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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wrestling, Baseball-Softball and Squash make (Olympic) list

Wrestling, squash and baseball-softball made the IOC short list Wednesday for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.

Three months after being dropped from the 2020 program, wrestling took a big step toward keeping its Olympic status.

Eight sports were vying for a single opening in the lineup.

Eliminated from contention were five sports — karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and the Chinese martial art of wushu.

Gamingboy Posted: May 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: i-love-baseball-but-seriously-they-have-to-put-wrestling-back-in, international, olympics

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   1. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4454608)
If there's only one spot open, it has to be wrestling. I love me some baseball-softball and would love for it to get back into the Games. I'm sure there's some idiotic sport that can be cut from the competition to make room. But an Olympic Games without wrestling is contradictory. It simply can't be an Olympic Games without the original Olympic sport.
   2. BDC Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4454616)
"Baseball-softball" sounds suspiciously like BASEketball.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4454618)
But an Olympic Games without wrestling is contradictory. It simply can't be an Olympic Games without the original Olympic sport.


Yes. Cutting it from its core sports was one of the dumbest sporting decisions in a long, long time.

   4. Sean Forman Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4454621)

Yes. Cutting it from its core sports was one of the dumbest sporting decisions in a long, long time.


As a former Iowa wrestling season ticket holder, I can't agree more.
   5. Steve Treder Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4454623)
Eliminated from contention were five sports — karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and the Chinese martial art of wushu.

I read "wakeboarding" as "waterboarding" and had a WHAT?!? moment.
   6. McCoy Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4454630)
But an Olympic Games without wrestling is contradictory. It simply can't be an Olympic Games without the original Olympic sport.

Bring back the stadion race?
   7. Lassus Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4454634)
If there's only one spot open, it has to be wrestling... an Olympic Games without wrestling is contradictory. It simply can't be an Olympic Games without the original Olympic sport.

Eh. Go complain about indoor plumbing, too. Given those choices I'll take squash, way more interesting.
   8. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4454640)
I read "wakeboarding" as "waterboarding" and had a WHAT?!? moment.


I read "wakeboarding" as "wakeboarding" and has a WHAT?!? moment anyway. Who the hell puts wakeboarding as a sport in the Olympics? This is some X Games bleed off bullshit, isn't it?
   9. John Northey Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4454643)
I'd bet on squash myself. Decent for TV, clear winner/loser, easy to do both genders, fairly cheap to get going. Plus recent World Open winner/runner up (past 5 years) were England, France, Egypt and Malaysia. Thus it gets solid European support (always vital) and probably would have some middle east support too. Australia, New Zealand, and Pakistan have had many titles in the past too.

Generally voters seem to like to pick stuff Europe does well in, and others tend to vote for sports their population does well in. So squash should have a lot of supporters.

I don't see baseball getting back in as Europe isn't a fan, MLB won't stop the season for it (thus you don't have the best there), and the stadium cost is high and has little use in Europe.

Wrestling should be there, but it was voted out just a few months ago so I could easily see it being held back for one Olympics then brought back for 2024. I think if a sport is voted out then it should stay out for at least one games.
   10. Steve Treder Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4454655)
I read "wakeboarding" as "wakeboarding" and has a WHAT?!? moment anyway. Who the hell puts wakeboarding as a sport in the Olympics? This is some X Games bleed off ########, isn't it?

Concur.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4454671)
I read "wakeboarding" as "waterboarding" and had a WHAT?!? moment.

U! S! A!!!
U! S! A!!!
U! S! A!!!



Who the hell puts wakeboarding as a sport in the Olympics? This is some X Games bleed off ########, isn't it?

I thought that shark had already been jumped with the inclusion of freestyle skiing and snowboarding.
   12. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4454681)
Given those choices I'll take squash,


I prefer zucchini, but plain ol' yellow squash is perfectly OK.
   13. depletion Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4454686)
I'm worried that baseball-softball will have baselines of 30 feet and a negative radius for the ball.
   14. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4454691)
I'm worried that baseball-softball will have baselines of 30 feet and a negative radius for the ball.

