Opinion

The Top Ten Moments of 2013-2014

GRAPEVINE, Texas 

Written by Assistant Editor Emily Macdonald with contributions from Editor Brian Ogden

#1 Soccer vs. Southlake and Fourth Straight Title

Sophomore soccer players receive a proclamation from Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate celebrating their fourth straight title alongside their coaches. (Photo courtesy of Grapevine Faith Athletic Department)

Sophomore soccer players receive a proclamation from Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate celebrating their fourth straight title alongside their coaches. (Photo courtesy of Grapevine Faith Athletic Department)

For the fourth year in a row, Faith’s soccer team has claimed the title of State Champions. This 4-peat was an outstanding accomplishment for the team, especially the seniors, for they have been prominent leaders on the team. This title didn’t come without challenges, though. The team played many major opponents, including large public schools like Southlake, but their hard work and determination helped them pull through and achieve yet another state championship win for Faith. Their fourth win was celebrated at an all-school pep talley at which the team and coaches were honored and the award was formally presented to the school. Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate also issued a proclamation making May 6, 2014 Faith Christian School State Soccer Champions Day. (more…)

Spring Training Offers Different Perspective

Rangers' second baseman Jurickson Profar (13) signs autographs for fans before a spring game against the Cincinnati Reds in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo courtesy of Sandra Ogden)

Rangers’ second baseman Jurickson Profar (13) signs autographs for fans before a spring game against the Cincinnati Reds in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo courtesy of Sandra Ogden)

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Spring is a time known for rebirth and renewal. Nowhere can this be seen more prominently than in Major League Baseball’s many Spring Training camps. This year for spring break, my parents surprised me with a trip to Surprise, Arizona.

Major League teams report to camp in mid-February, and the first preseason games start in March. This gives the players about a month’s worth of games to prepare for the season. Half of the teams work out in Arizona in the suburbs of Phoenix, while the other half head down to Florida. One unique aspect of Spring Training is that teams forget their American and National League designations for a short time as they realign into the Cactus (Arizona) and Grapefruit (Florida) Leagues. This gives fans of American League teams the chance to see teams they typically wouldn’t from the National League and vice versa. (more…)

Little Women: Becoming Astonishing

Senior Julia Massie prepares for the ball. Little Women featured elaborate costumes to bring to life America in the 1800s. (Photo courtesy of John Murray)

Senior Julia Massie prepares for the ball. Little Women featured elaborate costumes to bring to life America in the 1800s. (Photo courtesy of John Murray)

GRAPEVINE, Texas – Faith’s Creative Arts Department recently performed Little Women. The play was well-done, as has come to be expected at Faith. Most impressive was the work done by the crew and set-builders. While the actors surely put many hours into the play and received due applause, the crew is often overlooked.

Faith’s talented students built a two-story house and manipulated a kite to make it appear to be flying. One subtle yet appealing aspect of the show was how backdrops were projected onto the curtains surrounding the house to show the changing seasons. (more…)

Retreat Surprises Senior

SPICEWOOD, Texas – Retreat surprised me. My class surprised me. Going into the week, I did not expect the trip to be enjoyable for seniors. After hearing nightmare stories of the workload, the lack of sleep, and meddlesome teachers, I planned just to try to survive the week.

Dr. Smith made it sound like we were very far behind on planning during Senior Bible the week before the trip. And to be honest, we probably were. We really hadn’t done any work over the summer to prepare, but at least the students would be fed. We had that covered. (more…)

Column from TCU Journalism Workshop 2013

FORT WORTH, Texas – I was five years old when my father was shot in a Houston parking lot. At the time, all I knew was that my dad was in the hospital. Later, my parents told me he had been shot and when I was older my dad told me the story from his point of view.

Out of curiosity, I recently searched court records for the facts of the case.

(more…)

Olympic Security Concerns Those it Seeks to Protect

Private citizens question magnitude of personal sacrifice necessary to ensure national security 

WACO, Texas – London officials have approved placing missile launch devices on the roof of multiple buildings throughout the city. Apartment residents in one such building were outraged that the government “would risk the safety of private citizens.” A court judge has already ruled that the missiles may stay in position, but the issue has sparked a controversy as to how much citizens should be required to give up for security.

The citizens feel that having missiles on site at their residence will make them targets for a terror attack. The government says that these missiles are necessary to defend the athletes and spectators at the games.

The fact that these citizens refuse to accept a small inconvenience is incredible. The missiles should not cause any discomfort unless they were to be fired. If that were necessary, it would be incredibly selfish to sacrifice the lives of many at the Olympic games in exchange for the noise and what minimal damage might be caused by a missile launch.

London has taken security to the extreme this year. Primarily, in response to the suicide bombings in subway tunnels a few years ago when London was announced as the Olympic host. The missiles should not make the buildings they are on targets for terror attacks. Most terrorists are concerned about causing massive panic in one quick strike. It is not likely that a terrorist would take out the missile installments in order for a hijacked plan to fly past.

Terrorists have no reason to attack the private sector because it lacks the potential for mass destruction and chaos that they look for. There is no reason for the missiles not to go on these apartment buildings. The higher vantage point allows for easier launch and better accuracy.

The missiles pose no threat to citizen safety; they only protect the citizens more. People should be asking for these extensive measures to stay around after the Olympics not asking for their dismissal.

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Sinister Souvenirs

Recent Fan Falls Have MLB Considering New Safety Regulations

CROSS TIMBERS, Texas – Every child who has ever been to a baseball game has dreamed of getting a game-used ball. You see it at local youth and high school games where kids chase down fouls and home runs only to be heart broken when a player or coach comes to retrieve the ball. In the Majors, games are fueled by seemingly unlimited amounts of baseballs. So much so that the game-used ball has become one of the most idolized sports souvenirs, and it’s free – sometimes.

