Talking Points: Gymnastics numbers aren't fair
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
Part of the Olympic allure is that years of training can potentially go to waste due to one poor performance. It's not that we root for these kinds of failure, we just know that each event or race carries that possibility, which makes success so much more rewarding. But sometimes creating this type of suspense goes a little too far.
U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber, the reigning all-around world champion, was not one of the 24 competitors who qualified for the Olympic all-around final. Is it because she qualified 25th? Maybe 30th? Nope, she qualified fourth.
But because Americans Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas qualified in front of her, and because international rules dictate that only two gymnasts from each country can make the final, Wieber is left on the outside looking in.
If this were any other Olympic sport — swimming, track, diving — where nationality bears no effect on getting into the final, Wieber would have cakewalked in and the competition would feature the top athletes. Instead, some attempt at "fairness" seems to be quite the opposite.
In 1996, Juan Gonzalez controversially topped Alex Rodriguez for American League M-V-P honors despite Rodriguez leading the league in batting average, doubles, total bases and runs scored — crossing the plate 52 more times than Gonzalez.
Some thought this was the result of Rodriguez being a rookie. Well, if the Angels' Mike Trout continues his torrid pace, let the writers not make a similar mistake.
The outfielder is leading the league in batting average, runs and stolen bases, and in an age of advanced stats, has the best WAR (Wins against replacement) in the American League.
Is there any better way to show one's "value?"
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