RDF
   15. smileyy Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4454695)
I'd be ok with a random choice among {baseball, softball, 16" softball} and (overhand, fast-pitch, slow-pitch} delivery for each at bat.

And/or multi-ball.
   16. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4454696)
I thought that shark had already been jumped with the inclusion of freestyle skiing and snowboarding.


Well, I haven't done any research on the matter at all, but I'm pretty damned sure that the people arguing for wakeboarding premise every presentation on "how do we get a edgiy, young X sport like snowboarding into the Summer Games?"
   17. Swedish Chef Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4454698)
I'd bet on squash myself. Decent for TV, clear winner/loser, easy to do both genders, fairly cheap to get going.

I requires a specialized indoor arena that will be hugely expensive (like any other facility) to build to Olympic standards, and which will be a total white elephant after the games.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4454719)
I won't really give a #### about Olympic baseball unless/until they get rid of the DH and those jackass extra-inning rules where they put baserunners on the bases for no reason. It's nice to get a look at players from Cuba and Japan, but the WBC accomplishes the same thing.

An Olympics without wrestling would be a total farce.
   19. John Northey Posted: May 29, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4454728)
Really? For squash? Huh. Never watched the pro or high level amateur version of it so just assumed a few rooms of appropriate size with a small stand area. Checking online I see versions used that are in halls and outdoors and the like - basically anywhere you can set up some plexiglass and surround it with seats. Looks cheap and easy to set up and take down as needed while using a building which has other purposes (such as the gymnastics one or a basketball/hockey arena).

Of course, cheapest should be wrestling as all you need is a mat and judges.
   20. Yardape Posted: May 29, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4454754)
I requires a specialized indoor arena that will be hugely expensive (like any other facility) to build to Olympic standards, and which will be a total white elephant after the games.


Does this make it more or less attractive to the IOC? Hugely expensive white elephants seems like one of the main goals of recent games.
   21. Gamingboy Posted: May 29, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4454823)
I still say there should be some type of "flexible" Olympics where there are, say, 20 sports that HAVE to be in the Olympics (AND WRESTLING WOULD BE AMONG THEM), and then it's up to the host country as to what the other 8 to infinity are, based on what facilities they have, what type of finances they have, and what most resonate with the host country.

So, like, if the Olympics are in the USA, then baseball and softball are in it, since any American city going for the Olympics would have those facilities anyway. Same would probably go for Canada, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, etc. But if France is hosting, then there's no baseball/softball, but there might be squash or whatever.

And, yes, if any host is foolish enough to piss away the money, why not let them host a 50 sport Olympics (I'm sure Qatar would be foolish enough to pull it off after a few bribes and handshakes)? Hey, it's their money they are pissing away!
   22. Swedish Chef Posted: May 29, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4454831)
Does this make it more or less attractive to the IOC? Hugely expensive white elephants seems like one of the main goals of recent games.

I loved the Canoe Slalom course in London, it was a beautiful white elephant.
   23. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: May 29, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4454989)
If I'm head of the US Olympic committee, here's how I would handle this:

Me: "We want baseball and softball in the Olympics."

Eurosnobs: "Sorry, yankee boy. Anything else?"

Me: "Yeah. Keep in mind that without American TV money, you'd all be p!ssing up a rope. You'd be less relevant than the Goodwill Games."

Euros: "The what?"

Me: "Exactly. In fact, I don't just want baseball and softball. Also american football, NASCAR, poker and underwater basket-weaving, just because we can. And squash, because some guy on Baseball Primer suggested it. And the summer games in America every twenty years or so."

Euros: "Mon dieu! You are insane!"

Me: "Okey-dokey, Jacques. Your funeral." (pulls out cellphone) "Hello, NBC...?"

Euros: "All right, ALL RIGHT! We surrender...!"

