Sorry, Gil Scott-Heron, but in baseball at least the revolution was televised. TV has transformed America's game more thoroughly than Babe Ruth or Alexander Cartwright. If not for the billions that owners now reap annually from national and local contracts, baseball would look a lot like it did in the gray and miserly 1950s.
Six husky pallbearers carried Yordano Ventura's coffin Tuesday down a narrow Dominican road crowded with mourners. That scene from the 25-year-old Kansas City pitcher's heartbreaking funeral brought to life a verse from the poem "To an Athlete Dying Young":
I was high atop the city - literally and, after three vodka-tonics, figuratively - when I spotted a column. The view from the Hyatt at the Bellevue's lofty 19 bar revealed a tough city of brick-and-steel sinew. West and south of Center City, in the sturdy remnants of our factory past, there was little effete or charming.
Hollywood loves feel-good Olympic stories. The recipe for this genre of tasty film entertainment is by now a familiar one: Start with a compelling underdog; mix in plenty of grit, emotion, patriotism and drama; and top it all with an ample layer of corn.
Frank Fitzpatrick has been an editor and writer at the Inquirer since 1980. A onetime beat writer for the Phillies, Eagles, and Penn State football, he's also covered nine Olympics. A 2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist, he now focuses on sports projects and writes a Sunday column.