Focused on the positive side of sports

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Ok sportsfans, I’m telling you guys and gals up front that this is going to be a negativity free column. There will be no mention of Barry Bonds’ ever-swelling head or of Terrell Owens’ over-swollen ego.

The first positive is taking place in our own zip code. The Alabama Independent School state baseball tournament is currently underway. It’s great to see the city of Selma host an event like this which will do nothing but show off the city and help the economy. It’s also good to see the cities of Selma and Lowndesboro represented in the tournament as Morgan and Lowndes Academies battle for a state championship.

While we’re talking about state championships &045; congrats to the Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels for winning the AISA softball title this past weekend in Montgomery.

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Now, I was at the finals last year when the Lady Chiefs knocked off the Lady Rebs in two games. So I understand how much winning the title in one game in convincing fashion meant to these girls. What’s even more exciting is the fact that this could be the start of a dynasty. The Lady Rebs are moving up to Class AA and expect to be in the state championship game at the end of the season.

I don’t see anyone standing in their way.

Next on the positivity train is a stop in Major League baseball.

The International League suspended Delmon Young for 50 games for tossing a bat at the home-plate umpire. Young was asked to leave the playing surface after taking to long to exit the batter’s box when he was retired while watching a beautiful backdoor curve ball catch the back corner of the plate.

The ever-level-headed Young responded to the umpire’s request by hurling a bat at him.

Now, for those of you who didn’t catch that last part – Ol’ boy got tossed so he tossed a bat at the umpire.

Now while the act itself if just stoopid. (see, childish, dumb, boarderline assault), what’s positive is the fact that he realized the depth of the trouble that he was going to be swimming in afterwards.

As a result he went to the clubhouse and called the Devil Rays’ GM to tell him what he had done.

Wow, a professional athlete being accountable for something. You know, if this kid is supposed to be the future, maybe there are more athletes like him.

I’m not holding my breath on that last one.

Wait, that was negative.

Let me rephrase, the chances of their being such a creation as a selfless professional athlete are between slim and well Bill Romanowski playing the lead cowboy in a revival of Oklahoma on the Broadway Stage.

Young will have to sit 50 games bottom line. As a result, he will lose around $145,000 and will have to perform 50 hours of community service.

This is the heftiest punishment dealt out in the 123-year history of the International League.

But, while we are talking about pro athletes, I just learned this.

I played high school football with a guy playing in the bigs.

No, I’m not talking about going to the same high school, like I did with that guy that plays football in the Lonestar State. I’m talking about actually putting the gear on, practicing on the same field, at the same time with the guy.

Now, I realize that no one is going to know this guy’s name.

Scott Vines.

He was picked up by the Detroit Lions last season and will be in the rotation this season. This is a good kid, unless he gets a fat contract and just goes all haywire like Owens did.

However, Vines still claims Alex City as his home.

That just shows he’s not ashamed of where he came from.

He’ll be a success.

I might become a Lions’ fan.

Doubt it, but still trying to be positive.

It’s that simple.

Griffin Pritchard is the sports editor of the Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached by phone at 334-410-1740 or via email at .