Me: (snort) "What, again...?"
   24. John Northey Posted: May 29, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4455021)
I find it funny how the Olympics has ignored the USA (and Canada for that matter, as we have the same time zones) for the summer games lately. I figured one out of 3 would be in one country or the other. But 1996 was the last, with 2016 being in Brazil though I guess that counts as it is in Central time (Chicago time zone). In between there were two in Europe, and one in China and one in Australia.

From 1968 to 1996 though you had Mexico (one hour faster than eastern time zone), Germany, Montreal (Eastern), Moscow, Los Angeles (Western), South Korea, Spain, Atlanta (Central). Basically alternating the Americas with other spots at first, then a two times away thing. 2008 should've been Toronto but China got it instead...if it went to Toronto then 2016 would've been early for Brazil but 2020 would've fit nicely.

I suspect if US viewers tuned out the Olympics when they were unable to watch it live then things would change, but you guys are too easy going on that factor for some reason. Up here they show it live at 4 AM if needed as Canadians tend not to watch tape delayed versions.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: May 29, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4455029)
If there's only one spot open, it has to be wrestling. I love me some baseball-softball and would love for it to get back into the Games. I'm sure there's some idiotic sport that can be cut from the competition to make room. But an Olympic Games without wrestling is contradictory. It simply can't be an Olympic Games without the original Olympic sport.


Exactly. I'm not a fan of wrestling, but no way should it not be in the games. There are a few sports that should be required for the Olympics and that is one of them.
   26. Greg K Posted: May 29, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4455046)
#23
Compromise:

Include "hating French people" as an event in the next Olympic games. Should be some thrilling, stiff competition.
   27. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: May 29, 2013 at 07:27 PM (#4455070)
"Hating French people" is not an event. It's a lifestyle.
   28. Publius Publicola Posted: May 29, 2013 at 07:35 PM (#4455078)
So, what would you claim to be the "core" olympic sports?

I would say wrestling, track and field and swimming.
   29. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 29, 2013 at 07:59 PM (#4455099)
Glad to see nobody in this thread wants baseball to be in the Olympics (so far). Nobody in America watched it when it was in the Olympics, and nobody wants it back now either.

In my opinion, the core sports are the ones with the simplest equipment. Running, swimming, and wrestling. And the shot put. And flatwater canoeing.
   30. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: May 29, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4455151)
So, what would you claim to be the "core" Olympic sports?

Pankration!
   31. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: May 29, 2013 at 10:39 PM (#4455307)
21 that's a bit the model of the southeast Asia games. There is a lot of ######## this year because Myanmar is the host and they've crammed the roster with obscure Burmese games no one else plays while cutting things like badminton that are very popular in ASEAN.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: May 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM (#4455363)
But 1996 was the last, with 2016 being in Brazil though I guess that counts as it is in Central time (Chicago time zone).


Is there a Chicago in Nova Scotia?

So, what would you claim to be the "core" olympic sports?

I would say wrestling, track and field and swimming.


Those three, for sure. I think gymnastics, weightlifting and the marathon (since I don't think that's considered part of the track and field segment) are also in there.

As far as the Olympics are concerned, I'm really only interested in the sports where an Olympic medal is generally perceived as the pinnacle of achievement in that sport. The major team sports or tennis or golf don't hold much appeal to me.
   33. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4455376)
Pankration should be brought in. I'm a little surprised it hasn't been, yet. And given the shortlist, there's no way wrestling isn't back. Beyond it's history and link to the original games, it's one of the most inclusive and easiest to prepare for events in the entire panoply of sports. Moreover, if 2020 is in Istanbul we're talking about one of the major medal sources for Turkey.

I like the idea of a "flexible" Olympics as described in #21, especially if hosts would have to detail which sports they would be hosting should they get the games. You'd see some fun horsetrading for votes there, which is at least less objectionable than the straight up bribery that currently happens.
   34. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:03 AM (#4455377)
As far as the Olympics are concerned, I'm really only interested in the sports where an Olympic medal is generally perceived as the pinnacle of achievement in that sport. The major team sports or tennis or golf don't hold much appeal to me.


