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Trusted local news leader for Prescott, Arizona & surrounding communities since 1882
1:18 PM Wed, July 18th

Sports Commentary

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Kobritz: Baseball needs to address its declining attendance

Beyond the Lines

As MLB takes a break from the regular season to play the 89th All-Star Game, one of the hot topics this year has been attendance, or rather, the lack of it. According to Baseball-Reference, overall league attendance is down over 2.5 million this year, with 22 of 30 clubs showing a decline from 2017 numbers.

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Howard: What is the appeal, attractiveness of sport?

My Point

Every sport that has acquired millions of followers has found a niche in attracting people to either participate, spectate or both for a variety of reasons we’ve found appealing.

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Johnson: Hiking to the Top of Yavapai County: Mt. Union, elevation 7,979 feet

HIking Arizona

It’s not that easy to hike above 7,000 feet in elevation within Yavapai County.

Kobritz: Predictions of doom over the creation of super teams in the NBA is much ado about nothing

Beyond the Lines

The predictions of doom over the creation of super teams in the NBA is much ado about nothing. The wailing comes from people who aren’t old enough to remember the league’s early days or those who haven’t checked the history books.

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Howard: ‘Borg vs. McEnroe,’ the movie

My Point

I just finished watching the movie “Borg vs. McEnroe,” and I remember watching the finals with a “Breakfast at Wimbledon” back in 1980 when it was happening, but the movie is less about who won that championship and more about how each person, Bjorn and John, reached that point in their lives.

Gunby: In Prescott, they call the wind ‘Mariah’

Tee It Up

One of the weather challenges we face playing golf is the wind. And in Prescott, the wind blows a lot. Almost all golfers dread playing in the wind as it really plays havoc with their game.

Kobritz: Does Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich deserve a chance?

Beyond the Lines

In an increasingly polarized world, a host of issues are viewed in black and white – our President, climate control, abortion, to name a few. One issue may stand out above all others: sex abuse.

Howard: A family affair of tennis greatness

My Point

I personally like hearing success stories, and the one I’m about to tell certainly falls under that category.

Atherton: How a simple idea turned pickleball into a different game

Paddle Up

Coming to grips of how kids and adults could quickly learn and have fun to play a game together in 1965 was the challenge Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and his friend Barney McCallum.

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Johnson: High Line Trail near Payson potential classic in Arizona

Hiking Arizona

If you were to nominate any of the many trails in Arizona as a potential classic, the High Line Trail would have to be high on the list.

Kobritz: Phillie Phanatic injures fan with flying hot dog

Beyond the Lines

Ballpark and stadium entertainment is a staple at sporting events, a necessary means of attracting and entertaining fans young and old. Most entertainment routines are harmless, even if they border on being sexist or inappropriate, like cheerleaders at NFL and NBA games and ice girls at NHL games.

Gunby: Lining up your putt after reaching the green

Tee It Up

Begin reading the green and lining up your putt as soon as you reach the green. Don’t wait until it’s your turn to putt to start the process of reading the green.

Kobritz: North America snags the World Cup

Beyond the Lines

The World Cup, the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet, is coming to North America. The combined U.S., Mexico and Canada proposal, dubbed the “United Bid,” for the 2026 World Cup was overwhelmingly approved last week by delegates from 199 countries. The United bid prevailed over rival Morocco by a 2-1 margin.

Kobritz: Justify among one of the greatest race horses of all time

Beyond the Lines

Justify thrilled the racing world along with millions of people around the globe when he became the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown.

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Johnson: Oak Creek Canyon’s West Fork Trail, part 2

Hiking Arizona

Back in the ‘70s we hiked through the old fruit orchard at the mouth of the Canyon and picked apples in the fall. We’ve hiked here a dozen times, mostly on day hikes. I’ve hiked through once in each direction. Each through-hike was quite different.

Howard: The greatest tennis player who couldn’t play … Ion Tiriac

My Point

When you think of the athletes who have acquired the most wealth over their careers and life-time, you would never imagine that Ion Tiriac would be at the top of that list. Many people wouldn’t even know who you’re talking about. Over two billion dollars later, the 79 year-old from Romania laughs all the way to the bank, his bank.

Gunby: Continuing the conversation about slow play on the golf course

Tee It Up

We are continuing our series on slow play and how to play golf in a timely manner.

Kobritz: NFL’s new anthem policy will do exact opposite of what it intends

Beyond the Lines

After spending months in discussions, NFL owners announced a compromise that, according to them, will end a two-year run of player national anthem protests.

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Atherton: How muscle memory makes a difference in pickleball

Paddle Up

Unlike many sports, people come to pickleball with very little sports background; and a lot of background, particularly in tennis.

Howard: Different surfaces of tennis, and what to expect

My Point

The majority of tennis courts in today’s world are of a hard surface, concrete or asphalt — but that hasn’t always been the case. Up until the 1960’s, grass and clay courts were prevalent and each of those surfaces as well as hard courts have their own special characteristics.

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Johnson: West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon, Part 1

Hiking Arizona

West Fork near Sedona is heavily managed. Due to its popularity, the Forest Service has contracted out its management to Recreation Resource Management Inc. Therefore, if you have an interagency annual pass, it is not accepted. Neither is the Red Rock Pass.

Kobritz: Dying sport, huh? More children flocking to baseball

Beyond the Lines

Hold your horses on the notion that baseball is a dying sport. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), a non-profit trade organization that promotes sports and fitness participation, youth participation in baseball is on the rise.

Howard: What I like about tennis, and what I don’t

My Point

Tennis has been in my life since the age of 12. During that time most experiences have really been great. But a few things I could have done without, and remember I’m just talking about tennis.

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Dahlberg: A golden marriage between team and city in Las Vegas

AP Column

Gerard Gallant took time out from preparing for the Stanley Cup finals to watch a Little League game this week, something that might be surprising to those who think there is little in Las Vegas besides showgirls, craps tables and nightclubs.

Gunby: Let’s face it, nobody likes slow play in golf

Tee It Up

Slow play is either the result of not being taught how to play golf in a courteous manner and at a good pace or a bad habit or habits ingrained over time that cause slow play. Let’s face it, nobody likes slow play.

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