finishing in 2 minutes 9.77 seconds. It is the fifth long course event in which she holds an American record. "It's kind of cool because it's an event I haven't swam since I was a teenager," Coughlin said.
June 2, 2008 |
In a blink of an eye, the long-standing dynamic of track and field's glamour event at the upcoming Olympics has changed. Since last September, the 100 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics shaped up as a classic mano a mano -- Asafa Powell of Jamaica against Tyson Gay of the United States. That story had enough subtexts to be intriguing in its complexity.
April 14, 2008
Nineteen world long-course swimming records and 20 world short-course records have fallen this year. All but one of the new long-course marks and 17 of the short-course marks have one thing in common: all the swimmers were wearing a Speedo LZR Racer. Noteworthy exceptions: Federica Pellegrini of Italy was wearing the Arena R-Evolution on her way to the 400-meter free standard, and Russia wore that suit on its way to victory in the medley relay at the world short course championships, which concluded Sunday in Manchester, England.