A Mushy Affair
A dogsled team has to stop in the name of love
DeeDee Jonrowe had a 15-minute lead about 90 miles into the recent 500-mile Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon when things went awry. Because the 37-year-old driver from Willow, Alaska, was so far ahead in the round-trip race between Duluth and Grand Portage, Minn., officials had not yet put down markers for that part of the course. So she made a right turn instead of a left. "I knew right away that I had made a mistake, and I went only about 300 yards," says Jonrowe.
In order to get back on the trail, she had to stop her sled. This brief respite from mushing, along with the stars and the moonlight, apparently drove the male wheel dog (the one closest to the sled) to distraction. He and the female teammate in front of him began, as Jonrowe puts it, "breeding."
Jonrowe and her other 14 dogs discreetly pawed the snow for 25 minutes. Three days later, she finished fourth, a little more than two hours behind winner Terry Adkins. The case of puppy love probably cost Jonrowe second place (and $4,500 in prize money), but as she says, "At times like that, you just have to let nature take its course."
The players have to divvy up a $280 million pot
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Donald Fehr has a $280 million headache. That's the amount of damage money the MLBPA is to receive from baseball's owners, whom arbitrators found guilty of collusion. The MLBPA must dole out that windfall to players, and this week Fehr will send out a "framework for distribution," a plan he and his staff put together after discussions with agents and players. Individual awards will be given on the basis of length of service, salary and other criteria, and Fehr, anticipating some objections to the proposal, says it could be as long as two years before the money is actually handed out. "It's a fairly torturous process," Fehr says.
When asked why some of the $280 million isn't earmarked for old-time players, who may be in greater need than active ones, Fehr said, "This isn't my money. This isn't the Players Association's money. These are salaries for players who were defrauded. I can't give that money to anyone else."
Still, it would be nice if the Players Association could find a way to help retirees. The Baseball Assistance Team (BAT), an organization devoted to assisting former players in need, raises about $500,000 a year. Though BAT is sanctioned by Major League Baseball, it has received little help from either the owners or the players. The collusion ruling was meant to right the wrongs done to current ballplayers. Continuing to overlook those needy retired players is a wrong of a different kind.