This. For example I'd cut Men's Soccer, since it's basically an U-23 tournament designed specifically to be less prestigious than the World Cup, but I'd keep Women's Soccer because it's roughly on par with the World Cup for prestige. This is also why I don't want baseball included.
   35. Gamingboy Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4455379)
So, what would you claim to be the "core" olympic sports?

The "core" Olympic events that I'd say should always be in the Olympics if my idea of "20 events + 8 or more picked by the host" were ever implemented would be:

-The Ancient Olympic sports (or their modern counterparts) such as Track and Field, Wrestling, Boxing and Equestrian.
-The basically-around-forever Modern Olympic events like Swimming, Cycling, Gymnastics, Shooting, Weightlifting, Tennis (which was an Olympic event until 1924 then was removed over disputes about amateurism vs. professionalism, only returning after the Olympics was professionalized), Soccer (even though FIFA treats the Olympics essentially the same way that MLB treated Olympic baseball), Fencing, Rowing and Sailing.
-And, finally, the next 6 sports with big Olympic traditions/histories that are not Modern Pentathlon (in no particular order): Basketball, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Canoe/Kayak, Archery and Team Handball.

Note that for the purpose of the Olympics, Water Polo and Diving are technically part of swimming/aquatics, Beach Volleyball is part of Volleyball, etc,.


Glad to see nobody in this thread wants baseball to be in the Olympics (so far)


Oh, I'd love to see baseball in the Olympics even if it was just the prospect showcase it was, especially because it would help the funding of the countries that aren't in the WBC. But the fact is, baseball doesn't need the Olympics and the Olympics don't need baseball, as opposed to wrestling, which needs the Olympics to remain relevant and which the Olympics need if they want to even slightly claim to be continuing the tradition of the Greeks.

21 that's a bit the model of the southeast Asia games. There is a lot of ######## this year because Myanmar is the host and they've crammed the roster with obscure Burmese games no one else plays while cutting things like badminton that are very popular in ASEAN.


I figure this could be remedied by A) Having the 20 core ones like I mentioned, and B) having to have been approved by the IOC as being a "pickable" sport that wouldn't simply be a runaway victory for the host country. Baseball, after all, is played in lots of places... but other sports like, say, American Football are not. So the hypothetical American host city would be able to have baseball as a medal sport, but not football.
   36. BDC Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4455383)
the "core" olympic sports

In Book 23 of the Iliad, the sports are chariot racing, boxing, wrestling, running (middle distance), armed/armored duelling, shot put, archery (with live doves as targets), and javelin. Except the javelin isn't thrown; everybody just concedes the contest to Agamemnon. That part would work fine in a future North Korean Olympics.
   37. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 30, 2013 at 02:43 AM (#4455437)
But 1996 was the last, with 2016 being in Brazil though I guess that counts as it is in Central time (Chicago time zone).

Is there a Chicago in Nova Scotia?


It seems John Northey has a very skewed concept of the Central/Chicago time zone, which, the last time I checked, did not include Atlanta or Brazil, but did include Mexico City.
   38. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 30, 2013 at 03:44 AM (#4455443)
21 that's a bit the model of the southeast Asia games. There is a lot of ######## this year because Myanmar is the host and they've crammed the roster with obscure Burmese games no one else plays while cutting things like badminton that are very popular in ASEAN.

Doesn't that happen at every SEA Games? The host country is always super-motivated to win the medal count, so they add as many sports as they can where they have a competitive advantage. When Vietnam hosted the SEA Games in 2003, we had Fin Swimming and Shuttlecock, and as many judge-influence-able events as possible.
   39. depletion Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:25 AM (#4455486)
Include "hating French people" as an event in the next Olympic games. Should be some thrilling, stiff competition.

I like French people.
England: Jellied eels
France: Topless beaches
You make the call.
   40. Lassus Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:35 AM (#4455490)
Include "hating French people" as an event in the next Olympic games. Should be some thrilling, stiff competition.

"Hating French people" is not an event. It's a lifestyle.


