Without the AVP stars, however, a beach volleyball gold medal will have the value of a fistful of sand. And the exposure of dressage. At a recent AVP players' meeting, John Miller, NBC sports director of programming, said, "If the AVP's not there, the best players aren't there. And if the best players aren't there, we're not showing it." Ironically, it was the lobbying of NBC sports president Dick Ebersol at an IOC meeting in Monaco that put the sport on the Olympic docket.
Acosta, however, downplays both NBC's role in bringing the sport to the Games and the network's influence over qualifying procedures. "And," he adds, "the FIVB has the best players in the world." If he's wrong—and he is—the inaugural Olympic version of the game on the sand may prove to be little more than a mirage.
On June 29, during the eighth round of the NHL draft, Washington Capital general manager David Poile announced that his team had selected Chris Patrick, an 18-year-old defenseman from the Kent ( Conn.) School. Washington president Dick Patrick immediately stood up and said, "I'm happy to tell you that the Capitals have just signed David Poile to a three-year contract extension."
In case you don't know, Chris Patrick, who plans to play for Princeton next year, comes from a long and distinguished line of NHL Patricks. He is the great-grandson of Lester (the Silver Fox) Patrick, the legendary New York Ranger general manager for whom the Patrick Division was named; he is the grandson of Muzz Patrick and the grandnephew of Lynn Patrick, both of whom played for the 1940 Stanley Cup champion Rangers; and he is the nephew of current Pittsburgh Penguin general manager Craig Patrick. Oh, yes, he is also the son of Dick Patrick.
Last Thursday the Manzanillos—Josias of the New York Mets and Ravelo of the Pittsburgh Pirates—became the first brothers in major league history to get saves on the same night. Josias, a righty, pitched two innings to preserve a 3-1 defeat of the San Diego Padres, while Ravelo, a southpaw, saved a 6-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds with one scoreless inning. Not bad for one family.
Then again, considering that the pitchers' father, Demetrio, fathered 38 children (according to Josias), perhaps it was inevitable.
A Seasoned Roster
David Freedman, a graphic designer and serious baseball fan, has put together the All-Herbs, Spices and Flavorings Team for Elysian Fields Quarterly, a journal dedicated to exploring "the unifying romance of baseball." We suggest you read it when you have the thyme: