- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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By Justin Gatlin, the 100-meter and 200-meter events at the U.S. Track and Field Championships (page 79), making him the first man in 20 years to win both sprints. The weekend ended much more happily than it began for Gatlin, who won gold in the 100 and bronze in the 200 at the 2004 Olympics. Last Friday he was called for a false start in his first 100 heat, a misstep that disqualified him from the event. But he successfully appealed the ruling--meet referee Ed Gorman decided Gatlin (above) had reacted to an early start by the runner in an adjacent lane--and after much bureaucratic wrangling was reinstated on Saturday. He took the 100 final in 10.08 seconds, then blazed to a win in the 200 on Sunday with a time of 20.04 seconds. "I had to turn it around and make sure it was a very positive experience," said Gatlin, 23. "I feel like I'm in my zone, like I was in college [at Tennessee], doubling and hopefully dominating as well."
Of multiple myeloma at age 69, Charlie Saikley, often described as the godfather of beach volleyball. In 1960 the Terre Haute, Ind., native moved to Manhattan Beach, Calif., where he became a high school math and special education teacher and worked part time for the parks and recreation department. Beach volleyball was then little more than a casual Southern California pastime; Saikley began running the Manhattan Beach Open in '65, turning it into the country's biggest tournament.
That he will skip the World Aquatic Championships in Montreal, Canadian diver Philippe Comtois, who refuses to compete with a teammate accused of having sex with a minor. In March, Canadian diving officials suspended Arturo Miranda, 34, for six months for having an improper relationship last year with a 15-year-old girl he was coaching. Miranda--who says he will be vindicated and has not been charged with a crime--is appealing the suspension and was scheduled to dive with Comtois in the three-meter synchronized event later this month. But Comtois, a 2004 Olympian who was to retire after the Montreal event, said he'd rather sit. "What he did goes against what I believe," Comtois, 28, told the Toronto Star. "I won't feel comfortable diving with him."
By South Korea's pro baseball league, the practice of wearing iced cabbage leaves under one's hat. Korean Baseball Organization officials made the ruling after Doosan Bears righthander Myung-hwan Park (above) had the frozen foliage tumble out of his hat twice during a recent start. Park said the cabbage helps keep him cool on the mound; he added that he got the idea after hearing that Babe Ruth used the same trick on hot days. "We didn't think that Park's cabbage pitches are illegal," said the KBO rules committee chairman. "But such practices can interrupt games, and we don't want other young players to imitate it."
After 35 years in the booth, Steelers radio announcer Myron Cope, 76. Less a broadcast journalist than a well-amplified cheerleader, Cope was beloved in Pittsburgh for his enthusiasm and idiosyncratic vocabulary: He peppered his game accounts with the term "Yoi!" (meaning, roughly, Wow!) and referred to longtime coach Chuck Noll as Emperor Chaz. He's also the inventor of the Terrible Towel, which Steelers fans began waving in 1976 and still twirl today. In recent years Cope had a variety of health problems, but it was a call from former team p.r. director Joe Gordon, who told him his on-air performance was slipping, that prompted his retirement. Said Cope, "It takes a very special friend to tell you the truth when he knows it's going to hurt."