Recently fans have begun leaning too far over the railing to catch these “free” souvenirs risking life and limb for a ball that can be bought at many stores for under $20, but the memory and story that comes with catching a ball cannot be bought. I still remember the first and only time I caught a foul ball.

I was at a Frisco Roughriders game when Ian Kinsler popped a foul ball up just over the third base dugout. It was late in the game, and the stadium had begun to clear out. There were about three rows between me and the man in front of me. Leaning over these I caught the ball in the very tip of my glove. I still remember it perfectly. Everyone dreams of catching a ball, but new regulations may eliminate this from the fan experience.

After Josh Hamilton tossed a ball into the stands at Rangers Ballpark causing a fan to fall over the rail, Major League Baseball is considering implementing new rules to keep players from tossing balls to fans. This rule would do little to protect fans and greatly hurt the fan experience. A player tossing a ball to a fan is probably the safest way one could get a souvenir baseball. Of all the ways to get hurt at a ball game, players tossing balls to fans has to be at the bottom of the list.

Every year spectators are injured by foul balls either because they were unaware of the ball coming towards them, did not react quickly enough, or simply foolishly leaned over a rail or seats to catch it. Those balls can be moving over 100 miles per hour, and if one strikes a person in the head it can be very damaging. Even players have been hurt by batted balls. Pitchers are struck in the head on line drive come-backers and players line foul balls into the dugouts. Still the most dangerous souvenir has to be the thrown bat. Bats flying into the stands have become more and more common. People not paying attention to the game or trying to catch a piece of lumber hurtling towards them have caused injuries as well.

So should the entire field be screened in like the backstop? That would protect from bats, but foul balls can still be hit over the screen. Plus, if the entire field is enclosed then we would never see the amazing over-the-rail catches that are familiar on the highlight reels. If players are no longer allowed to toss balls to fans then the game will lose another bit of its charm that has attracted audiences for decades.

As it is, players have restrictions on when they can sign autographs. If fan interaction with the players is reduced further then fans may as well not go to a game at all. They can see the game from their couch at home. Then big league teams would lose money, be unable to pay players, and ultimately shut down. Without fan interaction there would be no Major League Baseball, so for its own sake baseball should not implement new rules restricting fans further. Yes, raise the railings but don’t limit player-fan interaction; it’s what baseball is built on.

To see this article as it was originally published in the Cross Timbers Gazette, click here

Has the All-Star Game Become a Non-Event?

Players Turn Down All-Star Honors

CROSS TIMBERS, Texas – This year 94 Major League Baseball players were selected to be All-Stars. Only 78 arrived in Phoenix to play.

Some were unable to play because of injuries; others simply decided they didn’t want to play; finally some pitchers were unavailable after starting games on Sunday. So has the game lost its meaning? In an event that is meant not only to showcase the best of the best but also to decide which league receives home field advantage in the World Series, why do some players not play?

Is home field advantage really that big a deal? Well, the team who has had home field advantage has won seven of the last ten World Series (excluding 2002 when the All-Star Game was ruled a tie). So in a game that can mean so much, why do the best of the best choose not to play?

The National League won this year on the back of their strong pitchers. The American League, however, was missing many of its incredible aces. While there was a strong showing from the young first timers who took the mound for the AL, some of the notable players such as Mariano Rivera were no shows. While the NL had all its big names in attendance from Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee to Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson, you can’t help but wonder what the result would have been if the AL pitchers had chosen to contribute rather than refusing the honor of playing.

So if the Yankees make it to the World Series this year, do you think Derek Jeter will regret not making a difference in the All-Star Game? Maybe; he says he needs to rest his aching leg and be ready for the regular season games. Many players are taking this route of: “The regular season is more important than one all star game,” but they played for their club over the weekend so what makes them unable to play in one of baseball’s most prestigious games?

Granted, you have to win in the regular season games for the result of the All-Star Game to mean anything for your team, but pitchers who have been selected opting to throw on Sunday and not throw one inning in the All-Star Game is ridiculous, especially when your replacement has the same idea and backs out as well. So should players who choose not to play still be called All-Stars? Well, that’s a gray area.

Fans do choose the first nine players, but what about when fans vote for players who are going to be on the Disabled List? Maybe MLB should institute a rule that voids all votes for a player who is injured and will be unable (medically) to play. Then the second place players will be able to get their chance. Or say a third baseman is injured and unable to play, take the next four or five third basemen in the fan voting and allow fans to vote from among those finalists. After all, the purpose of fan voting is for fans to be able to see their favorite stars. Instead, as it stands, the manager just chooses one of his or the players’ choices for reserves to replace the fan vote or picks a new all-star all together.

Speaking of manager choices, should a player from each team really be required? What about teams who are way out of the competition with no stars yet their top player who is mediocre at best takes the place of a young star on a competing team who deserves the honor. Obviously Major League Baseball wants all their teams represented, but should that keep out players who really deserve the honor more than these lone team representatives?

So should we have 16 players who are called All-Stars yet didn’t play in the game or even attend? No. This year Major League Baseball implemented stars sewn onto the back of the players’ jerseys and hats to show which players were selected. Should the players who opted out be allowed to wear these stars? No, aside from injured players who were injured just before the game after being named to the team, players should only receive the stars for being on the all-star rosters AND attending the game. Whether or not they get off the bench and into the game is up to their respective managers, but if you pass up on the offer and don’t do the work of playing in the game you shouldn’t get the rewards of being called an All-Star.

To see this article as it was originally published on the Cross Timbers Gazette, click here