Depletion kinda beat me to it, but if you hate French women, your life simply is nowhere near as good as it could be.
   41. Greg K Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:43 AM (#4455494)
Just so we're clear, my #26 was intended as a snarky reaction to the fairly visceral anti-French sentiments of #23.

I myself quite enjoy France and French people

...well there seemed to be an inordinate amount of jerks in Lille, but most other French people I've met have been cool.
   42. zack Posted: May 30, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4455519)
I still say there should be some type of "flexible" Olympics where there are, say, 20 sports that HAVE to be in the Olympics (AND WRESTLING WOULD BE AMONG THEM), and then it's up to the host country as to what the other 8 to infinity are


I think this is a terrible idea. The olympics are only every 4 years. You train your whole life as one of the best in your sport, but you were born in the wrong year so you'll only have 2 olympics during your prime, then your sport is left off the program for one of them?
   43. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: May 30, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4455524)
I'm imagining what American football would look like in the Olympics, and it ain't pretty. Presumably a US team full of NFL practice squad players, literally killing people through the early games, then beating the crap out of Canada or Samoa or someone like that in the final. Though it might be fun if they sent a big warm-weather state's best high school team and let them win the thing. It might be fun to watch a bunch of kids from Hoover, Alabama win an Olympic medal.
   44. BDC Posted: May 30, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4455531)
There are going to have to be damn good looking people on that topless beach to make me forego jellied eels.
   45. Greg K Posted: May 30, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4455541)
There are going to have to be damn good looking people on that topless beach to make me forego jellied eels.

You could always go with ortolan on the nude beach.

There's nothing sexier than a bunch of naked people with a bird's head sticking out of their mouths while they are hunkered down with a napkin over their heads.
   46. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4455546)
21 that's a bit the model of the southeast Asia games. There is a lot of ######## this year because Myanmar is the host and they've crammed the roster with obscure Burmese games no one else plays while cutting things like badminton that are very popular in ASEAN.


This could be limited by requiring the host city to commit to the sports they're going to hold when they submit their bid. That way everyone would know what sports would be on offer at the time that the bids were being considered and the city was being chosen, which would avoid the SEA Games problem.
   47. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4455623)
Though it might be fun if they sent a big warm-weather state's best high school team and let them win the thing. It might be fun to watch a bunch of kids from Hoover, Alabama Allen, Texas, win an Olympic medal.
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4455638)
There's nothing sexier than a bunch of naked people with a bird's head sticking out of their mouths while they are hunkered down with a napkin over their heads.


Didn't I see that in a Jodorowsky movie once?

Pankration!


Oh hell yes.
   49. Gamingboy Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4455730)
There actually is a World Cup of American Football. In order to keep it from being a bloodbath, there are weird restrictions placed on Team USA, where they can't use professional players from North America or current collegiates, and every level of College football from the BCS to NAIA has to be represented. As a result, Team USA is always made up of the best recently-graduated College players who didn't get a pro job anywhere in North America.

In 2007, the first time they participated, the host country of Japan forced them into overtime in the finals, but Team USA still won.

But in 2011, they beat Canada in the finals 50-7 (after defeating Australia 61-0, Germany 48-7 and Mexico 17-7 in pool play) while being led by Cody Hawkins and Nate Kmic.

God only knows much a bloodbath it would have been if those rules hadn't been in place.
   50. Gamingboy Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4455755)
BTW, apparently during balloting the sports added to the shortlist went in the order of Wrestling, Baseball/Softball, and then Squash. In other words, I'm guessing wrestling is in a good spot.
   51. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4455827)
oesn't that happen at every SEA Games? The host country is always super-motivated to win the medal count, so they add as many sports as they can where they have a competitive advantage. When Vietnam hosted the SEA Games in 2003, we had Fin Swimming and Shuttlecock, and as many judge-influence-able events as possible.


Yeah, that is always expected to a certain degree, it is just a little more egregious this year (people are more upset about the cutting of the popular sports than they are about the weird burmese games)

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